“No other one thing is more needed among us at this time than greater economic power.”
~Prophet Noble Drew Ali
This is the second and final part of an article entitled Exposing The Myths. In this part of “Moor Money”, the topics of social integration and political affiliation will be discussed. Let’s proceed with Myth #3…
Myth #3: Integration is Better than Separation
Racial integration, as being an advantage to our people, is a myth. Some people call it “The Illusion of Inclusion”. It is an illusion that entices us to voluntarily place ourselves into a no-win situation of a racially competitive society. Integration is NOT the answer to eliminating prejudice, racism and structural inequalities. The 50+ years of integration has proven the delusion of this myth. Today, our people are even more poor and politically powerless. It’s ironic that the myth of integration became an illusive fantasy, which has proven itself to be one of the most detrimental myths that we could have ever accepted.
We carry the burdens of integration. We gave up our communities, businesses, schools and almost everything else we had of value, to become uninvited guests in the communities and businesses that are owned and controlled by Europeans. In the quest for social integration, we offered to forsake our nationality, birthrights, culture, language, music, resources, religion, schools, sports teams, businesses, communities, principles, and most important of all, our self-interest. We, as a collective, now own and control little of value. When we do attempt to regain what we lost and rebuild our businesses and communities, we are labeled as racists or separatists.
Other nationalities do not pursue the integration myth. They know the significance of building and controlling their own businesses, institutions and communities. They come together, pool their resources and compete as a group for the benefit and protection of their people. Most of us, however, are still under the illusion that integration is the blueprint for success (a.k.a “The American Dream”). The reality of integration is that those who are classified as “Blacks” and “Whites” will remain separate and unequal. We need to discard this myth and replace it with a full comprehension that there is strength in networking with our own people. Prophet Noble Drew Ali clearly explained to us how we should function in the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, chapter XLVIII, verse 6, which states:
“We, as a clean and pure nation descended from the inhabitants of Africa, do not desire to amalgamate or marry into the families of the pale skin nations of Europe. Neither serve the gods of their religion, because our forefathers are the true and divine founders of the first religious creed, for the redemption and salvation of mankind on earth.”
Myth #4: The “Black Vote” Benefits Us
One of the biggest myths that we believe is that we receive direct benefits from our votes. Since receiving suffrage rights in 1869, there is not a single instance where a national political party or a political candidate has promised and delivered benefits to so-called black voters for their electoral support. Candidates and national political parties consistently promise these voters nothing and that is exactly what they always get.
While so-called black voters continue to have the highest group voter turn-out, none of them can make a legitimate claim that they have ever received a fair shake for their votes. They get nothing for their votes for a number of reasons. First, so-called black leaders don’t negotiate for their people. Even former president Bill Clinton publicly expressed surprise that these so-called black leaders never demanded anything for the “Black vote”. Instead of receiving benefits for their votes, politicians give so-called black voters a bunch of feel-good speeches. Secondly, it is often stated that voting is a “sacred” right because a vast number of blacks gave up their lives for the right to vote. This is not true. No black ever sacrificed his or her life for the right to vote. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, many melanized people, who were labeled as negro, black and colored, had their lives taken from them while seeking voting rights under those terms that delude to slavery. In fact, in the 1920’s, Prophet Noble Drew Ali was successful in politically mobilizing Moorish Americans, within the Moorish Science Temple of America, and launching voter registration drives in which Moorish Americans voted under the free national ballot. The Moorish American votes led to election of Oscar DePriest, who is recognized in history as the first African-American congressman since Reconstruction. This took place more than 30 years before the Civil Rights Movement. Prophet Noble Drew Ali himself stated in his editorial entitled A Divine Warning By The Prophet For The Nations:
“There is but one issue for them to be recognized by this government and of the earth and it comes only through the connection of the Moorish Divine National Movement, which is incorporated in this government and recognized by all other nations of the world. And through it they and their children can receive their Divine rights, unmolested by other citizens that they can cast a free national ballot at the polls under the free national constitution of the States Government and not under a granted privilege as has been the existing condition for many generations.”
The third (and possibly the most significant) reason why we receive few benefits from our vote is because there is a direct connection between political power and the strength of the economic resources that a group controls. We cannot demonstrate control of enough economic resources to persuade candidates or political parties. Control of economic resources is powerful enough to overshadow a small voting population. Political power and benefits always follow the numbers. Those who are classified as “Black” or African-American” are considered to be only 12 % of the general U.S. population. In a racial context, the only way that we can expect to receive benefits from our vote is to first build and control our own economic structure. Then, we can use our economic power to support, “lease” or “purchase” politicians who will support our group’s self-interest. In politics, this is called “lobbying”.
The fourth reason why we don’t truly benefit from voting is that there is no direct correlation between voting a “Black candidate” into office and the group receiving benefits in return for our votes. In 1960, only 103 so-called blacks held public office in the United States. In 1990 (thirty years later), when the amount had increased by over 9,000 percent, a comparison of the 2 periods was revealing. Our socioeconomic conditions did not improve… they worsened. Unfortunately, many “Black politicians”, like their counterparts, often confuse the facts, hide behind the colorblind and race-neutral myths and apply them as excuses to do nothing for our people.
The fifth reason why we get few benefits from our vote is that we’ve embraced the myth that membership in one of the national political parties actually matters. The national political party, to which we belong, does not increase the benefits that come to us as a result of voting. We have never committed ourselves to hold political parties and their candidates responsible for giving us our due benefits. Many, within the Democratic Party, take us for granted and try to avoid our issues. They have worked hard to become part of the ‘second Republican Party.’ Many, within the Republican Party, are interested only in a token number of so-called black members. Some Moorish Americans believe that we should have our own independent political party. I respectfully disagree with that assertion. It is much more practical to establish a Moorish American advocacy group (similar to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), which is backed by our economic power, to exert considerable influence on the political process. This Moorish American advocacy group can employ various methods to achieve its goals including lobbying, media campaigns, conventions, polls, research, and policy briefings. We should support Operation Proclamation (http://operationproclamation.org).
Politics is a process, which determines who gets what benefits in society. It is founded on the basic premise of quid pro quo, or something for something. Until we begin to demand benefits in direct proportion to our votes (accompanied with our economic power), and hold those who we put in office accountable, the power of the our votes will remain little more than a myth.
In conclusion, these social myths keep us from galvanizing around a common self-interest. They conceal the truth and keep us confused and unbalanced. The Moorish Science Temple of America was founded for the uplifting of fallen humanity. Within this purpose, the principles of Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice are applied to its programs and activities of economic security and religious freedom in hopes that we, as a nation of Moorish Americans, can move past the myths and social illusions. As stated by the great Prophet Noble Drew Ali:
“The object of our Organization is to help in the great program of uplifting fallen humanity and teach those things to make our members better citizens.”