[Publisher’s note: This is the second installment of three parts total]
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan called for 10,000 fearless men and women to go between the guns and the gangs, to stop the killing in our own communities and to make our communities a decent place to live in. This is clearly waging war against the current condition our communities are in and those who created this condition. How has conflict resolution been a key component in this 2 front war? What are a few of the classes and successes?
Brother Jesse Muhammad (BJ): You know, Minister Farrakhan has reminded us that the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we must make our own communities a decent place to live. He said that we cannot make our communities a decent place to live if we don’t address the violence that’s going on in our own community.
So yes, he went to the government and addressed it and talked about it, and as Minister Farrakhan said, and he put our case before America and the world that we must receive justice…or else! Then he said the other side of this two front war is that we must address the killing we’re doing among ourselves. So in this calling for the 10,000 fearless, he said they must be trained by the Nation Of Islam. Why is that? He said because the Nation Of Islam has a track record of doing conflict resolution, and we didn’t have to go to any university or college. We didn’t have to go to any ivy league school. We didn’t have to take an online course. All we had to do was submit to the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that’s contained in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and arm ourselves with our weapon of choice, which is love and go out and effectively among our people and help them deal and solve their problems without killing each other.
So since the Nation Of Islam has that track record, then its only befitting that through Minister Farrakhan’s guidance and under his instruction that we offer training to our people to teach them how to do mediation. Now the beauty of this, Sister Ebony, is that before Minister Farrakhan called for this 10,000 fearless, he had already been telling us that our work is in the streets. And so Student Minister Willie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans and the brothers of the mosque and community members, they started to help resolve issues and beefs in the community coupled with the Peace Keepers, now Peace Makers, that Brother Dennis Muhammad has been doing for several years, Brother Willie took that model and also started the “Stop the Beef Conflict Resolution Hotline”. They’ve put up billboards. The Minister had already been telling us we must help our people resolve their issues. Therefore, by following Minister Farrakhan’s guidance, Brother Willie and those in New Orleans have successfully mediated 27 beefs. The beauty of it is these beefs have not just been between gangs members. They’ve been between grown folks who can’t solve their problems as business owners.
So they have done a wonderful job and have given a wonderful template and model of how to do it. We’re utilizing social media and showing that Justice Or Else is not a moment, therefore, we hosted a conference call with Brother Willie called “The 2 Front War Conference Call” where people called in all around the country to learn how to set up these conflict resolution centers that Minister Farrakhan is calling for. Brother Willie has layed out a beautiful strategy, proven tactics on how to do it and it’s definitely not hard. It’s very simple, it just takes the hunger, the love and the desire to execute it.
Now, since then, he has been reporting back that several other cities now have hosted their first community forum meetings to announce it, they’ve held press conferences, they’ve started many trainings. Right here in our city of Houston, we did five weeks of training, going over information about anger management, mediation, first aid, self-defense. Then when we look over in Atlanta, Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad – he’s not playing out there not one bit (laughs). They went out to an area called “The Bluff”, but he’s definitely not bluffing! He’s a man that says, “If Minister Farrakhan wants it, I want it”. They have taken over a house, have repainted it, renovated it, called it “The 10,000 Fearless Headquarters of the South”, they have a patrol car, a shuttle bus, they’re doing Tuesday classes, and the thing again is that he’s utilizing social media to let people know that Farrakhan’s word is being made bond. So I’m able, and others have been able to watch their training’s on Periscope the last couple weeks.
There have been others who have gotten a chance to see that I’ve live tweeted from our training. Now Brother Willie, from what I have been told and seen, they’ve been featured on the local news channel for the work that they are doing with the Peace Makers. It’s a beautiful thing, but we have to increase.
I believe and I humbly want to say this to all: You know when Minister Farrakhan says he wants something, many of us who are his helpers, we like to say, “We’re trying to wait on further instructions. We’re going to wait”. When a man gives a command to do and you know instinctly you already have been equipped with tools, my question is what are we waiting for? Jesus had to ask the question. He said, “Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? And, “Who will be my helpers …?” He didn’t say, “Come over here so I can give you some more so you can help me.” Evidently he had already given them enough to properly help him and he’s just trying to figure out why y’all waiting! I believe that’s what’s happening with us by Minister Farrakhan.
