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Arthur Miller 45th Anniversary June 14th, 1978 - 2023

Arthur Miller 45th Anniversary

June 14th, 1978 - 2023

Today, June 14 Arthur Miller was choked to death by New York Police. Arthur Miller was a modeled citizen. He was a family man, businessman, community involvement, contributing to worthy causes and well-liked by the community including respected by the police. Yet, this day he ended up dead at the hands of the people we pay to protect us. But

we’ve turned pain into power and created a movement that had an impact locally, nationally and internationally.

The late 60s and 70s was a tough time for people of African Ancestry especially in Brooklyn especially. Starting in July 1964 with the police murder of Jimmy Powell, 15-year-old in Harlem, NY and September 1967 Richard Ross in Brooklyn, NY.

It was as if the police had decided to annually kill a Black child and then: In 1972, Rickey Bodden was killed in Staten Island, he was 11 years old. In 1973, Clifford Glover was killed in Jamaica, Queens, when he was 10 years old. Claude Reese, 14, killed on September 20, 1974 in Brooklyn, NY. In 1979, it was Luis Baez. As I have stated, Arthur Miller in 1978.

In addition to police brutality and murder, the consistent facts of these killings, they were done by white police officers and they were exonerated. There might have been a Black police officer in the crowd in several of these cases. But by and large they were Caucasian officers and Black and Latino victims.

In addition to police attacks the Hasidic community engaged in harassment, insults and violence against Black people. One of the worst attacks was on Victor Rhodes, a fifteen-year-old black kid. According to the press, he was attacked by 30-50 members of the Hasidic community. In 1978, we called it Bloody Summer 78’. There were multiple racist attacks on people of African Ancestry which can be found in my book No Monopoly on Suffering Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights:

The History of the Bloody Summer of 1978

  • Wednesday, June 14, 1978

Arthur Miller murdered by the police - 77th pct.

  • Thursday, June 15, 1978

Victor Rhodes beaten into a coma by Hasidic Jews.

  • Thursday, June 22, 1978

Charles King beaten and hospitalized by traffic police.

  • Sunday July 23, 1978

Packed bus returning from Rils Beach attacked by a gang of Whites at Utica and Avenue A.

  • Monday, July 31, 1978

Girard Mark was attacked and hospitalized by a gang of Whites in Prospect Park.

  • Monday, August 14, 1978

4 Black youth and 1 Hispanic youth beaten by a White gang in a planned attack in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

  • Tuesday, August 15, 1978

Thurman Robinson beaten and hospitalized by police – 73rd Precinct.

Perhaps, equal to the violence was the molestation of black youth by then Congressman Fred Richmond. The courts had ruled that Black political representation was gerrymandered out of the political process. The courts created Congressional District-14 with a black majority. Fred Richmond, a white millionaire, so-called friend of Black people ran for the seat and won. It was reported widely that he was guilty of molesting black youths in Washington, D.C. I led a delegation to his office. We demanded his resignation. Sitting between two beefy black bodyguards, he angrily stated, “I am going to run again and I'm going to win.” He ran and he won! He won with the overwhelming support of most black bourgeoisie black elected officials and some of the most prominent black preachers. It was the depths of self-hatred and self-rejection. It was painful, infuriating, and pathetic to know that he garnered the overwhelming support of Black people who were the leading citizens and the people we had had the highest regard for, especially the clergy.

That was the climate in which Arthur Miller was choked to death. As a result of the Randy Evans killing, we called for Black Christmas 77’, we were on the street boycotting the downtown Brooklyn stores when we learned that Arthur Miller had been choked to death. From the boycott lines we organized a rally that night. I promised that we were going to organize our people. Which we did and we ran our own political candidates and they won including Assemblymen Al Vann and Roger Green, Congressman Owens who took Fred Richmond's seat. I said, “we’re going to organize our community patrol and when men meet men, we will see what the people in the long black coats will do.” (Men in the Hasidic community wear long black coats.) I also said that “the next time the Hasidic touches one of our children, we’re going to tear this community apart.” We fulfilled our promise, we organized the Arthur Miller Community Patrol and there was no more violence. We organized our community into the Black United Front and the rest is history and the rest is history.

Attend this Saturday, June 17th, House of the Lord Church, 415 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216, we will be having a time of reflection on the tenor of the times and what we’ve accomplished. We expect many of the Movers and Shakers to be present with their children and Mothers and Families who have experienced death at the hands of police and gun violence. In addition we expect that many of the top elected officials who came out of the movement to be present, Mayor Adams, AG Leticia James (who has indicated she will send a video), etc. Read my book No Monopoly on Suffering Blacks & Jews in Crown Heights for a study of the history of the times in which I just posted…


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