The End Times Messiah
In the Jewish Christian and Islamic faiths, there is an expectation that the end of the world will be marked by the presence of a man referred to by the title of Messiah. This man called Messiah is greatly anticipated and expected because he will bring about justice throughout the earth. All of these faiths have what religious scholars refer to as an eschatology or “end time” prophecy and viewpoint. The prophecy regarding a man called Messiah is a common element among all of these-the Abrahamic faiths.
The Holy Qur’an, the Muslim book of scripture, says that the Messiah will bear a similitude and likeness to Jesus who lived 2,019 years ago. According to the Holy Qur’an, Jesus and Mary are a sign of something of great significance and vital importance. The Quranic scripture reads in Surah 23:50, “And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and We gave them refuge on a lofty ground having meadows and springs.”
Nowadays modern archaeology has borne witness to what the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, historians and Black nationalists have been teaching for years, that Jesus was a man of color, that Jesus was a Black man. And the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad has taught that the Jesus of yesterday is a sign of the Messiah who comes at the end of this world. This means that as Jesus was the son of a Black woman; the end times Messiah is also the son of a Black woman.
These religious and spiritual ideas have great relevance to the current controversy of the Women’s March on Washington.
Women’s March Farrakhan Controversy
There have been many news reports that this movement for equality and justice led by a powerful group of women is being fractured due to the insistence on the part of many white feminists that the non-White women in the movement leadership, repudiate and disavow the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan. And so far, sisters Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez have refused to engage in the old 1980s era politics of “repudiate Farrakhan or else.”
The opposition and hostile posture towards Minister Farrakhan is outrageous and reminds us of how fundamentally different is the struggle, history and experience lived by Black women and white women.
The opposition on the part of white feminist groups to Minister Farrakhan, which is based on the false charge of anti-Semitism, fits a pattern of history where white women have opposed the sons of Black women, especially the sons of Black women who were outspoken, bold, courageous and of a revolutionary spirit.
Minister Farrakhan is many things, an anti-Semite he is not. He is however, a magnificent leader, teacher and guide to millions of people. He is the last national Black leader in America capable of galvanizing the masses. He is a talented musician. He is extraordinarily charitable. He is strong, courageous and bold. To some he has been the father that they never had. To others he has been the source of inspiration that helped them to achieve their life’s goals and dreams. Still for others he has been a deep and profound teacher of religion, scripture and theology. For many he has been the personification of manhood and brotherhood. He would probably prefer to just be considered a servant of Allah(God).
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is also “the son of a Black woman.” And this aspect of who Louis Farrakhan is, is especially relevant and germane in terms of understanding why he is being opposed so strongly by a very vocal element of the white feminist activists.
Black People’s Suffering & Expectation For A Deliverer
Truth be told, it is the condition and destiny of the Black woman and her sons that is the key relationship that defines and frames the struggle of women of color in this country. The American Black woman and her son typifies the Mary and Jesus salvation symbolism described in the Christian and Muslim scriptures.
We should never forget that Black people in America have, since we were brought here to be made into chattel slaves, been the most oppressed of all people in America. Our suffering as a people has given birth to a yearning among us that a liberator and a deliverer and a savior would be borne among us to free us from the terrible oppressive control of the white ruling class. Religious scholar and Professor, Albert J. Raboteau quotes in his narrative entitled Slave Religion, Union Army Chaplain W. G. Kiphant on his work among freed slaves in Decatur Alabama. According to Chaplain Kiphant, “There is no part of the Bible with which they (slaves) are so familiar as the story of the deliverance of the children of Israel. Moses is their ideal of all that is high, and noble, and perfect, in man. I think they have been accustomed to regard Christ not so much in the light of a spiritual Deliverer, as that of a second Moses who would eventually lead them out of their prison-house of bondage.”
Enslaved Black men and women had a real practical use for religion. They put their hope and faith in God to bless them with a son who would be a Moses and a Jesus for Black people. They yearned for a son who could both free them from the cruelty of their slave masters and punish the slave masters for their unyielding evil. And in their pure, simple and righteous faith, they didn’t look for such a Moses and Jesus to float in on a cloud. They looked for their Moses and Jesus to be born from the blessed womb of a Black woman. In this way, enslaved Black women shared a common belief and hope for a Messiah that the Jewish women have shared. Rabbi Efraim Goldstein noted that “It was the hope of every Jewish mother that her child might be the key to Israel’s future. With the pain of labor came the comforting thought, ‘Maybe my child will fulfill God’s promises to the nation. Maybe my boy will be Messiah’.”
This historical truth has been dramatically depicted in the classic film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Miss Jane played by film great Cicely Tyson says to her interviewer: “We was always looking for somebody to lead em’. They did it during slavery, they did during the War, and they doing it now. They always do in the hard times, and the Lord always obliges ’em. When a child is born, old folks look at him and ask, Is you the one? When Lena had her baby boy, all the folks looked at him and say, You the one, Jimmy? Is you the one?”
