Straight Outta Fear


Soundtrack: Public Enemy “Fear of a Black Planet”

Much has been made of the fact that Universal Pictures agreed to sponsor extra police presence at movie theaters that show the Straight Outta Compton movie which was released on August 14, 2015. There have been many complaints that the studio and/or the theaters are being racist by implying that Black audiences are more prone to violence, even in the face of recent movie shootings involving white shooters.

I have not heard anyone speak on what I believe is the proper context in which to view these moves by the Hollywood brass.

The 1% is afraid of Black people. Deathly afraid. The national security apparatus of this country has been preparing their defenses against the perceived military threat that is young Black America for over 25 years now. They believe that the next big military problem the United States faces is not Al Qaeda or ISIS/ISIL, it is the relationship between Hip-Hop and street gangs and the potential for street gangs to evolve into paramilitary organizations capable of threatening national security. More specifically, they fear Hip Hop and rappers serving as a bridge between millions of angry inner city youth and a Black Nationalist/Anti-Establishment ideology which can unite that anger against the Establishment and their property.

This Straight Outta Compton movie lands into the public arena almost exactly one year after the murder of Mike Brown galvanized that inner city anger all over the country. August and September last year saw protests and rebellions happen simultaneously in dozens of cities around the country. The Establishment is lucky that so far only buildings and cars have burned. But they know that at any given moment, these peaceful and some not-so-peaceful protests can turn into Nat Turner.

This same narrative has been playing itself out on repeat since before the United States became a country. One of the most important but rarely mentioned aspects of United States style slavery was the constant fear that white people lived in regarding possible slave rebellions. They were keenly aware of the fact that they were usually outnumbered by the Africans and a great deal of their energy was spent on looking for and uncovering possible uprisings from the Africans. We hear the names of Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey mentioned during Black History month but we almost never hear about the hundreds of rebellions that never got off the ground or the thousands of Africans who ran away from captivity, refusing to live one more day as a slave.

That culture of white fear still permeates these United States. This is the explanation behind what we view as ridiculous exaggerations of use of force when their cops deal with us. Yesterday we all saw the viral video of 130 pound Wiz Khalifa being arrested and assaulted by five cops for riding a hoverboard in an airport. This whole past year of Black Lives Matter protests all over the country has seen cops showing up in full riot gear in military tanks to deal with peaceful and unarmed protesters. There are countless examples of white cops rolling up on a group of four Black teenagers just standing around and the cops treating them as if they are a criminal syndicate or a whole drug cartel. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. John Crawford. Tamir Rice. Mansur Ball-Bey. Walter Scott. All murdered in the past year because of the completely irrational fear of Blackness.

White folks see us with multiplying goggles on. In their minds, we are bigger, faster, stronger, and more numerous than we really are. It’s like they live their lives inside of a virtual reality video game in which we are the bad guys and we’re all 400 pounds of bloodthirsty villain.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, White America always acts out of their recognition that their world is fragile. You can never be comfortable when in possession of stolen property. You can’t fully relax and kick back with your feet up if you’re in someone else’s house. When Tea Party-types complain about wanting their “country back” it reveals a deep-seated fear because they know that the country really isn’t theirs and the Hands of Justice can take it away at any time.

The Establishment has seen the power of the energy behind the music and the message of N.W.A. When Los Angeles went up in flames in 1992, N.W.A. was the soundtrack. To repeat my earlier phrase, they are deathly afraid that this Straight Outta Compton movie could be the spark that ignites the powder keg of anti-Police and anti-Establishment fervor that his been growing all over this country in the past year.

We took offense, thinking that the filmmakers and movie theaters assumed that we were going to be violent with each other during or after seeing the movie. That’s not why they hired the extra security. They brought in extra cops for the same reason that Ferguson and Baltimore and New York City and others brought out “extra” cops for the protesters. They are afraid of us being violent with them.

The extra cops are really a sign of respect. They see in us what we don’t see in ourselves; the ability to overthrow their position and abolish their system. We ask them for better treatment because we think that we are weak and incapable of forcing them to do anything; they bring out the whole cavalry because they know better.

This country was built with our labor, with our blood, and with our brains. We paved the first roads and laid down the first railroad tracks and died first in their wars and invented the traffic signal and the light bulb and the safe for them to keep their stolen money in and designed the layout of their District of Columbia. When we figure out that we can literally take back what is ours then maybe some of the Establishment’s deepest fears will actually come to life.


Time To Build The Ark – With Knowledge, Love and Will Power…And Through Suffering


Soundtrack: Willie Hutch “The Glow”

A Writing from Cedric Muhammad from February, 11, 2008. This message is more timely than ever.


” There is a critically important difference between information and knowledge. And it has a bearing on the ability of all of us to move effectively, and improve our condition on the basis of what we learn. Generally speaking we learn through four means, conversation, observation, reading, and experience. The last of these always involves suffering, and that is one of the reasons I always stress to my Christian Brothers and Sisters, who are undergoing life’s challenges, trials and tribulations, the principle of elevation described in Hebrews 5:8, ”



Some of my friends listen and some don’t (smile).


But I always note how many of us say they believe the scriptures, but when they undergo certain difficult circumstances, they throw the book that they believe away, or at least place it back on the shelf, to collect some more dust.


