America has entered a long black tunnel, and there is no light. This is the sentiment that Atlanta-based youth mentor William McFarland shared with The Final Call. Frustrated, Mr. McFarland stated institutions have failed Black folks, including religious, economic, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice, and civic participation. “If we continue to think we can vote our way out of this situation, we are truly out of our collective minds,” he said.
The continued anger, partisan divide, economic woes among America’s poor, the super wealthy amassing greater fortunes, police brutality and misconduct, racial animus, and overall frustration with the direction of the country is once again raising questions about its future and its very survival. Yet a prophetic voice among Black people in the U.S. warned and cautioned of these perilous times for decades.
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad predicted America’s current condition in his 1973 masterpiece, titled ‘The Fall of America,’ where he gives detailed information about this country’s fall and her symbolism in scripture. The book was published about 47 years ago, yet it seems that it was written for today,” writes Hasan Ali in a recent book review about the Nation of Islam patriarch.
“A quick Google search of ‘The Fall of America’ will pull up recent articles that analyze the country’s decline. We see articles with titles such as ‘The Decline of the American World,’ ‘Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire,’ ‘How Covid-19 Signals the End of the American Era,’ and ‘The Unraveling of America,’” continues Mr. Ali.
Even the election of a new president whose aim is to try and unite a fractured country seems futile. President Joe Biden campaigned on trying to appeal to a constituency who were and are loyal to his predecessor. Blacks overwhelmingly supported Mr. Biden and assured the Democrats also won majorities—though by narrow margins, in the House and Senate. Yet ardent supporters of former president Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress are flexing their political muscle to make Mr. Biden’s chances of enacting his agenda more challenging.
“Biden is about to take power, but half of Americans disagree with him and the government he leads. Many worry there will be ‘two Americas,’” stated Yu Ning in the Global Times. “The division in the U.S. is unprecedented. Economic contraction, the decline in people’s living standards, rising unemployment rate, widening wealth gap, deepening racial conflicts, and uncontrolled epidemic all indicate that the social contradictions and differences in the U.S. will intensify. Is the U.S. falling apart? Many Americans think so.”
We are witnessing an America dissatisfied, divided, deadly, and falling deeper into the abyss in real-time, argue observers. According to Kenneth Weisbrod, a diplomatic and cultural historian, statistics point to American decline (increased death rate, political paralysis, increased crime). “Americans have had a low culture for a very long time, and have long promoted it,” he said.
Dr. Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, in his analysis of America’s decline, stated, “I think all empires eventually come to an end.”
Using a baseball analogy, Dr. Winbush said, if this is a nine-inning game, America is in the 3rd inning. “Before Biden, two of the last three presidents were elected by a minority of the American people. Many world leaders look at Biden as a blip on the screen. In 2024 the expectation is the next president will be somebody more fascist, more conservative, and even more racist than Trump. I think we’re on the brink right there,” he stated.
Economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux, the new Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at California State University Los Angeles, told The Final Call she defines America’s fall as the “end of eminence.”
“Once upon a time and not too long ago, we were the gold standard. This eminence, however, was always flawed. Understand that when you start talking about urban violence, those things were always present; it’s just for the past 20 years we started to question it more aggressively,” she said.
“As a world leader, we have been deeply flawed trying to portend dignity abroad but lacking dignity at home. If we look at our history, lynching was not dignified; turning water hoses on children was not dignified. The emperor has no clothes. How can we go anywhere and lecture people about democracy when we have outlawed giving someone a sip of water while they stand in line waiting hours to vote?” she asked.
One constant in America’s downfall has been its treatment of Black people. Regardless of which political party occupies the White House and political offices on the federal level, Black folks are still on the outside looking in when it comes to economic and social justice progress and inroads in other areas of life.
According to the “2020 Urban League Report on the State of Black America,” even at record lows, the Black unemployment rate consistently remained twice as high as the rate for Whites in recent years. The Great Recession wiped out 50 years of rising Black homeownership, with the rate now as low as before the Fair Housing Act. The net worth of a typical Black family is about one-tenth that of a White family. Black household incomes still have not returned to pre-recession levels. Economic policies that don’t specifically address racial disparity do not reduce racial inequality.
