The Mis-Education of Yvette Carnell et.al.
by Bro. Demetric Muhammad
Popular social media commentator Yvette Carnell recently took to the World Wide Web to utilize the YouTube platform to make an attempt to stall the growing momentum of the Justice or Else Movement and the increasing appeal and acceptance of the message of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Brother Demetric Muhammad who serves on the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Research Team and is an Assistant Student Minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 55 provides the following points and documentation to refute her subsequent claims made in her 40 minute conversation with Dr. Boyce Watkins. In responding to Ms. Carnell we take the opportunity to respond to those who may share her views, views that we reject as unjustified by the facts of Minister Farrakhan’s magnificent history of service to the Black community and oppressed people throughout the Earth. We thank Dr. Boyce Watkins for giving us an opportunity to put forth critical facts to better educate Ms. Carnell and the general public.
- Carnell claims that Minister Farrakhan has called for a race war.
This claim evaporates when one actually reviews the entirety of the Minister’s Miami message. The quote in question reads as follows:
“Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children while White folks give the killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Qur’an teaches persecution is worse than slaughter then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. If the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us, stalk them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling,”
This statement is a conditional statement and points to an obvious conclusion since self-preservation is widely considered a primal and first of the laws of nature. If federal protection for the Black man dissolves or is absent, then Black people are left without any guarantee of safety in a society that daily reminds us of our status as an unwanted former slave.
Historians know of the horrific effects of the infamous Compromise of 1877. This compromise was arrived at to settle the Presidential election of 1876, a race that was tied between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden. Its effect on Black people came as a result of federal troops being pulled out of the South as a stipulation of the compromise that allowed for candidate Rutherford B. Hayes to become the 19th President of the United States. The removal of federal troops from the South ended Reconstruction and paved the way for the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and other anti-Black terrorist groups who seized upon vulnerable Black communities without any protection from their government. Popular stories of the destruction of Rosewood, Florida and Greenwood, Oklahoma (aka Black Wall St.) are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many hidden histories of the Black man’s time as a self-respecting, entrepreneurial, civic minded, industrious builder of Black Towns and cities. It was the Black man and woman’s early adoption of what we see today as the “immigrant model.” Yet the survival of these municipalities was like any nation or state, dependent upon having a defense force and protective apparatus to secure its people and property.
Carnell’s worries that the Minister will inspire the murder of all the “good white folk” are actually unnecessary. Particularly when you consider that the Minister’s beautiful hours long message in Miami included the following truths: “How can we charge others with the crime of killing us without due process and lying about it when we are killing each other? And we won’t march on ourselves, nor will we even rise up to condemn ourselves for what we are doing to ourselves. And in the gangs when we kill we don’t talk, so nobody is arrested and charged with murder and brought to what is called justice.”
In this unmentioned passage of his message, The Minister reacts to the Black victimizers of the Black community which if we are to “kill those who kill us” should also be targets of retaliatory justice.
No, Minister Farrakhan wasn’t calling for a race war; he was giving to his pained and grief stricken Black audience an exhortation toward what is the first law of nature, self-preservation. And the fact that he has to remind us of this law is a woeful indicator of just how un-natural our oppressors have made us.
An unlikely source is available to help Ms. Carnell et.al to see that Minister Farrakhan’s history of peace mitigates against any legitimate concern over a Farrakhan-led race war. In 1997 Rabbi Bruce Khan offered his observations in the aftermath of his attending of the Million Man March in 1995 in these words: “people who listen to him do not go chasing down Jews, or gays or Whites or Koreans to beat them and murder them.”
As for as the main action directive put forth by the Minister-which was curiously absent from Ms. Carnell’s critique- is his call for a Christmas holiday boycott. Similar to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s insistence that Black people “re-distribute the pain” of injustice, Minister Farrakhan prescribed to his enthusiastic audience the idea of massive economic withdrawal from the merchants and bankers who make their largest profits each year during the Christmas season. We might describe it as ‘Retaliatory Economic Justice.’ He instructed that we buy no gifts and presents beginning with the ‘Black Friday’ sales holiday. He made a powerful case that this year we make Christmas once again about the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His call was essentially a “mass” of Black people for the adoption of the principles of Jesus-the Christ. This is the same Jesus who is pictured in scripture as running the corrupt merchants or “money-changers” out of God’s holy temple. From Minister Farrakhan’s point of view, justice for the Black man and woman will remain ever elusive until the modern merchants and “money-changers” experience the pain of economic loss and injury.
