From Black Moses to Black Jesus
All throughout the history of the Black experience in America, various Black leaders have been dubbed or identified as “Black Moses.” Harriett Tubman was considered a “Black Moses”. Marcus Garvey was considered a “Black Moses” as well as many other strong courageous voices among us who spoke truth to power and carried the burdens of the Black community seemingly on their shoulders.
The “Black Moses” moniker and it being appended to strong Black leaders originally arose out of our enslaved African ancestors being on plantations throughout America and their being instructed in religion via their masters or any of their fellow slaves whom their masters “approved of” and appointed as preachers.
And even though the religious instruction of the slaves was intended to be a placebo or pacifier; the natural spirituality of Black people mixed with the yearning for freedom and liberation merged together to produce a robust religious expression that today is the vibrant and soulful Black church that we all know and love.
That a Black leader be designated as Black Moses is then appropriate when we consider that Moses’ ministry and career, as it is depicted in the Bible’s Old Testament, is characterized by certain strong themes that include liberation, law and punishment for slave masters. But the Bible reserves the most important depictions and narratives for a figure who appears many years after Moses. That man is Jesus. It stands to reason therefore that if the suffering of Black people in America gave to birth to leaders who fit the description of Moses; one day our suffering would give birth to leaders who fit the description of Jesus.
From my study both the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan fit the description of Jesus. One only need examine their teachings, their beneficial impact on Black people and their suffering as a result of the truth that they have taught to understand why I have drawn this conclusion.
Currently I am fascinated at how the most recent chapter in Minister Farrakhan’s controversy with Jewish leaders supports my conclusions.
Jesus as he is depicted in the Bible’s New Testament has a ministry that is similarly framed by certain strong themes just like that of Moses. Jesus ministry includes the same themes as that of Moses and the prophets before him; however the strongest theme in Jesus ministry is love. Jesus saw the flaw in how religion had been practiced by the people of his day, particularly the tendency for adherents to obey the law of God because they feared the punishment that would result if they did not obey. Jesus’ preaching emphasizes that the love of God should be the believers’ motivation for obedience and submission to His divine will and commands.
Jesus’ went about his work and ministry demonstrating the transformative power of love for God and his fellow man and woman. Jesus’ love of God and righteousness made him bold and courageous. In Jesus’ life and work we see how “love removes fear.” And the New Testament records that his ministry became a problem for Jewish leaders whose corrupt practices enslaved the poor; Jesus challenged them and they opposed him.
So the Jesus model of leadership, among Black people in America, is identified when we see Black leaders facing the powerful opposition of America’s Jewish leaders. The Jesus model is recognized in loving and kind leadership; the Jesus styled leader is gentle and merciful in his interactions with the poor; yet he is simultaneously a man known for a bold and courageous ministry that speaks truth to power. And these are characteristics of the life and work of the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan.
If you don’t agree, then permit me to direct you to certain observations that align with my conclusion. A survey of the Jesus narratives of the New Testament powerfully exposes important parallels in Jesus’ Jewish controversy and Minister Farrakhan’s Jewish controversy.
Crucifixion of Modern Lazarus
For instance, as the beautiful photo of Minister Farrakhan and Sen. Barack Obama was made public for the first time in over 12 years, Jewish leaders like Alan Dershowitz and Jonathon Greenblatt have reacted negatively. Greenblatt, the current leader of the ADL (anti-defamation league of b’nai b’rith) has called for former President Obama to repudiate Minister Farrakhan. In a twitter post he wrote:
“In Israel catching up on news about 2005 photo of Obama & Farrakhan. Over his career, @barackobama has denounced the bigotry of Farrakhan. Time to do so again. Leaders always should make sure that there’s no doubt: America is no place for those who advocate #antisemitism or hate.”
Mr. Obama now will have to evaluate whether or not he wants to once again repudiate Minister Farrakhan. He will have to evaluate whether or not he can stand against what lies behind Greenblatt’s words, which is clear to me is a threat . Over the years the demand from groups like the ADL that a famous person “repudiate Farrakhan” is a form of intimidation and is often a threat.
