Black suffering in America is not new, but this year seemed to bring an abundance of pain, death and disrespect. Sadly loss of life occurred at the hands of those outside of the Black community and in our assaults on one another. Dying at the hands of our open enemy and the children of those who brought us here to work us to death is not new.
What is relatively new in our history is the level of violence that we perpetuate against and suffer at the hands of one another. In Chicago and in cities across America, we shamefully suffer from high levels of violence and death. The Windy City was marking fewer than 500 homicides in 2013 at Final Call press time. If you were to map those deaths and to chart the likelihood of death, the killing would be Black brothers largely killing Black brothers and Latino brothers killing Latino brothers. Caught in the crossfire would be innocent children, innocent women and the elderly.
How far we have fallen, once we could look to our open enemy as the clear cause of our demise, but that is not so today.
In the 21st century we mimic and have inculcated the devaluation of Black life felt by the children of our former slavemasters and are the Number One outright destroyers of self. It is horrible when someone seeks to kill you unjustly, but it is worse when you are so indoctrinated, so well-schooled, so well-taught in self-hatred that you will kill your brother or sister without batting an eye.
We don’t value ourselves so it is easy to slay one another and boast about it in music, song and even post pictures of deaths on Instagram or social media.
The Chicago Tribune reported Dec. 20 that homicides and shootings in the city were down, falling to 400 as the year closed. The Tribune noted that the deaths were significantly lower than 500-plus deaths that occurred in 2012. Those numbers offer some good news, but don’t negate the grief and anger of Black families that have lost loved ones.
The fatal shooting of Hadiyah Pendleton in January 2013 rang across the city and the country. Just a few weeks after she performed at the inauguration of the first Black president, Hadiyah was fatally shot on a playground not far from the president’s home in Chicago. She wasn’t the only innocent victim as bullets struck babies, toddlers and grandparents in this city and others. Some shots were fired indiscriminately from AK-47s or high-powered weapons on playgrounds, others were fired in robberies and others simply bullets flying almost everywhere.
But it was Black mothers we saw crying over the loss of children. It was a Black daughter we saw weeping uncontrollably over the loss of her father, who was only trying to get to work. It was grandparents shocked that their grandchildren were caught by stray bullets, their bones shattered and injuries inflicted that will take years of physical and psychological reconstruction to heal.
Violence earned Chicago the moniker “Chi-raq,” in tribute to warlike conditions in the ‘hood. Others declared the City of Brotherly Love to be “Kiladelphia,” not Philadelphia–for the epidemic of guns and violence. Similar deadly brand names could be found in urban areas and even Southern towns and hamlets.
Since the 1930s, the Nation of Islam has been warning Black America and White America about a truth that may be bitter but is undeniable: Black and White cannot live together in peace and would be better separated. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, wrote in The Muslim Program-What the Muslims Believe: “We believe that this is the time in history for the separation of the so-called Negroes and the so-called White Americans. … We believe in justice for all, whether in God or not; we believe as others, that we are due equal justice as human beings. We believe in equality–as a nation–of equals. We do not believe that we are equal with our slave masters in the status of ‘freed slaves.’ …”
The Nation of Islam has also taught that the Black people of America, the children of her former slaves, are the people of God’s choice today. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has taught that God would destroy nations for his chosen people in America, bearing witness to what is written in scripture.
If God Himself has come to save us, how do we look in the eyes of God when we persist in killing one another? What will we suffer for the murders we commit and the deadly assaults that we commit on one another? If God will destroy nations for his people, will he destroy us for killing one another?
We need to accept divine guidance and we need to accept it now. We need to hear a message that will transform us into who we really are and reject a world built on our death and destruction. We will not escape God’s wrath if we persist in doing other than his will–and his will is to save us.
The Minister gave a poignant warning in an early message from his Time and What Must Be Done video series that airs online at www.noi.org. He warned that our suffering would increase in the year 2013–his warning has been entirely correct. He is the modern Aaron and the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is the modern Moses. Read your scripture and don’t look back 2,000 years or 1,400 years ago–look and see who fulfills prophecy today. Our survival and our safety lie in coming into the knowledge of self and the knowledge of God and living the life he wants us to lead. He doesn’t want us killing one another, and we should not want to suffer from his wrath. For as surely as Allah is the Beneficent, the Merciful, he is the Destroyer and the Abaser, we should embrace and pray for his mercy, fear his wrath and stop the killing.