Those who wrongly call the patriarch of the Nation of Islam a hater of Caucasian people might find it strange that he would advise his followers to observe the ways of White folk and learn lessons for business.
Elijah Muhammad was no racist. He is a divine man who knew and understood the whys and the ways of White rulership. Knowing that and knowing that lessons can be found throughout the creation of Almighty God Allah, he wisely advised a downtrodden people to learn the way to independence and to follow models of proven success based on proper principles.
In his seminal book “Message To The Black Man in America,” he stated simply but profoundly: “The White man spends his money with his own kind, which is natural. You, too, must do this. Help to make jobs for your own kind. Take a lesson from the Chinese and Japanese and go give employment and assistance to your own kind when they are in need. This is the first law of nature. Defend and support your own kind.”
In addition, he said, “Recognize the necessity for unity and group operation (activities). Pool your resources, physically as well as financially. Stop wanton criticisms of everything that is black-owned and black-operated. Keep in mind–jealousy destroys from within. 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.”
Wise words, guidance for success and words we have not heeded.
Others, however, have learned and applied lessons for success and they don’t get $1 trillion out of this economy, give most of it back and then blame the White Man for 100 percent of their problems. They don’t number to 20 million to 40 million people who hold degrees, expertise and political office–including the White House.
Our lesson for today can be found in Laurel, Md., where a community of landowning, God-fearing, long-skirt wearing women and beard-wearing men have pooled their resources, maximized their faith, produced on their land and taken their products to the broader market–and have met with tremendous success. Their women aren’t sexually harassed in environments they don’t control. Their young men aren’t standing around, hands in pockets in cow pastures, wondering what will become of their lives.
On Fort Meade Road in Laurel, Md., you will find the Dutch Country Farmers Market and it is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays because the business owners are the Pennsylvania Dutch, or the Amish, who own land and produce products in Lancaster County, Penn. They bring the products to the market on those days and the other days they live and produce on their own land.
Before you start ignorantly and arrogantly laughing and making jokes about horse drawn buggies, granny clothes and old-timey ways of living, you might want to drive to the market. Make sure you come early because if not you won’t get a parking space.
These self-respecting and hardworking people operate lucrative and brisk businesses where their women can find a place of comfort and safety and their young men can learn skills and build businesses.
The neat stalls and well-stocked shops offer meats, baked goods, candies, produce, poultry, and more.
Maybe they should be laughing at you Black America with your modern gadgets, expensive clothes and cars and all the trappings of wealth while your real wealth is a fraction of White wealth in this nation.
This isn’t the only Pennsylvania Dutch market on the East Coast and should make arrogant Black America ashamed. Are we as self-respecting as other people or are we an inferior and self-hating group?
When the Fort Meade Road location for the Dutch Market opened, the police had to come out and direct traffic because a flood of customers was tying up traffic on a major thoroughfare. When customers come on Friday afternoons, they regularly park in an adjacent parking lot that belongs to a home improvement store assuming no spaces are left in the Dutch market parking lot.
Customers don’t stand in line, snicker, point and ridicule the Pennsylvania Dutch. They wait patiently, hand over fistfuls of cash, gratefully swipe their credit and debit cards, tip their hats, take their products and leave with a smile. That is getting respect. That is self-sufficiency. That is independence.
The Pennsylvania Dutch come from “early German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and their descendants. This early wave of settlers, which would eventually coalesce to form the Pennsylvania Dutch, began in the late 17th century and concluded in the late 18th century. Historically they have spoken the dialect of German known as Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch.” They live primarily in Southeastern and South Central Pennsylvania and Lancaster is a stronghold. They also live in parts of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, “and in the large Amish and Mennonite communities in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, in Ohio north and south of Youngstown and in Indiana around Elkhart.”
“The farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country are among the most productive in the nation. But many of the farmers here are different from most Americans; different by choice. For these are the Old Order Amish and Mennonites, also known as the ‘Plain People,’ ” notes http://lancasterpa.com, which touts the Amish and their culture as a worthy tourism destination.
“In comparison to our fast-paced society, the simpler, family-centered Amish way of life holds a special fascination. These people trace their heritage back hundreds of years, and yet, despite all the time that has passed and the many changes that have taken place in society, they still live and work much as their forefathers did. Their families and their farms are their top priorities, second only to God,” adds http://lancasterpa.com.
“The Amish are very devout in their faith. … They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God, and can introduce influences that could be destructive to their communities and to their way of life,” the website explains.
Strong families. Strong communities. A land base. A faith base. A cultural base. A shared identity.
Using the words and way of his teacher, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has reinstituted Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint, a program against poverty and want for all of Black America. It calls for 16 million wage earners to give 35 cents a week, $18.20 for the year to amass over $291 million in a single year through painless sacrifice. The first purchases would be farmland as the engine for national development for all of Black America.
The example is there, the model is there, the history is there, we need a proper understanding and desire to extract ourselves from an economic and social crisis. Make your donation at www.economicblueprint.org or send your donations to Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint, C/O Seaway National Bank & Trust Company, P.O. Box 19522, Chicago, IL 60619-9522 Attn: Sherlyn Russell.
Or stop and point and laugh at people pooling their resources and making a future for themselves. Don’t fret. They are laughing at you too, all the way to the bank.