An ADL memo from 1994 entitled the Legitimation of Louis Farrakhan wrote that:
“Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI)… has recently attained a new level of acceptance among certain mainstream Black organizations and leaders. His “legitimation” has been reflected most notably by his participation last summer in the Parliament of the World’s Religions, his obtaining federal funds for NOI’s anti-AIDS efforts and the security services it has been providing at several federal housing projects, and his warm reception at the annual legislative meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) last fall.”
The memo’s author Steven Freeman recommended that:
“ADL is not going to make Farrakhan go away. What we can and should do is impose an obligation on those who deal with him, or, as in the case of universities, give him a platform.”
Freeman’s recommendation that the ADL “impose and obligation” on all who accept the Minister is like the coded language seen in movies like the Godfather when the Godfather portrayed by Marlon Brando says “make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
The ADL has a long sordid history that gives real reasons that a threat from their offices should be taken seriously. They have spied on organizations, they have been associated with various criminal activities. They spied on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and collaborated with J.Edgar Hoover in his infamous COINTELPRO operations. They have also participated in slander, disruption activities and have been in league with radical Jewish groups like the Jewish Defense League(JDL). Lyndon Larouche’s publication entitled the Ugly Truth About The ADL discusses in detail the crimes and scandalous history of this organization that has dogged the trail of Minister Farrakhan since 1984. From the Ugly Truth About The ADL we read some of the ADL’s sordid episodes of infamy include:
1964: Henry Schwarzchild, an official in the publications department, quits the ADL in protest against the League’s spying on Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on behalf of the FBI. On April 28, 1993, San Francisco Weekly, a Bay Area newspaper, provided the following account about the ADL collusion with J. Edgar Hoover against the civil rights leader: “ADL was spying on Martin Luther King and passing on the information to J. Edgar Hoover, a former ADL employee said. ‘It was common and casually accepted knowledge,’ said Henry Schwarzchild, who ‘Worked in the publications department of the ADL between 1962 and 1964. “Schwarzchild, now with the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said the ADL spied on King meetings because they were afraid that if the famed civil rights leader stirred a white backlash against blacks in the South, it would encompass Jews as well. ‘They thought King was sort of a loose cannon,’ he said. ‘He was, a Baptist preacher and nobody could be quite sure what he would do next. The ADL was very anxious about having an unguided missile out there. The Jewish community was smaD but very well settled in the Deep South.
1968: ADL Southern Regional Director Adolph Botnick plays a pivotal role in a staged bomb attack against the home of a prominent Jewish businessman in Meridian, Mississippi. Botnick, on behalf of the ADL, pays two indicted Ku Klux Klan murderers, Alton Wayne Roberts and Raymond Roberts, a total of $69,000 to set up the attack on the home of Meyer Davidson by two Klan underlings, Thomas A. Terrants III and Kathy Ainsworth. Terrants and Ainsworth walk into an FBI and sheriffs ambush, and in the ensuing shootout, Ainsworth is killed and Terrants is shot 70 times (he miraculously survived). The Roberts brothers, who were paid by the ADL to stage the incident, were at the time under indictment for the 1964 Philadelphia, Mississippi Klan murders of three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. Alton Wayne Roberts was the triggerman in the cold-blooded execution of the three civil rights volunteers, yet the ADL interceded to get him a minimum sentence of less than 10 years in prison (he was released from jail after serving three years), presumably in payment for the services he rendered to the League in Meridian.”
Freeman’s coded language of retaliation for those who refuse repudiation of the Minister is the modern equivalent of what we read of in the New Testament book of John. The book of John reveals to us that not only had the Jewish leaders planned to crucify Jesus; they had also planned to crucify Lazarus.
“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” –John 12: 9-11
From the perspective of the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus, Lazarus had produced the “legitimation” of Jesus and was causing many others to believe in Jesus. In the modern era persons such as Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.; Actor Bruce Willis; Mayor Ed Rendell; Congressman Keith Ellison; Congressman John Conyers; and Presidential candidate Barack H. Obama are just a few famous individuals who Jewish leaders have demanded that they repudiate the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
For many years the consensus in the Black community regarding the absence of comedian Arsenio Hall from being an A-list celebrity is because he ended his wildly famous Arsenio Hall Show with a highly watched interview with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Another parallel from Jesus’ Jewish controversy to Minister Farrakhan’s Jewish controversy is to compare the scripture found in John 7:13 to the comments of journalist William Raspberry. From the Book of John, we read:
“But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.”
