Saturday, May 25, 2019

What will you name your "Theyby"?


   With the popularization of non-gender terms, the political influence of the LGBTQ community's reshaping of municipal landscapes and dominance within various industries, one of the recent contributions of Millennial parents to Western culture is the word "theyby." According to NBC News, "Parents in the U.S. are increasingly raising children outside traditional gender norms — allowing boys and girls to play with the same toys and wear the same clothes — though experts say this is happening mostly in progressive, well-to-do enclaves. But what makes this 'gender-open' style of parenting stand out, and even controversial in some circles, is that the parents do not reveal the sex of their children to anyone. Even the children, who are aware of their own body parts and how they may differ from others, are not taught to associate those body parts with being a boy or girl. If no one knows a child’s sex, these parents theorize, the child can’t be pigeonholed into gender stereotypes."

   "Theyby" is a non-scientific word used to describe a baby being raised without the  social and cultural construct of gender and gender pronouns "he, "she", "him" or "her" that are based upon their biology. Parents/Guardians who raise their children as theybies are known as gender-creative parents.

   When people consider gender they often define it as "a chosen identity" distinctly separate from biology. Consider this: 

  • The word gender finds its origin in the Proto-Indo-European [PIE] root "gene" which means to beget or give birth in reference to procreation. 
  • It is also related to the Old French "gendre, genre" which means a kind or species and the Latin "genus" meaning kind, stock and species. 
  • Its PIE root "gene" is related to the Greek root "genea" which means generation. 
  • In Biology a gene is a unit of heredity made up of DNA that is transferred from a parent to offspring. This distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome determines some characteristic of the offspring. 
   As you can see, it is impossible to separate gender from its etymological origin and its basis in science. People generally use the word gender incorrectly and in a social and cultural context. This explains the notion of gender fluidity and people defining themselves as non-binary [Genderqueer]. Even in rare instances where a person is intersexual; they are born with several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones or genitals. However we choose to define ourselves, socially and culturally, we bring our "gene" with us.

     Kyl Myers, parent to 2-year-old theyby Zoomer, told New York magazine: “I’m very tired of the heteronormative and cisnormative model. I’m very tired of the patriarchy. A part of why we are parenting this way is because intersex people exist, and transgender people exist, and queer people exist, and sex and gender occur on a spectrum, yet our culture loves to think people, all 7 billion of them, can and should be reduced to either/or.” Some parents are raising their child this way because they don't want them to be discriminated against because of gender stereotypes. The irony is some of these same parents won't say anything about other stereotypes that result in the murders of innocent black people at the hands of the police, this country's immigration policies against Mexicans or the federal profiling of Muslims. When I've had discussions with some of these parents they found it very difficult to look past their white privilege of assigning their child's gender to empathize with black and brown folks who have also been reduced to an either/or binary identity; either we are white or we ain't white...
     I must acknowledge, whenever and wherever the meeting took place to discuss shifting the gender descriptive landscape, black and brown folks were not invited. If there were any of us at that table, we, as a community, were not informed about what was discussed. I have attended various trainings and conferences introducing attendants to these gender-neutral concepts, curriculum to articulate gender-neutral perspectives, gender-neutral legislation and LGBTQ nomenclature. I have found them to be very informative. Not from the perspective of advocating this worldview to the youth I work with but informing them about the perspectives of other human beings and equipping them with the proper knowledge, wisdom and understanding to navigate this landscape. This is important, especially to those of us who do not represent the dominant class or status quo. Why? Because if you are not the decision makers, sometimes those decisions don't consider you or the changes you need to make to accept or tolerate those decisions. And change is often more difficult when it is not on your terms.
     Speaking of not representing the dominant class, consider how marginalization has not only affected the gender landscape but also the racial landscape in the U.S. Those within the LGBTQ community often speak about being marginalized. Being marginalized means that decisions are usually made by the dominant class without your input or consent; that is the status quo. When you are marginalized you don't have the privilege of ignoring that status quo. As black and brown people, our survival and lifespan has always depended upon us knowing the perspectives, customs, traditions, norms and territories of white folks [the dominant class]. White folks have not had to reasonably consider us and you can see it by the historically systemic lack of inclusion and representation of black and brown in their institutions, territories and economy. To not even have to consider other people is a hell of a privilege that many people overlook. At no point in the history of this country, even during the time of segregation, did black and brown people have that privilege of inconsideration. And if we ever tried to exercise that white privilege of not considering the customs, traditions, perspectives and territories of the dominant class, it usually meant death; socially, politically, financially and of course physically. Why am I talking about race? Because oftentimes some gender-creative parents and members of the LGBTQ community strive to equate their struggle for identity with the human and civil rights struggles of black and brown people. While there are some similarities, they do not intersect and there is still an overarching umbrella of white supremacy and discrimination even within the LGBTQ community. Some things still have not changed concerning the racial landscape in America and even among some gender-creative white parents I can see them using separatist phrases like "theyby of color", "black gender-creatives" or worst, "n*gger theyby."

