The Truth About Al-Islam: An Overlooked Role For
Muslims In World Leadership: Part 5
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this historic public address on Septembers, 1989in Chicago, Illinois at the First National Convention. It was carried into millions of homes by C-Span. We wish that it be recorded in the printed media as well, for it is one that will cultivate the way for Muslims to progress in this country called the United States of America as welt as on the world scene. This section completes this series.)
It is not enough to go around telling people, "Yes, you are human!" This country of America suffered extremes during the 60's. After so much trouble broke out here in America, a pendulum effect resulted. Extremes of hostility triggered the "flower children" makeup in the society and spearheaded a wave of "love" for everybody, A stranger would be walking down the street and would greet you "peace and love" and would maybe kiss you.
That happened right in this City of Chicago. A while after that we saw them with cats in the house that were not pets but for eating. Included in the wayward bunch who were protesting the establishment were those protesting by living (surviving) on poor cat meat. This was news in the 60's.
Also among those people who did those things were the Ivy Leaguers, those who were once the leading students in some of the best colleges in the United States, But they lost their sense of humanness and lost their ability to identify true worth. Consequently, they started seeing themselves in the dark, through lens of confusion. And then what happened in time? They became so soft, that they were not good for anything. And that resulted for the majority of Americana. Americans became so soft.
The majority of Americans were no longer good for keeping strong homes. Americans were not good at keeping a strong job market. The job market became weak, because there were no strong established disciplines in the workers of the job market. Inevitably the country had to save itself by relaxing the immigration laws to encourage more people to come here from societies that were not thus affected.
Foreigners were encouraged to come into America and give America's economy a few mare years to live. You want to know why all of these different (foreign) people are coming here from all over the world? It is because America lost her strong industrious and hardworking people. This collapse in our muscles left the U.S. with not enough strong established citizens to hold her up.
The people of the United States have been wiped out by ignorant socially disruptive disorienting behavior. That is the ugliness, the shame, and the hurt on us who have let ourselves fall away from the human pedestal in the United States. That is also the ugliness, the shame, and the hurt on our institutions that allowed that by not taking a strong stand against it.
Some spiritual rebellions can force a nation to consider measures as appalling as civil war. A civil war would have been better, but they would not have had to go to that extent. Our leaders could have brought us back to our good senses. Our leaders did not do that because there was big money to get easily and quick from disordered lives.
If a person has sense and disciplines, you are just going to get from him or her the amount the person can afford to spend. I was reading recently where we African-American people are spending 8 percent of the national spending. We are about 11 percent of the population, and we are spending much more than all other ethnic groups. Our spending resembles the spending of the United States Defense spending.
Our spending habits indicate that we are well off in this country materially or financially. When people look at nothing but the record of our spending, that data says, "These people are better off financially than all other Americans," That is because we are spending much more than our share in the population and our share in America's capital (fixed wealth) would forecast.
We are 11 percent or 12 percent of the population — most will say we are 11 percent. But we are spending 8 percent of the national spending of the entire country represented as both private and government spending. Yet, we say we are poor, and we are a poor, poor race in the competition here in our Land of Plenty.
There are other groups I am sure represent bigger numbers but are spending much less than 8 percent of the total national spending. And we don't need any figures to show us what is happening. Go to any house of these people who call themselves poor and see how they are living. Then go into the European Americans' homes. They will not have on the whole as many cars and as late models, as many TVs, as many telephones, as much carpet, as many refrigerators, as much in the refrigerators. We can kill the baby crawling around the refrigerator when we open the door.
How can you be poor, when you have all of those big cars out in front of your house? Neighbors can't find a parking place. You have a car, your wife has a car. Sometimes you will have two cars and she will have one. If there are three or four teenagers in the family, each one of them expects to have a car. You need a parking lot just for your family cars. But you are poor. No exaggeration!
Go to that house where the two adults have cars and the teenagers each of them has a car, if you stay around there long enough you will see the lights and phone go off. Finally they lose the mortgage, house, everything.
That is a shame. African-American consumer spending is a big moral issue. Certainly it is. Is it a social issue? Yes, it is. Is it a family issue? Yes, it is. But more accurately in our identifying the problem, it is an issue of the cruel abuse of a people's senses and intelligence. Nothing dignifies us more than an appreciation for intelligent behavior. Nothing disciplines us more for a better performance on the part of our race than an appreciation for our intelligence, resulting in our accepting to dutifully respect the demands of intelligent life on behavior.
Appreciation for my black skin is nothing as powerful as the appreciation for my intelligence. That is the concern upon which to effect positive change. Upon that concern we can build a more productive and a more progressive, a more enduring, a more steadfast African American citizenry. Nothing of me and no sense of myself is more productive or more powerful for my good future than is my sense of intelligence and respect for my sense of intelligence.
Such are the people who run the world. It is not those people who look at themselves in the morning to see their complexion. Not that person who says, "Oh baby, a little pinkish today. I have to do something about that. You know I need to interrupt my business and go to Florida for some color." Or, "Baby, give me some light tan powder; my complexion (black skin) is showing." Our intelligence — God-given — is the number one source of pride or dignity. When its gone, if we are sane, there is no dignity for us.
Our religion requires of us that we promote the intelligent human type that Allah wants in us and that we promote the growth of intelligence and learning required by that created type.
We ask Allah Most High to keep our souls always and to guide us. Thank you very much. As-Salaamu-Alaikum.