Plato Negro on Muslims and Communists
Muslims and Communists should not only agree to disagree but agree on what they have in common which is a radical view of this society and civilization. We should agree that though we use different terminology, we come to the same conclusion on many matters concerning the social, economic and political analysis of society and the need for radical change or revolution.
Although Communist deny the existence of God, in Elijah Muhammad’s theology, God has a material basis which is man and the material world. Thus those of us taught by Elijah do not accept God as a spook or spirit floating through the air, and we certainly do not believe we must die to go to heaven, but we know heaven and hell are conditions of life, not death. Such teachings that heaven is up in the sky is slavery teachings which render us tools and fools of the white man.
I’m not waiting around to go to heaven. I’m in heaven everyday I am blessed to get up and walk down the street. And even this hell we can turn into heaven with radical action, flipping the script of ignorance by spreading knowledge and wisdom to the people, thus bringing them into the light from the darkness of slavery teachings.
The Muslims and Communists should work together as we did during the 60s. There is no doubt that Marxists and Muslims provided the ideological and spiritual energy for the liberation movement. The Muslims, though nationalist, were just as internationalist as the Communist, for the Muslims saw and see the world as the Nation of Islam. And we have a radical Christian tradition as well, from David Walker, Nat Turner, Prosser, Vesey down to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Of course, Muslims see Communists as Godless devils. And Communists see Muslims as
people lost in the metaphysical. But we believe in the physical and metaphysical. And I dare say Communists believe in the material and spiritual world. I have seen my Communist friend, Amiri Baraka, express his spirituality in performance. And don’t tell me when his son was shot in the head with a 357 Magnum, he and his wife and friends didn’t pray for that boy! Was it Marxism that healed that boy or the healing power of prayer with medical attention? And when you Marxists are flying at thirty thousand feet and hit turbulence, whom do you call, Marx or God and the Ancestors?
Some would say our contradictions are so great we cannot do anything together, but the 60s put the lie to this notion because we did many things together—if nothing else, we learned from each other. The so-called Marxist-Leninist Black Panther ten point program derived from Elijah’s What the Muslims Want, What the Muslims Believe. The Black Arts Movement was steeped in Muslim ideology, and what is the source of Black Studies if not the Pan Africanist and Islamic teachings of Marcus Garvey and Elijah Muhammad.
Many of our people turned to Islam and Communism for the same reasons: disillusionment with hypocritical Christianity, for as Baldwin told me in an interview at his Harlem apartment, 1968, “Your condition proves Christians don’t believe what they say.”
The great Pan Africanist Wilmot Blyden commanded Muslims and Christians to unite and work together for mutual benefit (Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race, 1887), and I say today those of us who are Marxist and Muslims should do the same. We should stop debating terminology while our people are suffering from poverty, ignorance and disease.
We should not question their newfound hope in Obama, but take full advantage of the hour to educate them around Obama rather than playa hatin. Imagine Obama is Crack. Now it was some time before Crack took hold on the intellectuals and radicals, but in the end it got the best of us. So if the people are on Crack, we should tell them the evils of this drug but don’t doctor the patients to death because they ain’t gonna stop smoking, just as they are going to go with Obama down to the wire. We should be intelligent enough to know this—yes, even though we have a continent in Africa full of black presidents not worth the time of day. You know babies love candy—let the babies have their candy. Why do you want to snatch the candy out their mouths, making them cry. They have not had candy in a long time, maybe 45 years—so let them celebrate the little candy, if only for a moment. The people have a choice, Obama or McCain, so which would you prefer being realistic and intellectual, looking at reality cold blooded, not starry eyed romantics.
Marxists should provide our people with a clear analysis of how they see this political matter. As per Muslims, Elijah told us no politician of this world can save us, only us can save us. So the job of Muslims and Marxists is to provide our people with ideological clarity. And if he wins, celebrate and educate, and if he loses, celebrate and educate.
Those of us claiming radical consciousness should be the leaders, not lagging and playa hatin. We should let the people know if we do not put forth a radical agenda for Obama, he will respond to the agenda of those who do pressure him, especially from the right.
Those of us on the Left should stop the silly mess about he ain’t black when half the black population is tainted with white blood as much if not more than Obama.