   In my experience and research, the bulk of information we see about the use of gender-neutral language in society and gender-neutral educational curriculum is designed to reshape social and cultural norms related to how people use personal/possessive pronouns. It does not change or dispute science, the scientific terms of anatomy or biochemical, hormonal, physiological and reproductive processes that exist -regardless of the personal/possessive pronouns people choose to use. Again, the word "gender" is etymologically rooted in science [gene]. Science and scientific terms are used to accurately describe and define anatomy and predict biochemical, hormonal, physiological and reproductive processes that sets the basis for personal/possessive pronouns. People choose to use personal and possessive pronouns like "he", "they", "hers" and etc. in a social and cultural context, regardless if they align with what science and scientific terms accurately describe, define and predict. That is the reason you usually don't see gender-neutral discussion in the scientific domain because you would need to rewrite the language and scientific terminology, some which is not gender-neutral. Calling my newborn daughter a "theyby" does not change the science of her anatomy or physical composition. Some folks are choosing to ignore or exclude that inherently important part of our identity. That biological part of all of my daughters identity is just as important as their identity as infinite potential, incarnated consciousness, a human being, black women, sisters, daughters and etc. 

   In closing, I think the best we can do as adults, parents, guardians, caretakers and educators is equip our youth with the most accurate anatomical, biochemical, hormonal, physiological and reproductive information and encourage them to be critical thinkers along their growth and development. If we don't know, then find those who do! We must provide our youth with the proper information to make educated decisions about what, who, where and how they are, and decisions about the future of our world. Imagine if en masse our youth had no more interest in procreation or future generations, where would that leave our human family? We are complex beings with various layers that define us. Some of those layers are gender specific, and there is nothing wrong with that.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Final Call Newspaper Mischaracterizes "Allah", Founder of the Five Percenters

   In what I consider to be a genuine effort to highlight our community, the Final Call , a Nation of Islam Newspaper, recently published an article entitled 'Five Percenters unveil Allah and Justice Square in Harlem.' Its writer Clarke Immatical did a good job directly quoting some of the attendant speakers and articulating the process Mal’akiy 17 Allah experienced in making this vision a reality, yet the writer mischaracterizes Five Percent Nation founder Allah, and our teachings, on more than one occasion. Anticipating outsiders interpretation of our community and this commemorative street naming I published the article "Setting The Record Strait: Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square!!" on March 31st, 2019 to clarify common misconceptions that people have. Here are a few of those mischaracterizations in that Final Call article and the appropriate corrections:

"Clarence 13X, founder of the Five Percenters, left the Nation of Islam in 1963 and continued to teach what his teacher the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught him which is that God is a man."

