Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: The Five Percenters of the Nation of Gods and Earth, Part 3

FM88.5 Edmonton
6 PM Mountain Time

Aside from the declaration that "the Blackman is God," no Five Percenter belief stirs outsider interest and anger as much as the use of the word “Devil,” especially in a racial context.

Five Percenter beliefs about the origin of the current range of humanity state that 6,000 years ago, in a civilisation of Black scientists, a corrupt eugenicist named Yacub began a selective breeding programme to engineer a race of colourless people who would ultimately enslave the Earth in a matrix of lies.

Most anti-racists and multiculturalists would understandably reject any such perspective in this or other theologies, including beliefs found in certain historical subsets of Judaism and Christianity that Africans are the cursed descendents of either Noah’s son Ham or Cain, the fratricidal brother of Abel, or the sexist concept that women are the cause of humanity’s downfall, found in the ancient Greek myth of Pandora, and the Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures about Eve.

But in all these cases, other interpreters of the beliefs have created their own symbolic and esoteric explanations for these stories.

These exegeses avoid literal, racial or gender-based explanations, and often instead cast the protagonist and antagonist as stand-ins for each human’s best and worst natures in conflict with each other.

Tonight on the show, we'll also discuss the role of women in the NGE, including the use of the word "Earths" to represent Afrikan women.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Melody Angel covers "Master Blaster Jammin'"

Wow. And at the end, Melody Angel sounds like she's playing the oud.

Racial prejudice makes you stupider, new research finds

Gareth Cook wrote in the Boston Globe:

"To the litany of arguments against prejudice, scientists are now adding a new one: Racism can make you stupid.

"That is the message of an unusual and striking new series of experiments conducted at Dartmouth College, with the help of brain-imaging equipment and a crew of undergraduate volunteers.

"According to the findings, the more biased people are, the more their brain power is taxed by contact with someone of another race, as they struggle not to say or do anything offensive.

"The effect is so strong, the team found, that even a five-minute conversation with a black person left some of the white subjects unable to perform well on a test of cognitive ability.

“'Just having a prejudice makes you stupider,' said John Gabrieli, a professor of psychology at Stanford University who was not involved in the research. 'It is really interesting.'”

2007 CBC poll: 59% of Quebecers say they're bigots

And who do they hate the most? The top three, from least to most hated:
  • Africans (27%)
  • Jews (36%)
  • Muslims (50%).
CBC reports: "Fifty-nine per cent of Quebecers admit to being racist to some degree, according to a Léger Marketing survey published Monday in Le Journal de Montréal. In comparison, only 47 per cent of those outside Quebec say they are racist to some degree.

"Among Quebecers, most (43 per cent) said they were only mildly racist, while 15 per cent said they were moderately racist and only one per cent responded that they were very racist. The findings stunned Jean Dorion of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

"'I do not perceive the Quebec society as being racist,' he told Le Journal de Montréal. The findings come from three surveys in late December and early January. The first two surveys were conducted over the internet, with 2,228 Quebecers taking part, while the third survey interviewed 3,092 people across Canada.

"The survey looked at Quebecers' views of a variety of cultural groups. It found 36 per cent of Quebecers have a bad opinion of Jewish people, while 27 per cent have a poor opinion of blacks. Fifty per cent have a bad opinion of Muslims."

Tim Wise on racial double-standards, Barack Obama, Reverend Wright and Louis Farrakhan

The article below is a year old, but completely relevant today in terms of double-standards dumped on Obama (of whom I am obviously a critic, but who still deserves freedom from racial discrimination).

Tim Wise is a smart cat who's been writing and speaking on the topic of racial supremacy for years. And in case the remarks below send up flags for your about Wise being an angry Black militant with an axe to grind about "Whitey," Wise is Jewish.

"...a white guy can praise Hitler, can cast aspersions on the veracity of Jews who were slotted to be killed, and can make blatantly racist, sexist and homophobic remarks and ultimately nothing happens to him, and no white politician is ever asked their opinion of him, or made to distance him or herself from the white man's rantings.

"But black folks will have to do the dance, will have to make sure to reject Farrakhan, because otherwise, apparently, we should intuit that they are closet members of the Nation, just waiting to take office so they can pop on a bow tie and put Elijah Muhammad's face on the nation's currency.

"Perhaps when white folks begin to show as much concern for the bigoted statements and, more to the point, murderous actions of white political leaders as we show over the statements of Louis Farrakhan, then we'll deserve to be taken seriously in this thing we call a 'national dialogue on race.'

