Saturday, November 23, 2019

Remembering Khalid Abdul Muhammad’s Attempt to Burn Down Harlem

By Nicholas Stix

In August 1998, Khalid Abdul Muhammad (Harold Moore Jr., 1948-2001) announced that he was going to lead a black riot in Harlem on September 5, during Labor Day weekend.

Muhammad was then the leader of the black domestic terrorist group, the New Black Panther Party. He hadn’t founded the group. Indeed, he had been the heir apparent to Minister Louis Farrakhan (Louis Eugene Walcott, 1933-), the leader of the black supremacist murder cult, the Nation of Islam, for several years.

In 1993, Farrakhan threw Muhammad out of the NOI, ostensibly because the latter’s beliefs were too radical for the former. (Muhammad was just saying what Farrakhan and all NOI members privately believed. I suppose an analogy could be drawn to Malcolm Little/X/Shabazz’ “the chickens coming home to roost” speech, following the assassination of President Kennedy.)

Following Muhammad’s death, in 2001, of a brain aneurysm, his lieutenant, Malik Zulu Shabazz (Paris Lewis, 1967-), took over. However, Shabazz was simultaneously a member of the Nation of Islam, which led me to conclude that the NBBP was and is a division of the NOI. It may always have been that way.

Shabazz led the NBPP until 2013, when he passed the torch to Hashim Nzinga. In 1996, Shabazz co-founded Black Lawyers for Justice, which he has run since giving up the reins at the NBPP.

As for Muhammad’s relationship to Farrakhan, while some may be reminded of the break between longtime NOI leader Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) and his erstwhile heir apparent, Malcolm Little/X/Shabazz (1926-1965), I am no longer sure the break between Farrakhan and Muhammad was real. Put it this way: If there was a break between the two men, it couldn’t have been due to the publicly given reason of Muhammad’s beliefs being too radical for Farrakhan. I’ve seen no evidence of Muhammad having had beliefs more radical than Farrakhan.

According to Discover the Networks, Shabazz led the racist, black, Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore in 2015:

“In April 2015, the city of Baltimore was ravaged by anti-police protests and race riots in response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American with a lengthy criminal history, who had died on April 12 while in the custody of city police. The New York Times, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, CBS local news, and other news media outlets all identified Shabazz as a leader of the contingent that engaged in violent rioting.
Thus, if I’m right, the NOI has no fewer than two divisions for violent crime, the Fruit of Islam detail for security and assassinations, and the NBPP.

Recently, while going through floppy disks from the 1990s for a book I’m preparing, I found that I had written no fewer than four articles on Khalid Muhammad’s riot in Harlem—at least two before the riot, and two afterwards. One of the post-riot essays appeared in Insight on the News, and one in the student newspaper at CUNY’s Baruch College, where I was then teaching English. (The latter essay contributed to my being whitelisted within the CUNY system.) However, I’d completely forgotten about the two manuscripts I was unable to sell anywhere. The first pre-riot article follows below.

The Fire Next Time?

The Million Youth March that Khalid Abdul Muhammad and his cohorts Malik Zulu Shabazz and Erica Ford intend to hold in residential neighborhoods Harlem or Crown Heights on September 5, without a permit, while threatening violence, must be seen in context. [Postscript, 2019: The planned riot scene was soon changed to Harlem.] The context is of the volatile nature of young men of all races, and the history of demagogues seeking to harness the volatility of young black men to violent aims. Muhammad & Co. are focusing on gang members, whom they plan to use to provoke a race riot, and perhaps, a second Crown Heights pogrom.

Young men are typically as full of strength and bravado and hormones as they are short on common sense. In particular, working-class and poor young men live in neighborhoods that devalue the life of the mind, and which offer few socially acceptable opportunities for the physical heroism and sense of belonging that they seek. This is especially so, since America has had no major, protracted foreign conflicts since pulling out of Vietnam in 1972. This energy, this need for glory and belonging must be sated. This explains much of the draw of street gangs.

I know; as a teenager I ran with street gangs, black and white. And there will always be older men looking to bend young men’s malleable passions to their own, twisted ends. Such a man is Khalid Abdul Muhammad. However, unlike young black men before the 1960s, today’s poor black urban youth have spent their lives being told by people in taxpayer-supported positions of authority that they are the victims of racism, and that they are justified in violently lashing out at the world.