Those of us that’s in the Nation[Of Islam], we have already been trained on how to solve our people’s problems. We have a history of cleaning up the projects. We have a history of cleaning up neighborhoods. We have a history of going into the schools speaking to our young people. We have countless F.O.I. and M.G.T. who are principals over schools who have stopped beefs in the streets, who have stopped children from fighting one another, who have stopped relationships that have gone bad domestically and stopped husband and wife from killing one another. This is not new to us! For those who want to use Minister Farrakhan’s name as a cover for our inability, our slothfulness and laziness: we will be required to answer for that. So I don’t want to be, and others don’t want to be – who really love this man – we don’t want to be found using him as an excuse and a cover for our weakness and our inability to stand up and move out. He’s waiting on us.
I’m excited for this call for the 10,000 fearless, but there’s so much work to do. I am a witness, as we’re interviewing right now, there are people tweeting Minister Farrakhan, posting on the Justice Or Else Facebook page. They’re calling out their cities to ask when are we going to get this started in so-and-so city? “I haven’t received an email yet”, “Who’s going to get in touch with me?” That’s not Farrakhan’s job! That’s OUR job! So I say let’s go ahead and do the work that needs to be done so we can fulfill what the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, through His Star Student, Minister Farrakhan has instructed us and commanded us to do. Let’s make our own communities a decent place to live.
EM: No excuse necessary, that was brilliantly said dear brother!
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan also called for us to pick up where Dr. King left off with Redistributing the Pain to major corporations and big name businesses. What was the agenda or aim in this boycott? How was social media utilized, and what has been the result?
BJ: Ooowee! Man, that question…I just got to say let the Facebook church say Amen! (laughs)
EM: Amen! (laughs)
BJ: Let me tell you something here: I just thank Minister Farrakhan, because in 2015 he did more for the legacy of Dr. King in that one year than most Negroes and organizations have done for him in 50 years! I’m talking about 50 years of insignificant recitals, boring programs, wack parades where they’re fighting one another for parade permits, silly recitations of that ‘I Have A Dream’ speech- that one speech they keep regurgitating. All this symbolism without any substance, but here comes the Muslim leader Farrakhan who finds out via his powerful and invaluable and amazing Research Team that in 1963 when they bombed that church in Birmingham and killed our four little Black girls, Dr. King didn’t want a walk, he didn’t want a march, he didn’t want to hold hands and sing, he didn’t want to do no Kumbaya and he didn’t want to go integrate no lunch counters. Dr. King wanted to go boycott Christmas! He had on board with him Adam Clayton Powell, James Baldwin, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Louis Lomax and all these others who were calling for a Sacrificial Christmas. He said if you’re not going to give us justice then we’re not going to shop with you. That was Dr. King who said that in 1963! Nobody was telling us this at all! Even those who were with them, they knew this and I’ve never heard anyone tell us that.
It didn’t work and it wasn’t executed, because they didn’t have the strength of the unity that they needed to get it done. And of course they had Negroes from the NAACP that opposed it, which there’s no coincidence we still have Negroes that’s opposing things from Minister Farrakhan this very day.
So then the Research Team found out that in Dr. King’s last message, before he was assassinated April 3, 1968, he said, “If we don’t get justice then we have something that’s on our agenda, if you don’t want to give us fair treatment”. He said, “Our agenda is economic withdrawal”. Dr. King said don’t buy Coca Cola. Don’t by Steel Tech milk (laughs). And you know Minister Farrakhan, I love him to death, on the [Justice Or Else] tour every time he would see me he would say, “What’s that bread Jesse?” (laughs) Dr. King in that message that night, he was asking Jesse Jackson what was the name of that big bread that he wanted them to boycott and Jesse Jackson said, “That’s Hart’s bread sir!” So Dr. King was telling people don’t shop with your enemy.
Then he said, “Pull your money out of the White bank”. This was very interesting to me that I had never heard anyone represent Dr. King like this. Minister Farrakhan said, as he was on the Justice Or Else Tour, “In the name of Dr. King, if they don’t want to give us fair treatment and justice in 2015 and 2016, we’re going to boycott Christmas”. I am a witness, that when Minister Farrakhan would say that in cities, crowds would go in an uproar, cheering because they knew that this was an idea whose time had come. Boycotting Christmas is not something new. Boycotting the Whiteman’s stores is not something new. Our beloved brother Medgar Evers did it in 1962. He called for a boycott of White stores in Jackson, Mississippi and the next year he was assassinated. So this call is not anything new, but it’s the timing of the idea.
