A.S.I.A. [Atlantis Build] is a global institution founded in Niagara Falls, NY. Atlantis School promotes educational programs, creative arts, cultural initiatives, audiovisual projects and commerce that supports the positive growth and development of youth and families. This website features a bi-monthly blog that highlights the social commentary, current events and creative insights of author, youth advocate and creative artist Saladin Quanaah Allah. #AtlantisBuild #FivePercenter
Monday, November 03, 2014
Veiled Prophets, Profits and Veils
~The Racial Backdrop of Ferguson~
First and foremost I would like to THANK ALL OF YOU who helped support our Ferguson Fundraiser Initiative thus making it possible to send two of our community members Saia HuKeekui and Pocahontus "Cush" Sanchez to Ferguson Missouri on October 10th. Following their return, we held a Community Information Session on October 28th at our public library where they shared their experiences and insights about their journey and some of the ideas we have in terms of organizing locally and continuing to support our community members in [Ferguson] St. Louis. I also want to THANK my Universal Family in Saudi and other Community Activists in St. Louis who have been a tremendous help to all of us for providing an accurate narrative of the events happening in Ferguson.
October 15th edition of the Buffalo Challenger News
One of the common phrases I've continually heard from people living in St. Louis and reiterated by our community members and others who traveled there is, "There's a long history of racism here!" From the 1857 Dred Scott Case declaring that black people had no rights to claiming citizenship, the 1917 Race Riots in East St. Louis and the history of police brutality leading up to the recent murder of Michael Brown, it seemed to make perfect sense until I began to hear about a hidden history, veiled even, that began to provide a clearer socioeconomic backdrop of this divided city.
People with a level of prosperity bankroll Politicians, to produce Policies, that protect their Profits and Property with the help of the Police. In other words, the law is only as strong, and legit, as the people who write it and are willing to enforce it, and these are usually those in a position of power pulling the strings; the elite. In order to understand who is pulling the socioeconomic strings just follow the money. You'll see an elaborate often tangled web weaved with Politicians, Policies and the Police. So in considering [Ferguson] Missouri, let us examine that web.
Approximately 20 years after the Dred Scott decision, a group of Caucasian businessmen got together to found a [Secret] Organization called The Veiled Prophet Society. Because this special interest group was comprised of strictly members with money/political clout, this was more like a Veiled "Profit" Society. A year before its founding, the City of St. Louis suffered a major blow to its economy due to a strike of its railroad workers, many of whom were black and obviously working class. So the founding of this Society, under the auspices of being civic minded, was really about reestablishing the idea of who was top billin'. And what better way to flaunt this than with a parade? Thus in 1878, this Veiled Prophet Society held its first Veiled Prophet Parade and Fair leading up to what became its annual Veiled Prophet debutante Ball held in December. Aside from the Mardi Gras-like pomp displayed as prosperity to the public, and racial stereotypes depicted in the floats, what was most notable about this Parade, smack dab in the middle of the post-Reconstruction South, was the regalia and symbols associated with the Veiled Prophet; he wore a white hooded costume carrying a pistol in one hand and a shogun in the other; replicating another Southern-based Organization called the Klu Klux Klan [KKK]. And history teaches us that the Klan's sole purpose was to intimidate, harass and murder blacks and other people of color who sought to do anything for themselves socioeconomically. Their mission, in the words of many white Political Candidates, was and continues to be to "Take Back America" and the Veiled Prophet Society's Annual Parade, which is one of the oldest in this country, Fair and debutante Ball, simply echoed those elitist sentiments. Reinforcing this Society's idea of hegemony, prominence and legacy, the Ball culminated with the Veiled Prophet crowning a Queen [of Love and Beauty] from his Court of Honor and given an expensive piece of jewelry to be kept as a family heirloom. In 1972 Activists successfully infiltrated the Ball and tore the veil off of the prophet, revealing the identity of Monsanto Executive Tom K. Smith. I think it's also worth mentioning that 11 years later, the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm [M.O.V.P.E.R.] or The Grotto [Cave], was founded in the North as an appendant body in Freemasonry. So in terms of special interest groups, there's an obvious link between the ideology and socioeconomic associations of these groups that whites often belonged to simultaneously. To research this correlation further, check out my article Pike Dreams.
The Veiled Prophet and Gandalf The White (Lord of the Rings)
Fast forward to 2014. This public display of power, with some modifications, has continued to exist as the socioeconomic backdrop of St. Louis, especially in a municipality like Ferguson where only 3 people on its 53 police force are black while the population is almost 70% black. Yeah the Veiled Prophet Parade is now known as the VP Parade and Fair Saint Louis. Yeah people of color can now participate to some degree. Yeah their official throwback flyer looks like a benevolent Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings, but there still remains one common denominator; the same elite controls it. It is this perverse mentality of white supremacy, elitism, exclusivity and privilege that sets the sick backdrop of systemic racism that continues to erode this country and undermine the relationships of the human family, whether it's being carried out through police brutality, redlining, tokenism, crony capitalism or the demonizing/objectification of people of color in their media. This is the backdrop of Ferguson and every other city in America. Regardless how primitive or progressive it appears to be, the power dynamics of race relations are present and wherever you see people of color in proximity to whites, we are not in the seat of power. Even in a Chocolate City like Atlanta, whites still control the major financial institutions, traffic system, utility companies, zoning boards, medical facilities and of course the food/textile industry. This article is not to imply that the Veiled Prophet Society is some new age Illuminati that put a hit out on Mike Brown. What I am saying is that in the eyes of the elite, the lives of outsiders have little to no value. It is only until we look behind the veil and realize that we, people of color and poor whites, have been and are being kept apart from their own socioeconomic equality, can we organize to transform our collective condition. There's a longstanding history, yes his-story, of racism in St. Louis. The kind of racism that helped shape and mold the cultural consciousness of people such as Dick Gregory, Maya Angelou, Miles Davis, Redd Foxx, Donny Hathaway, Maxine Waters, Nato Caliph, Ali of the St. Lunatics [Power God Allah] and Tef Poe to name a few. The events in Ferguson are successfully removing the veil, not just in St. Louis but throughout this country and the injustice there is a threat to justice everywhere. Be studious to learn what's going on, assist our organizers in Ferguson financially, with consumables or etc., organize locally to establish a network of support in order to help prepare each other for incidences happening like this where you live. And above all, keep in mind that our "Unity" is the key and answer to solving social ills like this. Whether it's unifying to police our own communities, unifying to support our own businesses, unifying to privatize our own schools or just being a unified voice in rearing our children. It is through this unity can we forge our own special interest groups and ultimately rival the power and shift the dynamics of the elite.