The knowledge of this expectation and yearning for a deliverer and liberator among Black people in America helps us to see clearly how the environment of Black people’s suffering eventually gave birth to men like Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Processor, Fredrick Douglass, Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Toure) and Minister Louis Farrakhan.
These men are the fruit of the womb of Black mothers. They represent the growth and gestation of the “seeds of yearning” from Black fathers. And all of these men have been hated by the white ruling class in America. All of these have been strong Black men, who were given birth to by strong Black women; men who grew to become thorns in the side of the white ruling class where the sons of white women are perched at the top.
The Divine Rise of Women
Again, this understanding is critical to properly frame the women’s movement within the context of destiny and universal change. Black women must understand that their struggle is a divine struggle. It is not a struggle to make some small incremental change in the laws of America. It is not just a struggle to gain higher wages on par with men who work the same jobs that they do. And it is certainly not a struggle to have diversity within behemoth corporations who exploit the earth’s natural resources and economically oppress poor people all around the world. The rise of women is being orchestrated by Allah (God), who appeared in the person of Master W. Fard Muhammad. The rise of women is a part of what the scriptures speak of when various passages and verses describe “the resurrection” of the dead.
Minister Farrakhan has taught that the resurrection of the dead is a symbolic reference to the mental and spiritual resurrection of humanity. He said that his teacher the Hon. Elijah Muhammad told him that the resurrection begins with Black people in America. And he said that the overwhelming majority of the work of the resurrection –some 75%-involves the protection, education, refinement, development and empowerment of women. And in 1985, Minister Farrakhan said before the world the following:
“Whenever a people disrespect the womb, they cut off their creative powers. When you disrespect woman, you disrespect that which absolutely shows you a part of the nature of God himself. This is why the oft repeated words of the Qur’an, Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Rahim, you have Rahman and you have Rahim. You have the part coming out of the nature of God. Out of the love of the creator, he creates and does good for all his creatures. Then there is another part out of his love called Rahim or mercy, undeserved kindness, where he gives to you and you don’t deserve anything. A mother will love her child when it is wrong; she will love it and be kind to it when it doesn’t deserve it. This is part of her nature.
When man denies woman, he denies a part of his own nature that gives him balance. This is why the world is messed up today! You have denied woman and you have denied the quality of mercy in your own self! So I have sisters around me to say to the whole world; the woman must play an important part in the development of the nation or the nation will go to hell. The woman must not be looked at brothers as an object of pleasure and something to bear babies with no intelligence. Any nation that has an uncultivated woman becomes an uncultivated nation. It is a foolish man who denies the mosque to the woman. The woman should be in the mosque because when she knows the Qur’an, studies the Qur’an, takes the Qur’an and internalizes it. She takes your children and she nurtures them in the Quran. But when you push her out and make her to feel like she’s not wanted, that she’s not as good as the man, then there’s a dislike in her and she passes it on to the children. And so the children go away from Allah rather than coming toward Allah.
You mistreat your woman you mistreat yourself. You push your woman down you push yourself down. You pick your woman up, you and I go up. Are you speaking about Black women? I am speaking about all women no matter what their color is. And let me say this , those who condemn me , who call me a bigot; who call me a racist; who call me a hater; who call me an anti-Semite; I want you to listen to me real carefully tonight. And if anything like that comes out of my mouth raise your hand and stop me, hear. But you’d only be raising your hand no matter what your color is and cheering me on. Because that is what they say I am; but tonight you judge for yourself.”
Fear of A Black Messiah With An Iron Rule
There is an old saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” This phrase is taken from a poem written in 1865 by William Ross Wallace; a poem that celebrates the power of motherhood.
According to the Biblical eschatology, it is the Messiah who will triumph at the end of this present system of things. He will lead the resurrection and He will defeat Satan. But the Bible says that His rule is “with a rod of iron.” In the book of Revelation, chapter 2 verse 27 we read “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” An important commentary on this verse is found in Barnes Notes On The Bible:
“And he shall rule them with a rod of iron – There is an allusion here to Psalm 2:9; “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” …The allusion in the Psalm is to the Messiah as reigning triumphant over the nations, or subduing them under him; and the idea here, as in the previous verse, is, that his redeemed people will be associated with him in this dominion. To rule with a scepter of iron, is not to rule with a harsh and tyrannical sway, but with power that is firm and invincible. It denotes a government of strength, or one that cannot be successfully opposed; one in which the subjects are effectually subdued.
As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers – The ironic here is that of the vessel of a potter – a fragile vessel of clay – struck with a rod of iron and broken into fragments. That is, as applied to the nations, there would be no power to oppose His rule; the enemies of his government would be destroyed. Instead of remaining firm and compacted together, they would be broken like the clay vessel of a potter when struck with a rod of iron. The speaker does not intimate when this would be; but all that is said here would be applicable to that time when the Son of God will come to judge the world, and when His saints will be associated with him in his triumphs.”