Similarly, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad reminded Muslims of the oath they have taken, ‘My prayers, life, sacrifice and death are all for Allah.’ To those of us Muslims who say they believe and then, in the excruciating hour of pain begin to put their faith (and the Word that it is based upon) behind their backs, if I am able, I direct our attention to Surah 9: 111 which says (emphasis mine):, “Surely Allah has bought from the believers their person and their property – theirs (in return) is the garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore in your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement.”


All of us, whether religious or not have made a bargain, or some form of agreement or covenant with life or death.


Read Isaiah 28 from as many different translations as possible.


Get as many commentaries on verse 18 as possible.


Then learn what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught about the meaning of that verse.


Start with his book, Message To The Black Man.




Whether one refers to it as the The Garden, Kingdom Of God, Heaven, Total Liberation, Full Freedom, Self Improvement, Community Development, the Promised Land, The End Of The State, The Hereafter, Nirvana, The Common Good, or The Pursuit Of Happiness, all of us, who come to this website, in one way or another, are part of a process – from one stage of growth or state to another – that will bring us closer to an ideal or concept, or thoroughly disappoint our expectations. Take a moment to think over why so many people are said to have become ‘disillusioned,’ in or by life itself. Study people who believe they have been betrayed by leaders, movements, organizations or institutions, and try to learn the root of their anger or bitterness, and how it relates to the ambitions, ideals and concepts they had, before they ‘joined’ a movement, organization, or institution or before they came in contact with a certain leader. The way we handle disappointment and dissatisfaction truly manifests who we are, or are not.


Now, what is an ideal? How does it differ from an idea? Is it true that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come? Is an ideal only an idea in the best possible or most appropriate time and circumstance?


Imagine what it is like to live your life in pursuit of a state of existence that does not currently exist in the reality that most experience. Reflect over those who carry an idea that exists more in their heads and hearts than it does in the world that they currently find themselves. We can see this phenomenon at work among both men and women.


Aren’t the ‘greatest’ stories those that involve some human being overcoming obstacles and difficulty to bring forth an idea, vision, creation, product, service, or institution that no one else thought possible?


Why are human beings seemingly drawn to such stories?


Does this not point to something in human nature, and suggest something of our emotional, mental and spiritual (not religious) power, and our connection to something coded into the nature of the universe itself pertaining to destiny, and our ability to co-create – in harmony with its laws – new ‘realities’?


Big subject.


In some respect, almost all of us, consciously or subconsciously, are looking forward to, and striving for that which ‘no eye has seen, nor ear has heard…’


The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote of this, and stated for decades that the Muslims were headed into a condition of life, and a physical world (which existed in space and time), that only existed, at that time, in the Mind of the Supreme Being, and was written of only in a Book that the Supreme Being had not revealed to the public, or anyone else for that matter. He described that this Book was promised to one man in particular, and then through that man, the rest of the world could experience the Unlimited Progress that this Book represents and would make possible.


To a lesser degree, ‘The Messenger’ described how each of us could experience the ‘Hereafter’ on this side of things, but that such an experience would be fleeting until those most responsible for breaking peace were removed. He also spoke about how we would have to develop our ‘inner self,’ in order to be qualified to make it through a great final war that would precede and usher in the new world. His National Representative, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, has taken us deeper into what His Teacher referred to, than anyone I know of, through his Study Guides: “Self Improvement, The Basis of Community Development.”


If you have never seen or read these Study Guides, please don’t waste time in getting acquainted with them at:


Recently, I had the privilege of spending some time with Minister Farrakhan. At a certain point, he said to me, “Brother Cedric, I do not know what you have suffered, but I do know you have suffered.” Later, in conversation, I told the Minister that when I look at what he has suffered (and continues to), as well as that of a couple other individuals whom I personally know, that Labor with him, I am very aware that whatever I have gone through, it simply does not compare. I then said to him, “and I know that all of it (the suffering) has been preparatory.”


The Minister gave me that beautiful smile of his, and nodded saying, ‘that’s right.’


To me, what the Minister and I were acknowledging that day is perhaps the secret that so many acknowledge in a variety of ways, but seem so unwilling to accept as part of life’s pattern. Napoleon Hill discovered and summed it up essentially as, every adversity contains within it a seed of an equal or greater success. Some Christians I know sum it up as one cannot obtain the crown without first accepting the cross. The best athletes and performers, in training, know it as ‘no pain, no gain.’ Farmers understand it in certain principles of cultivation, and who really knows it any better than the Woman, who through pleasure conceives a child, then through pain and travail delivers that child, and through pleasure, again, enjoys the beauty of nurturing a new life.


Perhaps, the Holy Qur’an states it best in Surah 90 verses 4 and 11 which read, “We have created man to face difficulties…But he attempts not the uphill road.


The principle of being able to face difficulty and endure pain and discomfort in the service and pursuit of a greater good is ever-present to those with spiritual eyes to see.


The more we realize it, the more successful we will be individually and as a people.


There is untapped power in grasping the power of what we have suffered as a people.


Could it be that the saying that many of us apply at times only to art and entertainment – that ‘suffering is the mother of creativity’ – is universal, and suggests something about the power ready to be unleashed by Black people – who have suffered and endured the most, in all of recorded history?


At some point, before the year is out I hope to finally begin reading a book entitled, “Suffering For Science: Reason and Sacrifice In Modern America,” by Rebecca M Herzig.


When and if you have time, read the powerful introduction to “The Adversity Advantage” by Paul G. Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer.


Our suffering has created an atmosphere and fertile ground for the greatest ideal and idea to take root and be born.


As well as that critical mass or foremost group of human beings who best embody it.


