WEB POSTED 5-15-2000

America’s race problem and the coming of the Messiah

In the Muhammad Ali translation of the Holy Qur’an we read: “And for every nation there is a messenger.”

Are Black people in America really a “nation” within a nation? Are we a “people?” Are we the ones described in 1Peter 2:10 who “in time past was not a people… “

Romans 10:19: “… I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” Who are the people whom the writer[s] had in mind as these words were formed? Were these words written with Black people in mind as “no people” and “a foolish nation?”

The Living Bible translates 1Peter 2:10 with these words: “Once you were less than nothing; now you are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now your very lives have been changed by it.”

Black people used to say with greater frequency than is the case now: “N—-s ain’t nothin.” Even though we don’t use that term as often as we once did, as a people, most all of us have not yet overcome the sentiment out of which that statement originated.

If you are acquainted with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, or have heard him often enough, you’ve heard him express these same profound and tender sentiments, as we read in Phillips Modern English Bible verses nine and ten of First Peter, chapter two. It reads: “It is for you now to demonstrate the goodness of him who has called you out of darkness into his amazing light. In the past you were not a ‘people’ at all; now you are the people of God.

“In the past you had no experience of his mercy, but now it is intimately yours.”

This refers especially to Black people here in the United States of America.

In New York City there is a gruesome photographic display of lynchings of Black men and women, by white Americans, at the New York Historical Society.

These same photos appear in a book titled Without Sanctuary. The subtitle: Lynching Photography in America. Mr. James Allen is primarily responsible for the collection of these photographs of these lynchings, which took place toward the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s.

To illustrate how like “nothing” we were, I quote the following excerpt from this book.

“The way one Black Mississippian recalled white violence in the 1930s applied as accurately and even more pervasively to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. “Back in those days, to kill a Negro wasn’t nothing. It was like killing a chicken or killing a snake. The whites would say, ‘Niggers jest supposed to die, ain’t no damn good anyway–so jest go on an’ kill ‘em.’ ” Whatever their value as laborers, black people were clearly expendable and replaceable. ‘In those days it was ‘kill a mule, buy another. Kill a nigger, hire another,’ ” a black southerner remembered. “They had to have a license to kill anything but a nigger. We was always in season.”

“The cheapness of black life reflected in turn the degree to which so many whites by the early twentieth century had come to think of black men and women as inherently and permanently inferior, as less than human, as little more than animals.”

This excerpt points to a reality that yet exists in present day America. A major part of that problem can be seen in the unwillingness of Rabbis, Christian Ministers and Muslim Imams to present what can be summed up as the problem of “race” in the light of the reality that we’re living at the end of this world.

It’s one thing to speak about the problem of “race,” as it is usually done by these religious leaders, who preached the coming of the Messiah; that he has not yet arrived; that he is yet to come. It is a whole different matter to bring up the problem of “race,” while acknowledging the presence of the Messiah; that he has just recently arrived.

As long as you say the Messiah is coming, at some indefinite time in the future, you can somewhat successfully dodge what the Messiah will do about the problem of “race.” But once you say the Messiah or the Mahdi has arrived, you’re brought face to face with the judgment of God on the most crucial matter of America and the world.

Do the Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians and scholars see the condition and position of Black people in America as her greatest problem and, indeed, the problem of the world? Just how do the leading theologians and scholars of these faiths see Black people, as they travel about America and interact with Black people?

Do they see us as occupying an important place in the Torah, in the Gospels and in the Holy Qur’an? How they perceive Black people in this country, in relation to their scripture, is a major factor determining how they look at Min. Farrakhan.

Look at Isaiah 9:2 wherein it reads “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

When these scholars look at Black people in America, do these words I just quoted come to their minds? If not, why not?

What say the scholars about Isaiah 43:6-8, wherein we read: “I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.”

Again, what say the Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians about the identity of the people described in Isaiah 29:18 which tells us that: “in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”

In what day shall this be fulfilled? Could this prophecy be fulfilled before the Messiah arrives?

More next issue, Allah willing.


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