In an ironic turn-of-events, when a grassroots activist released a video showing that he was sucker-punched by veteran journalist, Mark Thompson, now it seems that Thompson has become the victim. For the first time, Afrika, who was at the other end of Thompson’s ire, speaks out.
Social media posts and messages have been circulating around the future of SiriusXM radio personality, Mark Thompson’s program, Make it Plain, after it was discovered that he lied about being assaulted by a Newark-based organizer named Afrika, along with other false claims.
In an interview with Ark Republic, Africa details the series of events leading up to him being attacked and the fallout afterwards which ended up with ongoing online attacks. At the same time, Africa, known for his work in Newark, says that local law enforcement has not processed his complaint. As well, city officials remain mum after he was punched by Thompson at the end of a town hall meeting on gentrification.
Now, this is the first time that the victim, Afrika, is speaking about what happened and his side of the story, along with his activism in an economically vulnerable community experiencing issues such as high lead levels in its water, poverty and a housing crisis due to staggering numbers of evictions.
In the interview, Afrika says that Thompson, an outspoken progressive critic, alleged that Afrika was an informant or agent for US intelligence. Moreover, Thompson linked the organizer to a nascent reparations movement called, American Descendants of Slaves or #ADOS, an organization in the midst of controversy for its American-centric activism to compensate Blacks in reparations legislation that directly repairs the generations of damage and injustice enacted upon generations of people who worked as slaves then endured generations of Jim Crow and institutionalized racism afterwards.
Ironically, Afrika, though born in Newark, has a father from Nigeria and a Liberian mother whose father moved to Afrika from Kentucky during the Marcus Garvey Movement. Afrika, who is not a member of ADOS, explains his confrontational politics as well as his lineage. While he vehemently says that he does not want Thompson fired, but honest dialogue and an apology needs to happen to start the process of reconciliation.
*Updated on May 6, 2019
Ark Republic is an independent media company that provides a platform for free-thinking folk to tell stories as complex and colorful as possible. We need your help to keep the wheels churning and the stories flowing. Please become and member or donate to an organization dedicated to giving you stories that keep you informed.