We are almost at the time of delivery.


As with all births there will be blood, but eventually only joy over a new quality of life will remain.





At for over 7 years we have chronicled the life (and death) experience of Black people, all over the earth. We have not done this without a purpose. Although the individual visiting the website has benefited from this free display of information, in a variety of ways, that we are pleased to learn of, this website was never established for a casual, or strictly individual or professional benefit. We hope we have served each and every viewer in a way that is suitable and meaningful to their individual experience but our greatest desire and intention in doing what we have, is to serve a community of individuals, not only through information, but through learning and the application of what they understand, in service of the very people they are reading about.


In this area an important distinction has to be made between data, information, knowledge, understanding and wisdom.


First consider this from a book that was the final report of a group of senior Canadian government officials, private-sector executives, and researchers between 1990 and 1997. The primary focus of this group – the Roundtable on Governing in an Information Society – was to explore and develop more effective ways of governing in this rapidly changing world. In Renewing Governance: Governing by Learning in the Information Age by Steven A. Rosell we read:


We are exploring a territory for which there is no reliable map. The inadequacy of our conceptual apparatus to make sense of proliferating and unfamiliar information is usually described and experienced as ‘information overload’. But it may be more accurate (and useful) to see the real problem as the insufficient capacity of our existing frameworks and methods of interpretation – our existing mental maps – to translate that data and information into meaningful knowledge. This formulation is based in part on a distinction suggested by Harlan Cleveland:


– data are unrefined ore, undifferentiated facts without contexts;


– information is refined ore, organized data, but data that we have not yet internalized (the newspapers we have not yet read, the course we have not yet taken);


– knowledge is information that we have internalized (integrated with our own internal frameworks.)


These distinctions became important parts of the vocabulary of the project, helping us to see that the process of translating data and information into knowledge (the process by which data and information are interpreted, given meaning, and so made useful as a basis for action) is central to effective governance.


Although not perfectly how I would describe knowledge, the above is helpful in making a point about a difference between information and knowledge, particularly in this age of talk radio, Internet news, the 24-hour cable news and opinion cycle. Information is more of an external or superficial phenomenon, while knowledge involves the internalization of information with an awareness of its factual nature. Understanding revolves around the meaning of knowledge, and wisdom is the application of what you understand.


Again, this generally constitutes learning which revolves around conversation, observation, reading, and experience (which always involves suffering). To place greater emphasis on spiritual and unseen processes of learning, one could add revelation and intuition, but that could be a qualification of the previous four methods as much as it would be a fifth category of learning.


One of the factors that all of us – particularly those who have been oppressed though improper or miseducation – must be careful of, is the degree to which we increasingly rely upon exposure to information sources as our primary means of learning. There are too many of us that are not making the distinction between data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.


In a critically and increasingly dangerous time for human beings of all colors – in the streets or in the suites – to be misinformed can be fatal.




When people ask me about the essence of the Internet and why people utilize it, I always boil it down to two factors – convenience and anonymity. Essentially that is what makes the Internet so attractive. It is a wonderful vehicle, for so many different things, and it has been a blessing to so many of us.


Having said that, I believe that improper use and disproportionate reliance on the Internet has aggravated an aspect of the so-called crisis of the Black Intellectual, and compounded some of the problems inherent in our miseducation. Especially over the past few years, I have noticed how the use of e-mail blasts, the circulation of stories and articles, and the ability to make rapid financial transactions has enabled some wonderful activity, as well as some harmful or anemic advocacy, passing as revolutionary, productive and progressive activism. I have referred to some of this in terms of the phenomenon of ‘talking and typing.’ And I have tested it by inviting and challenging the most vocal and articulate to take ‘small’ action steps in support of their arguments, points of agreement, and passionate expressions.


It has been a fascinating experience to see the loudest do the least, and those with the least volume in their words, demonstrate a volume of work.


Could it be that the most brilliant sounding and intelligent among us lack a form of intelligence, capacity, or ability to truly activate on the basis of information? Is it perhaps most alarmingly true in the Black Community that our intellectual community (and those of us while exercising the greatest intellectual ability) has – to borrow the understanding of Nathan Hare – become more of a disconnected elite, than a vanguard connected to the masses (and the rest of our ‘normal’ or ‘down to earth’ personality)? Or could it be that the work of the intellectual is inherently a different kind of work than that of the grassroot activist, community organizer, or institution builder?


I don’t believe that ‘yes’ is the answer to the last question but I do think there is something to the so-called right and left brain thesis. Many of you know I certainly make distinctions between critical thinking and creative thinking, and am always impressed by the very few that I have seen who have been able to do both – creatively and critically construct ideals and ideas into models and then, creatively and critically give birth to and then establish them in reality .


One interesting and rare example of an intellectual able to execute and apply his insights successfully in the competitive world of business is Gary Loveman who left Harvard Business School to head Harrah’s in Las Vegas. Read these articles about his path at your leisure:


I’ve discussed this factor with Reuven Brenner for years, as it relates to economists who only know from theory as opposed to those who have that ability, as well as deep experience in business and as entrepreneurs.


There is something important and ‘real’ that I see missing in so many who have the strongest and dare I say ‘most informed’ opinions on Black politics, culture, and economics.


It is not that they are purely intellectual in a professional sense. Many of these folks are laypersons, everyday people. But when they think into our problems there is a disconnect between their knowledge and its practical relevancy to their circumstances on the ground.


