My Seattle Adventure...revisited
First of all, I have to apologize for this column. I first wrote this way back in early 2011 but as I read over it, I felt it remained current in its scope and thought. The reason I am not adding a new column is that I am currently recovering from surgery I recently had and to be honest, at the moment writing is among the last things on my mind to do. I do think, however, for my next Robservation I will discuss my surgery. But here is my column with a few editorial additions and I am looking forward to getting back to the keyboard next month. Cheers!
MY SEATTLE ADVENTURE
In my travels with Delta, I have the opportunity to see many great cities. To be honest, there are none that I really hate going to. Each has its own exciting things to see and experience. Without any doubt, my favorite city in our entire system is Seattle. I’m not quite sure why but I love it up there. Whether rainy, sunny, cold or hot, I totally enjoy getting out and walking downtown. To be sure, there are definitely some strange folks roaming the streets there but I still love it. Pikes Market, the Seattle Museum of Flight, the Space Needle; you name it.
Well, about three weeks ago, I was walking around downtown in one of the prettiest days I had seen in a while. I stopped to get something to eat and while I was sitting at my table, I saw a young Nation of Islam (NOI) man standing on the street corner hawking their newspaper, The Final Call. I watched him for about 15 minutes and my curiosity got the best of me and demanded that I buy a copy of their paper since I had never read one before.
“Why would you spend a dollar on that paper?” Easy. As a military historian, if there is one thing I adhere to, that is the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu’s warning of knowing your enemy. Now before you go all democrat on me, I am not saying that the Nation of Islam is the enemy but I am saying that since we (NOI and non-NOI) rarely see eye-to-eye on anything, especially when it comes to Israel, isn’t it a good idea to try and understand from where they are coming and know how and what they think? Sure it is. In fact, it is a great idea.
Like a little kid with a new toy, I took the paper and hurried back to my hotel room so I could read in peace and quiet. When I read it, to be honest there were several interesting articles although I disagreed with most. On the back inside cover of the paper, however, there was a page titled, The Muslim Program. On this page were two “doctrines” if you will. One titled What The Muslims Want and What The Muslims Believe. If you ever want to truly understand someone who doesn’t think like you do, the best thing you can do is read their doctrine. Regardless of what someone says in public, their underlying doctrine still drives, even if behind closed doors, their behavior and certainly what they think. That being said, below I have reproduced part of the Muslim Program. A very small portion of it, I cannot argue with (i.e. 1, 2 and 3). They make sense. Most of the remaining document, however, no comment. I’m sorry, but I simply cannot wholly accept any of the remaining tenants. I just can’t. Perhaps in Bernie Sanders’ “Amerika,” but not my America.
We have already determined in our society that separate but equal is not equal, that dividing up the country (with all the stated demands) is not and should not happen, that taxation should be required of EVERYONE and I’m sorry but the brainless idea prohibiting inter-racial marriages is just plain stupid, racist, bigoted and un-Biblical; sorry, deal with it. You have to understand that I am a black guy married to a Hispanic woman for almost 26 years (30 now). For you “Christians” out there who think the same thing, yeah I know some of you are still around, you too are just as wrong!! If you ever want to debate the supposed Biblical denouncing of inter-racial marriage – bring it. And race mixing?? Just shut up.
Yes the practice of Islam should be allowed without suppression in our country, but so should every other religion. As for the idea that all believers of Islam currently held in federal prisons should be released, don’t hold your breath. If that were the case, everybody in prison would become Muslim just to get out. It ain’t happenin’!!
But take the time, read this “manifesto” and try to understand the mindset of the Nation of Islam. I think you will find it an interesting read. Note that all italicized words in parenthesis are my comments; not the NOI’s. And remember, these words are their doctrine, their ideas and their words.
WHAT THE MUSLIMS WANT
This is the question asked most frequently by both the whites and the blacks. The answers to this question I shall state as simply as possible.
1. We want freedom. We want a full and complete freedom. (Cool)
2. We want justice. Equal justice under the law. We want justice applied equally to all, regardless of creed or class or color. (Cool, no problem)
3.We want equality of opportunity. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society. (I can live with this)
4. We want our people in America whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own--either on this continent or elsewhere. (Where?) We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to provide such land and that the area must be fertile and minerally rich. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years--until we are able to produce and supply our own needs. (Whoa!) Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality (Huh? Why?), after giving them 400 years of our sweat and blood and receiving in return some of the worst treatment human beings have ever experienced, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America, justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own. (What the . . . ?)
5. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. (Huh? I’m laughing right now!) We want freedom for all black men and women now under death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South. We want every black man and woman to have the freedom to accept or reject being separated from the slave master's children and establish a land of their own. (What?) We know that the above plan for the solution of the black and white conflict is the best and only answer to the problem between two people. (Actually, it is not!)
6. We want an immediate end to the police brutality and mob attacks against the so-called Negro throughout the United States. (Mobs?) We believe that the Federal government should intercede to see that black men and women tried in white courts receive justice in accordance with the laws of the land (How about everybody receive justice IAW established laws) -- or allow us to build a new nation for ourselves, dedicated to justice, freedom and liberty (say what?).
7. As long as we are not allowed to establish a state or territory of our own, we demand not only equal justice under the laws of the United States, but equal employment opportunities--NOW! (And, uh. . . ?) We do not believe that after 400 years of free or nearly free labor, sweat and blood,which has helped America become rich and powerful, so many thousands of black people should have to subsist on relief or charity (Repeal Welfare??) or live in poor houses. (Poor houses? Call Nancy Pelosi, now!)
8. We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land. (Right!)
9. We want equal education--but separate schools up to 16 for boys and 18 for girls on the condition that the girls be sent to women's colleges and universities. We want all black children educated, taught and trained by their own teachers. (Really?) Under such schooling sy tem we believe we will make a better nation of people. The United States government should provide, free, all necessary text books and equipment, schools and college buil ings. (Not happenin’!) The Muslim teachers shall be left free to teach and train their people in the way of righteousness, decency and self-respect. (Sharia??)
10. We believe that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited. (Duh!) We want the religion of Islam taught without hindrance or suppression. (What if those teachings contradict the US Constitution?)