On Wednesday, a group of anti-vaccine protestors outside the Atlanta CDC offices went viral.
The group was primarily made of members of the Black Hammer organization.
They describe themselves as "anti-colonial" and openly post anti-Semitic rhetoric.
On Wednesday, a video of a group of anti-vaccine protestors outside the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offices went viral. The group chanted "down with the CDC, Fauci lies to me" after a masked man yelled into a megaphone that "Nicki Minaj said I'm not going to take your vaccine."
The clip was viewed a quarter of million times on Twitter and was picked up by news outlets - local Atlanta affiliate CBS 46 described the crowd as "Nicki Minaj fans" and Newsweek said they were "inspired" by the singer.
-Tori Cooper (@toricoooper) September 15, 2021
Minaj sparked a tidal wave of controversy on Monday when she tweeted that she wasn't vaccinated against COVID-19 and that her "cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine" because his friend "became impotent" after he received it. Health ministers in Trinidad denied the claim, telling the BBC "there is absolutely no reported side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad." As Insider has reported, there is no data that indicates the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility.
The Atlanta protesters were part of a fringe political group
The Atlanta protestors weren't just "barbz" - a nickname Minaj's most dedicated fans. The participants were part of the group the Black Hammer, which describes itself on its Instagram as an "anti-colonial organization that exists to take the land back for all Colonized people."
Founded in 2019 by Gazi Kodzo, the group's mission statement on their website claims that they "are focused on building dual contending power of and for the colonized masses."
Kodzo has a YouTube channel with 44,000 subscribers where he posts weekly livestreams that don't easily fit into a contemporary political framework. In a July video, he feuded with another small political party in Atlanta called the Party for Socialism & Liberation. In a March video titled "Biden Amerikkka Is Just As Bad As Trump" he sampled a Fox News clip in his criticism of the Biden administration's immigration policies. He's also been critical of the Trump and Obama administrations.
The group cited Nicki Minaj at their CDC protest
The group tweeted on their main account announcing their plan to protest at noon on Wednesday, writing that they are "FED UP with the way the media is portraying Nicki Minaj."
-BH Times (@BlkHmmrTimes) September 15, 2021
In the viral clip, Kodzo is the one screaming with the megaphone, while about nine individuals follow alongside.
Minaj liked a tweet from Stephen Fowler calling the Black Hammer organization a "radical" group "that's posted anti-vax content." Kodzo responded to the tweet on an Instagram Story, writing "Nicki knows who tf we are."
In a video from nowsthetimebho on TikTok, the group can be seen with signs reading "Fauci lies" and "Black Hammer stands with Nicki."
The group has a history of promoting anti-vaccine content and making noise with stunts
The Black Hammer group has previously posted anti-vaccine content on their website.
A December, 2020 post misleadingly claimed that "these vaccines do not promise anything that will keep you safe from COVID-19" and "many people are dying or experiencing allergic reactions" from the vaccine. The CDC website says that "COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants" and describes "serious adverse effects" as "rare."
Since it was founded, Black Hammer has made sensational statements and stunts which have brought in attention and followers.
In May, the Black Hammer organization tweeted that Anne Frank was a "colonizer," "bleach demon," and recommended that her diary be burnt. That same month, the group claimed on Twitter that they were staying at and had purchased 200 acres of land in Colorado to build a city "for colonized people only." The San Miguel County Sheriff shared on their Facebook page that they had found around a dozen members of the group "camping prior to a property purchase that ultimately did not occur" and that they "left without incident."
When asked for a statement, the Black Hammers sent an Instagram video of Kodzo in Joker make-up saying that the CDC has "lied" and "thank you Nicki Minaj for making us brave."
Minaj, Twitter, and Facebook did not respond for comment by publication time.
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