New Gods of the City. In recent weeks, Muhammad has spoken of himself as the leader variously of the New Black Muslims and the New Black Panthers. During the interwar Great Migration of Southern blacks to Northern cities, any number of “New Gods of the City” arose. Some (Daddy Grace and Father Divine) were relatively benign influences, but others (Noble Drew Ali, Marcus Garvey, and Wallace Fard [postscript, 2019: Ford]) founded movements based on hatred and racial genocide, though they caused many more black than white deaths. Noble Drew Ali (originally Timothy Drew; 1866?-1916), founded the Moorish Science Temple, and was murdered by his own followers in a power struggle. The following year, Jamaican immigrant Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), known for the Back-to-Africa movement he founded, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Garvey was later convicted of mail fraud, and deported back to Jamaica. In 1930, Wallace Fard [Ford] founded the Black Muslims, now known as the Nation of Islam, in Detroit, which grew under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975).

Atypical of the lot, the Jamaican-born Garvey founded positive institutions (the UNIA, Black Cross nurse service, Liberty Halls), and was not necessarily guilty of the charges made by American black leaders that resulted in his conviction. Note too that Garvey refused to take one cent of white folks’ money. He took seriously the notion, popularized in America by Booker T. Washington, and seeming to grow out of the Jamaican soil, of self-reliance. Nevertheless, Garvey was a violent, twisted, hate-filled man. He treated his enemies badly, and his friends worse. And wherever the “Black Moses” went, folks wound up dead. Black folks. This was also true of Noble Drew Ali and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Burn, Baby, Burn! Since the 1960s, the situation of a large proportion of urban black youth, and the neighborhoods they live in, has worsened. This has not been due to government neglect, but the direct result of government “programs.” The programs were largely payoffs to black leaders to prevent riots, but if anything helped spread violence. Contemptuous of poor but law-abiding, studious youth, these leaders supported young gangsters.

In my hometown of Long Beach, N.Y., the founder of the federally-funded Economic Opportunity Council (aka Community Action Program), James Graydon, later killed a man in cold blood in broad daylight. After he served a token prison sentence, his EOC successors invited this “role model” back, in 1974, to speak to a group of troubled youth with a history of truancy and run-ins with the law, in the Youth Justice Program. Recalling the race riots he had helped incite before indulging his taste for killing, the remorseless Graydon suggested it was “time to throw some more molotov cocktails.” The YJP’s middle class administrators felt no compunctions about encouraging black youth into going on political suicide missions.

As historian Chris McNickle noted of 1960s and ‘70s New York “social programs” in To be Mayor of New York, “Blackmail was implicit in the formula the Lindsay team worked out – ‘We’ll pay you not to riot,’ and the Beame Administration’s approach smacked of injustice. The insiders got jobs, others got nothing.” (275) (To understand the full range of this politics of bribery and blackmail, one must realize that the open admissions policy that the City University of New York planned during the 1960s and enacted in 1970, was not an academic policy, but a fearful response to black activists’ threats of riots.) And what was true of New York was true nationally.

Some observers have argued that giving money and power to its sworn enemies gave those enemies a vested interest in the government’s survival [co-optation]. While superficially plausible, this argument is all wrong. It follows the form of foreign policy positions in which a despot is supported because he is “our” despot. Unless you are going to relegate whole regions and constituencies of the country to the anarchic war of “all against all,” where there is no rule of law, domestic politics is not analogous to foreign relations.

The programs have been catastrophes. They have rationalized and encouraged illegitimacy, violence, and male irresponsibility as responses to white “racism.” They created a new class of urban “carpetbagger” – middle- class black suburbanites who commute to the slums, raise hell, and then retire to their safe neighborhoods. Even Khalid Muhammad bought a luxury home in a predominantly white suburb a few years ago.

When black nationalist movements arose in Northern cities in the first half of this century, they received no tax money. Later nationalists’ claims to revolutionary autonomy notwithstanding, government support brought with it necessary money and legitimacy. And the “activists” and the “bureaucrats” have forged strong bonds.

