Inspiration And Hope For Humanity: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave the following public address at the commencement of Ramadan, 1989 at the South Shore Country Club in Chicago, Illinois on April 9, 1989. Note that at the completion of last week's entry in Muslim Journal, the continuing section of this address has already been printed in MJ's May 26. 1989 front page story. We are continuing now at the point where that entry left off.)
I am quoting from the Holy Book now, Allah says "the heavens are held up without pillars" or without posts or without any structures going up from the earth to hold the sky up. There is nothing up from one solid mass to bold up another solid mass. That is, you cannot see anything supporting the sky. "The heavens are held up without any material supports that you can see."
Any of us who go out tonight and look at the moon will not see anything holding it up. And we are told, we cannot carry its weight. All of the African Americans on this planet could not hold it up, if it were to drop down here. Even if it came down slow like a kite, we could not stop it from hitting the earth. It is just too heavy for man. But the moon is held up in the sky without us seeing anything holding it there.
The air pressure is something powerful. The air pressure can break and burst wide open thick material masses. Heat can do the same. But when you go up there, you do not find air. The higher you go, the less air there is. Pretty soon as you go further up to the sky there is no air at all. And as for the heat it is the same. The farther you go up, the colder it gets, Pretty soon it is so cold, as I have said in one of my talks, that you could sneeze and it is so cold you could take a Polaroid camera and get a picture of the sneeze. That is how cold it is out there. If it was possible to take such a picture, you would see your quick-frozen sneeze. I have been up in airplanes. While on the ground you will want to open up the air vents to cool yourself. But after you get far up, you will start closing those air vents. Sometimes the flight captain will tell you how cold it is out there.
It is mysterious a little, although we can understand it scientifically. It is called "universal gravitation." This language identifies what holds all those bodies in place without any material supports whatsoever that we can see. It is the invisible body of the material body that makes possible that miracle, so to speak. In fact, for our eyes it is a miracle.
Therefore I believe Allah is telling us this in the Holy Book to let us know the thing that supports our masses is not that which you weigh on a simple scale. It is not that which you can feel with your hands. But it is that which is abstract. Nevertheless, it is your greatest bonding strength.
You can take a hand or a leg and put it on the scale and get the weight of it. But if you take truthfulness and put it on the commercial scale, it weighs nothing. The scale that will weigh the meat and other physical things will not weigh virtues. It will not weigh trust. Those are abstract things that we cannot see. It is understandable that we do not see our virtues directly as we do physical things.
Some will say, "What is holding those Muslims together? What is it? We thought it was pride in being black, but now the son has told them to don't be excited about their physical blackness. And they are still together! We thought it was money, and now the son of Elijah plays down the role of money and lifts up the role of faith. And they are still held together. So what is it holding those Muslims together?" This, our universal gravitation, is what makes us quietly out race all of the other African Americans in this country for this competition. I know some of them think they are beating me. But I am keeping the record, and you are not beating me!
There is a fellow I know who was telling me about the problem he was having at home. He said, "You are an Imam, and I know you are close to Allah. I wish you could tell me something to help me with my situation at home with my wife. I do the best I can, and I give her as much as I can afford from the job. But I have to have something to get back to work with, and I have to keep this old car running. I give her all that I possibly can, but she is constantly telling me that I'm not giving her enough. And when I go to my records and show her what I am giving her, she tells me I am lying. She says, You didn't give me that.' I can be reading right from my records. Still she says, 'No, you didn't give me that.' I will say, where is your records, baby? And she says, 'I remember it.'"
In a way, there are some of those leaders out there competing racially to get the African American man established, his woman established, his children established, his home established, and his community established. Some of those out there competing are not keeping any records of their spending. And every time they start reading off what they have accomplished, when it is something that is really consequential, I'm saying, "Where did they get that?" It often looks like it came from us! This has something to do with my having to roll the thought over in my mind as to whether I should go to that Summit.
A summit means the top. A summit means "as high as you can go." I am telling you with the group they have together, they have some nerve calling themselves the "Summit." I sure would like that Summit to reflect a better selection of people and character.
When preachers and politicians bunch up together, you have something representative of the common run. You might find among them some outstanding ones, but the majority of the preachers that are vocal and public and the majority of the politicians that are public and vocal represent the common run. On the whole they have no more to put into the special scales than the hopeless mix of people in the neighborhoods. The point is efforts by concerned neighborhoods bring more to be weighed in the special scales than (the Summit) bunching of preachers and politicians.
They cater to the weakness of the people they represent. They are called leaders, but they don't lead the people they represent, They are catering to the weaknesses of those people they represent. They look for what weaknesses are in the people. And then they emotionally identify with the people and become a spokesman for particular weaknesses. That is how they manage to get your votes. A shameful way, "Let us have a coalition of poor Hispanics and us, a coalition of radical Europeans and us, a coalition of racial radicals and us, a coalition of down-hearted women and us, a coalition of gays or homosexuals and us, a coalition of lesbians and us," and you do not have to continue — it also means a coalition of the ungodly and us, a coalition of even also "criminals" and us.
We have our leaders desperately reaching out for everything no matter how undesirable it is in the eyes of decent society. And these bunching up preachers and politicians have our people going after everything to make a defeat against the other side. Don't you know eventually you are going to wake up those on the other side, those who had been relaxing and had not even gone out to vote the last time? They are waking up and saying, "I see not only their (race) people coming against us, but I see the worst of the people coming against us. They have united the worst of the people in a coalition to defeat the 'white* people. For that reason I am going to join the 'white' people, although I am not with them either."
Now you will find Asians and Hispanics and many others and even European Americans going to the polls to vote against that disreputable coalition. The next time I am not going to wait until an African American puts himself in a bad light before I say something about it. When I see and know for sure that he is putting himself in a bad light, I am going to go to him and tell him. And if he does not respond, then I am going to come out in the public media and tell the people that man is not going right and that you should not support him. I don't care if he is one of our (race) kind that can pull a majority of us together. I am going to come out against him, if I see he is taking us in a direction that will mean more trouble for us. I have promised myself that.
I was saying to myself, "Timothy Evans, I'm sure, knows what I stand for. And if he wants my support, he does not show it by what he is doing." Some people may say, "What did he do wrong?" From the very start he should not have come out in the public first calling "black people" together and talking about Harold Washington's Party. From the very start he should have made an appeal to all the people of Chicago.
He should have appealed to all of the City of Chicago saving, "We have to bring this city together. We have to have more respect, more trust, and more concern for each other. We live in one community. What we do affects this whole community and makes the life good or bad for all of us. I am a candidate that if you should choose me, I am going to do my best to not do those things that polarize Chicago, that sets Chicagoans against each other. I am going to do those things that will unite the people of Chicago.'* He should have come out that way from the very start and then made his appeal to his particular supporters who represent his strength.
Again, Timothy Evans should have said, "To do this for Chicago that I promise that I am going to do, I'm going to need your support." That would have been the common sense way to do it, if you are in circumstances and in a situation to do it that way. But if you have the kind of people that he had all around him, the cheerleaders — and if you get a bunch of cheerleaders and you do not have everything up here real tight, then with that bunch of cheerleaders you may have to close your eyes! You have to stop looking at the cheerleaders, especially if it is a critical kind of thing that you have to do. While they are cheering you have to be thinking about how you are going to accomplish what you have to do.
Once we are under the influence of a certain bunch of cheerleaders, we are like something floating on the stream. We can't help but go the way of the stream. Maybe we started out to wind through the North side, but the stream is taking us dead South, We will be yelling to the North, but everyone sees that we are still going dead South. We are looking at our circumstances here as a people.
(To be continued)