Make Your Behavior Compatible With Your Claim
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Pull Away From Negativity
Aren't African Americans tired of walking around in the gloom and complaining and down hearted? We are being given all the statistics on our failures and no statistics on our successes. We are being' told about every ailment we have gotten since we came on the snores of America. But we are not told of any of the good things that have happened to our health since we have been in America. That will make a man sick.
If you want to get sick quick, even if you are healthy, let someone keep telling you negative things. Let someone walk up to yon and tell you, "Your own son said something about your character. Then they will keep bringing you negative things like that After a while you will begin to feel weak and sick. And something in your nature will tell you right away, 1 don't want to hear anymore of that kind of stuff!"
We know in our nature to pull away from a lot of negativity. Negativity will make you sick and weak and will take away your ability. But we let these advocates of "blackism" do nothing but talk to us about negative things. They only tell of how much bad has happened to us in our history in America, how much we have been held back, how much wrong has been done to us by Whites, and the statistics on how many were killed 50 to 100 to 200 years ago. Then they will ask that yon keep coming back for more.
Some are meeting everyday now and doing nothing but pouring negativity into the ears and the soul and sensitivities of the people who will listen to it. It is no wonder that we can't sense or see the opportunity that is here in America for us now. It is no wonder that we can't take advantage of those opportunities as Roland Bums and Carol Moseley-Braun and the many who are doing the same in business and in other professions. We can't take advantage of opportunity because these "prophets of "blackism" are too busy killing our initiative.
We are not going to excuse this problem or pretend that it doesn't exist in the name of some kind of unity for all of us. Should we keep quiet while we are seeing something that is destroying our unity and setting us back a hundred years? Should we keep quiet just because there is an African American or Black man advocating that? No, I had to differ with my own father, because something in me bigger than me and my father was urging me to do that.
The good health, well being, and good future of our people and the good health and well being and future of our children who are here now and to come is bigger than us just showing an artificial unity based in some kind of blackism that is sick.
The Challenge: Tb Stand On Solid Moral Ground
We need courage, and I am pointing to the courage that was inherent within us to go forward with the best of our lives and with the best of our motivators. It is the courage to go forward behind the best of our aspirations. It is the courage to stand up to the White world and look it in the eye and face White America on solid moral grounds and tell it:
"You are not the man you claim to be. You claim to be a Christian following Jesus Christ, but your behavior says differently. Your most precious document of your government and your governmental way of life says things about humanity and about human vision and human perception and human aspirations and human nature that we don't see reflected in your treatment of us."
We were forced to rise and stand upon solid moral ground and challenge the whole of America that was saying that we were slaves and inferior by nature. We challenged them. But we didn't go up in the sky and get some invented idea of our origin. We didn't go into Africa and regress or go behind the history of Christianity and behind the history of Islam. We didn't go backwards into paganism and ancestry worship and animism to get an argument to face White America. We went to what was present and evident. We went to his behavior and to his claim and said to him, "Make your behavior compatible with your claim!"
We were on solid ground and supported by our inherent excellence. God created an inherent excellence in us just like He did in all people. We were put into a terrible condition as slaves, physical chattel slavery in this country that dehumanized us, and we had no one to turn to. We knew of no nation that would rescue us and would come here and argue with White America for us on our behalf. We had nothing to turn to but an urge inside coming from what God created that said: This is wrong and I cannot tolerate it."
From that we succeeded and have gone a long ways. We succeeded even in bringing the majority of White America to either be silent or to be true. We don't have any problem now with the majority of the people in White America. The problem is with a minority of people in White America. The great majority has supported legislature that brought equal opportunity to be written as a law, discrimination to be abolished forever — and I say "forever," for it will never come again. Some of those advocates of blackism will tell you, "Yes, it is on its way. Soon all of those laws will be changed.'* But what will change them?