This Biblical description of the rule of the Messiah “with a rod of Iron” to break into pieces the wicked reminds me of a cartoon published in Harper’s Weekly back during the 1800s. It was a cartoon that express the fear of the white ruling class. They feared the growing political and economic power of Blacks during reconstruction, and that one day white people would be under the rule of Black people-their former slaves. And in the horrific image, it shows a white man having shot and killed a Black boy-the son of a Black mother. The caption read “If I hadn’t killed you, you would have grown up to rule me.”
The fear that Blacks will one day rule over whites is rooted in the fear of retaliation. It is like what Cain said in the Bible when he feared that because he killed Abel, he would be retaliated against and himself be killed, once what he did to his brother Abel was exposed.
And this is the reason why there is a Farrakhan Litmus Test. This is the reason why white feminists are drawing a line in the sand and telling Black women that if they want to receive their support, they have to disavow Minister Farrakhan. In the eyes of white feminists, who historically have been among the greatest defenders of white supremacy, Minister Farrakhan looks threatening. The wise among the white ruling class recognize that he represents the presence of the Messiah. They understand that the Messiah is gradually establishing His mighty presence in the earth through Minister Farrakhan.. The Farrakhan Litmus test given to Women’s March Leaders is purposed to ensure that that movement does not become under the influence of the Messianic ministry of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Minister Farrakhan is the son of a beautiful West Indian mother the late Mother Sumayyah Farrakhan; the former Sara Mae Manning. Once the Minister told me about how his mother, while working as a domestic worker for a wealthy white family, saw him on television inside the home of the wealthy white family. This was during the early days of his ministry. But the news coverage of Minister Farrakhan’s speech was on the television and both Minister Farrakhan’s mother and the white woman who was her employer saw it. The Minister said that the white woman said in an angry manner, “I wonder who his mother is?” And Minister Farrakhan’s mother said “that is MY son!”
The white employer was concerned as to who the fiery and revolutionary young man’s mother was. She obviously knew that what she was witnessing in a young man who was fearlessly speaking truth to power and holding the white ruling class accountable for their offenses against the Black community was a product of how he was reared. She knew that what she was looking at was the offspring of a strong Black mother.
Are white feminists comfortable with Black women who give birth to revolutionary sons? Their reactions to Minister Farrakhan demonstrate that many of them are not. They ought to know that Black women are no longer raising their sons to be docile and malleable to an oppressive society out of fear that they may be killed. Those days are over, and we witness in the youth of today a courage and boldness unlike ever before.
There is a fear that if Minister is free to teach Black mothers and their sons, their sons will grow up to be the rulers of the sons of white mothers. So, white anti-Farrakhan feminists want to ensure that the hand rocking the cradle of the future world leaders is the hand of a white mother.
J. Edgar Hoover looked for the Messiah among Black people. And like Pharaoh and Herod, in the Bible, he didn’t look for him to honor and help him. He looked for the Messiah among the sons of Black women for the purpose of neutralizing him. In February 1968, Hoover wrote that one of his primary objectives of his new counterintelligence program was to: “Prevent the RISE OF A “MESSIAH” who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a “messiah;” he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed “obedience” to “white, liberal doctrines” (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism. Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.”
I find it intriguing that Hoover noted that in order to be the Messiah, Dr. King for instance, would have to give up obedience to white liberals. In Hoover’s estimation, you can’t be the Messiah if you’re beholden to white liberal ideas. Hoover understood that the Messiah would be of a Black Nationalist orientation.
White feminists don’t want the hand on the cradle of the world rulers to be the hand of a Black mother. White feminists want Black women to help them do what New York Times editor Brent Staples said is their goal; to seek “parity with their husbands and brothers.” Staples in his piece titled How The Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women points that in the history of the struggle for the right to vote, we can see the fundamentally different struggles of Black women versus that of White women. He notes how Black women were struggling to find “a means of empowering black communities besieged by the reign of racial terror that erupted after Emancipation.”
That the White female’s motive and reason for their struggle for equality was to achieve “parity with their husbands and brothers” is to say that they wanted take a greater role in the systems of oppression advanced by their husbands and brothers. In other words, they wanted to be co-equal colonizers; co-equal imperialists; co-equal slave masters; co-equal exploiters; co-equal oppressors. Again, this is the real reason they want Black women to disavow a man that their own wombs have produced-the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan.
In closing, could you imagine Harriett Tubman being asked to repudiate Nat Turner or Rosa Parks being asked to disavow Martin L. King Jr.; or Angela Davis to repudiate Malcolm X.? It sounds ridiculous to suggest such foolishness. Nevertheless, it is what is being demanded by white feminists who are separating themselves from Women’s March Leaders like Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez because of Minister Farrakhan. I am grateful that they have not succumbed to the wicked tactic of divisiveness- a tactic to divide the women’s movement from the movement for Black liberation. As long as our courageous sisters stand on principle, they will be victorious despite the opposition of their critics.