Part of it is the lack of a forum to work together with other thinkers, to refine that thinking while faced with a real challenge to solve the problems that face our people, while being held accountable to produce a working result. If you can’t give folks an opportunity to do more than talk and type about these important areas, they will do just that. .


…From a speech made by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “The Will of God” Part I we read:


Will is Power but Power must be guided. Guided by what? The Power of Will must be guided by Knowledge. But there is an emotional force that gives direction to Will. And the emotional force – which is the creative force upon which the entire Universe is constructed – is Love. And it is out of this awesome power of Love that the Will springs up; it springs up out of this emotion and it is directed and guided by that emotion. When you couple Will and Knowledge and Love, then you have a balanced individual, whose Will is being used in a creative, constructive way; not in the way of destruction.


…Read Isaiah Chapter 59.


Truth, although always powerful, has fallen in the street.


It must be lifted up, not only in word, but in deed.




I recently came across a very important article in The Muhammad Speaks newspaper which I intend to get to every member of our “Business and Building” Community. In the February 21, 1969 edition, an article was published entitled, ” Reeducation of Intellectual New Cry In World Movement.”


As it relates to what was happening in Cuba at the time, the article states, ” ‘Education from books is necessary for all of the masses,'” any Cuban will tell you. But, they will add that ‘such education is not enough. The practical realities of life are also of prime educational importance.’ ”


On what was taking place in China, at the time, the article states, “Mao Tse Tung of China has recently called on the educated peoples of China to get in touch with the working people of that land. Presently, a great exodus to the countryside is going on in China with millions of young Chinese returning to the land for an education in rural life. Mao’s purpose is as much to remind the educated Chinese young of the reasons for the revolution as it is to acquaint them with the hardships of rural life.”


There is so much in these words for us to study and with which to perform introspection. As it relates to rural life, something powerful has been dawning on me of late as it concerns Black people’s general disrespect or ignorance (greater among those residing in the North or Urban areas) of farming and true land ownership (not just real estate investing in houses and properties). My thoughts have been deepened on this point since participating in a review of the Nation of Islam’s farmland, led by Minister Farrakhan, in Georgia last month, and my recent interaction with several brilliant Black Farmers, Businesspersons and Politicians, based in the South.


In the February 28, 1969 edition of Muhammad Speaks the Honorable Elijah Muhammad places an important article called, “Build Black Economy.’ In it he points out how Black intellectuals, professionals, and businesspersons fulfill some aspects of negative prophecies described in the 56th Chapter of Isaiah and the 23rd Chapter of Matthew.


One of the things the Honorable Elijah Muhammad brilliantly pointed out about the Black educated class of our people, which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has repeated, spoken into, and worked out of, for decades, is the reality that it will only be working among our own, outside of the current system of things, that any Black intellectual or professional will truly be able to practice their skill on behalf of their people. We all know the frustration, dissatisfaction, and disappointment in the hearts and minds of Black social scientists, academician, professionals, and government employees who studied what they did to be qualified for what they do, only to be unfulfilled once they realize that their best efforts benefit those outside of their community more than those within it, or, are generally ineffective in solving the problems that their training was advertised as enabling them to address and overcome.


What is at the root of this?


On one level it is the impossible scenario of someone being content and satisfied performing any endeavor without knowing who they are. Having the knowledge and expertise of a trade, skill or craft while being ignorant of one’s true self, and your contextual and historic relationship to your people, while sensing you are being improperly utilized, is a recipe for deep depression, and in the case of some, suicide.


We all can find in recorded history the accounts of our best and brightest who had emotional breakdowns and bouts with serious depression due to their inability to reconcile where they are in life, with the ideal they hold for the upliftment of their people.


We all can find this same dynamic at work much closer to home, and the workplace.


This pain grows out the yearning, longing, and deep hope in the heart of most all of us for change for the better for the masses of our people, while realizing that we are not in the best position to effect it. In the case of some, it is the realization that our talent, skill, labor, wealth and brainpower is being used against this legitimate aspiration. Related to this is that September 17, 1960 article by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, “What Must Be Done With The Negro?” In it, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that Blacks were a people who give their brainpower, skills, talent, labor and wealth to another civilization and until we stopped doing this – as well as increasing land ownership – we would not move beyond freed slave and dependent status toward independence and self sufficiency. On the point of self-sufficiency, in his 1969 writing, “Build Black Economy,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated of the members of the Black business professional class, “If you make the Laborer wealthy, he is still in your orbit and you share in it. He will love and honor you if you enable him to become self-sufficient.”


The question can be posed today as it was decades ago – how much of these five factors: wealth, brainpower, skills, talent and labor of Black people, is being deployed on behalf of Black communities and how much for communities and individuals other than themselves? How much of what the Black political, and economic intellectual, or the Black professional and businessperson knows, is actually being applied to “make the Black Laborer wealthy”?


This goes way beyond what is popularly referred to as ‘prosperity preaching.’






One of the questions that anyone providing information, knowledge and education to people should be concerned with is – what is the most appropriate of all information, knowledge, and education that can be shared?


Just consider all that could be learned.


The Holy Qur’an states in Surah 31 verse 27, ” And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea with seven more seas added to it (were ink), the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.”


The Bible illuminates this same principle in John 21:25 with the following: ” Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would have been written.”


Every day we are bombarded with information – how do we know what is most appropriate and timely for us to know?


At we have tried to help make that determination for you for over 1,500 days since the year 2000.