The demagogues who have led the black marches, beginning with the Million Man March, speak of “reducing racial tensions,” of making “peace,” and of “atonement,” but they are about inflamed racial hatreds, race war, and a shameless lack of conscience. They are continuing a time-honored, three-pronged strategy: using threats of violence to extort “programs,” using the programs as a means to extort more of the same, and as bases to promote organized violence.

Already, pundits and politicians are feverishly responding to the specter of Khalid Muhammad-led race riots with calls for new social programs for urban black youth. Don’t they ever learn?! More government programs are the problem, not the solution.

Black preachers could help, through aggressively walking the streets, and not just until the crisis is averted, urging youth to lay down their weapons, and working with educators, social workers, and black businessmen to constructively engage the youth. However, big-name, well-connected clergy have been happier stoking the fires of racial hatred. Last spring, the Rev. Calvin Butts, of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, called Mayor Giuliani a “racist,” saying Giuliani “sends police into black neighborhoods,” as if providing aggressive police protection were a terrible offense. The hated Giuliani has been providing the very leadership that the likes of Butts and the Rev. Johnnie Ray Youngblood, of East Brooklyn Congregations should have, but have refused to give. They would do well to emulate New York’s mayor.

Robert Woodson, Jr. has written of the successes of faith-based drug programs and “grassroots social ministries.” These programs are led by folks like Freddie Garcia of San Antonio, Texas, who don’t run rich, well-connected parishes, but who themselves often climbed out of the gutter of crime and drug abuse. My only difference with these “social healers” is that I would put the greatest energies into poor youth who show some promise.

Last winter Woodson, the president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, and author of The Triumphs of Joseph, wrote in American Enterprise,

“To continue to focus on racism as the principal enemy of the black community is to travel down a lethal path of self-deception. Our communities are dying from self-inflicted wounds.”
Woodson points out that the spiritual maladies and “moral degeneracy” affecting black slums are at home in wealthier, white precincts, as well.
Woodson asks,

“Why haven’t we heard more about these social healers?... The main reason, simply put, is elitism. The moral and religious approaches emphasized by healers like Pastor Garcia are looked down upon by many in our cultural establishment, who prefer to view the poor as hapless victims waiting to be rescued by experts and monthly checks. After all, the poor are now worth $340 million in annual allotments made by governments in their name.
“Today’s civil rights establishment, the academic and governmental poverty industries, and their political affiliates will not easily relinquish their ‘ownership’ of the problems of race and poverty.”
No peace, no justice! Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has condemned the march as a “hate march,” and warned Muhammad, Shabazz, and Ford that residential Harlem is an unacceptable site for a gathering of one million youth. The Mayor suggested Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx, and Randalls Island. March organizer Erica Ford responded, “There will be no compromise.”

I don’t think there was anything mistaken in Mayor Giuliani’s strong response. Rudolph Giuliani was elected based on the perception that he would deal with racial arsonists with strength, rather than his predecessor’s “diplomacy.” So far, he has not disappointed. Indeed, I think the Mayor should arrest Khalid Muhammad, should the latter set foot in New York the weekend of September 5, for conspiracy to incite a riot. As Charles (“Kill the Jew!”) Price found out in the aftermath of the Crown Heights pogrom and the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum, the First Amendment does not recognize a right to incite riots.


Anonymous said...

jerry pdx
When I see articles like this I understand some of the economic and political pressure pushing the mass migration agenda:
With an aging population and generation of younger people saddled by student debt the real estate market needs warm bodies to buy their houses. So why not ship millions of Muslims & negro's in and have them buy the homes? Of course, most don't have the money to afford them right away but some do have money saved that can be put into downpayments, plus the government has instituted programs to help migrants, even illegals, buy houses, no doubt due to pressure from the real estate lobbyists. Interestingly, around 31% of illegals own homes:
A regular influx of migrants keeps the economy "growing", at least according to economic theory:
You can find articles from conservative sources like the Manhattan Institute, Forbes etc... saying exactly that but those articles always omit the costs to the middle class of mass migrations and some of the economic consequences of dumping mass numbers of foreigners into an economy, for instance that fact it drives housing prices higher making it more difficult for younger people to own real estate. Their only concern is helping the filthy rich get even richer, on the backs of white middle class people.

Anonymous said...

"Even Khalid Muhammad bought a luxury home in a predominantly white suburb a few years ago."

The man wanted his kids to go to a white school and away from THEM. And we all know who THEM is.