Mr. Yacub Goes to Patmos
The origin myths of the Black Muslims and their strange inability to emigrate and follow their own separatist doctrine.
ALTHOUGH THE Black Muslim sect, which first obtained national and international publicity in 1959 through the televised Mike Wallace Show, represents probably the worst falsification and distortion of historical fact ever to appear in the beliefs of a mass following, its program has one feature rarely evident in any consideration of the Negro problem in America — voluntary black separatism. The Muslims’ principal tenets are: (1) the rejection of Christianity as a “white man’s religion” that enslaves nonwhites; and (2) the separation, not segregation, of the European and African races. In respect to (1) the movement, curiously, did not adopt an African religion. In rejecting Christianity, originated by Semites, the Muslims espoused Islam, a theological creation of the same group. Both faiths were born, not in Africa, but in the Levant — like Los Angeles a region overproductive of religions. In respect to (2) the Muslims, like all black separatists, are unlikely to achieve their aims because of a peculiarity noted collectively among Negroes all over the world: they not only refuse to leave voluntarily the proximity of white societies, but, when they have the chance, they actively try to seek out and live among such societies. (ILLUSTRATION: Elijah Muhammad speaks at a Black Muslim convention)
The “Supreme Minister” of the Black Muslims well before Louis Farrakhan, Elijah Poole, was originally a sawmill laborer in Georgia. Tired of being cursed by white employees, Poole typically moved with his family not to Africa but to a northern white industrial area, Detroit, in 1923. In 1931 he met a mysterious individual now known in Muslim history as Master W. D. Fard, who identified himself as “a brother from the East” and who was an itinerant salesman of yard goods. Fard espoused a do-it-yourself form of Mohammedanism and persuaded Elijah to join his study group. The attendants at these meetings were instructed that Master Fard had been born in the “Koreish” tribe of Muhammed ibn Abdullah, the prophet himself. Fard held that the Negroes of the United States were directly descended from Muslims and had been lost for 400 years from the “nation” of Islam; and that he, W. D. Fard, had arrived to redeem and return them to the True Faith. Fard moved, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, among the poorest and most ignorant of his people and was a good enough organizer to establish in Detroit in 1931 an institution called “The University of Islam.” Its adult classes had some mathematics courses but the main educational curriculum was centered on preaching hatred of the U.S. Majority, especially Nordics, “the blue-eyed devil white man,” who eternally duped and deceived poor colored people. Poole in some manner or other was relieved of his English family name (but retained his Jewish first name), becoming known as Mr. Elijah Muhammed, and was appointed “Supreme Minister.” (His son, Wallace Poole, who succeeded him as head of the Black Muslims, discarded his “slave” patronymic, but retained his Scottish Christian name.)
To prepare for his new role, Mr. Elijah Muhammed absorbed several years of “private teachings,” which, however, were not delivered by a recognized authority on the Moslem faith from a Mohammedan country, but apparently from Master W. D. Fard. In 1934 this originator of the new Islamic tenets vanished abruptly without a trace. No explanation for the disappearance was ever given, but a hint at what caused it is perhaps shown in simultaneous death threats directed at Mr. Elijah Muhammed himself, which caused his sudden and unsupernaturally inspired Hegira, not from Mecca to Medina but from Detroit to Chicago, then from Chicago to Washington D.C., and finally from one U.S. city to another, pursued, according to Elijah, by “hypocrites.” In 1942 he was arrested. According to his own version, Uncle Toms had tipped off the blue-eyed, blond devils to his teachings, but official records show that Elijah was apprehended for draft-dodging. After being released from a Michigan prison in 1946, the Supreme Minister returned to the religious and ideological fray.
When information concerning the tenets of the new U.S. Islamic faith finally reached some authentic Moslems in the Near and Middle East, they were enraged by the distortion of their religion. The philosophic background of Islam, which traditionally has embraced all ethnic types, particularly in harems, had been twisted into one of the most unusual anthropological conspiracies ever known. According to the Supreme Minister, all of history had been whitewashed by the hated European race of white Christians. The truth, he insisted, was that the first men had been Africans and had built civilizations, cultures and empires while Europeans had been “on all fours.” The greatest historical crime had not been African enslavement of other Negroes, nor white enslavement of other whites, but American enslavement of Africans and their introduction to the United States via slave ships. (The concurrent Spanish and Portuguese traffic to Central and South America is not mentioned, nor is the complicity of the Africans who made it possible.) The devil white man thus cut off these black people from their own kind and deculturated them, denying to the Africans all knowledge of their religion, language, or even names. The slavemasters in the U.S. had hideously produced a hybridized stock and forced their names on their black victims, now identified only as “knee-grows,” a Spanish word meaning black. Worst of all, the African had been coerced into worshipping a God with blue eyes, fair hair, and light skin.