Black men are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police throughout their lifetime than White men. Black women are about 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than White women.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in 2008, Black youth, who make up 16 percent of the youth population, accounted for 52 percent of juvenile violent crime arrests, including 58.5 percent of youth arrests for homicide and 67 percent for robbery. Blacks are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of Whites. Black Americans are twice as likely as White Americans to die from gun violence and 14 times more likely than White Americans to be wounded.
What is not lost on Dr. Winbush is the chameleon-like features America cloaks herself in, especially when discussing her values and the need to protect them. “American values are based on violence, repression, and racism. They portray to the world the white picket fence in the suburbs that everybody loves,” he said.
“It makes me laugh when I hear commentators in the news or a politician saying racism is not who we are. Yes, it is exactly who you are. It’s kind of like a mantra, something like mother and apple pie. Still, all of America’s history shows this country’s violence. I mean, the shootings that are occurring, the buying of guns, all of this stuff points out this is the most violent nation that has ever been on earth. And we don’t want to chase that.”
In the article, “Another American first: a self-collapsing empire!” Helena Cobban states that the U.S. like all European-heritage empires in modern history have been built and maintained on violence. The United States has uniquely been able to keep a cloak of invisibility, she notes.
“This empire’s leaders have intentionally never described it as an empire, talking instead only about the role of ‘American leadership’ within a slippery, anodyne body known as the ‘international community,’” she states.
America’s decline is also evident by the destruction of families. Crime, family and children, youth pathologies and behavior, education, and popular culture and religion and government solutions that compound social problems are part of the decline,” notes William J. Bennett in his work, “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators. “The divorce rate has more than doubled since 1960. It is the highest in the world; nearly one in two U.S. households is headed by single parents or involves some other non-traditional living arrangement. Abortions have skyrocketed since 1972, while one-third of all births in the United States today are out of wedlock,” he writes.
“Fully seventy percent of African-American births in the United States are illegitimate. Moreover, the linkage between the breakdown of the American family, poverty, and the incidence of social pathologies is well-established in the data. The sad fact of the matter is that many in society doubt they even know basic right from wrong, or if they do, their self-esteem is so low as to mute public demand for retribution.”
Dr. Malveaux noted that America has failed to invest in itself. “We squandered our eminence because we have not invested in ourselves. China, India, and Eastern Europe produce more engineers than the United States who once led in science and technology. Another thing that has led to our decline is things that are wrong in any other country are wrong in America as well from voting rights to infrastructure to education. So given all that, what do we expect?”
What is being witnessed today is what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke on and prophesied years ago. America is locked in a losing battle to keep her power, he wrote. “America, in trying to hold her place as the greatest power among the nations of the earth, is one of the most troubled countries on earth today,” Mr. Muhammad added.
Dr. Winbush stated many of his students see the handwriting on the wall and are abandoning ship. “This’ll be my 40th year of teaching higher education, and I have more of my graduating students saying, ‘I am moving to Africa, I’m moving to the Caribbean, but I’m getting out of here,’” he said.
“I know that more and more of my students are saying I don’t want to live here,” added Dr. Winbush. He also noted many Black students are attending HBCUs. “They want to separate from White schools, country, and everything. They want to separate. I think that is going to increase as there’s more and more polarization among races. And I think people are going to say maybe we need to leave the United States.”
“I absolutely attribute America’s fall to the inevitable consequences of rejecting God’s man in America’s midst, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” Student Minister Dr. Wesley Muhammad, a scholar, author and researcher told The Final Call.
“Allah (God) has brought His warnings to the front of the consciousness of every American over the last several years. So, I see the cause of this expedited fall into the abyss as a consequence of rejecting God’s warner in these times,” said Dr. Muhammad, who is also a member of the Nation of Islam Research Team.
“Minister Farrakhan, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, said that the end is not approaching. The end is here. America has never been a beacon of moral values.
“In this erosion, what we are seeing is there is no longer a need for pretense. Vulgarity has always been the American way, but it was hidden,” he pointed out.
“So, he’s always been filthy and vulgar with his affairs, but they kept that on the low. And they pretended they were civil, but in reality, they were very nasty. The pretense of civility is eroded now. If it is not entirely gone already.”