And in New Orleans, Black Lives Matter activist and Charleston, South Carolina, community organizer Muhiyidin d’Baha died Tuesday, after he was shot in the thigh by a bullet as he rode his bicycle. Police have not named any motive or suspects in the killing. D’Baha made national headlines last year after he appeared in a viral video that shows him leaping over a police line in an attempt to grab a Confederate flag from a white supremacist at a rally in Charleston. In 2015, Democracy Now! spoke with Muhiyidin d’Baha outside the Emanuel AME Church amid the funerals of nine African-American worshipers who were gunned down by white supremacist Dylann Roof. We asked him about the campaign to dismantle Confederate monuments and to bring down the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina state Capitol grounds.
Muhiyidin d’Baha: “It’s re-examining our history and the white supremacist structures in our history, and naming them and calling them what they are. So when we talk about the flag, we don’t get into agitation of race, we get into talks about abolition and states’ rights. We talk about the reality of it. This country is founded upon economic capital developed from free and cheap labor. Now that that cheap labor is not used because of technological innovation, we have the prison-industrial complex and other ways to subsidize people’s living and housing.”
Muhiyidin d’Baha was just 32 years old. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring his body home to Charleston from New Orleans.