And now, it is my intense desire to work with a critical mass of you – who have not only fed from the table we have set, but who have much to offer to expand the menu of learning – to deepen our mutual understanding of that which we have been informed about and know, and ultimately, to apply it to contribute to the solution of specific and carefully selected problems.




…I came across some insight in reading Minister Farrakhan’s Study Guide # 5 Building The Will Part I. A particular focus of the material deals with Section 3 and 4 of Surah 11 of the Holy Qur’an, which centers around Noah’s interaction with his people. I encourage you to read these sections carefully.


They are loaded.


In summary, Noah’s people debated and disputed with him over the message he was delivering to them. Eventually, his people asked him to bring on the ‘painful day’ of which he was warning them. Soon after their challenge, it was revealed to Noah that he had reached the numerical limit of those who would ever accept and believe his message, and that it was time for him to ‘make the ark.’


Immediately when I read this, I thought over the nature of some of the recent coverage we have been featuring at, and the kinds of articles people have been forwarding to us regarding the decay and decline of this world’s systems.


I often wonder about the thinking of many of us who point out the obvious signs of the fall of America – politically, culturally, and economically – but who seem unwilling to prepare for its eventual reality by doing for self.


Just think about it, as the evidence mounts that the house is falling apart, shouldn’t those most closely observing the decay be foremost in preparing for its effects or consequences?


An example of this are the numerous and increasing conversations I have with some very intelligent folks regarding the fall of the dollar which do not include any mention of what Blacks as a people need to be doing to prepare for the decline and eventual hyper-inflation of the world’s most powerful currency.


As I write this I glance at today’s Wall St. Journal lead story entitled, “Recession Fears Weigh Heavily On The Markets.”


If I sent this article around to many, I am sure I would get an interesting debate and dialogue going on the nuances of this story, but very little in the way of lying those insights with a recognition of the time and what must be done.


This is what I mean by excessive intellectualism.


Perhaps I should send this November 26, 2007 Wall St. Journal article as an e-mail blast along with the February 28, 1969 Muhammad Speaks article, “Build Black Economy” by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Final Call‘s report on the May 13, 2007th speech by Minister Farrakhan entitled, “One Nation Under God: Part 5 – The Fall of The Dollar” (


How long must we debate, read, and observe the signs before we are compelled to engage in that dialogue and cooperation that results in united action?


…along with those who understand the time and what needs to be done, we would like to contribute to building the ark that can survive the difficult days that are surely on the horizon.


The Philosophy of Huey Newton


Soundtrack: Dead Prez “Malcolm Garvey Huey”

(I’m going through some of my old notes and have decided to share a few things here on my blog.)
This is from July 11, 2011

I am a philosopher by training. I was taught in the land of academia how to research and to ask questions. I’m not often able to deal with people from a philosophical standpoint because most people don’t unerstand what philosophy is and aren’t able to engage ideas without resorting to their beliefs in things that can’t be proven. Being educated in America’s universities I was taught to respect Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel. One thing that they all have in common is that they are white.

Recently, my wife gave me one of the best gifts I have ever received. It was a copy of the book “Revolutionary Suicide” by Huey Newton. It didn’t take long for me to realize that everything I had ever read ABOUT Huey didn’t do justice at all to Huey in his own words. He was/is an extremely brilliant man. And he was a philosopher. Incidentally, another philosopher whose words I have dug into and loved recently is Kwame Ture.

I am inspired to share a couple of excerpts from “Revolutionary Suicide” that really spoke to me and my current circumstance in life:

“…It was my life plus independent reading that made me a socialist–nothing else.

I became convinced of the benefits of collectivism and a collectivist ideology. I also saw the link between racism and the economics of capitalism, although, despite the link, I recognized that it was necessary to separate the concepts in analyzing the general situation. In psychological terms, racism could continue to exist even after the economic problems that had created racism had been resolved. Never convinced that destroying capitalism would automatically destroy racism, I felt, however, that we could not destroy racism without wiping out its economic foundation. It was necessary to think much more creatively and independently about these complex interconnections.”

“These thinkers had used the scientific method by applying their ideas to particular formulas. They excluded those things that did not fit into the formulas. I explained this to the brothers (on the block), and we talked about such questions as the existence of God, self-determination, and free will. I would ask them, “Do you have free will?”


“Do you believe in God?”


“Is your God all-powerful?”


“Is he omniscient?”


“Therefore, I told them, their all-powerful God knew everything before it happened. If so, I would ask, “How can you say that you have free will when he knows what you are going to do before you do it? You are predestined to do what you do. If not, then your God has lied or He has made a mistake, and you have already said that your God cannot lie or make a mistake.’ These dilemmas led to arguments that lasted all day, over a fifth of wine; they cleared my thinking, even though I sometimes went to school drunk.”

“Once (I got) into petty crime, I stopped fighting. I had transferred the conflict, the aggression, and hostility from the brothers in the community to the Establishment…I burglarized cars parked by the emergency entrances of hospitals. People would come to the hospital in a rush and leave their cars unlocked, with valuables in the open. I never scored on Blacks under any condition, but scoring on whites was a strike against injustice.

Whenever I had liberated enough cash to give me a stretch of free time, I stayed home reading…Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” made me feel even more justified in my pattern of liberating property from the oppressor as an antidote to social suicide.

I felt that white people were criminals because they plundered the world. It was more, however, than a simple antiwhite feeling, because I never wanted to hurt poor whites, even though I had met some in school who called me “nigger” and other names…With those who had money it was a different story. I still equated having money with whiteness, and to take what was mine and what the white criminals called theirs gave me a feeling of real freedom.”

