The Other McCain

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Crazy People Are Dangerous, and Yes, Black Hammer Is a Dangerous Cult

Posted on | July 22, 2022 | 1 Comment

Have you forgotten Augustus Claudius Romain, Jr., the Brooklyn native who styles himself “Gazi Kodzo,” supreme commander of the Black Hammer Organization? I wrote about Romain/“Kodzo” in February (“The Destructive Cult of Racial ‘Liberation’”) as the group tried and failed to build their own “community” in Colorado:

For the followers of Black Hammer, their “take back the land” dream ended with what can only be called a sort of radical Fyre Festival, a bummer of a bad camping trip, with a few minor injuries. But there is no guarantee that the next radical gesture will end so harmlessly.

After that dream fell apart, Romain/“Kodzo” and his remaining followers relocated to Atlanta, where things apparently went downhill badly:

The group regularly gathers in downtown’s Woodruff Park to hand out food and clothing to the homeless as members proselytize over a megaphone.
In November, Atlanta police arrested several members of the group, including Kodzo, when they refused an order to turn down the amplifier that was violating the city’s noise ordinance, according to a police report. When the police went to arrest Kodzo other members of the group began pushing officers, according to the report.
Kodzo and several other Hammers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of police. Officers seized a .45-caliber handgun and two-way radios, among other items, according to the reports.
Last year, members of the group who were closest to Kodzo moved into a rented house in a suburban southside neighborhood in Riverdale. The group was evicted in December and owed $21,000 in unpaid rent, attorney’s fees and other charges, according to records in Clayton County State Court. Public records indicate the group then took up residence in the Fayetteville home that was the scene Tuesday’s shooting.

Now, we will get to Tuesday’s shooting in a minute, but let me clear up something that seems to be causing a problem for some journalists.

Infamous ‘Cult’ Leader Arrested
After Dead Body Found in Home

Notice the word “cult” is inside quotation marks in that Daily Beast headline, as if they’re afraid of being sued for libel if they state, as a fact, that Black Hammer is a cult — which it most definitely is, and we ought not be tiptoeing around that fact as if we’re scared of it. Good journalism at times requires courage, the kind of courage that involves publishing the truth and defending it. Having gone to trial to defend myself in such a situation, I do not say this casually. If you’re a journalist who’s afraid to call a cult a cult, maybe you need to find some other line of work.

My thumbnail summary biography of Romain/“Kodzo”:

Romain was born in Brooklyn and grew up around Atlanta. In his early 20s, he went to Los Angeles and apparently worked as some kind of personal assistant for the head of a small modeling agency, helping to stage “mansion parties,” among other things. Sometime after 2015, Romain was recruited by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and moved to the party’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, where his duties were mainly about running social-media accounts. In 2018, Romain — now calling himself Kodzo — left the APSP and moved back to Atlanta, where he established the Black Hammer Organization in February 2019. Romain/Kodzo claimed he quit the APSP because it was secretly controlled by white people; the APSP says he was expelled for unspecified misconduct. You can believe whatever you want, but the point is that he learned his ideology and tactics at one black “liberation” organization and then employed this knowledge to create his own organization with himself as “Commander-in-Chief.”

The key to Black Hammer was, first, its leader’s large following on social media and, second, his knowledge of radical organizing tactics. He already had a large following on Twitter and Facebook before he started Black Hammer, and his experience with the APSP gave him a level of prestige that put him far above the vulnerable young people he attracted to his organization, so that his leadership — his words, his ideology, his actions — were exempt from criticism. Without him, there was no Black Hammer, and therefore, to be a member of the organization was to be an idolatrous servant of the Supreme Commander. This is a cult.

Here’s what made Romain/“Kodzo” notorious in April 2020:


Would any sane person be associated with this dangerous kook? I think not, but as I said, Black Hammer attracted vulnerable young people, and by “vulnerable,” of course I mean, a few fries short of a Happy Meal. The very fact that someone was involved in this cult was evidence of their mental deficiency, because rational and intelligent people would never go anywhere near a group led by such an obvious crackpot.