CORRECTION: Allah was his name, as our Commemorative Street Sign 'Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square' clearly indicates. Allah's name was not Clarence 13X when he founded the Five Percenters. When he left the Nation of Islam he left the religion, he no longer self identified as a Muslim and he ceased using the name Clarence 13X. As mentioned in my article Setting The Record Strait: Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square!!, "During one of the Community Board Presentations for the street naming Mal'akiy 17 Allah was asked by a Community Board Member, "Why not name it Clarence 13X Way?" to which he responded, "Clarence 13X was the level of understanding he [Allah, The Father] had when he was in the mosque. As his understanding grew he took on the name Allah. We honor Allah as the man who founded the Five Percenters, not Clarence 13X who was a Muslim at that time." The Five Percent Nation does not teach that God is "A" man. This implies that an individual, such as W.D. Fard, whom Nation of Islam followers believe, is that God. The Five Percent Nation teaches that the Original Asiatic Blackman is "The God" [Allah], not a god. This is one of the reasons some Muslims deliberately refer to Allah as Clarence 13X and not Allah; they do not acknowledge him nor Five Percenters as equal to W.D. Fard.

"Clarence 13X Allah hit the streets of Harlem with The Supreme Wisdom. He delivered this information to the streets when Harlem was experiencing tremendous police brutality and in need of spiritual direction."

CORRECTION: Again, his name was not "Clarence 13X Allah." Allah primarily taught the principles and values expressed in a unique system and indigenous language he developed known as the Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet. His Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet serves as a key to unlock our relationship to the universe and what came to be known as 120 degrees [lessons]; a series of catechisms that were contained within the Supreme Wisdom book. Allah rejected other elements of the Supreme Wisdom book such as the Instructions Given To The Laborers [Muslim Believers] and the Problem Book.

"The street sign is not an ending, but a continuation of work that these poor righteous teachers have, a work that was expressed by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan himself in a past speech, when he said, “Here is a small percentage of people who know God; and when they know God, they have a duty, and that duty is, to teach what you know to those who do not know."
CORRECTION: The above Minister Louis Farrakhan quote is from a portion of a speech that was sampled as an interlude on Brand Nubian's In God We Trust album that was released in 1992. That speech and the above comment is not in reference to the Five Percent Nation as a cultural community that Allah, Justice and others belonged to and still belong to. That speech and the above comment is a general explanation of one of the degrees which references The Five Percent on this Poor Part of the Planet Earth. The Nation of Islam as led by Minister Farrakhan has no official partnership with the Five Percent Nation community. 

The Five Percent Nation is not inextricably linked to the Muslim religion. In a 1967 interview at the Otisville Reformatory School For Boys Allah shared the following non-Muslim points in regards to religion and the human family,

“… black and white, must unite many of my people are against me, such as the Muslim...they are against me!  This is why I don't believe in religion...because religious peoples do not have no understanding.” 

“Five Percenters, I'm teaching them that they can't go on under religion because religion has never did anything for them.” 

“The people been taking advantage of me ever since I said I was Allah. And I know when I said I was Allah, the Muslim whole world was what? Against me.  I don't care. And now they really against me because I'm not anti-white nor pro-black.  They really against me because everybody is, is against the white. Well let me show you something. Who is man if he ain't man? Tell me!”
Misinformation, left unchecked, sets a trajectory that leads to misconceptions, prejudice, discrimination, loss of property and potentially death. Some of us believe these things to be trivial... This is not. Consider two airplanes leave an airport on a thousand mile journey set on courses that are only 1 degree apart. Seemingly close, these planes are not inexplicably linked and will arrive at two different destinations that are worlds apart. Some may believe that 1 degree is insignificant. It is not. In correctional facilities around the country right now many Five Percenters are denied the right to practice our culture because of a STG [Security Threat Group] label. This permanent landmark, Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square, was established to honor our cultural heritage, preserve and perpetuate our legacy. It is also a means to help legitimize our identity within these facilities and lift this label. There are also some serious socioeconomic repercussions that can occur when misinformation is distributed, especially when you don't control that narrative. Acres of land have been taken from families, insurance policies denied, contracts not honored, crippling debts levied against people, history rewritten, media content flawed and intellectual property has been stolen all because of inaccurate or incorrect information. Since the global popularization and expansion of Hip Hop, particularly during its Golden Era that was immersed in Five Percenter influences, some non-Five Percenters have tried to claim credit for our contributions and "visually annex" themselves to our community. This has undoubtedly been the intention of some Muslims while constantly refusing to acknowledge the Five Percent Nation as a uniquely distinct non-religious community and our founder, Allah, as the non-Muslim youth advocate and community builder that he was and died as. However, his legacy, our legacy, lives on.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Misapplying 120 and Five Suspenders...