Minister Farrakhan said, “Let’s make it a real Black Friday. They won’t see Black people in sight”. He said don’t buy any Christmas gifts. He said this year YOU be the gift. Sit down with your family, and put our problems on the table and use the love that Jesus represented to solve our problems. He said, “We’re going to black them out”! (laughs)
Here we go, we had naysayers, “That’s not going to work. They only had a small percentage drop the previous year. He’s tripping. He’s taking our Christmas away from us. Black people won’t listen to him”. All you critics: We heard you loud and clear but unfortunately we couldn’t hear the critics over the loud sound of the work that had to be done. So on social media with the hashtag #RedistributeThePAIN, we were flooding it (laughs) telling people not to shop. We were flooding it with the campaign slogan that Minister Farrakhan came up with, “Up with Jesus, Down with Santa”. So we took it from the Tweets to the streets. We took fliers and went to parades, went door to door. We had door hangers, bumper stickers, t-shirts! It was a full-fledged campaign to the tell people to boycott. Then mainstream media started reporting on it. One report said, “The Muslims That Stole Christmas”. (laughs) They kind of figured that in 2014 there was an 11 percent drop in Black Friday sales, and that was just because of the social media campaign. However, now the airstrike was being married to the boots on the ground of Farrakhan touring the country calling for the boycott, and corporate America knew this was real different.
Now the results are in, and anybody who reads this interview just search and look to see what Wal-mart said. What happened to them? JC Penny, Macy’s, Tiffany & Co., Sears, Best Buy, Amazon and the stats of the impact of their losses are still coming in, still being reported. Finish Line lost $21 million last quarter. Best Buy said people all of a sudden weren’t buying smartphones during the holiday season like that they thought [they would]. And then, last point, Minister Farrakhan said that God is the “Big Or Else” of Justice Or Else. He said that when he makes a call, God backs him up. So God flipped the weather on us during the Winter time! (laughs) It was colder in Houston during Christmas time than it was in New York! We saw reports that major fur companies, Winter clothes companies on the East coast were reporting a 30-40 percent drop the first couple weeks in December, because there was 70 degree temperatures on the East coast. That’s the “Big Or Else” backing up Minister Farrakhan. Then one of the Jewish owners of the fur companies said this was the first year he had to hire meteorologists! Over 200 other companies hired meteorologists, because they were trying to figure out God’s next move. I thought they would’ve called the weather man or the El Nino experts. I’m trying to figure out why they didn’t get El Nino on the line! (laughs) It’s because there’s a God that backs Farrakhan, and if God moves Farrakhan to make this call in the name of Dr. King and all those before him and us then God backs them up.
These companies have taken a hit and on the flip side, Minister Farrakhan said if you had to shop go find a Black [owned] store or a Brown [owned] store and go patronize your own. Now we’ve seen a major shift in buy Black. We’ve seen people on social media unlike I’ve ever seen before where people are promoting Black-owned businesses. They’re taking selfies on America’s Small Business Saturday and selfies at Black-owned businesses. There is a shift that has taken place, so it’s not over with. We have redistributed the pain and now we’re going to redistribute the power. We’ve already done a boycott, now we’re going to do this BUYCOTT. We’re going to support our own, invest in our own, build our own. Why? Because we have to have some of this Earth that we can call our own. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said, “There’s no production without land”. So this is not over with. He said this boycott has to be taken to the next level. So I say stay tuned to Minister Farrakhan and see what’s next.
I have to say that I know others were calling for boycotts during Black Friday, and they have definitely contributed, but I’m going to say to everybody that it was the call from Minister Farrakhan, Justice Or Else and the Redistribute The PAIN campaign that made that impact. Take it or let it alone.
EM: Yes Sir!!!
There is a very important component, and it’s almost like a secret weapon, that really initiated this social media warfare at its inception. The Teachings 2.0: The Twitter Sayings of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, also known as ‘The Twitter Book’. You compiled thousands of questions from those all over the world and Minister Farrakhan’s responses and published it in a book form. This is a multi-volume series of books small enough to fit in a purse or pocket. I recall you mentioning that someone described this book at a ‘concealed weapon’.
Can you retell that person’s comment and what they said is in this book that he compared it to a weapon? How has the Twitter Book been a key tool in waging social media warfare online and offline?
BJ: The person who saw the book and the size of it informed us that the size of the book was an act of war. What he was letting us know was that because of the Jewish control over the printing industry that there is a written law in the Zionist of Elders Council where they wanted to deter people from printing small sized books, particularly to our people because they knew they would attract them to read it. We had no idea about that. I had suggested to the Minister about making it [Twitter Book] small and compact so people could carry it around with them but also to make sure that it’s attractive to young people because that’s the target audience. You know, this is a microwave generation. They want it quick, they want it fast, straight to the point. Social media is a straight to the point medium, therefore, we wanted to utilize the size of the book, the print, the font to make it very useful and attractive and packaged with a lot of content. Therefore, the brother said that the fact that we did that, it was an act of war which he saw it as a weapon. That has proven to be true. Out of the thousands we have sold the majority that I’ve seen who have been attracted to the book, who are still tweeting screenshots of their favorite quote from the book and is now going on two years now, are all young.