From Journalist William Raspberry we read:
“Farrakhan says what so many black people believe but have learned not to say in public: for instance, that Jews wield tremendous influence in the news and entertainment media. That doesn’t mean that most blacks accept Farrakhan’s notion of a small Jewish cabal that meets in Hollywood or in a Park Avenue apartment to decide which ideas and trends are to be foisted off on the public. But few of us doubt the disproportionate influence of Jews-for good or ill- on what we see on television or in the movies. Nor do blacks doubt the disproportionate influence of Jews on American foreign policy, particularly with regard to political and economic support of Israel. But we also know that to say these things is to be accused of antisemitism. That’s why blacks can cheer when Farrakhan says them, even in gross overstatement.”
-Raspberry, William, The Washington Post, March 2, 1990
Another parallel is found in John 7:1 wherein we find the following:
“After this, Jesus traveled throughout Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jews there were trying to kill Him.”
Compare this to Professor Mattias Gardell’s report on Jewish efforts to kill Minister Farrakhan:
“Pickets with Jews shouting “Who do we want? -Farrakhan! How do we want him-Dead!” are far from unusual and the Jewish Defense Organization had Farrakhan on top of the death list found by police investigating a bombing of Arab-American facilities. The Jewish Defense League has staged at least one “Death to Farrakhan” march, on Saviours’ Day, October 7, 1985. “
In another place in the book of John we read:
“Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue.” –John 12:42
Compare this to the history of Minister Farrakhan being loved and lauded by many leaders in various fields; yet many of these leaders become quiet when the Minister is condemned by Jewish leaders. Rapper Nas spoke on this phenomenon when he said:
“It’s like everybody’s scared to speak out about what’s in their heart, just because they’re scared of who is going to come down on them. They’re scared they’re going to get “blacklisted.” They’re going to get all their endorsements taken away from them. They’re scared that they can’t feed their families.”
-Nas, interview with the Final Call Newspaper
Crucifixion of Modern Lazarus: Hip Hop Artists
The plot to kill Lazarus showed up again as a strategy of the wicked in 2015 during Minister Farrakhan’s organizing and promotion of the Justice or Else 2015 gathering in Washington D.C.
As the Minister traveled the country he held meetings with political, civic and religious leaders. And one of the most significant features of the Minister’s organizing was his meetings with local artists, musicians and cultural figures.
Many of the top tier entertainers and hip-hop artists flocked to the Minister’s messages and posed for historic photos with the Minister and his staff.
This angered the ADL. They devoted a page on the ADL website to criticize and condemn the rappers for their posing for photos with Minister Farrakhan and for helping the Minister promote the Justice or Else event.
In an article written by the Final Call newspaper’s Ashahed Muhammad he discusses how the ADL’s condemnation of the artists was followed by several of the artists being arrested and experiencing various legal troubles.
From Ashahed Muhammad’s July 14, 2015 article we read:
– Officials in Georgia said rapper Rick Ross, whose real name is William Roberts, was released July 6 from a Fayette County jail after posting $2 million in bail on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Arrest records say Roberts is accused of forcing a man into an area at his metro Atlanta mansion June 7 and beating him with a handgun, leaving him with an injured jaw. He was arrested on June 24, less than 48 hours after he met with Min. Farrakhan. It was the same day of the official announcement of the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March at Metropolitan AME church in Washington, D.C. In fact, according to The Nation of Islam’s social media director Jesse Muhammad, #JusticeOrElse was trending on Twitter that entire day and the only thing trending higher, was news of the rapper’s arrest. He had also been arrested a few weeks prior after being stopped by police for a window tinting violation and marijuana possession. At that time, he not only made bail, but he reportedly bailed out others he befriended during his brief stint behind bars.
– The West Coast rapper known as The Game has been charged with hitting an off-duty Los Angeles police officer during an altercation at basketball game earlier in March. The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, met with Min. Farrakhan June 17, but even before that recent meeting and subsequent interview with The Final Call in which he pledged support for the #JusticeOrElse movement, he released the single “Don’t Shoot” in the summer of 2014 as a tribute to Michael Brown Jr., the teenager killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Coincidentally, the song featured Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Diddy among others. The song mentions other Black men killed such as Emmett Till, Ezell Ford, Trayvon Martin, and Sean Bell. Facing charges of one felony count of making criminal threats and one count of misdemeanor assault and battery, The Game pleaded not guilty during his most recent court appearance June 29. He is free on $50,000 bail and faces up to three years in prison if convicted. His next court date is July 30.