- Carnell claimed Minister Farrakhan is not a leader of Black people in America
Again Carnell’s claims evaporate before what has been the documented reaction to Minister Farrakhan’s uncompromising leadership from Jewish leaders, academics and even critics. Consider the following sampling of testimonies.
“The only leadership that now exists in that community”—the “African American community”—“is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan can assemble 20,000 people several times a year,…” -Abraham Foxman
For the first time in African American history; a non-Christian leader is a significant, if not the significant leader within Black America.” -Professor Michael Eric Dyson
“The appearance of Louis Farrakhan at Madison Square Garden on October 7 demonstrated, without doubt, that he is now America’s preeminent black leader.”-Author Julius Lester
- Carnell claimed that Minister Farrakhan is not a threat to white supremacy because he isn’t dead yet.
This is one of the most ridiculous assertions I have ever heard. It comes from the same school of thought that tells articulate, intelligent and well-mannered Black children that they are acting white, because to be authentically Black you must be the opposite of all those worthy character traits.
According to Unitarian Universalist minister and scholar the Rev. Dr. William Alberts, PhD of Boston University, Minister Farrakhan “represents a serious threat to America’s racial hierarchy. The hierarchy cannot control or buy his accommodation or “integration” as a Black leader. He dares to point out and challenge the “white supremacy” of the “founding fathers,” forcing White America to recognize and deal with the fact that many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, which declared freedom and equality for all, were themselves slave holders, and that even “Honest Abe” had a racist “wart” or two that can no longer be covered up. Farrakhan also has the power to initiate a call that led to at least twice and possibly three or more times as many African American men to respond as the U.S. Park Police counted-in spite of all the print aimed at discrediting the Nation of Islam leader and derailing the March.”
Ms. Carnell should study the thoughts of noted Professor Derrick Bell who spoke on how the white power structure is so threatened by Minister Farrakhan that they have developed what some have called the “Farrakhan Litmus Test.” According to Professor Bell: “Smart and super articulate, Minister Farrakhan is perhaps the best living example of a black man ready, willing and able to ‘tell it like it is’ regarding who is responsible for racism in this country …. every black person important enough to be interviewed is asked to condemn Minister Farrakhan…” -Prof. Derrick Bell
To have a further appreciation for the fact that Minister Farrakhan’s redemptive work among Black people is deemed an ever present threat to the status quo of American white supremacy consider that in 1984 the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was censured by the highest legislative body in world—the United States Senate—in a 95 to 0 vote.
Minister Farrakhan’s international influence among African and Islamic leaders is an area where he is deemed a particular threat. The American government fearing the potential of Minister Farrakhan’s ideas being backed by financial resources forbid the Minister from receiving the 1996 International Human Rights Award given by the people of Libya. The award worth $250,000 was going to be accompanied by a billion dollar donation to the work of the Nation of Islam by Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
I wonder what Ms. Carnell would think of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro who is reputed to have survived an estimated 638 assassination attempts! According to her logic Commandante Castro’s longevity disqualifies him as a true revolutionary.
- Carnell claimed that the Million Man March didn’t accomplish anything for Black people in America
According to an October 10, 1996 USA Today article written by reporters Gary Fields and Maria Puente the Million Man March was directly or indirectly responsible for the following positive results
- One million new voters.
- Up to 15,000 new applicants wanting to adopt black children
- A decrease in black-on-black crime.
- Increased child support payments by black fathers.
- Increased interest among black men in serving their communities.
- Carnell said Minister Farrakhan is responsible for the assassination of Malcolm X
This is a sensitive issue and exposes that Carnell has “drank the Kool-Aid” of the anti-Farrakhan propagandists who have worked to position a dead Malcolm X against a living Louis Farrakhan at the expense of Black youth. And there are many facts that we have prepared in two 2-hour Power Point Presentations that completely destroys the old propagandist narrative aimed at de-magnetizing the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan among the young within the Black community. This strategy is borne out of decades old COINTELPRO objectives that explicitly documents their goal of preventing the Nation of Islam and other Nationalist groups from gaining “youthful adherents.”
Carnell should be educated in the fact that according to a January 22, 1969 memo the FBI takes credit for the assassination of Malcolm X. Jim Van derWaal and Ward Churchill discuss this memo in their book The COINTELPRO Papers. They write: “the accompanying January 22, 1969 memo from the SAC, Chicago, to the Director makes clear;
the NOI factionalism at issue didn’t “just happen.” Rather, it had “been developed” by deliberate Bureau actions – through infiltration and the “sparking of acrimonious debates within the organization,” rumor-mongering, and other tactics designed to foster internal disputes – which were always the standard fare of COINTELPRO. The Chicago SAC, Marlin Johnson, who would shortly oversee the assassinations of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, makes it quite obvious that he views the murder of Malcolm X as something of a model for “successful” counterintelligence operations.