“When I was very young, I accepted the institution of marriage. As I grew older and saw my father struggling to take care of a wife and seven children, having to work at three jobs at once, I began to see that the bourgeois family can be an imprisoning, enslaving, and suffocating experience. Even though my mother and father loved each other deeply and were happy together, I felt that I could not survive this kind of binding commitment with all its worries and material insecurity. Among the poor, social conditions and economic hardship frequently change marriage into a troubled and fragile relationship. A strong love between husband and wife can survive outside pressures, but that is rare. Marriage usually becomes one more imprisoning experience within the general prison of society.

My doubts about marriage were reinforced when I met Richard Thorne. His theory of nonpossessiveness in the love relationship was appealing to me. The idea that one person possesses the other, as in bourgeois marriage, where ‘she’s my woman and he’s my man.’ was unacceptable. It was too restrictive, too binding, and ultimately destructive to the union itself. Often it absorbed all of a man’s energies and did not leave him free to develop potential talents, to be creative, or make a contribution in other areas of life. This argument–that a family is a burden to man–is developed in Bertrand Russell’s critique of marriage and the family. His observations impressed me and strengthened my convictions about the drawback of conventional marriage…

I was involved with several beautiful young women, who loved me very much. I loved them just as much…but only after I had explained that our relationship probably would not work because I was unprepared to follow the old road. If they wanted to be with me, I told them, they would have to do certain things. I never forced or persuaded them. As a matter of fact, I said that in their place, I would not do it at all. I also explained my principle of nonpossessiveness. I believed that if I was free, so were they, free to be involved with other men. I told them they could have any kind of relationship they wanted with someone else, but that we had a special relationship that could not be duplicated with any other person, no matter how many people we might we involved with at the same time…”

“The Black Panthers have always emphasized action over rhetoric. But language, the power of the word, in the philosophical sense, is not underestimated in our ideology. We recognize the significance of words in the struggle for liberation, not only in the media and in conversations with people on the block, but in the important area of raising consciousness. Words are another way of defining phenomena, and the definition of any phenomenon is the first step to controlling it or being controlled by it.

When I read Nietzsche’s “The Will to Power”, I learned much from a number of his philosophical insights. This is not to say that I endorse all of Nietzsche, only that many of his ideas have influenced my thinking. Because Nietzsche was writing about concepts fundamental to all men, and particularly about the meaning of power, some of his ideas are pertinent to the way Black people live in the United States; they have had a great impact on the development of the Black Panther philosophy.

Nietzsche believed that beyond good and evil is the will to power. In other words, good and evil are labels for phenomena, or value judgments. Behind these value judgments is the will to power, which causes man to view phenomena as good or evil. It is really the will to power that controls our understanding of something and not an inherent quality of good or evil.

Man attempts to define phenomena in such a way that they reflect the interests of his own class or group. He gives titles or values to phenomena according to what he sees as beneficial; if it is to his advantage, something is called good, and if it is not beneficial, then it is defined as evil. Nietzsche shows how this reasoning was used by the German ruling circle, which always defined phenomena in terms complimentary to the noble class. For example, they used the German word “gut”, which means “godlike” or “good,” to refer to themselves; nobles were “gut.” On the other hand, the word “villein,” used to describe the poor people and serfs who lived outside the great gates of the nobleman’s home, suggested the opposite. The poor were said to live in the “village,” a word that comes from the same root word (Latin: villa) as the term “villain.” So the ruling class, by the power they possessed, defined themselves as “godlike” and called the people “villains” or enemies of the ruling circle. Needless to say, when the poor and common people internalized these ideas, they felt inferior, guilty, and ashamed, while the nobles took their superiority for granted. Thought had been shaped by language.

We have seen the same thing in the United States, where, over a period of time, the adjective “black” became a potent word in the American language, pejorative in every sense. We were made to feel ashamed and guilty because of our biological characteristics, while our oppressors, through their whiteness, felt noble and uplifted. In the past few years, however–and it has been only a few years (this was written in 1973)–the rising level of consciousness within our Black communities has led us to redefine ourselves. People once ashamed to be called Black now gladly accept the label, and our biological characteristics are sources of pride. Today we call ourselves Black people and wear natural hair styles because we have changed the definition of the word “black.”…

In the early days of the Black Panthers we tried to find ways to make this theory work in the best interests of Black people…One of our prime needs was a new definition for “policeman.” A good descriptive word, one the community would accept and use, would not only advance Black consciousness, but in effect control the police by making them see themselves in a new light…

Even thought we came to the term accidentally, the choice itself was calculated. “Pig” was perfect for several reasons. First of all, words like “swine,” “hog,” “sow,” and “pig” have always had unpleasant connotations. The reason for this probably has theological roots, since the pig is considered an unclean animal in Semitic religions…The pig in reality is an ugly and offensive animal. It likes to root around in the mud; it makes hideous noises; it does not seem to relate to humans as other animals do…To call a policeman a pig conveys the idea of someone who is brutal, gross, and uncaring…”

“Another expression that helped to raise Black people’s consciousness is “All Power to the People.”…(it) sums up our goals for Black people, as well as our deep love and commitment to them. All power comes from the people, and all power must ultimately be vested in them. Anything else is theft.