"Until then, however, folks of color will continue--and rightly, understandably so--to view us as trying to dodge our personal responsibility for our share of the problem. They will view us, and with good reason, as merely using Farrakhan so that we can divert attention from institutional discrimination, institutionalized white privilege and power, and the way in which white denial maintains a lid on social change, by creating the impression that everything is fine, and whatever isn't fine is the fault of crazy, militant black people, who follow crazy and hateful religious leaders.

"In this way, white Americans can continue to pretend that the nation's racial problem isn't about us; that we are but passive observers of a drama concocted by others, over which only they have any control.

"And in this way, we guarantee the perpetuation of the very enmity we claim not to understand, the very tension we cannot comprehend, and the chasm-like divide that was created in our name and for our historic benefit, no matter how much we try and shift the blame now, heads rooted firmly in the proverbial sand."

Iran: A Nation of Bloggers

IRAN: A Nation Of Bloggers from ayrakus on Vimeo.

The young cats at Vancouver Film School produced this superb video on Iran's "subversive" and ultimately revolutionary blogging culture. Terrific work.

Here's my challenge to all African-American, African-Canadian, Caribbean and continental animators: let's make a thousand films like this to showcase our numerous struggles from our own perspectives!

Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky on Israeli occupation, "apartheid," discrimination and ethnic cleansing

"Counterpunch: The word apartheid is more and more often used by NGOs and charities to describe Israel's actions towards the Palestinians (in Gaza, the OPT but also in Israel itself). Is the situation in Palestine and Israel comparable to Apartheid South Africa?
"Ilan Pappé: There are similarities and dissimilarities. The colonialist history has many chapters in common and some of the features of the Apartheid system can be found in the Israeli policies towards its own Palestinian minority and towards those in the occupied territories.
"Some aspects of the occupation, however, are worse than the apartheid reality of South Africa and some aspects in the lives of Palestinian citizens in Israel, are not as bad as they were in the hey days of Apartheid. The main point of comparison to my mind is political inspiration.
"The anti-Apartheid movement, the ANC, the solidarity networks developed throughout the years in the West, should inspire a more focused and effect pro-Palestinian campaign. This is why there is a need to learn the history of the struggle against Apartheid, much more than dwell too long on comparing the Zionist and Apartheid systems."
"Noam Chomsky: There can be no definite answer to such questions. There are similarities and differences. Within Israel itself, there is serious discrimination, but it's very far from South African Apartheid. Within the occupied territories, it's a different story.
"In 1997, I gave the keynote address at Ben-Gurion University in a conference on the anniversary of the 1967 war. I read a paragraph from a standard history of South Africa. No comment was necessary.

"Looking more closely, the situation in the OT differs in many ways from Apartheid. In some respects, South African Apartheid was more vicious than Israeli practices, and in some respects the opposite is true. To mention one example, White South Africa depended on Black labor. The large majority of the population could not be expelled.

"At one time Israel relied on cheap and easily exploited Palestinian labor, but they have long ago been replaced by the miserable of the earth from Asia, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. Israelis would mostly breathe a sigh of relief if Palestinians were to disappear.
"And it is no secret that the policies that have taken shape accord well with the recommendations of Moshe Dayan right after the 1967 war: Palestinians will 'continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave.'
"More extreme recommendations have been made by highly regarded left humanists in the United States, for example Michael Walzer of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and editor of the democratic socialist journal Dissent, who advised 35 years ago that since Palestinians are 'marginal to the nation,' they should be 'helped' to leave. He was referring to Palestinian citizens of Israel itself, a position made familiar more recently by the ultra-right Avigdor Lieberman, and now being picked up in the Israeli mainstream.
"I put aside the real fanatics, like Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who declares that Israel never kills civilians, only terrorists, so that the definition of 'terrorist' is 'killed by Israel'; and Israel should aim for a kill ratio of 1000 to zero, which means 'exterminate the brutes' completely.
"It is of no small significance that advocates of these views are regarded with respect in enlightened circles in the US, indeed the West. One can imagine the reaction if such comments were made about Jews.

"On the query, to repeat, there can be no clear answer as to whether the analogy is appropriate."

Jews Against the Occupation

Noam Chomsky vs. Alan Dershowitz on the Occupation

If you're a White male, don't even BOTHER applying for the job. (Uh, that is, unless you live in THIS reality....)

"High school non-completion rate is highest among Aboriginal youth, compared to visible minority and non-racialized youth.

"Among Canadian-born youth aged 15 to 19 in 1996, about three in ten Aboriginal youth did not finish high school, and were not attending school in the past year, compared to less than one in ten among visible minorities.

"Visible minorities generally have higher education levels than either non-racialized groups or Aboriginals.

"In spite of their higher educational attainment, visible minorities still trail behind non-racialized groups with regard to employment and income.

"Compared to non-racialized groups, visible minority and Aboriginals with university education are less likely to hold managerial/professional jobs.

