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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

October 14, 1994

Muslim Journal

The Rise And Fall Of Race Consciousness

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

This commercial driven mentality lends its subtle support to this new symbolism-based Black consciousness. There is no way that Black racism would be spreading and becoming popular for the African family of people in America, in Africa, and all this earth now, if it wasn't helped by the same devious minded people who imposed White racism and White supremacy on the world.

You may ask, "How is Black racism going to help that?" They don't care which race buys the lie, as long as the lie stays in existence to keep the masses of people at each other, while they take and rake everything in. They know you are not going anywhere with it, except into their nets. This growing Black supremacy idea is threatening to become popular all over the world among our people and the people of color of the African family tree.

The Asians will never buy this. They are ancient and wise.

So why is this being encouraged? It is to block the rise of the new humanity. With the economic decline of America, God has been bringing about the rise of a new humanity. This new humanity is to see Islam as its partner or as its comrade in arms. They (the devils) don't want that ever to happen. Racism is promoted to block Islam's appeal for a non-racist community of people with normal, healthy human attitudes. Islam can do that for us, and it is happening.

Symbolism based race consciousness is created or invented for the racial dominance of one race over another. Race today must not be by definition what race has been till now. Race is not to be supported upon color without having a strong reference to a people's origin and to their spirit for achieving excellence. That is where race conscious should come from. It should come from a people's geographic origin and the history of their excellence. Race consciousness is artificial if it just comes to us from hurt and exaggerations. That is not how a concept comes that is real. A concept or an "idea" is not to be digested until you can clearly see all terminology as relates to metaphor, satire, myth, or the likes of such language.

If race consciousness gets its features or its meaning or its definition from celebrated events and celebrated devotions in the life line of a people's excellence, then that race consciousness will serve them well. I believe our great leaders of the past, especially those who came with Frederick Douglass and after, up until the late 1960s, had a healthy sense of race. They were looking to build upon something that was already theirs. They were looking to build upon what remained in them of their humanity and aspirations. And they were successful in that.

Those leaders were successful in developing their intellect and even progressing above many "Whites." Don't you know that Frederick Douglass was not just a great African American intellect; he was a great intellect for that period of time in the world - not only for America but for the world. He stood out as a great intellect in the society of the world.

We got some real powerful and bold and courageous language from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. But let me tell you that before Fard was thought of, Frederick Douglass told the White race, and he was a black slave himself: "Your behavior, in spite of your claim to high ideals and a great democracy, is such that it would shame a nation of savages." That is what Frederick Douglass told the White world. We underestimate ourselves.

I don't know if we have any here from the old Nation of Islam who are still holding on to those "ideas" that we should have grown out of by now with the help of God. But if you are, brothers you had better wake up fast. "Master" Fard didn't intentionally steal our credits, but most of what he gave us that we boast of, Fard got it from our people.

The idea of Nation was with Marcus Garvey before it was with Fard. The idea of Asiatics and original people was with Drew Ali before it was with Fard. The idea of doing business in a big way and going overseas and importing and exporting was with Paul Cafe before it was with W. D. Fard.

The pronouncement of judgment on the White world came from David Walker and Elijah Lovejoy before it came from Fard. And I can go on and on and on. The attention to mis-education and re-education came from Carter G. Woodson before it came from Fard.

The building of natural skills and insisting on the rational sciences came from Booker T. Washington before it came from Fard. The inclusion of the military drill to help develop the mind and the life of disciplines and dignity was practiced at Tuskegee under Booker T. Washington before it was introduced into our community by W. D. Fard.

Even the unreal things that we boast about: Father Divine claimed to be a "black god" before Fard taught it. Daddy Grace claimed divinity and he didn't get it from Fard. Marcus Garvey got a new appreciation for Christianity when he discovered that not only a White man could "play god" but a Black man could "play god" too. It was documented that he indicated that "man was god" and that "the only god" that his people should look at was him, "until another god comes." That was what Marcus Garvey claimed.

I don't think we need anything but the truth. Remember that old statement: "The truth will set you free." By God, I buy that. Racist identity must not make weak and defective our humanity toward self and humanity toward others.

We know that with the growing of black consciousness and this new and borrowed racism in our people, we have not become better toward each other. Why? It is because we have bought the very poisons that the "White" world spit out into the world to confuse world populations. We have bought the same poisons. So we find ourselves not doing better by our souls, not doing better by our families, and not doing better as a people. We are buying the idea of racism and some kind of black supremacy. And I am not hitting Farrakhan.

Race as identity has its life and birth in human identity. If race identity is to form in the right way, it must form in human awareness and in an appreciation for growth in human identity. And we must read our particular life lines and see how human consciousness, and see how human excellence has progressed in order to have a better and better appreciation for our own race. That is what makes for strong dignified race consciousness. Race as identity corrupts and dooms us, if it puts itself in our life as an influence more important to us than human consciousness and human excellence. Human aim is a sacred matter.

The original human life with its original human aim is the sacred part of life. If you lose that, all the consciousness and all the identity you build is doomed to corrupt you. In fact, race consciousness is nothing but the individualized group consciousness of a race of people. That individual in each is our common humanity. When we say that we have a race consciousness, we should understand that we have a human consciousness as our purest motivation. When we say "race pride," we should understand that we are talking about "human pride" as expressed in our best achievement. That is why we call it "race."

Race consciousness is not to be grabbed out of a magician's hat. You don't have to tell lies to build strong identity. You don't have to fabricate or fantasize the beginning of ourselves on this earth. Just study scientifically the spirit of our men and women of intellect; study their history of excellence.

When you study it, it is just like studying the human life of a particular baby belonging to a particular family. You begin to give credit for the excellence of that child to that family, because it is a member of that family. If you study several members of a family that had been progressing throughout the life of their family, you will say, "Oh, the Johnson family is a great family. Look at the development and the achievements for that family." We have to have the same appreciation for our race and the same rational attitude toward our merits.

There are some who want me to forget that I had a father called Elijah Muhammad or Elijah Poole before he became a Muslim. Some want me to forget that he helped us out. They say, "Don't bring that up, for that makes trouble." No, it doesn't make trouble; it solves problems. We are going to keep bringing him up, because he represents a movement in the spirit to achieve as a race, and we have to remember him for his excellent contribution and forgive him for his errors. We say this because Elijah Muhammad didn't intend to be a man making errors.

In Islam Matters Are Judged By Intent.

This new ideology called Afrocentric thinking misses the biggest chapter in the life of that continent we call Africa. The biggest chapter for our life in Africa is the chapter (the history) of Islam. Now our people don't have to be Muslim to appreciate the great achievements of Black Muslims on the continent of Africa. It is like we don't have to be Christians to appreciate the great achievements of Black Christians on the continent of America.

You can't even talk about the greatness of Africa without talking about Mansa Musa, Askia the Great, and the many other greats who brought about progress for civilizations, social reform, and sciences on that continent after they embraced Islam.

We are told that Islam went with the sword. But believe me brother, I have studied history. In Africa, Islam was not spread by the sword; Islam was spread by Africans who had a curiosity. Muslims were living around them and among them, and seeking to trade and do business in Africa, and Natives were exposed to Muslim character and behavior (custom). Natives noticed a certain business ethic that they were attracted to. Many came to choose for themselves the Muslim life on the continent of our origin.