New World Patriotism Day Address: Part 2
Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad
(Following are excerpts from Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad's New World Patriotism Day address, delivered in Chicago's Grant Park on July 4, 1979—Continued from last week.)
America has become for me like a wife and a mother that leaves me with some bad memories. But they have been too good to me, too long, to separate. We've invested too much in America.
Many of you might not know this, but the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who preached separation and converted Muhammad Ah'—anybody that can convert a man who says he's "the greatest" must have been talking some kind of powerful stuff—he had the "baaadest witch doctor bag America has ever seen. He could throw some spells on you and you would argue anybody down.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a powerful medicine man. He left a spell on us that nobody could take off but Almighty God.
But look what he says in his own book. On page 47 of "Message to the Blackman" by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad — my dad — he says, "This is your America."
I never saw it on that page until I believed it, that is, I believed it before I saw it on the page.
The other day, I was looking for a nice quote from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for this parade, and that statement stood but—"This is your America."
I said "My God, My God!" The Honorable Elijah Muhammad had the courage to say it. He put it in a word environment that hides it. He covered his tracks so you couldn't follow him, but he said it and I caught him. He didn't cover his tracks too good for me, because I'm a Believer.
He said, "This is your America." Then he goes on to explain what he's talking about in his own kind of psychological way — playing the tricks of psychology.
He comes to a point in this book where he says, America is doomed; America is doomed to be destroyed and nothing is going to stop it. He said the one thing that will put it off is to treat the black man better. Then he says there's another way out of all of this. European, if you can't accept us, you go back to Europe. That's what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says in this book.
What is all of this saying to me, his son—? What I have always sensed in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad — an attachment to this country. An attachment to this land that was in his soul, perhaps in his genes, in his father and mother, his grandmother and grandfather.
His ancestors left something in his genes that he didn't express clearly when he spoke, but it was there—an investment in America. And he wanted a return on this investment. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was proud of America!
He used to tell us, "Don't you know, nobody builds roads like this style here in America? You go outside of America, he said, America beats everybody building roads; he's the best road builder.
In fact, he told us a lot of things about the Caucasian people that showed us he had the emotional ability to praise the Caucasian race while rejecting them. And believe me, if we can just gain that bit of rational soberness -soberness of mind from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad — if we can just gain that little bit; if those who still want America divided on color lines can gain just a little emotional sobriety from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and at least see facts while we are emotionally rejecting all white folks....good.
Now, why am I wearing this ribbon? Because I know the symbolism. White stands for your moral nature. Blue stands for your human weaknesses. Red stands for your human courage.
I know they say blue is true, white is pure, and red is the blood we spilled. Well, I'm telling you something a little different that goes back a little beyond that.
Red is blood — human courage, human life. If you're frightened or if you want to do something, life comes in the blood. The blood rushes to the area that needs power. If the feet need power to run, the blood rushes to the feet and you have power to run. If the arms need power to fight, blood rushes to the arms so you have power to fight. So this red stands for courage.
Sometimes a coward can't even run. He's frozen stiff. It takes courage even to run away from something.
I've seen men who didn't want to run away from anything. They knew that the thing they were standing up against would get the better of them, but they were cowards of a different type. They were fools. They were too much of a coward in their intellect to accept the fact that they couldn't deal with the challenge. So they pretended that they were brave and got squashed.
It takes courage, dear people, to fight and it takes courage to run when it's intelligent to run.
We need the courage of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; the courage to say the white man has done some good in this world; the courage to say the white man has been a great road-builder. He has been a great vehicle for technology, he has been the leader.
Now I know a lot of you are saying, "He's praising the white man."
The first time I praised the white man publicly, it took so much out of me, I had to go home and recuperate for about a week. It takes a lot of strength to say something good about the white man knowing how we have been treated in America for almost four centuries. But this is the kind of courage we need, and not for the white man's sake.
If you follow this kind of doctrine I'm trying to sell you now — and I'm trying to sell you a doctrine because if you accept it you're going to have to pay something — if you accept the doctrine that I'm trying to sell you right now, believe me, it's going to benefit you.
It's not going to make the white man any better by saying the white man has done a great job industrially; he has been a genius in the field of technology and industry — that doesn't hurt the white man or give him anything but it helps us. It helps to relieve us of something that is holding us back, holding us down, keeping us narrow-minded — something that is keeping us small.
It only takes an act of courage to break out of your smallness, and that's what we need in America. That's why I come out here, the son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and carry the American flag proudly.
I know this is not the season for it. Caucasians even don't want to carry the American flag proudly, and the flag has meant their glory. They don't want to raise the flag high because for once, America is trying to fulfill its promises at home, and trying to keep the same image and the same face abroad that it has at home.
There was a time when America showed the outside world one face and was a devil within her own borders. Now, America has dignified her image at home and we have an Administration that said we are going to practice the same thing abroad that we practice at home. We stand for the principles of human dignity at home, we stand for the principles of human dignity in Zimbabwe and all over the world.
This kind of America deserves some kind of recognition from us. I think God will punish us if we don't get the heart to at least say America has done something good—and America is doing something good.
There are many countries that say man is equal, but when you go there, you find as many doors locked in your face as you find here — and maybe more.
There are many countries that say everything is beautiful and right, but go there, as I have gone, and you will find that human prejudices exist all around this Earth.
I don't think you will find in any other spot on the Earth as many good forceful elements coming together to establish human dignity for all people. You won't find anyplace other than in America, as many good forceful elements coming together to bring about a healthy respect for what is morally right, for what is just and true and right for everybody all over this globe, unless it's Iran.
Iran right now is in a political thing, and is not quite as free as we are, emotionally, to deal with the job of raising up the human being and giving the common human being his proper respect. We are not involved in a lot of political things right now.
America is blessed right now not to be involved in so many political things. The average American citizen is not worried about what's happening across the waters. We don't even turn our lights down because we don't know there's an energy crisis.
We are still burning too many lights, we are burning too much gas, we are wasting the fuel because we don't know what's going on; our mind is on our own human needs.
There is a human awakening in America that's greater than anything I've seen anywhere I've been, and believe me, this is the season. Your mind is out of season if you think this America should be divided on any color lines.
(To be continued)