Defending Farrakhan

 

Ethics, Morality and the Struggle for Black Liberation (Part 2)

by William P. Muhammad

“The black bourgeoisie, as we have seen, has created a world of make-believe to shield itself from the harsh economic and social realities of American life.” (E. Franklin Frazier – Black Bourgeoisie, 1957)

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Dr. E. Franklin Fraizer
1894 - 1962 

Among the greatest challenges facing 21st century Black America is the necessity of confronting illusion, of coming to terms with our actual position within American society and, in order to effect real change, to develop a producing rather than consuming culture. Furthermore, by distinguishing between wishful thinking and actual facts, we will only garner control over our economics, and earn a seat at the table as a true equal, when productivity outweighs the unfocused and undisciplined mentality of conspicuous consumption.

Stepping beyond the boundaries of America’s unspoken social contract, however, where the wealth and prosperity of others is often built upon the ignorance of the Black consumer, meaningful change is contingent upon reclaiming the resources and intellect of the Black community. Requiring a complete and total, if not radical, break from America’s racial comfort zone, where Black people are usually rewarded for distancing themselves from their historical narrative, a new ethos based upon land, access to capital, ownership of the means of production and the control of distribution, must replace the concept of social advancement through non-economic liberalism.

This radical change, the claiming of our own resources to benefit, uplift and gain advantages for self, is nothing new or extraordinary when applied to other racial or ethnic communities. Often viewed as an obligation, not only for the purpose of legacy and intergenerational wealth creation, but also toward the concept of nation building as seen among Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans, Jews and other ethnic European-American groupings, building for the sake of self, family and community is the duty of a free and independent people.

In this context, if ethics is defined as being consistent with one’s inner held beliefs and values, and morality, as conformity to a certain group’s norms and ideas, then a Black community that captures its own wealth and resources, for the purpose of taking an equal seat at the table, cannot be faulted for challenging America’s deeply held prejudices while breaking the mold of low expectations.

A new paradigm and its fallout

Has Black America really taken into account the significance of its consumer dollars as it relates to the maintenance of the status quo? Statistics have shown, and many agree, that the collective spending power of Black America, as of 2013, amounts to upwards of $1.1 trillion per year, regardless of the fact that very little of this money circulates back into the Black community.



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Furthermore, when looking at the virtual slavery provided by the prison-industrial complex, the so-called public school-to-prison pipeline and the lack of competition among Black Americans in the global marketplace, it is not difficult to see why those who abide by the philosophy of white supremacy wish to
keep it that way. For example, while Civil Rights activists may argue in favor of a policy that educates Black people at a fraction the $10,000 to $30,000 per year that it costs to incarcerate an individual inmate, the monies spent on imprisonment create more jobs and contracts, within a local economy, than does educating a young Black person who may otherwise compete for those same dollars in the future.

Additionally, by hamstringing the black community’s ability to extract dollars on local, national and international levels, by preventing our people from achieving collective economic independence, America’s ruling elite virtually guarantee the denial of meaningful Black participation in the global economy. More than the mortgaging of a house, the financing of an automobile and the amassing of consumer debt, to provide the illusion of having arrived, true freedom allows for the building of institutions to serve the needs of the Black community and, on an individual level, to bequeath wealth to subsequent generations.

As ideals differ among various groups, the Black community can no longer downplay its self-interests for the sake of going-along-to-get-along. While the ethics of Black liberation may challenge the order of White privilege, it is important to consider how conforming to white supremacy has created an acceptance of an unjust equation.

With code words such as “mainstream,” used for approval and “radical,” used to impugn the legitimacy of new ideas, is it in America’s domestic policy interests to make the Black population consumers rather than producers? If 10 million of America’s 40 million Black people stopped smoking, the tobacco industry would be deprived of billions of dollars. Similarly, if the same number stopped drinking, the alcohol industry would be deprived of billions of dollars. With just the example of alcohol and tobacco, who benefits from promoting toxic substances as something cool or sophisticated?

