Saturday, December 11, 2010
11. Unity in Diversity
Toward the Unity of North American Africans
11. Unity in Diversity
Back in the 19th century, the great Pan African, Edward Wilmot Blyden told us, "The Christian Negro cannot afford to look upon the Muslims with indifference and hostility.... It would be wisdom and good policy in Christians not to reproach them but to find out ways and means of working with them to mutual advantage," Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race,
Amiri Baraka often bemoans the fact that Malcolm and Martin were not able to unite. Toward the end of his life, Martin did meet with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Today the Nation of Islam does outreach with Christians to the extent we wonder is Farrakhan turning Christian? In the end it won't matter, for when they come for the Muslim, next shall be the Christian, then the Communist, then the gay/lesbian, then the hip hop--no, it don't stop.
We arrived on these shores because we had something in unity, our labor, skills, work habits, not because we were from Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Angola! The white slave master didn't care what tribe we were from, although President George Washington did warn the American people to keep those Muslims out of here since they were known to be rebellious and would incite slave revolts. But there were Christian inspired slave revolts as well, Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey. And we have a collection of Muslim slave narratives as part of North American African literature. Apparently his brothers didn't listen to ole honest George who never told a lie.
But there is much sectarianism, ideological dogmatism and just pure ignorance throughout our community. A hundred Muslims, a hundred sects. A hundred Christians, a hundred sects. A hundred Communists, a hundred sects. And then there's gender division, penis envy, vagina monologue, no pussy and dick dialogue! Where does it end? Is not the dream of freedom greater than our petty differences that won't matter at the critical moment. If you go to the hospital with multiple wounds, will you not allow a gay or lesbian nurse to assist you? Or shall you demand a straight nurse! What if your doctor is Muslim, are you so ignut you demand a Christian doctor because you don't want no heathen to help you?
Again, don't you see no matter how divided the white men in the US Congress and Senate may be, when it comes to you and me they are united, they put their difference aside to crush you and me back into "our place."
But our diversity is an albatross around our neck. We want to be ideological puritans, religious fanatics who can't and won't jump out of our boxes to save our lives, and at this moment we are in peril. I don't read nothing but the Bible. I don't read nothing but the Qu'ran. I don't read nothing but Porno magazines. I don't read nothing if it ain't gay/lesbian/transgender lit, clit lit!
Poor Michael told us to look at the man in the mirror and remember the time. Remember how we came here unified, packed like sardines, together, snuggled, wallowing in each others urine and feces during the Middle Passage or Maafa. We didn't complain. Today we have mansions yet often live in them by ourselves. Even when we have homeless relatives, we won't invite them in for a few days.
We're exceptional, the supreme individuals, and yet the very hour demands unity, not simply based on skill color but shared cultural values and a common destiny called freedom, not this sham politrickism, something more substantial, something lasting unto eternity, not based on the whim of the next election, the failure of the Euro-American economy. Don't you see China is not in economic meltdown. India is not, Brazil is not, but you are because you are exceptional, individual, thus you go down with your master. Boss we sick? Boss ain't sick, Boss is 1% but he got 90% of the wealth. You sick, nigguh! but in denial, and won't come together, maybe not until recently, after losing your job, house, wife, you decide to come home to family, you want family unity, you might eat some pork at the family meal. Just don't tell your Muslim friends.
You Christians might sneak to read the Qur'an, since you seeking to make sense of this nonsense called White supremacy capitalism that has hoodwinked and bamboozled you out of your good job and scammed you out of your home that was nearly paid for until you refinanced the third time.
Mao said let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. I don't care what you are, to you your thing and to me mine (lakum dinu kum waliya din), but can we come together to take care of business, or are you so holy we can't reason together and come out with an economic plan to be successful. Why do I need to be a Sunni Muslim to talk with you, to get a kind word from you. Why must I be lesbian or gay before we can work together. So what if I say motherfucker, nigguh and bitch, but I got a plan and you ain't got shit, but you don't want to work with me cause my language is distasteful and disgusting. Starve then, nigguh! Get with your Christians, your Sunni Muslims, your gay/lesbian/transgender/trysexual folks, let them help you.
I'm going to be me just like you going to be you, but is there something we can do to advance the cause of freedom? That's all I want to know. I don't care about your personal business. Go back to Booker T: in things social we can be as separate as the hands, but as per economic progress let us be as tight as the fist! Unity in diversity. On the political level, just be ready to seize power. And don't leave your post without being properly relieved, soldier!