Not only has America been awakened and the best of her conscience has arisen, but she now has taken the stand that, "Yes, we were shaming ourselves with our behavior. Our claims were noble, but we shamed and discredited those claims and also shamed ourselves." They will never return to that behavior, because people of conscience around the world are also looking at them. It is not much that America can stand upon now when it wants to establish its leadership in the world. I hope you don't think that White America is crazy enough now to lose the best she has going for her. And that is her strength and courage to repent her ugly, sinful, diabolic and devilish ways.
She has to say at least on the books and in the open public through the media that she has changed. I don't know what is being said in private, and only God knows that. God doesn't give us the right to say what they are saying in their hearts.
They have gotten the strength to repent their ways and the world has seen what has happened. If they start going back to that now, we will not be alone like we were before. There will be nations on our side.
But we don't even have to worry about that It is not going to happen. I can tell you right now that all of the Klan and skinheads and everything else all together aren't any match for just me and my associates. I am a sober-minded man and don't make rash statements. I think things over very carefully before I speak. My associates and I don't need Christian help or any White man's help; we can take care of all the Klan and skinheads who want to start their thing again.
There is something in an African American who has been liberated by the law, but who is not liberated by Allah. There is something in him that makes him become unreal and behave unreal and artificial when he meets a real challenge. It is not in us. We have gotten past that. When we meet a real challenge, the same thing that we did m Korea and in Vietnam, we will do it in America if it is necessary.
Seeing the Battle, But Unseen Is the Cause
How can I address our priorities for sharing life and responsibility in the city, in the neighborhood and in the community without pointing to the thing that is hinderingus from even being sensitive or open to such an idea? Many of us are not sensitive and are not conditioned to be open to such an idea. You know them. They don't want to be responsible citizens of Chicago. They are going to do things in the name of "Black Supremacy" and in the name of "Blackism." They are going to do things in the name of their own idea of humanity that cuts out the bigger section of humanity, showing only them to be the real humanity.
Unfortunately, we have many innocent African Americans who are influenced by their idea of whatis"blackism"or4<black pride" or the "black idea." Many are confused because of their advocating their idea of what is the original black man and his original nature and how he came into being. It is their myth of origin and their myth of life and their myth of the real destiny of our people. Their "blackism" has touched many innocent African Americans who do not even know one iota of fact about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's real life. They only know his life on the battlefield against evils in America. They do not know his real life as a human person.
That goes also for Malcolm; they know his "X," but they do not know the real person. In Spike Lee's film, in spite of it being a film put together to make money — not as a documentary, still I hope enough truth is told in it about Malcolm and about where he was to influence our youth in the street, our young men and young boys who are wearing Xs and others, to want to see the whole Malcolm. I hope they are not satisfied to just see a little facet or small peephole on him. The real man was not the man who was addressing the evils. I mean by that the real consciousness of Malcolm was not the consciousness that was addressing the evils as much as it was the conscious that was trying to free itself from the evils.
Why was Malcolm so angry with discrimination? Why was he so angry with the White man's dominance over us? He was angry with the White man's dominance because something in him said, 1 am created by God to enjoy the same freedoms he enjoys. I am created by God to have equality as a human being with him, not to be dominated by him." So if he was angry and ready to do violence even with White America, we have to understand what was forcing him and demanding of him that kind of courage. It was something he held precious.
The Courage To Think
Muslims are in a good and excel lent situation. We are in a situation as good as any African American can have in this country. We are in a situation as good as any African American Christian can claim in this country. Our situation is excellent, and I owe most of that to my past life and my past experience under the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and under the nourishing hands of my mother, Clara Muhammad. From them I got a conditioning to want to be satisfied and comfortable with my own ability to think.
There was a great African American intellect and intellectual by the name of W.E.B. DuBois. He was an educator and a great man, and the N.A.A.C.P, came about because of his leadership. DuBois, as a great man said and it is recorded in history: The coming generations will progress in the measure that we have the courage to teach them to think."