The falsehood of illusion has a powerful impact upon the psyche, and the need to project the image of belonging diverts billions of dollars away from true wealth creation and the freedom it represents. By making changes in our daily habits, not only is the lifestyle of death and non-productivity replaced by an ethos of life, but the emergence of a new morality would also prioritize vision and sacrifice over consumerism and short term gratification. The time for change is now, and we should no longer be in doubt about what must be done to secure our future as a people.
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Ethics, Morality and the Struggle for Black Liberation

by William P. Muhammad


"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity." - W.E.B. DuBois.“The Souls of Black Folk,” 1903).
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From the day of our forefather’s emancipation from physical slavery, much has been said and discussed over what to do about the so-called “Negro problem” in America. Like the Biblical and Qur’anic stories regarding the Children of Israel, and their relationship with the Egyptian Pharaoh, fear over Black interests diverging from White interests has occupied much of the thinking, policy making and social agendas of America’s ruling elite.  


Starting with overt strategies such as segregation and restricted access to resources, for decades, Black Americans toiled under a no-win situation, forcing many to flee to other locations for opportunity, relief or safety. Only to be received by a more sophisticated form of oppression, two seemingly opposed mindsets emerged in Black America by the late 1960s: one that fought for inclusion within a system hostile to a Black presence, and the other, a struggle for nationhood and independence through various ideologies ranging from the religious to the secular. 


As White Americans wielded the right to define through the educational system, public and private  policies focused attention on conformity, non-conformity, personal values, and the lack thereof; and shortly thereafter, new social norms were promoted from the highest levels of government. Designed to maintain White control over the culture, politics and economy of the United States, policies soon clashed across generational, gender and racial lines sparking the so-called counter-culture movement.  Regarding the destiny of Black America, however, under the pretext of ethics and morals, the right to define our own direction and interests was hampered by internal conflicts stoked by external meddling.


Reclaiming our stolen Birthright


Morality is often described as a set of standards that are generally accepted as right or proper, but what is left out of this definition is the statement: “right or proper according to whom?”  If morality is defined by the White elite, then conformity to their interests makes Black groups, organizations or individuals acceptable to what is proper and right in their view. However, in the struggle to define self, while pursuing a destiny independent of White boundaries and limitations, the aforementioned will be labeled immoral according to their resistance and opposition.

Regarding ethics, commonly defined as conformity to one’s own personal values or belief system, choice offers individuals the opportunity to either agree or disagree with national or international agendas undermining Black progress. If Black leadership conforms to White supremacy, while publicly or privately disagreeing with it, he or she is being moral within its purview but unethical toward self and the Black community. When such people compromise their principles for favor, or nearness to power, unethical Black leaders subsequently enable those who use them to continue harmful policies. 


As the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea to enter into the Promised Land, it was division, doubt and suspicion of leadership that caused them to wander in the wilderness for an additional 40 years. Today, Black American leadership must be bold and courageous, not only to see through a sophisticated tangle of competing agendas and deceit, but also to offer clear guidance in reclaiming a 400-year-old stolen legacy. If Black leaders see the value of remaining true to their originally stated beliefs and ideas, they will be negatively labeled by the world of White supremacy, but if these same leaders become apologists for oppression, they are no better than those to whom they have submitted.  


In order to reclaim our birthright, the concept of nationhood and independence can be neither ignored nor dismissed. As free and independent people do, uniting, pooling resources and working toward building a reality for themselves and their children, it is of paramount importance to take a principled stand.  Resisting conformity to the ways of this world, while remaining true to the ushering in of a new one, is not without precedence, and whether we decide to rise to the occasion or not, we cannot escape the overall condition of our people.


