Volume 4, Number 13 May 12, 2001

The Farmer


$25 million worth of "eggs"

by Dr. Ridgely A. Mu’min Muhammad


In February of 2001, the Sumter Regional Hospital suspended Dr. John Marshall’s hospital privileges. In response, Concerned Citizens for Sumter (CCSC) called for a boycott of the hospital by the African-American community starting in March.

On March 20th a picket line was started on the streets in front of the hospital. At first there were many picketers and the number of filled hospital beds fell by 50%. Then the "word" was put out by the white power structure that "if y’all keep fooling with that doctor, you are going to wind up with egg on your face". Although the hospital beds still stayed vacant, fewer and fewer picketers were seen on the corner.

I have been personally involved with a number of struggles including the Black farmers lawsuit against the USDA. I have witnessed first hand how the American government lies, intimidates and controls the media to break the spirit of the victims to fight. The same process took place in this local arena of Americus, Ga.

I and a few other "soldiers" stood with Dr. Marshall and kept picketing on the corner, because we understood that it was not just Dr. Marshall being attacked it was all of our young people. For if a man who has done everything right in the "system", sacrificed years in study, training, money and hard work to raise himself to the elite status of being a medical doctor could be shot down, just because he dared to use that status to uplift others, then how could I look Black youth in the face and tell them to follow his example. If you are going to be treated like a criminal anyway then why not just be a criminal and "get paid"?

The American pattern persists. The Black farmers did nothing but work hard and sweat. The American government returned the favor by conspiring to take their land, lie about it, then set up a fake "reparations" scheme and deny 40% of the class compensation. A Black doctor uses his money and influence to set up a black newspaper and expose the wrongs being done to those who had no voice and he is maligned, kicked out and talked about.

On April 26, 2001 Dr. John Marshall filed in federal court a lawsuit against Sumter Regional Hospital, Inc., Americus-Sumter County Hospital Authority, Southwest Georgia Healthcare Association, Inc., Southwest Georgia Healthcare Resources, Inc. and ten other individuals to the tune of $25 million. So it seems that the price of "eggs" have gone up.

It seems that the Hospital made a grave mistake by suspending Dr. Marshall without cause then trying to dig up dirt after the fact. This is just how "justice is served" in America, but thanks to Dr. Marshall’s courage and skill, maybe Sumter County, Americus, Ga. and the Hospital authorities will get a taste for what it is like being "fried" and our youth can see what it takes to be a real Black man in America.

Peace, Doc