Furthermore, those close to Malcolm X have gone on record to make the point that Malcolm X had evolved to regret his pointing the finger at the Nation of Islam as being out to kill him. His secretary, Ms. Sarah Mitchell, wrote of her experiences with Brother Malcolm in her manuscript entitled Shepherd of the Black Sheep.
“His philosophy was evolving almost on a weekly basis,” Mitchell said. On Feb. 20, 1965-the eve of his assassination- Malcolm X told aides that he should not have criticized Elijah Muhammad, leader of the NOI, Mitchell said. Malcolm had severed ties with the Muslim sect and had accused it publicly of the recent bombing of his house. “He said now anyone could kill him and everyone would blame the Muslims,” Mitchell said. “He said, ‘We’ve been set up, and they succeeded.’” Malcolm X planned to recant his criticism of Muhammad at the Harlem rally that afternoon, Mitchell said, but he was gunned down before he could do so. She disputes a widely held belief that angry Muslims were behind the assassination.”
- Carnell claimed that Minister Farrakhan has not done anything for Black people and has no record of leadership
Leadership among people is analogous in function to that of a head on a body. Thusly a good leader provides sight or vision; thought and guidance as well as speech and hearing. The Minister’s long history of leadership is too numerous to enumerate his most significant accomplishments in such a short treatise. But the record is clear he has been an effective head.
Some commentators make a case for the Million Man March as being the most significant achievement of his leadership. Pastor Jamal Bryant recently spoke at a seminar on the subject of The Black Church and Social Justice. In his comments to a predominantly Christian audience he pushed back against the criticism he received for hosting Minister Farrakhan on his televised and webcast WORD Network program. He reminded his audience of the fact that no Christian leader has ever assembled a million people.
The Minister’s accomplishments are numerous and the Million Man March is an easily identified victory. But when we consider all of the casualties in America’s so-called War on Drugs, the Minister’s work to end this scurge is another strong contender for his top accomplishment.
His male followers, as a result of his inspiration and guidance, organized themselves to form what became known as the Dopebusters. The Dopebusters, which were members of the Nation of Islam’s men’s class known as the Fruit of Islam, operated in in 5 states, as different chapters of the NOI Security Agency won bids to patrol-crime and drug-infested housing projects in D.C., NYC, LA, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Chicago.
The Dopebusters were very successful as evident by the reduction of crime in the public housing apartment communities that they served. In New York at Ocean Towers, vacancy was routinely 30% as a result of the high rates of crime. After the Muslim security did their work that vacancy rate dropped to 1%. They were so effective Jewish resident Bonnie Kirshtein told the New York Times that, ”They did the best security I’ve seen in 20 years. If they were doing their job, what was the problem? I don’t hide what I am and they treated me with the utmost respect.” Their work in Los Angeles brought about a 75% reduction in crime in the Holiday Venice Apartment Complex.
There are numerous stories that document that Minister Farrakhan’s work to eradicate drugs and crime wherever the presence of his followers and his message have gone. There is a serious value in re-viewing the Dopebuster’s history not just to vindicate the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, but to serve as a tried and true model that courageous Black men around the country can adopt to begin to patrol and protect their own communities.
If there was unlimited time and space I could go on and on in educating Ms. Carnell in why her views, feelings and perspective on the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan are wrong. What I have provided does not discuss the Minister’s role in producing gang truces between rival street organizations. I haven’t discussed his impact in Hip-Hop to influence the creation of socially conscious rap groups and lyrics, or the settling of “rap beefs.” I haven’t even discussed his single-handed rebuilding of the Nation of Islam that began in 1977 with Minister Farrakhan and only one other brother (Jabril Muhammad). His international work has also not been brought forth. Yet we have given enough for Ms. Carnell to do an about face if she is to be moved by facts and empirical data.
Whether she will or not remains to be seen, but at least she cannot say that we did not make an effort to educate her in an area where she was ignorant.
(Demetric Muhammad is in the student ministry class of Muhammad Mosque No. 55 in Memphis, Tennessee. He is also the author of “In the Light of Scripture” and “A Complete Dictionary of the Supreme Wisdom Lessons.”)
See Brother Salih Muhammad’s excellent response here: http://yourblackworld.net/2015/08/07/nation-of-islam-responds-to-yvette-carnells-farrakhan-critique/