The double-consciousness W.E.B. DuBois described 110 years ago is not a phenomenon, it is only the manifestation of stress in a people forced to conform to a reality that is not in their best interest. Hopefully, as we come into a higher awareness of our true position within American society, Black people will understand “the time and what must be done” and that worrying more about what others think is not as important as what we think and what we do for ourselves. 
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Overcoming Black Complacency in an Hour of Crisis

by William P. Muhammad


“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.” (Proverbs 29:17-19 King James version)

In American society, there is a commonly held belief that learning the lessons of history will prevent past mistakes from reoccurring. Likewise, an adage that defines insanity as continuing a given behavior, while expecting an altogether different result, gives credence to those advocating alternative solutions beyond the narrative of obsolete ideas.

Seeming to rest upon the laurels of the 1950s and 60s, traditional Civil Rights leadership, in the name of access and inclusion, is today focusing more upon selling partisan loyalties than on promoting an unapologetic Black agenda. Within the context of America’s various Black communities, the common denominator of substandard education, unacceptable incarceration rates and high unemployment reveals not only the failure of “non-economic liberalism,” but also the failures of a movement that for too long has relied upon corporate patronage, political favoritism and the diluting of Black agendas in order to secure acceptance and approval.

Furthermore, in this compromising of Black interests, as a means for admittance into the so-called mainstream establishment, Black America’s collective well being is unfortunately being harmed. By rewarding the few, at the expense of the many, and contingent upon a political climate that changes every four to eight years, the relevance of ideas, programs and solutions, accepted and rewarded by government and philanthropic organizations, is limited. Clearly requiring a new direction and perspective, the current Civil Rights paradigm, which demands jobs and justice over independence and land ownership, undermines the concept of meaningful participation in a global market-oriented economy.

For instance, when comparing Black Americans to the collective economic progress of relative newcomers, it goes without saying that within one or two generations, many immigrant communities are reflecting a greater level of freedom and productivity. Although the hamstringing of Black economic advancement has been well documented since Post-Reconstruction, the fact remains that 21st century obstacles are more psychological in nature than they are of physical obstruction.

Subsequently creating a so-called permanent underclass, the decimation of Black communities through disenfranchisement laws, poor public education and an overabundance of political posturing, the system, to which Civil Rights leadership has tied itself, is cruelly indifferent to the plight of the Black masses. While the rural and urban poor are under no illusions regarding the limitations inherent to such an arrangement, regardless of well meaning intentions, Civil Rights leaders must reassess their agendas, reflect upon proven and workable solutions and leave egos at the door.

Considering the “Economic Blueprint,” long advocated by the Nation of Islam, as one model for positive change, the issue of poverty and want could be addressed within a relatively short period of time. Incorporating a holistic approach starting with teaching Black people the knowledge of self, the importance of unity and the value of pooling resources, if only one percent of the $1.1 trillion Blacks spend annually were harnessed, a renaissance of wealth, consciousness and productivity could be the result. Having an impact reaching far beyond the borders of the United States, once adopted, the “do-for-self” model would not only elevate Black America in the eyes of the world, but it would also do a great service in redeeming a flawed American society.

Unity is the key to Black America’s relevance and prosperity and our failure to “consider the time and what must be done” will lead to an unfortunate loss. With the simple elimination of alcohol, tobacco and other unhealthy habits, the dollars needed to make such an endeavor possible could be achieved with minimal sacrifice.

By capturing only $10 billion dollars annually, urban factories could be repurchased, thousands of acres of farmland could be acquired, healthcare facilities and new schools could be built and the Black community could enter into international trade and commerce for the good our ourselves, our families and our people. Such a vision is not a pipedream; the model was actually carried into practice and proven to be successful by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and studied by both advocates and detractors alike.

If we are to defeat the complacency that is hindering Black America’s progress, then it is time to consider a program with a proven track record. Whether you are Muslim, Christian or Hebrew, if you are Black, you cannot escape the overall image and condition of our people. The time for action is now and the world is definitely watching.




Thinking beyond the intellectual plantation
by William P. Muhammad


Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions  
(Bible Genesis 15: 13-14).”

