Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge
Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) is a non-profit organization based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States. The group is part of the Hebrew Israelism movement, which regards American blacks as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled ISUPK an "extremist" and "black supremacist" group.
ISUPK has demonstrated many times at the corner of Seventh and H streets in Washington, D.C., since 2004, but residents complain the group amplifies their open-air preaching to more than 90 decibels and that their message is offensive. Some homeowners say the group accuses white and gay people of destroying historically black neighborhoods and at least one resident has complained of being called "cracker, slave owner, [and] white devil", but reiterated that volume, rather than the group's speech content, is the problem.
ISUPK and other groups' volume prompted D.C.'s municipal government to consider an ordinance to "resolve the issue". The measure would have limited the volume of daytime noncommercial speech to 70 decibels, but died due to free speech concerns. ISUPK regional director General Yahanna defended the group, saying residents' real issue with the group is not sound, but their message. The group identifies its message as saving local residents' souls and discouraging people from drugs and crime and says its separatist teachings are the real issue residents have.
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