Farrakhan Challenges The Hip Hop Community: ‘Accept The Responsibility of Leadership’

With this column I step aside to share excerpts of a speech entitled “A Message To The National Hip Hop Summit” delivered by Minister Louis Farrakhan on June 13, 2001 at The New York Hilton hotel, on accepting the responsibility of leadership.

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Allah (God) created nothing without an aim and a purpose, and blessed is the man or woman who discovers his or her reason for being.  Each of you in this very powerful and revolutionary hip hop community may have only wanted to make a good song and make a great impact, but maybe you are not aware that you have been chosen to lead.

I am a spiritual man, so I have to speak to you from the Books (Bible and Qur’an).  You may not think that I am “too hip,” but when you hear from the Books 1.) Who you are; 2.) Why you are called, and 3.) What your mission is that you have just begun to see, then you will know that the Prophets of Allah (God) who saw all the way to The Judgment and to the end of the present world had to have seen hip hop.

You will not find the words “hip hop” necessarily in the Bible or in the Qur’an, but you are there in a very big way.

In the Book of John, it says, “In the beginning was the word. And the word was God and the word was with God and the word became flesh and the flesh dwelled among men. And the light shined in the darkness but the darkness, comprehended it not.”  I do not think it is an accident that music and culture have moved to this time, and that the spoken word has become that which is affecting youth throughout the entire planet. In countries where governments do not like Western music or Western civilization, people are sneaking around listening to the word and moving to the beat of the hip hop generation.

If in the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God and The Word was God, then “God” here means “Force and Power.”  The Word has Force, The Word has Power—Force and Power to move men to think new thoughts and to do new things.

There are a lot of people my age that talk about the lyrics of rap artists. They are upset that the rap artists speak of killing, using drugs, the misuse of our women, ripping off people and killing police, but these lyrics do not come from apples that have fallen from some other tree. The society says it wants the rappers to clean up their lyrics, but the society does not want to clean itself up.

So, what have you done, young people?  You have brought out of the closet people’s realities.  The youth have manifested the wickedness of their parents, their teachers, the judges, the politicians and the rulers. When you talk about “gangster” lyrics, you are literally showing aspects of a government that tells you that you should kill a leader that they disagree with—assassinate him, destabilize his government, cause hundreds of thousands, even millions of people to die, because you do not like their form of government. What is that but gangsterism in the name of government?

When you talk about killing, when you talk about shooting, you have got to clean that up.  You talk about smoking weed and snorting coke, but that is something that went on in the White House and it goes on behind the doors in the best of society.  What society would like to do with the young people is break the mirror, rather than look in the mirror and clean themselves up.  If your lyrics reflect what is in the society, and society cleaned itself up, then you would have to talk about something else.

In China, in Japan, in Europe, in Africa, in the Caribbean, in Central America and South America, the youth are following you. You are already the leaders of the world—and it is frightening folks in power, and they are asking themselves, “How do we get our children back?”  Then they determine, “Let’s get Puffy.  Let’s create problems in the hip hop community.  We have already put guns among them, drugs among them, fostered gang life among them, now let us put them against each other so they will never come to realize their power potential.  Let’s make them fight and kill one another.”

Every time you use your rap song against another rapper and the magazines publish your words, the people that love you then turn on the people that you have spoken against. Then, the one you spoke against speaks back against you and his group becomes inflamed against you.

When you are a rapper and you understand your leadership role, you must understand that with leadership comes responsibility.  You did not ask for it—it is imposed on you; but you now have to accept responsibility that you have never accepted.  Your potential to change reality is so great that, if you learned the skill of words and how to use words; if you learned how to say what it is you want to say, but say it in a way that gains universal respect, then the rap would evolve to an art form that will never be replaced.  It will evolve to be that form that will set the stage for the next phase of its evolution.

The freedom of speech is one thing, but “freedom” is not “license.”  That’s what is wrong in American society:  You can say anything you want to without care for how it affects anything; that is not “freedom,” that is license.  You say, “I’ll do anything I want to do.  I’ll say anything I want to say because I’m grown—don’t nobody tell me what to do!”  That attitude is revolutionary; it is really shaking up the parents, and it is probably the right attitude to break from the old, but it is not the right attitude to come into the new.

The elders are rejecting the youth because the youth are not listening to them, and the youth are doing something that the elders do not quite understand.  Let me help the elders to understand what is going on here:  When Allah (God) took the Children of Israel out of Egypt, He let the old wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all of them died out.  He took nothing over 20 years of age into the new land but Joshua and Caleb, because the people were wholly rebellious.  So, it is the youth that inhabited The Promised Land.