With the recent release of the Nation of Islam’s new book, “The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, volume 2,” there has been a renewed effort among Jewish organizations, right wing conservatives and Blacks who have not yet read the book, to once again condemn the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

In order to deflect attention from its central thesis, and to avoid a much needed and straightforward dialogue on race relations, those attacking Minister Farrakhan, by means of straw man argument, seem more interested in avoiding exposure than they are with examining historical facts. Citing Jewish scholars, historical records and other non anti-Semitic sources, the book exposes myths, names individuals and identifies institutions that took part in the economic oppression of Blacks in the Jim Crow South.

Releasing this scholarly work to demonstrate and prove that Black economic development has been consistently undermined since the Emancipation Proclamation, it appears that for fear of moral or legal obligations, the anger and defensiveness coming from Jewish organizations, and their conservative allies, is based more upon a sense of denial than upon any genuine claims of Antisemitism or so-called reverse racism.

Establishing the basis of legitimate grievance, “The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, volume 2” is intended to spur discussion and to lay the perimeters for a proper dialogue regarding many decades of economic exploitation. While Blacks had absolutely nothing to do with Jewish suffering, either in Europe or in America, it is indeed unfortunate that those victimized by their European brethren would now minimize the significance of their own documented roles in the historical suffering of Black people.

There is an anecdote that says when an adversary runs out of an intelligent argument, he will resort to name calling. Under a long and blistering campaign of unjust charges and personal attacks, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has never returned evil for evil. His stance on principle has been consistently resolute and uncompromising and, regardless of whom or what, he has always spoken truth to power when others feared to stand up and speak for themselves.

Today, in order to break the mold of an economically unjust relationship, and to honestly address the current impasse between Blacks and Jews, there must be willingness among Jewish advocacy and interest groups to acknowledge an historical wrong. Regarding Black leadership, there must also be the courage to stand on actual facts, and without fear of material loss or censure, to lay out the case for repairing the damage 400 years of slavery and undeserved suffering has caused.

In order to enable and empower an economy worthy of 40 million Black people, it is important to know what was in order to decipher and correct what is and what could be. For that to happen, it is first necessary to realize the significance of the nearly one trillion dollars Black consumers spend annually, and how this wealth could be leveraged beyond civil rights concerns and requests for corporate philanthropy.

Regarding the economic agendas of those who, in large part, built their wealth from Black consumer dollars, the evolution of a consuming culture into a producing culture would constitute a “game changer.” If business is a form of warfare and business systems are the basis of American economics, then the current condition of the Black community, when described in terms of winners and losers, is self-evident.

In terms of simple finance, if one takes the time to notice, it is clear the Black consumer is the golden goose that lays the golden eggs. However, through unfocused spending and the inefficient use of hard earned dollars, the potential leverage Black Americans have failed to command has empowered others more than we have empowered ourselves. As a result, we are poor when we are actually rich and we are weak although we are actually strong.

When the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan coined the phrase: “politics without economics is symbol without substance,” the collective spending power of Black people in America was more than 400 billion dollars per year. Now, with nearly one trillion dollars passing through our hands annually, we still find ourselves on a 21st century “economic” plantation where poverty, want and dependency remain the order of the day.

As fear, ignorance and outside control prevented our forefathers from leaving the plantations of the post-slavery South, fear, ignorance and outside control is discouraging our willingness and ability to build an economy worthy of our numbers today. As other racial and ethnic groups build their communities, and see doing so the duty of a free and independent people, the descendants of enslaved Africans continue to lag behind.

Although the reasons are for the most part well documented, the time is long overdue for a straightforward dialogue that no longer skirts the issue. Prolonging a paradigm whose time has come to an end will not solve the unwarranted servant-master relationship. Let us review history with honesty, work to repair the damage injustice has caused and leave the plantation behind us once and for all.




