By Nathan House
Dressed in red robes or completely in black attire, members of the Hebrew Israelites religious group demonstrated outside MCTC campus Oct.16.
This is not the first visit of the group whose headwear is adorned with the six-pointed star of David. Claiming to be the real prophets of God and Jesus Christ, the group attempts to spread their message to college students and others.
As students bustle to morning classes, one of the group’s leaders spoke briefly through a microphone off Hennepin Avenue between the Technical and Helland buildings. Police arrived later and stopped the amplified speech-making.
Even without a microphone, the presenter’s voices boomed throughout campus.
One of the main beliefs of the Hebrew Israelites, according to the groups flier, is that “God, Jesus Christ, the true Biblical Jews and all the holy prophets were black” and originally from Israel.
Some students stayed and listened, while others waited for the bus. A woman with a small child chose to purposely miss her bus to hear more of what was being said.
“You may have missed your bus ma’am, but you may have very well gained salvation,” said one of the men.
The school addressed the groups presence and many student complaints in an e-mail Oct. 19 stating, “MCTC wants the community to know that it does not condone or support such views.”
The email also states although the school “does not condone or support discriminatory comments of behavior,” individuals or groups are entitled to express thoughts and opinions publicly when done in a peaceful manner, which is a right protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The members are from a local chapter of The Israelite Church located in North Minneapolis on Emerson Avenue.
When asked to elaborate on the purpose of their visit to MCTC, a group leader declined to respond, and a phone number listed in the flyer was not in service.
According to the flier, the group’s goal is to “expose the true historical lineage of blacks, hispanics, and Indians from North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean islands and the rest of the world.”
This message of their goal is supported by a claim on the flyer, stating that “Blacks, Hispanics and Indians come from a royal lineage of honor, dignity and glory.”
Speakers also opposed same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and anything against the ten commandments from the bible.
The Minneapolis police department confirmed that as long as the group speaks on the sidewalk without amplification, they can speak. For any further questions or concerns, students can contact the director of Public Safety at (612) 659-6902.
Staff writer Verta Taylor contributed to this report.