– Reports have surfaced that the rapper 2 Chainz, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, is being sued for $5 million over comments he made in a video recorded and posted containing back stage footage at a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina way back in March of 2014. The woman suing him, Christine Chisolm, claims he referred to her using a derogatory term. 2 Chainz met with Min. Farrakhan during the historic meeting with Hip Hop giants at Tree Studios just outside of Atlanta June 21. On June 28 at the BET Awards, 2 Chainz was asked about his recent meeting with the Minister. He said he was happy to be in the Minister’s presence and “big things are on the way for the community,” he added.
– Sean Combs, the Hip Hop mogul known as Diddy, was in the news after being arrested June 22 charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, battery, and making terrorist threats. Mr. Combs allegedly assaulted one of the coaches of the UCLA college football team. His son Justin is a defensive back for the team. No injuries were reported resulting from the alleged attack, and reports have surfaced that the coach was bullying young Combs.
– Reportedly, a member of rapper Young Thug’s road team was arrested after being accused of shooting at rapper Lil Wayne’s caravan early in April of this year. No one was injured. Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery L. Williams, has not been directly implicated in the shooting, however the feud between the two rival camps is a hot topic in social media and on Hip Hop related news sites.
The ADL also seems to be very interested in Kanye West, who came under sharp criticism in 2013 after he publicly opined, “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.” After speaking with Min. Farrakhan and receiving counsel and guidance, Kanye West refused to bow to Jewish power and refused to apologize for his comments. He was present for the Minister’s recent message in Los Angeles, and has also coined a new honorific title for the Minister— “Sensei,” meaning a highly respected master teacher.
Although not mentioned by the ADL, in a 2014 interview Young Jeezy, whose real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins, said once he began speaking out about issues like what was happening in Ferguson, “things started getting a little funny. When I really just started speaking my mind about it, a lot of strange things started to happen around me.” He also has spoken publicly about his love and admiration for Min. Farrakhan.
And yet despite all of this opposition and harassment of his supporters and admirers the Minister continues to be strong, courageous and mighty! As outgoing ADL director Abraham Foxman said of the Minister, he really is the last man standing. Foxman noted:
The only leadership that now exists in that community”—the “African American community”— “is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan can assemble 20,000 people several times a year…”
-Abraham Foxman in April 2013 issue of Ha’aertz Magazine
The Minister’s strength and widespread appeal is the result of his anointing. So just as the Jewish leaders in the New Testament falsely attributed Jesus’ fame to Lazarus; the modern Jewish leaders falsely attribute Minister Farrakhan’s “legitimation” to Black celebrities and politicians. Truth be told, it is not Minister Farrakhan who is the net beneficiary of his interaction with famous folk. It is quite the opposite. The Minister gives to them a favorable place within the divine scheme of things. He helps them to have a higher profile secular society, but more importantly these men and women through a positive association with Minister Farrakhan earn for themselves and their children the favor and protection of Allah(God). Just reflect on former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. His triumphant return to public live and political victory flowed from his positive association with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan not only defended Mayor Barry as the target of a multi-million-dollar political take-down. He also, pastored Mayor Barry and encouraged his heart and ministered to his soul so that he might overcome the embarrassment and feelings of self-loathing that followed public disgrace.
Yes, we have had “Black Moses”, but we now in the life, work and ministry of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan we can behold “Black Jesus.” The dilemma now before Black America is a question of whether or not we ae going to stand by and allow the modern Jewish leaders to crucify a man who has always defended the Black community, even when it has been unpopular? Theology Professor Andre C. Willis is spot on when he says of the Minister:
“There is simply no Black person in the world that has — over so many years — been as consistent, as unrestricted, and as forthright in defending the humanity of Black people throughout the world against its attackers.”
-Andre C. Willis
Who then among us will defend Minister Farrakhan? Or will we once again allow a good man to be crucified ?