When the vitally important series The Time and What Must Be Done aired Nov. 9, the focus was again on Black America’s survival and Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint to Fight Poverty and Want.
Part of the message by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan included this injunction from the patriarch of the Nation of Islam, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “ … (I)n the chapter ‘Program and Position;’ in his ‘Economic Blueprint’ on page 174, he instructed us to: ‘Observe the operations of the White man. He is successful. He makes no excuses for his failures. He works hard in a collective manner. You do the same.’ ”
So we could ask is there an example or a model that Black America could look to today of a religious-based community seeking to build a reality inside of America by going to the land?
Emphatically yes. A major example can be found in a decision by the Mormon Church to buy 382,000 acres of land and become the state of Florida’s largest landowner.
“An affiliate of the church will buy 382,000 acres of land in northwest Florida for $565 million, according to details of a deal announced Thursday. The property is timberland spread across eight Florida counties,” the online version of the UK-based Daily Mail reported on Nov. 8.
“AgReserves, a corporate affiliate of the church, is buying the land from developer St Joe Co., according to reports. The deal will more than double the 290,000 acres already controlled by the church, pushing past 650,000 acres, according to the Tampa Bay Times, vaulting the church past number two landholder Foley Timber and Land Co, which has 562,000 acres, and real estate trust Plum Creek’s 448,000 acres. The massive plot is referred to as ‘non-strategic timberland,’ according to WJHG.
“AgReserves will continue to use the land for timber and agriculture, as well as take over all contracts involving timber production, the Times said.”
This business arm of the church has been “in agricultural operations for more than 60 years, a joint statement released by the two companies said. Rival Foley Timber came out in favor of the announcement. ‘Based on what we know of the company and their land management practices in central Florida, we believe they will be good stewards of the land in north Florida as well,’ spokesperson Bo Taff told the Times,” the Daily Mail reported.
“According to the Times, AgReserves’ operations at its Deseret Ranches in Florida include beef cattle, citrus and timber, as well as other farming. Roughly 90 employees man operations in the state.”
The other interesting part of the story is the church, which built itself a home in the state of Utah after suffering persecution, is going after the land for production as “the seller focuses on resort and planned community development.”
Certainly the Mormon Church and that religious community does not suffer the massive unemployment, the poverty, the violence nor the social chaos that Black America faces today.
According to church estimates, there are about 6.3 million Mormons in America. The state of Utah boasts a high rate of entrepreneurship and benefits from a healthy diet, moral focus, emphasis on education and other factors that make Mormon-dominated Utah “the #1 best state in which to raise children in the 1996 rankings by the Children’s Right’s Council,” noted Adherants.com.
“According to the 2002 Kids Count data book released by the Maryland-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, Utah ranked 3rd nationwide as the best place for children: It gave Utah high marks for low levels of infant mortality, a low percentage of single-parent families and low numbers of children living in low-income families,” the website noted.
It appears that by acting in a collective manner and following some valuable principles for how to eat and how to live, the Mormons have improved their lot and the lot of their children.
Blacks have the highest unemployment, the highest rates of poverty, the highest rates of infant mortality, the highest rates of violence and Blacks number at least 43 million in this country.
If fewer than 7 million Mormons can find a path to unity and common cause and progress, why can’t we do the same?
The Economic Blueprint offered by Min. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam is a painless and fool-proof way to progress as this country steadily moves toward a complete shutdown.
We can’t afford to wait and we can’t afford to stumble. What we can and must do is follow divine guidance and act for our own sake. Observe the operations of the White man. He is successful. So we have a contemporary example of a movement working for development that is a minority inside this country and using land as the engine for development. We have the example of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the enterprises and holdings of the Nation of Islam in the 1960s and 1970s. We have a man who is calling us to success today, all we need is to step forward and give 35 cents a week to a national treasury. Send your donations to www.economicblueprint.org or mail contributions to:
Muhammad Economic Blueprint
C/O Seaway Bank & Trust Company
P.O. Box 19522, Chicago, IL. 60619-9522
Attn: Sherlyn Russell.
Up you mighty nation, you can accomplish what you will!