Our complete faith in the people is based on our assumptions about what they require and deserve. The first of these is honesty. When it became apparent in the early days that the Black Panthers were a growing force, some people urged us to take either accomodating positions for small gains or a “Black line” based solely on race rather than economic or social strategy. These people were talking a Black game they did not really believe in. But they saw that the people believed and that the Black line could be used to mobilize them. We resisted. To us, it was both wrong and futile to deceive the people; eventually we would have to answer to them.

In the metaphysical sense we based the expression “All Power to the People” on the idea of man as God. I have no nother God but man, and I firmly believe that man is the highest or chief good. If you are obligated to be true and honest to anyone, it is to your God, and if each man is God, then you must be true to him. If you believe that man is the ultimate being, then you will act according to your belief. Your attitude and behavior toward man is a kind of religion in itself, with high standards of responsibility.

…(Black people’s) acceptance of the Judaeo-Christian God and religion has always meant submission and an emphasis on the rewards of the life hereafter as relief for the sufferings of the present…Justice would come later, in the Promised Land. The phrase “All Power to the People” was meant to turn this around, to convince Black people that their rewards were due in the present, that it was in their power to create a Promised Land here and now. The Black Panthers have never intended to turn Black people away from religion. We want to encourage them to change their consciousness of themselves and to be less accepting of the white man’s version of God–the God of the downtrodden, the weak, and the underserving. We want them to see themselves as the called, the chosen, and the salt of the earth.

Even before we coined the phrase, I had long thought about the idea of God. I could not accept the Biblical version; the Bible is too full of contradictions and irrationality. Either you accept it, and believe, or you do not. I could not believe. I have arrived at my understanding of what is meant by God through other means–through philosophy, logic, and semantics. My opinion is that the term “God” belongs to the realm of concepts, that it is dependent upon man for its existence. If God does not exist unless man exists, then man must be here to produce God. It logically follows, then, that man created God, and if the creator is greater than that which is created, then we must hold that man is the highest good.”

WE NEED A PLAN!: The Origin of Black America’s Leadership Vacuum



Soundtrack: Tef Poe “Change The World”

                    Tupac “Hold Ya Head”

     Michael Brown was murdered by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. I was able to conclude my #TantraTour2014 and return home to St. Louis on August 16th. When I arrived I landed in the middle of a warzone. By now, we have all seen the images on social media and on the news. I saw them up close and personal. I also saw a community struggling to find answers about what to do in response to the injustice of Mike losing his life as well as the nightly violations of the human and civil rights of those gathered in Ferguson to protest against the injustice. Many of the people who came out of their homes and got involved were very new to the task of community organizing. They had very little knowledge of the historical forces shaping the situation that erupted when Mike was killed. They only knew the anger and hurt of their personal stories.

     Over the course of the 18, 292 meetings I attended in 11 days of working on the frontline of this fight, I heard the phrase “We need a plan!” (with the exclamation mark) countless times. As I watched Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Iyanla Vanzant and other Negro “leaders” come into town and get booed out, it became clear that the masses of the people might not know what they want to do, but they know what they don’t want. They don’t want to be told not to be angry, not to fight back against the police, not to uprise. They want to know how to keep Mike Brown from happening again in the future. How did we get to this point of not having anyone who the masses of the people trust to speak for us? Why is there no one who has the ear of the people and can articulate their frustrations and desires in a way that resonates with them? What happened to Black leadership?

     There is a somewhat controversial opinion that I’ve been holding onto for a while now. My belief is that the oppression heaped upon Black America in the past 50 years constitutes as great of a crime against our humanity as the whole 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow which preceded it. Why do I say that? In the 1500s through the 1800s, it was politically correct for African people to be held as slaves. Everyone was doing it, it was the In Thing. In the late 1800s and early 1900s it was politically correct for African people to be treated as second class citizens. The world wasn’t shocked and appalled about Black people in the United States living in ghettos and having sub-par schools.

     However, the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, and especially the greatness which was Martin Luther King Jr., made the world start to feel differently about our condition. It became no longer politically correct for us to be oppressed. The world came to expect the United States to grant us the full rights and privileges that go along with being citizens of this country. And the Powers That Be put on airs to give the impression that they were doing just that. The Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Bill and such was designed to make it appear that America was becoming an integrated Land of the Free. However, the reality 50 years later is that the vast majority of us are still suffocating under the effects of institutional racism. Mike Brown and Ferguson is the latest and most clear illustration of that reality.

     I say that the oppression of the last 50 years is worse than what came before it because our enemies knew that they had put us in a Hell of a condition (literally), they knew that the eyes of the world were upon them, they knew that we were attempting to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and gain some equal footing in this country, and instead of letting us breathe and do for self, they took the proverbial knife out of our back just a bit and then forcefully shoved it back in. They killed our leaders. The moral of this story is that our collective prayers and cries produced some of the greatest leadership that the world has ever seen. Black America produced some absolutely amazing spokespersons and generals, many of them all in the same generation. But not only did our enemies not give us our promised 40 acres and a mule or its 20th century equivalent, they systematically snuffed out those whom Nature had given us to lead us out of Hell. The following is a quote from an internal memo of the FBI written in 1968:

“For maximum effectiveness of the Counterintelligence Program, and to prevent wasted effort, long-range goals are being set.

1. Prevent the COALITION of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength; a truism that is no less valid for all its
triteness. An effective coalition of black nationalist groups might be the first step toward a real “Mau Mau” [Black revolutionary army] in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.