There is a factor of self-selection in the membership of cults. People who are generally successful in life are seldom enthralled by the radical promise of “liberation,” and people with a healthy sense of street-wise skepticism — i.e., those with a functional bullshit detector — would be suspicious of anyone calling himself the Supreme Commander. If you’ve read Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, you know that such movements tend to attract people who can be categorized as misfits. So you collect together a bunch of misfits, who don’t have a lot going for them in terms of career success or social popularity, and who furthermore are naïve enough to fall for the radical promise of “liberation,” and what you have is a recipe for disaster. The Khmer Rouge, Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate — these things never have a happy ending. It was therefore foreseeable that Black Hammer would ultimately end with some headline-making debacle, even if the specifics could not be predicted. And thus we turn to events in Fayetteville:

The home linked to Tuesday’s SWAT standoff, alleged kidnapping and deadly shooting in Fayetteville is a communal house of Atlanta-based extremist organization, the Black Hammer Party, whose leader was arrested in connection to the episode, according to police.
The group’s leader, Augustus C. Romain, 36, was charged with 11 felony counts, including party to the crime of false imprisonment, party to the crime of kidnapping, party to the crime of aggravated assault, criminal street gang activity, criminal conspiracy to commit a felony and aggravated sodomy, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Fayetteville Police Department.

(Whoa — “aggravated sodomy”? We eagerly await the police affidavit that gives us the tawdry details behind that charge.)

A second person who lived at the home, Xavier H. Rushin, 21, was charged in the incident with a misdemeanor and 10 felonies, including kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal street gang activity, the release said.
Fayetteville Police said they received a 911 call Tuesday morning at 7:48 a.m. from “a person whispering that they had been kidnapped by an organization and was being held in the garage of a residence.” Police said they located the residence by tracing the call.
The hours-long standoff, which resulted in a neighborhood shelter-in-place order, ended Tuesday afternoon when officers discovered a person inside the home shot dead, police said.
When officers responded to the residence in the Woodbyne subdivision off White Road, a group of nine people exited the home, but one person remained inside, a police press release said.
Police observed a person waving their hand from a garage window, the release said. Officers also approached a person outside the residence and they attempted to flee, the release said. The police press release did not identify that person.
The shelter-in-place order remained in effect for several hours as a SWAT unit responded. Police eventually sent a robot into the home for further investigation and discovered a person who remained inside was dead, the spokesman said. With the robot’s help, the house was surveyed and the lockdown lifted around 2:15 p.m.
The deceased person was found in the home with a gunshot wound to the head. The Black Hammer group’s social media posts identified the man as one of their members. Police said the man was 18, but the AJC is not identifying him because he appears to be a suicide victim. Officials said they believe the gunshot wound to the head was self-inflicted.

The AJC won’t name him, but the dead teenager was Amonte Ammons, who was hailed by Black Hammer as their “Minister of Defense,” and who is alleged to have been kidnapped, beaten and forcibly sodomized by Romain/“Kodzo.” Now, I don’t know what the word “liberation” means to you, but that sure doesn’t sound like my idea of liberation.

Gazi Kodzo’s police booking mug shot

Fayette County is a prosperous suburban community where President Trump got 52% of the vote in 2020, so it’s not likely that the would-be revolutionary (and accused rapist) “Gazi Kodzo” can expect lenient treatment from the criminal justice system there. They’re going to send him to Reidsville, and probably for a long, long time.

He’s certainly not likely to be suing anyone for libel, so there is no reason for any journalist to hesitate to call Black Hammer a cult.

There is a moral to this story: Crazy People Are Dangerous.



One Response to “Crazy People Are Dangerous, and Yes, Black Hammer Is a Dangerous Cult”

  1. Feds: Russian Agent Funded Radical Fringe Groups, Including Black Hammer : The Other McCain
    July 29th, 2022 @ 7:52 pm

    […] our friend Augustus Romain Jr. a/k/a “Gazi Kodzo”? Well, his Black Hammer group is one of three organizations identified by federal prosecutors as […]