"Foreign-born visible minorities experience g reater education-occupation discrepancies compared to other groups as less than half of those with a university education have high skill level jobs.

"Even though as many visible minorities as nonracialized groups have managerial jobs, most of these visible minorities are self-employed. Aboriginals and foreign-born visible minorities are over-represented in the lowest income quintile and they are under-represented in the highest income quintile.

"Given the same level of education, non-racialized groups, whether foreign-born or Canadian-born, are three times as likely as Aboriginal peoples and about twice as likely as foreign-born visible minorities to be in the top 20% income distribution. Moreover, even if they are born in Canada, visible minorities are still less likely than foreign-born and Canadian-born nonracialized group to be in the top 20% income distribution.

"Even when racial minorities have attained a university level education, they are still less likely than non-racialized groups to be in the top income quintile. About 38 percent of the Canadian-born non-racialized group with a university education were in the top income quintile, compared to 29 percent of Canadian-born visible minorities and 21 percent of foreign-born visible minorities.

"In most cases, the earnings of Aboriginals and foreign-born visible minorities are lower than Canadian-born non-racialized groups, regardless of region of residence, field of educational study, age, or gender. Foreign-born visible minorities earned, on average, about 78 cents for every dollar earned by a foreign-born non-racialized person."
"Canadian immigration numbers would have to be doubled over 50 years in order to create the working population necessary to sustain competitive GDP growth. Regardless of the economic climate for immigrants wanting to move to Canada, there will always be jobs."

Telus TV interviews Minister Faust

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Part 2 of The Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths - The Belief System

FM 88.5 Edmonton
6 pm Mountain Time

Many new-world religions, including Rastafarianism, Jehovah’s Witnessing and Christian Zionism, are millennarian, or focused on the doom of the corrupt world and the birth of a new and just one.
Those new-world faiths developed in the United States often include scientific and technological dimensions to their practices and beliefs, which to outsiders seem science fictional.

For instance, Scientology describes an ancient galactic battle whose result is the imprisonment on Earth of thetans, entities which today are the source of all mental illness.

Mormonism discusses an ancient universe filled with gods, and the promise that human beings can become gods if they perfect themselves; indeed, television producer Glen Larson used his faith as the foundation for his 1970s series Battlestar Galactica. 

The Mormon community originally excluded Africans—alleged to be descendants of the cursed Ham and the fratricidal Cain—from their priesthood by saying that in the early universe, these proto-Africans had rebelled against the supreme god and thus were branded with dark skin.

Some members of the Nation of Gods and Earths share the Nation of Islam’s techno-millennarian perspective. The NOI was founded was Wallace Ford, known also as Fard and Master Farad Muhammad.

His most successful student was the Honourable Elijah Muhammad. They taught that the original god arose trillions of years ago, a universal Black man, from which all humanity comes.

According to the NOI/NGE creation story, six thousand years ago, in a civilisation of Black scientists, a corrupt eugenicist named Yacub began a selective breeding programme to engineer a race of colourless people who would ultimately enslave the Earth in a matrix of lies.

In the 20th Century, that empire was supposed to come crashing down, destroyed by an avenging Black military whose airforce included a gigantic bomber called the Mother Plane. Over time, that aircraft became known as the Mother Ship and was re-envisaged as an orbital vehicle of enormous destructive capacity.

While outsiders may mock such beliefs, it’s worthwhile to remember that to non-believers, all religious perspectives are irrational and devoid of proof. Imagine a superficial, outsider-only perspective on Christianity, the planet’s most successful religion. That faith could seem to be based on the idea that a Palestinian carpenter executed two thousand years ago today controls the universe while plotting to torture much if not most of humanity forever.

Obviously, any insider knows there’s much more to Christianity than that, and figures such as Mother Theresa, Archbishops Tutu and Romero, and Dr. Martin Luther King have used Christianity as a powerful mechanism for justice and love. And millions of people and families have experienced Christianity in nuanced and diverse ways that no hostile out-grouper could bother to know.

But what about the racial vision of the Nation of Gods and Earths? It’s also helpful to remember how many religious communities brand their own members as elect, chosen, or otherwise superior to the rest of humanity made up of unbelievers, pagans, reprobates, or infidels.

Yet believers in those communities vary widely in their gut-level acceptance of such condemnations. Some believe them deeply, and act upon them. Others regard such perspectives as flexible, symbolic, or even wrong. They remain members for the personal and social good they can derive, and leave the parts they don’t like on the shelf.

Like all religions, cultures and philosophies, the Nation of Gods and Earths draws upon a broad range of predecessors. Just as Judaism, Christianity and Islam evolved in a Mediterranean milieu of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Greek influence, the NGE emerged from the Nation of Islam.