Redefining freedom from the modern day Pharaoh

by William P. Muhammad
Throughout the history of our sojourn in North America, many have likened the legacy of the Black struggle to that of the Children of Israel under Pharaoh. From the era of slavery through emancipation, and eventual Civil Rights victories 100 years later, “the Promised Land,” as a metaphor for so-called acceptance into the “mainstream,” became an idea more in line with integration and assimilation than with independence and self-determination.
Failing to grasp the significance of Black unity as the solution to an unequal racial paradigm, traditional Civil Rights leadership seemed more comfortable with the symbolism of social and political inclusion than with the substance offered by an equality rooted in a national movement dedicated to self-sufficiency. This “Civil Rights” interpretation of the Moses and Pharaoh narrative, sufficing for many as the final reward for generations of servitude and discrimination, overlooks the necessity of freeing minds from the many illusions associated with so-called American democracy.   
Looking back in history, the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War offered Blacks the opportunity not only to build new lives, but also, under the protection of federal troops, to build new economic and political realities. With experience in agriculture, construction and the trades, “freedmen” were in the beginning stages of becoming masters of their own destinies. As Black communities and towns sprouted throughout the South and West, becoming a participant in the American economy was seen not only as a birthright, but also as a natural component to the concept of freedom.
However, with the “Compromise of 1877” and the removal of federal troops from the former Confederacy, Black advancement was almost immediately turned backwards as whites reestablished their power through malfeasance and terrorism, often with the complicity of government. As the fledgling economic systems Blacks were striving to build were intentionally broken, the architects of white supremacy worked to discourage, if not to prevent, the rise of an economy worthy of a significant Black population.  
Coupled with declining numbers in Black land ownership, from 16 million acres in 1910 to less than 2 million acres by 2002, the ability to access capital for the purpose of building an independent economy was stifled.  Undermining a necessary step toward eventually owning the means of production, protracted land loss has been a significant factor in not only the weakening of Black American commerce, but also in the disintegration of viable Black communities.
As Pharaoh and his advisers forced the Children of Israel to make bricks without straw, advocates of the white establishment denied Blacks the right to fully participate in the American economy. Deprived of an economic base from which to compete, the intentional suppression of a Black producing culture gave way to an exploitable consuming culture, guaranteeing that hard earned dollars would continue to flow into the coffers of others outside of the Black community.
From yesterday’s intimidation with the whip, gun and noose through today’s use of philanthropic dollars to gain leverage over Black leadership, the deliberate seizing and dismemberment of Black America’s economy now requires a reassessment of priorities and a reinterpretation of self-interests. If “politics without economics is symbol without substance,” and economic freedom requires reclaiming the will and desire to “do-for-self,” then begging others to do for the Black community what it is capable of doing for itself must be reexamined.
As many have stepped forward to offer solutions, one tried and tested model was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s “Economic Blueprint.” Teaching his followers to look within for answers to the social, political and economic woes facing Black America, he challenged Black people to embrace the following steps in order to reestablish a culture and ethos of producing:

1. Recognize the necessity for unity and group operation (activities).
2. Pool your resources, physically as well as financially.
3. Stop wanton criticisms of everything that is Black-owned and Black-operated.
4. Keep in mind — jealousy destroys from within.
5. Observe the operations of the White man. He is successful. He makes no excuses for his failures. He works hard in a collective manner. You do the same.
           
Following this advice, from 46 years ago, is sure to bring an end to the aimless wandering the masses of Black people have endured in the desert of economic desolation.  Sound economic principles and ideas are irrefutable regardless of one’s religion or faith tradition, and by employing a program with proven results, it is possible not only to address essential needs such as food, clothing and shelter, but also “to build schools, hospitals, factories, buy farmland and enter into international trade and commerce for the good of ourselves, our families and our people.”
While many have been led to believe that a house, a car and a job constitutes the end of the struggle, the hard truth is that time is dictating that Black people do something for self before it is too late. The question is no longer whether or not illusions will sustain the Black community, but whether or not we are willing to accept the responsibility that comes with knowing the truth.