Is that a sign of you today?  You are the most courageous generation that we have ever had.  You are the strongest generation that we have ever had.  You are the most fearless generation that we have ever had.  But your courage and your fearlessness are being used by the enemy so that you will destroy each other.

When you pull the gun out, it makes you feel powerful, but the gun did not get you a following in China; the gun did not get you followers in Iran, Egypt, Ghana, and South Africa.  It was The Word.  You do not need the gun to empower you, because the gun in the hand of an underdeveloped mind becomes an instrument of self-destruction.  You have become now tools of a Satanic mind that will use you to destroy your future.

I believe you can change the reality of American life and the racism that exists that has defiled, corrupted and destroyed American society. I believe that they cannot fight a war if the youth are enlightened and become instruments of peace and justice in the world.  You can force government to change policies.

I believe that 18-30 is the age group in America that is not registered, and do not care about voting.  So, the politicians court the “gray power” because old folks have united; they court the “gay power” because gays have united—but they have no program for you because the youth, which is the most potentially powerful group in the country, have not organized.  If the youth were organized, politicized and highly enlightened, then the two-year-olds that learn your rap can learn more than ABC’s, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, because they are listening to you more than they are listening to their parents and teachers.

The Tyger Voyage

The Tyger Voyage
Richard Adams & Nicola Bayley
David R. Godine Publisher
Post Office Box 450
Jeffrey New Hampshire 03452
www.godine.com
9781567924916, $15.95 www.amazon.com

When I saw the name Richard Adams I thought is this the same one who wrote “Watership Down?” I wondered because it has been a long time since I had seen anything new from that author. I am pleased to say it is the same writer and like “Watership Down” “The Tyger Voyage” deals with animals with human characteristics who go on a bold quest. This time Adams has geared the story to a younger audience also writing in poetic form instead of prose and there is artwork by Nocola Bayley that further enhances the tale. “The Tyger Voyage” would make a perfect animated movie for all ages.

Pizza in Pienza

Pizza in Pienza
By Susan Fillion
David R. Godine Publisher
Post Office Box 450
Jeffrey New Hampshire 03452
www.godine.com
9781567924596, $17.95 www.amazon.com

Most of us like pizza and “Pizza in Pienza” is the story of where and how pizza began. The author also did the artwork and she traces the different ingredients that make up a pizza pie. She takes readers step by step on how to make a great pizza. Written for kids “Pizza in Pienza” is for all ages to have a deeper appreciation of this very special food that so many of us love.

WHOSE TIME IS IT ANYWAY?

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Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

When life gets really upside down with me spiritually, I get anxious and scattered. If not reminded by those closest to me, I get a gentle nudge from my wife to remember my perceived angst has nothing to with the answers to my problems. God’s already taken care of that. When I eventually calm down (and I always do), most of my current issues are related to time or my perceived lack thereof.

It’s then that I hear a sermon titled “There is no such thing as an emergency in eternity,” by Dr. Freddie D. Haynes III, Senior Pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas Texas. He reminds me and you that for those who claim Christianity, we err if we think God’s time must somehow be reconciled with our own.

We all tend to want what we want now, immediately, including those things we ask God for. It’s an unspiritual by product of the fast paced world in which we live. Be saved now. Answer my prayer now. Solve this for me now. Deliver me from this job, this person, this situation now. Some of us even have the nerve to question God’s judgment based on the amount of time we perceive Him to be taking to get around to our situation. Prayer is compared to texting waiting for God to text us back.

One thing I have learned the hard way I might add, is that God will answer and His answer will be right on time. His! It (the answer) will be one of three things: yes, no or not now. If you’re honest with yourself, the truth in this is hindsight that suggests God should be thanked for not giving you that which you begged and pleaded for. Was it a job? Maybe a person, some man or woman you couldn’t live without? How often can you give example after example that had you gotten what you prayed for, when you prayed for it, it would have been the worst possible thing that could have happened? It is now a certainty to you and anyone who knows you that it would have been a disaster. Some things I’ve learned through prayer. God delivers when He knows you can handle and or appreciate the blessing He is about to bestow.