How did the white man arrive on this planet Earth? Well, first the moon separated from Earth and all the original humans were black. They founded the Holy City of Mecca. Among them was a task force of 24 scientific personnel. One, angry at the others, organized the African tribe called the Shabazz, from which U. S. Negroes descend. About 6600 years ago the Shabazz were polled and found to be 70 percent satisfied, 30 percent dissatisfied, with none undecided. However, there ominously appeared among the dissatisfied a Mr. Yacub, a “big-head scientist,” a troublesome dude with perhaps a case of hydrocephaly. His normal occupational specialty was the breeding of human races. Mr. Yacub somehow incurred the displeasure of Allah and was run out of Mecca with 59,999 followers to the isle of Patmos (where John received the revelations contained in Revelations). Mr. Yacub, irritated at the Shabazz for his enforced exile, decided to test-tube out a devilish, bleached Nordic bloc to revenge himself on the ungrateful Negroes. Big-head Yacub knew that black people had two germs, black and brown, so he used a recessive-gene technique, selecting the brown germ successively to achieve an ever lightening series of human generations. This cat Yacub knew that the lighter somebody got, the worse he is. In the fullness of time, Mr. Yacub’s program reached the ultimate in perverseness. He produced, through artificial natural selection, the worst human possible, epitomized in physical characteristics by the modern Swede. These exercises in vindictive eugenics were all conducted on Patmos. Although Big-head lived to the age of 152, he could not possibly survive to see the fruition of his evil doings, for his development program had proceeded by 2oo-Year Plans, each bicentennial stage employed to eliminate first the black, then the brown, then the red, and finally the yellow genes. Triumphantly, in 800 years Yacub’s technical groups let loose a horde of particularly obnoxious blond, pale-skinned, nude crackers for Europe’s caves. After 2000 years in the caves, Allah sent Moses to civilize the whites. The first group of Caucasoids that Moses led out of this benighted condition were the Jews. After Mr. Yacub’s bleached devils had ruled the world for 6000 years, it was written that the black, original prototype would produce a man of infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power. He was identified by Mr. Elijah Muhammed as Master W. D. Fard, the spiritual creator of the Black Muslims.
This explanation of the Black Muslim philosophy took root among, and seems to be believed by, large numbers of American Negroes. Its primary result has been to produce a serious problem for the already overworked police in our large cities. The neglect of the Negro problem in the United States by a long series of American political administrations had, in the second half of the 20th century, borne fruit — the Fruit of Islam. The Black Muslim leadership, notably exemplified by the late Malcolm X (“X” indicates the ignorance of a true African patronymic by an individual), was achieving something never before attained by U.S. Negro leadership — a discipline over its followers. Leadership, if it is to be called leadership, must have the power to discipline. All prior U.S. Negro leaders have relied on white force when black masses, noted throughout the world for lack of self-control, got out of hand. The Muslims, however nonsensical their background ideology, were the first to introduce an effective discipline and control of armed men. The Muslims began to form, in fact, the nucleus of a metropolitan terrorist organization of potential guerrillas that would be very difficult — in a democratic nation devoted to human rights — to control even by military detachments. Such a group can only be effectively eliminated by a dictatorial police state.
In the raving ideology of Malcolm X, an ex-hustler murdered by a rival Muslim faction in 1965, the blame for the condition of the U.S. Negro is placed at the door of U.S. whites even though far worse conditions exist with Negroes in countries where there are no whites. But no understanding of American political philosophy is evidenced by any U.S. black organization even after nearly four centuries of the Negro’s residence in the United States. The thinking of the Black Muslims is equally impractical, vague, or disorderly. The obvious solution to the Negro dilemma in the U.S. is their return to the African continent, not the return of Europeans to Europe, for European ethnic types dominate the United States and are — or were — satisfied with American society. It is only common sense for the dissatisfied to move, not the satisfied, as is shown in Mr. Yacub’s move to Patmos in the Black Muslim theology. An initial transfer of 59,999 Black Muslims, for example, to Angola could be a noteworthy initial move for Mr. Wallace Muhammed’s faithful. After all, it was not difficult in West Indies to scrape together the fare to England. What prevents the financially much better-off members of the “nation of Islam,” with their hatred of white devils, from a movement away from their land of torture to independent African countries? It is certainly not the cost, as can be seen by the number of blacks at any U.S. international airport.
The Muslims advocate racial separation if conducted by Negroes, but condemn segregation if practiced by whites. Although addicted to tours of Mohammedan and African countries, neither the Muslims nor any other U. S. blacks can collectively be persuaded to emigrate there. Negroes again and again have preferred a U.S. white devil’s jail than “freedom” in Africa or the Caribbean. The relatively stronger leadership and discipline exerted by the Black Muslims fail precisely where they could have beneficial effects for U. S. Negroes — repatriation to Africa and separation from the “devils” who refuse to integrate them into the American Majority. There has scarcely ever been an adult Muslim, or any U.S. Negro, who has not had the means to leave the U.S. for Africa. Many far poorer blacks have somehow been able to get into the U.S. from a number of countries. No slave ship is really needed to get a Caribbean Negro into the United States nor a West Indian Negro into London. And no comprehension among the Muslims exists as to what their fate might be if the present American form of government were changed overnight to a ruthless dictatorship. Neither does the American Negro in general discern the dangerous nature of his demands. To give him the legal support to intrude socially on whites against their will is to negate the Constitutional guarantees of freedom both to whites and blacks. The Black Muslims and the majority of their ethnic brethren — who agree with them and respect them, we are told — have a freedom now denied to half the human race, the freedom to emigrate. But, motivated by a desire for the high standard of living provided only by the white man, the collective impulse of Negroes everywhere seems to be, where possible, to seek the very white society, not brown, yellow, or red, that they profess to hate. It is upon this weakness that the Black Muslims and all other Negro movements flounder, become doubly ludicrous, and lose the respect of those who observe them.
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Source: Instauration magazine, November 1977