BY RICHARD B. MUHAMMAD -Editor, Final Call
One of the hallmarks of the slave master mentality and White Supremacy is making sure that Black folk are kept in line by only associating with those the slave master deems appropriate for speaking to or interacting with.
Columnist Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times was perhaps channeling a little of the spirit of ole massa in a recent column where he attacked the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
The first problem Ole Massa Steinberg had was the Minister had the gall to actually sit with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York as world leaders met for the United Nations General Assembly, an annual gathering to consider the problems facing the planet and possible solutions.
Massa Steinberg rails against the Minister for breaking bread with Mr. Ahmadinejad, and accuses the Iranian leader of “stealing” the election in 2009, suppressing Iranian protests, seeking an atomic weapon and threatening Israel.
It would have been much simpler if Massa Steinberg had opened with his claim about the Iranian threat to Israel instead of wasting time on the other specious claims. He could also have admitted in his opening paragraph that he was mouthing the position and poisonous propaganda of the Anti-Defamation League, which is virulently anti-Nation of Islam and many believe anti-Black.
Later on, Massa Steinberg expresses disdain for the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the beloved father of modern Pan-Africanism, and essentially concludes that Min. Farrakhan like Mr. Garvey is a “big talker,” who is teaching outmoded ideas about separation.
To begin, Min. Farrakhan is a leader who enjoys worldwide stature, global relationships and an international following. He is a free Black man, a Muslim and a citizen of the world. He is a spiritual guide and profound thinker, who is concerned with the condition of humanity—though his first work is to the suffering Black man and woman of America and the Western Hemisphere.
As a free man and a Muslim, and a leader, it is wholly appropriate for Min. Farrakhan to sit and dialog with his Muslim brother, just as the Zionists in America welcome and lionize Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister whose incendiary rhetoric about attacking Iran and challenges to President Obama to do something about Iran have even taken some in the Jewish state aback.
As for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s reputation in the West, as well as the Minister’s relationships and visits with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and the late revolutionary leader Muammar Gadhafi, a free man associates with whom he pleases. But since Massa Steinberg objected to these relationships also, here is an answer from the Minister about dealing with those America does not like or actually hates: “Evidently America is on the wrong side of history. If I am a friend of those who fight to deliver the masses from oppression, if I am a friend of those who suffer from the powers that refuse to acknowledge their service to the masses of the people, then I am a friend of Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Muhammad. But they too were hated by those in power because they spoke for the poor who have no voice. So I am in good company,” said Min. Farrakhan Sept. 26 during a Social Media Townhall meeting.
And while Massa Steinberg may not think much of Castro, Mugabe or Gadhafi, all are revolutionaries who freed their people from the grip of White rule and U.S. influence that was not in the best interest of their people. No slave master likes a freedom fighter, they prefer to side with oppressors.
As for consorting with election thieves and abusing protestors, Ole Massa Steinberg need only look at the 2000 presidential election with the ballot box trickery in Florida, which determined the fate of the election in favor of the presidential candidate whose brother ruled the state. Not to mention widespread disenfranchisement of Black voters by laws that took away voting rights from felons and the outright denial of the right to vote to Blacks in Florida. Then there were the similar shameful tactics in Ohio in 2000, and this year a Pennsylvania lawmaker declared that new voter I.D. laws should tip the state to Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as the votes of Blacks and others likely to support the Democratic Party are curtailed. Anyone who wants to steal an election can easily take a page from the playbook of the respected GOP.
For abuses of protestors, Ole Massa need only look at the University of California Davis, where the school is seeking a near million dollar settlement after campus security pepper-sprayed non-violent students and alumni at a demonstration in New York where a suit against police for violating rights of Occupy protestors is moving forward. So while Massa Steinberg may want to throw mud on Iran, it appears there are plenty of abuses of demonstrators right here in the good ole USA.
Then there was Massa Steinberg questioning where the Minister has led the Nation of Islam. Well to be honest, he brought the Nation of Islam back from death at the hands of the U.S. government’s Counterintelligence Program, which was an FBI illegal undercover action that targeted Black leaders and organizations for destruction, and related targeting by local law enforcement. Only the Nation of Islam, by Allah’s (God’s) grace, has been able to come back from government infiltration, disruption, disinformation campaigns, set-ups and murder.
The Minister has led the Nation along a healthy path as an Islamic community. He has led his followers and admirers to high levels of civilization, community building and peacemaking. He has established a model of independent and effective education as urban school systems suffer from 50 percent dropout rates among Black males. He has offered a way to peace and progress for young Black males locked out of American society and locked inside U.S. penal institutions. He has done all of this while under constant assault, overt and covert.
As for the philosophy of separation, the reality is racial segregation exists today—and Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in the country when it comes to housing patterns. Late night news doesn’t show White mothers agonizing over the gang-related deaths of their children or White men protesting how jobs in their neighborhoods are taken by men who don’t look like them. So the question is not whether the races will be apart, but under what conditions? Chinatown is its own distinct and separate entity but because of cultural unity and self-love, it is a healthy community able to maintain itself and enjoy healthy relationships with others.
Black people should enjoy the same type of autonomous reality given that the society remains unequal and hostile to our interests.
Like Mr. Garvey, the Minister has been subjected to government surveillance and infiltration and plots. And Negro leaders have spoken against Min. Farrakhan, when prodded or ordered by Whites, but things change with time. W.E.B. DuBois was a critic of the Garveyite “Back to Africa” movement, but Mr. DuBois eventually moved to and died in West Africa—fed up with the hypocrisy and hatred found in America. So today’s critics may be tomorrow’s disciples.
To close Mr. Garvey was man who plowed ground and gave Blacks in America and the Diaspora a powerful vision. The enemy was able to overcome him and destroy his movement. His sacrifice and his unjustified suffering was part of a price paid to redeem Black people. But his work won’t be wasted, this is the time of the fall of every tyrant by the power of Almighty God and the rise of Black people. So despite opposition to Farrakhan and slander, he won’t lose and neither will those who stand with him.