Roger A. Muhammad
Please reflect on the following quotes:
If you say we cannot unite, you are wrong. We can unite! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad – Message To The Blackman in America
How you deal with one another reflects what you really think about the Messenger of God! The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan – (From the lecture “Why Has Allah Allowed The Nation To Fall”, 1981)
True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.” Akhenaton – 1354 BC
“They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “he, who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:6-7
In the Illustrious Book, Closing The Gap, Brother Jabril Muhammad states very candidly that “disunity is Satanic.” Surely, then, as we look at the present condition of many mosques, churches and Black organizations everywhere on our planet, there should be some grounds for concern. It is so disheartening to think that so much fragmentation, disunity, click-ism and even bitterness is witnessed amongst those who claim to be a part of forwarding the liberation struggle of Black People.
Who is to blame? Who should we hold responsible for this? Is it the followers or members of the organizations? Is it the leadership? Is it both?
Perhaps we could point fingers at all of the above. I’m sure some would decisively point the fingers at leadership while others in leadership cannot stand some of the members in their organizations. In fact, if this applies to you, maybe right now you’re thinking about one person in particular.
Following such logic, the proponents of this finger-pointing mindset will always claim that, well… if we could just appoint someone new, things would finally work for the organization in our city, our region, our nation. Better yet, maybe if we created a whole new group, away from that person or persons, we would make real progress.
With all due respect, in its benign state, this view creates spiritual blindness. In its malign state, it destroys groups and critically damages the brotherhood and sisterhood required to make any real long-term advances as Black people. Ask yourself: do we actually believe that we will find favour with Allah (God) on the basis of disunity and fragmentation among one another? Perhaps we will, you might say. But time will tell.
Personally, I find it difficult to believe we can ever invite the spirit and presence of Allah (God) and His Christ in such a mind state.
In truth, those of us who would accuse others among us of wrongdoing should perhaps review their [own] record of actions and then ask the question: Who will cast the first stone? This goes for both the leadership and membership of any group or organization.
On page 89 of Closing The Gap, Brother Jabril writes:
“Some of us are so judgmental that we’ve decided the ultimate worth of others and then, with supreme arrogance we’ve determined their place in Allah’s mind. Then we influence others to treat them according to our judgment. Jesus warns us that with what judgment that we judge we shall be judged.”
This attitude, once it hardens and becomes prevalent within a group, produces a culture of condemnation and constant finger-pointing, from which stems the incessant lashing of the tongue toward one another, but especially toward those we perceive to be a threat to our authority or in other cases toward those currently in ‘authority’.
Still from the book, Closing the Gap, the Minister further explains the characteristics of a judgmental mind in the following words:
In a limited circumstance, we can make true judgments, but oft-times our egos are so wrapped up in the judgments that we make, we never leave room in our judgment for the possibility of mistake or error.
At first glance, if we study the language of the above statement, I would imagine some college students of logic would say there is a contradiction in terms here. In that if a set of judgments are said to be true, how can they simultaneously leave any room for mistakes or errors?
The answer is in the perception of that truth, not in the truth itself. What guides the perception? What motivates the perception?
Now, I don’t mean to come across as unnecessarily philosophical. Rather, I’m trying to illustrate a point that cannot escape the natural implication of the above postulate. The point is that when assessing a particular person, event or circumstance, it is possible for our judgment to be true, even though our perception or concept of why something is true might be false.
For example, you might be right in saying, “This person isn’t fit to lead.” That could be a true statement. Nevertheless, what if your perception of that truth leads you to conclude the following: “I, therefore, should lead the organization or church.” Or others to say, “That person… therefore, should lead the group or organization.”
In standard logical terms, we would classify these statements as categorical syllogisms.
A categorical syllogism is essentially defined as an argument consisting of exactly three categorical propositions (two premises and a conclusion) in which there appear to be a total of exactly three categorical terms, each of which is used exactly twice. Basically, it is a form of deductive reasoning from which we can draw a logical conclusion.
The tricky part in all of this is that logical statements are not always true in the mathematical or factual sense of the word. The logic of the conclusion is only true if the combined logic of the two foundational premises in the syllogism both hold true, together.
Here is an example of a true syllogism:
• Premise 1: No geese are felines.
• Premise 2: Geese are birds.
• Conclusion: Therefore, birds
are not felines.
Now, here is an example of a
• Premise 1: Socrates is
• Premise 2: All men are
• Conclusion: Hence all men
As you can see, the above syllogism is logical. However, it simply isn’t true.
Returning now to the original issue pertaining to someone believing (s)he is more qualified for leadership than the next person. Granted, that may or may not be true. But chances are, when thinking like this, we’re missing an important ultimate truth behind the very first statement. The truth is, that according to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, none of us are actually fit to lead in the Eyes of the Lord!
Therefore, excluding cases where the law was broken, when or if you get rid of one person, it means we will ultimately have to get rid of all other persons after him/her the more their own unfitness becomes manifest over time to a lesser or greater degree.
Moreover, by focusing on the exclusive unfitness of that one person, and getting the whole group or organization to do so along with us, we draw attention away from our own dire need for self-improvement, which is the real basis for community development.
This line of reasoning essentially leads nowhere. The logic thereof is circular, which is exactly what many of us are doing today, going around in circles. We keep creating new Black organizations, only to ultimately end up destroying them from within through slander, gossip and backbiting. In the more extreme cases, we even come to blows. From there, the group falls to pieces and from those pieces new organizations come again, only to find the same ultimate and sad end.
If we stop to think about it in light of the history of all the great Black organizations of the Civil Rights era and looking at our condition today, we can see the damage and the great setbacks we created for ourselves because of this divisive mentality. This is also why we can’t bring together all the little street corner Black Markets around the city to form one big Black supermarket.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches in the book Message to the Black Man in America: “Stop wanton criticism and attacks on everything that is Black owned and operated.”
In the path of self-examination, self-analysis and self-correction, moving away from that mindset and people who share it is vital to your progress and mine.
Start anew with a new focus. Focus on the word and the work of raising our People to Life. Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners. Who will you be?