2. Prevent the RISE OF A “MESSIAH” who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have
been such a “messiah;” he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed “obedience” to “white, liberal doctrines” (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism. Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.

3. Prevent VIOLENCE on the part of black nationalist groups. This is of primary importance, and is, of course, a goal of our investigative activity; it should also be a goal of the Counterintelligence Program to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.

4. Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to three separate segments of the community. The goal of discrediting black nationalists must be handled tactically in three ways. You must discredit those groups and individuals to, first, the responsible Negro community. Second, they must be discredited to the white community, both the responsible community and to “liberals” who have vestiges of sympathy for militant black nationalist [sic] simply because they are Negroes. Third, these groups must be discredited in the eyes of Negro radicals, the followers of the movement.
This last area requires entirely different tactics from the first two. Publicity about violent tendencies and radical statements merely enhances black nationalists to the last group; it adds “respectability” in a different way.

5. A final goal should be to prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth. Specific tactics to prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed.”

     Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Bunchy Carter, Fred Hampton, Lumumba Shakur, and Carl Hampton were killed by the government or by government agents. Geronimo Pratt, Mutulu Shakur, Assata Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Dhoruba bin Wahad, H. Rap Brown (Jamil Al-Amin), and others were imprisoned for decades, some still locked up right now. It would take me too long to explain what makes all of these people great but I strongly suggest that you google any of these names that you’re not already familiar with.

     All of the organizations these people were affiliated with in the 60s and 70s were either destroyed or severely damaged by the end of the 70s. Only one organization from that time was successfully rebuilt to even resemble its former glory and that is the Nation of Islam under Louis Farrakhan. However, today Minister Farrakhan is 81 years old and has been suffering from the effects of prostate cancer and radiation treatments for about a decade now. He is no longer the globetrotting, fiery leader that was able to bring two million men together in Washington, D.C. at the Million Man March.

     All of the inspiration and motivation and organization that these leaders were born to provide to their community was taken away. And what happens to a people whose leadership is taken away? Our community is the proverbial chicken with its head cut off, running around aimlessly until we eventually hit the rock bottom that we are currently seeing in response to the killing of Mike Brown. Our people are tired of feeling powerless and not knowing what to do about it.

     We just covered what happened to the leadership class from the young adults of the 60s and 70s. The young adults of the 80s spent a whole decade reeling from the effects of what had happened to their parents and older siblings. The combination of a lack of guidance along with Reaganomics and the introduction of crack cocaine and its accompanying War On Drugs that enslaved (imprisoned) our people in record numbers basically wiped out that whole generation. The young adults of the 90s attempted to pick up the pieces and use the wisdom of the 60s to revitalize the movement for our liberation.

     The 90s generation started new organizations and worked hard in older organizations. They sought to establish gang peace treaties across the country and help people to get over drug addiction. Many of them wore Malcolm X hats and Africa medallions and carried backpacks with books on black history with them everywhere they went. They were the fanbase that drove the careers of musical acts like Boogie Down Productions, Poor Righteous Teachers, and Brand Nubian. And their primary spokesman was a young son of the Revolution named Tupac Shakur.

     Tupac was born into the same family as all of the Shakurs whom I mentioned earlier. He was fearless, articulate, charming, handsome and talented. He survived being shot and actually shot cops and got away with it. He was our invincible general, our modern day Hannibal. And even though the government has done everything they can to hide it, most of us know in our hearts that Tupac was killed by the government, just like his predecessors. His death, along with that of the Notorious B.I.G., knocked the wind out of our youth in a way that we are still recovering from.

     In the absence of having many leaders in the areas of politics and community activism, we produced artists and entertainers who could fill the role of leaders with their art. Since the assassination of Tupac our youth are still looking to entertainers as our primary spokespersons but the quality of the entertainers has changed dramatically. Those who control mainstream media corporations have made a collective, conscious decision not to fund entertainment and entertainers who have a message of liberation in their art. And as a result we are producing fewer and fewer artists who have that message. However, every absence presents an opportunity for those who are able to see it and capitalize on it.

     The stage is set and the time is ripe for a new crop of entertainers to step into the gap and provide the spark of inspiration that we so desperately need at this time. Technology and the internet has made it easier than ever to bypass the mainstream media corporations and create fame for yourself. The entertainer(s) who can seize the opportunity today to create high quality art that entertains as well as educates stands to make an incredible fortune as well as make an incredible impact on the world. Yesterday, rapper The Game released a tribute song for Mike Brown featuring superstars like Diddy, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, and others. He released it straight to iTunes and advertised it via his social media platforms. That is an example of what the near future holds.

     The young people of St. Louis who have taken the lead in organizing on behalf of Mike Brown have rallied around an independent rapper by the name of Tef Poe who is from St. Louis. Tef has been there since a couple of hours after Mike Brown was shot and has worked tirelessly to keep his name alive and to fight for justice and systemic change. Tef is the prototype of what I am referring to here. If he can maintain his organic connection with the people as well as his independent business model and quality business team, he can be a new millenium Tupac-type artist/leader.

     It is important that our people understand the history behind how we got into our current situation of being short on quality leadership. We need to be less frustrated with ourselves and more encouraged by our possibilities. There are literally new leaders popping up everyday right now who are worthy of the support of the people. Those who have a platform to reach people are beginning to feel the responsibility of using their platform in a productive way. Time is on our side. By staying focused on our common interests and staying aware of our common enemies and supporting our new leaders, we can breathe new life into our liberation movement and turn our situation around overnight.

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