By: Imam Warithud-Deen Mohammed - 1980
We need money, we need to develop our business community; we need some financial strength as a people in the society. It will never come though. It will never come until we get cultural strength. We have to have civilized principles that we live by. We have to have a virtuous concept of life, a moral and virtuous concept of community life. We have to hate filth and vices, crime and vandalism. We have to hate all these things. We have to hate vulgarity. We have to hate the dozens.
Do you remember as kids we used to play the dozens? Well, we're grown now. All that vulgar languagesome of our young men got the energy to really pick up half of the block; but what is he doingstanding on the corner or in a pool hall, or in a restaurant or a tavernall day long wasting his whole day talking filthy. Some of you can't even stay on the job. You say, "I've got to get me another job." They put you with a bunch of people that just talk filthy all day long. We can't rise like that. The dollar would never amount to much as long as the society is going to be immoral, sinful, and criminal. As fast as you build up a little money it's taken away by extravagant living. Wasteful living; dissipation in sex or in crime.
Look at the money we spend just to keep criminals out of our homes. Burglar alarms systems, and gateswe live behind bars. Bars up to the windows, bars on the doors; those bars cost a lot of money. Look how the cost of living is multiplied for us. And then our conscience is bad, our consumer conscience is bad. Rather than put pressure on the chain store that's selling us inferior food, we'll go 10 miles to a Caucasian community to do our shopping. Look at the money we're wasting on gas going over there to do our shopping. And look how the quality of our neighborhoods are falling because we don't have the strength to demand quality from people who are selling us inferior goodsproducts.
I'm a welder by trade. I know finished metal material when I see it. I went to a store in my community once and I bought a frying pan. I saw that the frying pan wasn't finished. None of our people would tell the man, you're selling inferior utensils in this store. Your frying pans are not finished. They'll buy itfry the eggs with it; the eggs don't fry right. They'll use it until they can't use it more and throw it away. If the store's selling them inferior meat, they continue to buy there. If somebody says, "You know, there is a new store over there" they'll go to it because it's new. We wonder why the Jews, the Irish and the Polish people don't want to live with us? How come they run from us? Let's admit it, we're the black plague.
You come into the community and you're not going to demand quality. That Caucasian can't live in a neighborhood with you. Prices are going to go up. Why? Because you don't know how to put pressure on the business operation to keep the prices down.
The Caucasian consumer would put pressure on them. They would even have a picket line out there in front of the store"prices are up too high; don't shop at this store, their prices are not consistent with the prices in the community." Wouldn't they do that? They would come out with their signs and picket. How many of us would do that? Caucasians can sell you steaks for $50 a pound, and you'll buy until you find a new store.
Tell your community these people are taking us for fools, they're robbing us. They're treating us as a silly people, don't buy from them. Let's get together and get some signs, form a line around this store and tell the people that their prices are not in line with the prices in the decent neighborhoods. Bring these prices down. Now, you yourself have to be in the position to make these demands. How are you going to get in the position to make these demands? By tightening up your own life. If your children are robbing the store, and if you're making foolish demands on the store, then, you have a share in the responsibility for the prices going up.
Let us bring our communities back to the healthy tradition that has made our life strong. Healthy Christian principles, healthy ethnic principles, healthy cultural ideals. Let us re-establish those things. Let us hate a SuperFly with a passion. Let us hate the dope pusher, the demoralizer, the vulgar mind; let us hate them with a passion. Let us hate the ones who are wasting the money. Let us hate them with a passion, because they are the ones who are keeping us down. They're the ones who are denying us the dignity that we want. They are the ones who are holding us back from that economic strength, from that political power that we're entitled to. They are the ones who are depriving us. It's not the Caucasians.
The government has stood up for our rights. Government enforcement of the law made all those little ugly Jim Crow signs in the South come down; integrated the buses, the transportation, and made the South look like it belonged to America . And now, the government not only takes the position that our rights as citizens have to be defended, but they take the position that the government owes us something because we were culturally denied and deprived for so long. So, they give us preferential treatment and still we're saying: "We don't have any jobs, these houses aren't fit for us to live in." (Why aren't they yours?) When you go in the Jewish Neighborhood you don't find a Bilalian (African American) owning a house, unless he is integrated in the neighborhood. You've got big neighborhoods. "These houses aren't fit for living." Why don't you own the houses? You don't have the money? Why? You spend it on whiskey, in gambling and on Cadillacs that you can't afford. You just throw your money away. That's why you don't have the money to buy your homes. If we use our money wisely, we could own our community as much as any other ethnic group owns its community. I don't see why we couldn't. We don't because we live foolishly. We don't have dollar sense. We need a new moral message in our lives. If Christianity is not doing it, you're going to have to come to Al-Islam.