It has been an amazing, overwhelming response. The way that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has answered questions to people all around the world on Twitter and Facebook and now for us to have the opportunity to package it in book form, it’s really a blessed thing. That’s why many have called it “Hadith 2.0”, because like Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) he had his sayings. People would travel miles to get a word from somebody that said they heard something from the Prophet.
Along with that, interestingly, the Prophet (PBUH) wasn’t around to sign off on many of the Hadiths that we read, but we are blessed to have the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan here to sign off on his responses and his words. I had just given a copy to a sister here in Houston recently, and she was talking about her interest in the Nation and how her thinking was changing. So I gave her a copy of the book and I told her, “I guarantee you when you read this you will see answers to questions that you have on your mind and things you’ve been going through in life”. I asked her recently how the reading had been going and she said it hasn’t been one question yet that she hasn’t encountered in that book that wasn’t on her mind. And this is just Volume 1.
We have enough content to make about seven or eight more volumes. That’s why we have to pick up our pace in getting them out, because it’s very important for those who are not technological savvy. They might have missed the #AskFarrakhan chat, they might have missed the #FarrakhanFridays but it can be in book form.
Lastly, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been telling us that we have to stop allowing people to control our stories and we have to take control of our narratives. We cannot allow anybody else to write or document the digital footprint and impact of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation Of Islam. Therefore, the Teachings 2.0 is a part of the documentation of history and in the generations to come when Twitter is probably no longer around and Facebook is no longer around and something else has been developed, the world will know and the generations to come will know that Farrakhan left his mark during this information age.
EM: Can you share some of your experiences on The Teachings Tour and what is in store for the 2016 tour?
BJ: First I must say that touring with The Teachings 2.0 on behalf of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is an absolute blessing. I am grateful and excited that he was pleased with the initiative taken that I didn’t necessarily need to ask his permission to do it, he had already given me my orders that he wanted this book to be spread. I was not going to sit back and wait on him to do a book tour and that he’s going to do book signings knowing that he’s done his job just to give Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding on social media and put it in book form. My job is to help spread it. So man…what a phenomenal ride, and as you said it’s still going.
The Teachings 2.0 opened my eyes. I have much more respect for the travel grind of Minister Farrakhan. Many people think it’s easy to criss cross the country, cross different time zones, speak in different climates, speak to audiences that sometimes are small or sometimes large. Sometimes you get sick. Sometimes you don’t feel like it. You get overwhelmed by the people and their responses. You’re trying to maintain your discipline on eating. If you like to work out, maintain your schedule of working out. Interacting with the various communities. There’s so many facets to it. I was blessed on the tour that every city I spoke about four times in a couple days. Some cities I spoke eight times in three days. All I could think about was, “Geesh! The Minister’s been doing this for six decades like this?!” I said, “Oh Allah!” The sacrifice of being away from your family, being away from home, not having really a “social life” because you’re constantly grinding. You don’t have time for frivolous things. You come home for a few days and then you’re right back out. So you basically live in an airport (laughs).
It’s a phenomenal thing. I gained much more appreciation for the sacrifice and grind of the Minister.
The next thing is that I am so grateful to all of the cities. We’re up to thirty-three cities to this point with the goal of fifty. I’m so grateful for the trials and the good times. Some of the cities were trying; different personalities. Some of the cities were definitely phenomenal. I thank all of the Student Ministers of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that welcomed us into his city. Along with that I definitely have to give a special shout out to the M.G.T. & G.C.C. (Muslim Girls’ Training & General Civilization Class) Vanguard, because honestly a lot of the invitations that were extended to me were initiated by sisters who wanted us to bring the Twitter Book presentation. It really showed me why during that betrayal time and crucifixion time that it was mostly women left around Jesus. This tour has deeply shown me that the M.G.T. & G.C.C. Vanguard is only interested in seeing brothers who are helping their Jesus. Are you helping the Father? Are you helping the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan? If you are a brother that’s striving to do that, man the M.G.T. will bust through concrete for you and support you if you’re genuinely helping the Minister. I got the chance to see the beauty even more of the M.G.T. and I thank Allah for them.
The last thing I will say is: 2016 is more of the same but to another level. The presentations are different. We’re working on putting more volumes out. Also, I plan to speak at more schools and do more interviews with the book to get it in different spaces and working to get it into the different libraries. It’s definitely not over with. I’m excited about what 2016 has in store, with Allah’s permission. I thank the Minister for allowing me to serve.
Part 3 is forthcoming!