The NOI itself grew from the remnants of Marcus Garvey’s two-million member United Negro Improvement Association. It also arose from the US-based Moorish Science Temple, a previous New World religion which drew up the Islam of Mecca and the mystery tradition of Freemasonry, especially the African-American version, Prince Hall Freemasonry.

Although I’ve been discussing the Nation of Gods and Earths as a religion, members strictly reject such a description. But so would Freemasons, whose ethical system and fraternity also demands belief in a supreme being, and whose members meet in lodges designed to resemble Christian churches.

And despite the fiery pronouncements of some in the NOI-NGE traditions, many others adopt a more encompassing approach, stressing peace, the human family and non-racialism.

Discussing the NGE belief system on The Terrordome tonight:
  • Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian
  • Author Michael Muhammad Knight
  • Dumar Wade Allah, a national spokesman for the NGE
  • Author and blogger C’BS Alife Allah
  • Born Magnetic Allah

Download the show using the Terrordome Archive link under the Minister Faust Audio section, or click here.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: The Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths

(ignore the "Barack Obama" title on the above Youtube video)

FM88.5 Edmonton
6 pm Mountain Time

If you’ve ever listened to hip hop, then you’ve heard the influence of this remarkable and mysterious community. They’re a decentralised, non-hierarchical society whose members number in the tens of thousands.

ances are you’re familiar with them even if you didn’t know it. Their most famous citizens include the Wu Tang Clan and members such as Method Man, the RZA and Raekwon, the singer Erykah Badu, the groups Brand Nubian and Poor Righteous Teachers, rappers Rakim, CL Smooth and Busta Rhymes, to name just a few.

But their influence goes far beyond their population, because through hip hop, their teachings and vocabulary have become part of North American culture. Terms and phrases such as G, the bomb, break it down, manifest, represent, do the math,
and peace were introduced, reinvigorated or redefined by them. Through their influence, the phrase “word is bond” became over time “word up” and simply “word.”

Those who know hip hop music have heard numerous references: dropping science, show and prove, Original Man, Knowledge of Self, and step into the cipher, among many more.

It’s fair to say that hip hop as we know it would not exist without their members, because beginning in the mid-1960s of New York City, the Five Percenter youth began memorising, reciting and expounding upon a series of lengthy mystical lessons including the 120, the Supreme Alphabet and the Supreme Mathematics, and a set of geographical and astronomical information including the weight of the earth and the distance between the earth and the sun.

Why should adherents, who began as impoverished African-American teens on the streets of New York City, have cared about such lessons? Partly it was because the rigours of learning, reciting and interpreting their philosophy earned members respect for their intelligence.

But also because the Five Percenter paradigm taught the interrelatedness of all things in the universe, which could be understood through regular recitation and interpretation of their lessons in a ceremony called the Daily Mathematics.

Those affirmations and reflections included a redefinition of the word god, so much so that male members call themselves gods. Using the wordplay of “backronyms,” some have redefined the word Allah as being “arm, leg, leg, arm, head,” meaning that there is no invisible, mystery god like that found in Judaism, Christianity or Arabic Islam—just human beings.

The word “Islam” is the source of much confusion regarding the group, especially since the Five Percent founder, Father Allah, had previously belonged to the Nation of Islam under the name Clarence 13X, and because like the NOI, the Five Percenters use a variety of references to the culture and geography of Arabic Islam, even rebranding Harlem as Mecca and Brooklyn as Medina.

But the Five Percenters are not trying to be Muslims, and the men make it clear by calling themselves gods. The name Five Percenter derives from a Nation of Islam lesson teaching that 85% of humanity has been duped into mental slavery by 10% which owns the wealth of the planet. Only 5% remain who know the truth—the “poor righteous teachers” whose duty it is to teach freedom, justice and equality.

Tonight we’ll hear part one of my recent conversations with two authors who are authorities on the Nation of Gods and Earths. Nation member C’BS Alife Allah is the writer behind the blog Journal of Allah’s Five Percent, and author of the forthcoming book, Knowledge of Self: The Science of Everything in Life.

Raised in a Western Christian household, C’BS Alife Allah has been a Five Percenter for almost two decades, and through his blog has been a powerful and eloquent voice for his community on a range of issues including fatherhood, the vegan lifestyle, and cultural development.

Euro-American novelist and memoirist Michael Muhammad Knight seems an unlikely source. Although his father was a neo-nazi, Knight converted to Arabic Islam as a teenager after reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He’s received great access to the Nation of Gods and Earths and is the author of The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip Hop and the Gods of New York.

For further reading:
Wakeel Allah’s In the Name of Allah