That saying that most of us believe is biblical that God won’t put anything on you that you can’t handle cannot be proven by me. Many a time I have known I couldn’t go another further. And then something happened. God got me through it. I don’t know how but I do know it’s because I placed it in God’s hands and truly let it go because I certainly couldn’t deal with it. Let go. Let God. Jesus has already done the dirty work. “…It is not for you to know the times or the dates the father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” Acts 1:7-8.

This power I believe is evident when patience and prayer align and reveal to us that there is indeed a divine reason for us to experience whatever it is that we’re going through. Without these trials and tribulations, there can be no wisdom. Unless you submit to the will of God, there can be no salvation. Without salvation, prayer cannot be answered. My own salvation lets me know that until I could give it all up to God, I couldn’t and didn’t appreciate anything that was, shall we say, provided to me for my own spiritual good.

We see right past these things, these people who are placed in our lives to insure that we understand how blessed we really are when we are in a rush, when we are about to lose our minds, when we are so caught up in this world that we think this is forever. Well let me let you in on a little secret. It’s not. Once you trust the truth in this, like Abraham, there will be a ram that appears in the bush. And then you’ll understand that joy really does come in the morning.

May God bless and keep you always,
James

Member paper, NNPA

Middle School Ultimate Showdown

Middle School Ultimate Showdown
James Patterson & Julia Bergen
Little Brown and Company
c/o Hachette Book Group USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
www.HatchetteBookGroupUSA.com
9780316322119, $13.99 www.amazon.com

“Middle School Ultimate Showdown” the 5th book in the series is a little bit different from the previous ones. This time the authors of James Patterson and Julia Bergen have filled the work with commentaries by Rafe and his sister Georgia as well as fun games and activities for kids to do. Also there are many different lessons on how to deal with bullying. “Middle School Ultimate Showdown” is great fun for all ages to enjoy.

Middle School Save Rafe!

Middle School Save Rafe!
James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts
Little Brown and Company
c/o Hachette Book Group USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
www.HatchetteBookGroupUSA.com
9780316322126, $13.99 www.amazon.com

“Middle School Save Rafe!” begins with Rafe unable to register for the fall semester of school unless he goes through a one week boot camp called “The Program” It is the hope of the principal of the school that he will learn some valuable lessons that will help him stay out of trouble. Adults and kids can read and enjoy the Middle School novels and “Middle School Save Rafe!” is a great addition to the series.

My Journey West Virginia to Korea to W.V.U.

My Journey West Virginia to Korea to W.V.U.
Jack Elbon
c/o Bookstand Publishing
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
www.bookstandpublishing.com
9781618635617, $11.95 www.amazon.com

“My Journey West Virginia to Korea to W.V.U”. takes place long ago in a country so different from today. The author tells stories of basketball games, other sports, being in high school, tours of duty in the military and after. “My Journey West Virginia to Korea to W.V.U. has a nice flow that takes readers along a sentimental journey of a kinder and gentler world before the Korean War and after.

Have a Nice Guilt Trip

Have a Nice Guilt Trip
Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
St Martin’s Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9780312640095, $24.99, www.amazon.com

Scottoline and Serritella (who are mother and daughter) are back again in “Have a Nice Guilt Trip” a witty and fun excursion into the lives of both authors. Though the pieces have appeared in other publications they are together for the first time in the same collection. The two authors comment on many subjects ranging from dating and relationships to living alone in a home. The most surprising thing I found with “Have a Nice Guilt Trip” are the many unflattering things Lisa reveals about herself, and I was surprised she would be that honest.

The Montauk Monster

The Montauk Monster
Hunter Shea
Kensington Publishing Corp
119 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
www.kensingtonbooks.com
978075826691, $7.99, www.amazon.com

Bodies are piling up and other people are becoming infected by a virus that many in the medical profession have never dealt with before. Gary Dalton a police officer of the jurisdiction of Suffolk County N.Y. is racing against time to find out what the cause of all the chaos is. He learns there is a top secret U. S. research facility not far from Montauk that for years has been doing covert scientific tests of many different things. So he begins to trace a connection. “The Montauk Monster” is a chilling tale of government testing out of control.

Carnal Curiosity

Carnal Curiosity
Stuart Woods
Putnam
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780399164163, $26.95, www.amazon.com

Like “Standup Guy” the last Stone Barrington novel “Carnal Curiosity” moves along on several different storylines including one that involves the first lady of the United States. Another has Stone dealing with a fraudulent security company and the things they were supposed to protect including Stones own home and business. “Carnal Curiosity” is a great addition to the Stone Barrington thrillers.