The Nation of Islam is a hate group? Not!
by Jessie Muhammad




Let’s step into “The Upper Situation Room”, sit down at the table and discuss hate for a second. If you have received your education about the Nation of Islam from the media, then more than likely you have heard we’re accused of being a hate group. I guess we can thank the misguided researchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the heads of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the FBI, the CIA, mainstream media and others for their contributions to this outright recycled lie. Yes, it is a lie.

We could argue this point with volumes of information but I only want to provide you with these two points to show that we are not a hate group and that the true haters and terrorists do not belong to the Nation of Islam under Minister Farrakhan.

Point #1: A White Judge rules that The Muslim Program is not racially inflammatory
After I posted my first blog on this website, I was unsurprisingly attacked as a “blogger of hate” plus someone wrote the Chronicle Editors to ask that I be removed from Houston Belief on the grounds that an aspect of our belief system is racially inflammatory. This individual says that The Muslim Program, which appears on the inside back cover of every edition of our newspaper The Final Call, is racially inflammatory.

I am sorry to disappoint you, but you must not have heard the latest news out of Louisiana wherein a White U.S. District Judge said otherwise.
Yes, he is White.
A Louisiana inmate named Henry Leonard was being unconstitutionally denied The Final Call newspaper in the David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC). Attorneys representing Louisiana claimed on behalf of prison officials that the reason behind the censorship was that content inside the newspaper was deemed racially inflammatory–in particular The Muslim Program. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana backed a lawsuit by Mr. Leonard and filed it May 2007, which was a year after he was restricted from receiving copies of the weekly Nation of Islam newspaper.

What was the outcome? After hearing all of the evidence including a nearly 200-page deposition presented by Nation of Islam Attorney Ava Muhammad, Judge Donald Walter of Shreveport, La., ruled in favor of the plaintiff on March 31 of this year.

He made this ruling on the basis that the prison officials could not deliver any evidence that The Final Call newspaper was the source of any violence. “Again, this Court is concerned that the complete banning of the publication because of the inclusion of “The Muslim Program” is an exaggerated response to DWCC’s concern about racially inflammatory material,” Judge Walter wrote in his 21-page ruling.

So, why would someone want to ban me from Houston Belief? I don’t represent hate.
Point#2: The Department of Homeland Security illegally spied on the NOI
A Washington Post article, titled Documents show DHS improperly spied on Nation of Islam in 2007, was posted on December 17, 2009. It stated in part:
The Department of Homeland Security improperly gathered intelligence on the Nation of Islam for eight months in 2007 when the leader of the black Muslim group, Louis Farrakhan, was in poor health and appeared to be yielding power, according to government documents…The intelligence gathering violated domestic spying rules because analysts took longer than 180 days to determine whether the U.S-based group or its American members posed a terrorist threat…
I am sure you’re wondering what they found on us, right? According to the article:
“Charles E. Allen, who was DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the time, said that although violations were unintentional and inadvertent — only publicly available information was collected — the report should never have been issued. “The [Nation of Islam] organization — despite its highly volatile and extreme rhetoric — has neither advocated violence nor engaged in violence,” Allen wrote in a March 2008 memo. “Moreover, we have no indications that it will change its goals and priorities, even if there is a near-term change in the organization’s leadership.”
So, let’s please stop categorizing those who speak truth with those who advocate hate and violence. I am pretty sure if Jesus of 2,000 years ago was speaking in the streets today, his strong words would be taken out of context in the news. He would be called a hate teacher depending on who is reporting.

The Nation of Islam advocates mental and spiritual resurrection–not hate. We teach our people to love themselves. What’s wrong with that? You do it for your own. We have no history of plotting attacks, bombing any synagogues, churches or mosques. We don’t even carry so much as a pen knife.
Next time in “The Upper Situation Room” we’re going to go into anti-Semitism. Is Farrakhan really an anti-Semite?

Until then I invite you to read this article: Enough! Is EVERY Black Person AN ‘Anti-Semite’?
(You’re welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad further on Twitter, become a friend on Facebook, or visit his award-winning site Brother Jesse Blog)

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