     Some years back I remember building with a brother who was beating himself up about his challenges teaching a woman about our culture. He was a good brother yet he didn't always make the best choices when it came to relationships. In 120 we have this phrase that is derived from our 22nd degree which talks about magnetism; attracting power. In part, that degree says, "one piece had magnetic in it and one piece did not. The piece with the magnetic in it attracted the piece without." I mention this part of the degree because this brother mentioned it, a lot. A whole lot. He spoke about it in the context of him being that piece with the magnetic and the woman who obviously wasn't feeling him being the piece without. According to him, because she was supposedly the piece without magnetic she should have been attracted to him because he was the true and living God. In all of his mathematical ramblings, it did not change the reality of the situation that this woman simply didn't like him. Never did it occur to him that this situation had nothing to do with him being the piece with the magnetic and everything to do with her free will to choose. Striving to force his square peg perspective into a circle hole was his EGO talking and he just couldn't accept the fact that this woman just wasn't interested in him. It would take a while before he actually understood what I tried [yes "tried"] to communicate to him; this not about magnetic. It even took him longer to understand that a woman not being interested in him did not diminish who he was as a true and living God. This kind of perspective is not uncommon to hear from newborns or even those who have been living this culture for years. It is a learning process and sometimes we misapply these principles or values along the way. 

   My first Earth was my Queens' mother. When I introduced her to the 17th letter in the Supreme Alphabet, "Q" for Queen, my emphasis was on Knowledge God [17]. In my mind she needed to be aware of who I was and her identity as the Queen was an afterthought. I was young, insecure, developing my self confidence and striving to gain a solid footing in this culture. So naturally it was all about me. As I matured in this culture I no longer took that approach. My emphasis became a woman learning about her identity and responsibility as a Queen. In the process she obviously learned about me, thus gaining a greater Knowledge [1] of the true and living God [7] and the meaning of civilization.
   You know, one of the reasons I think folks misapply 120 is because their foundation wasn't solid to begin with. When I say a solid foundation I am not just talking about knowledge or what a person knows. I am talking about a sense of surety concerning a person's ethics, integrity and constitution. In other words, how this person is built! I am not a Five Percenter who thinks that I am convincing 85ers and the 10% to come on over to the so-called light side. In my experience, if a person takes on this culture it is because certain principles and values were already present within them. Education comes from the Latin root 'educare' which means to "lead/draw out." I have also learned that there are some people who are uneducable or incorrigible. Why? Because there was not anything there to draw out of them from the beginning. One of the most disappointing experiences I've had was learning that some of these uneducable or incorrigible people claimed to be Five Percenters, and it was always obvious in their misapplication of 120.
   Now, some of you may be asking yourselves, "Why is he only talking about the misapplication of 120 and not Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet?" Well, the Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet is much more flexible and gives people more wiggle room to potentially razzle and dazzle folks. The Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet don't have fixed answers such as 120. This creates an opportunity for math and alphabet to be broadly expounded upon when a person expresses their understanding of them. For example, if I were to ask a Five Percenter about Knowledge, that person could strictly talk about Knowledge as information while someone else talks about it as Consciousness/Awareness. Another person could talk about it as Man being the foundation of the family and someone else could talk about it as knowing the ledge. All of these responses are correct. In regards to 120, if I were to ask a Five Percenter "Who is the Original Man?", there is only one correct answer to this question that a person can then expound upon. If I were ask a Five Percenter "What is the name of the place where the Devil was manufactured?", there is only one correct location that they can then expound upon. These are just a couple of examples throughout 120. 
     If a person does not know 120 then they cannot apply it to their life. It reminds me of a woman I knew that claimed to be a Five Percenter; she had a relationship with a ex-Freemason whom she discovered was living a double life. How ironic. What was even more ironic was the fact that this woman never finished learning 120 and was stuck on the actual degree that teaches us about Freemasonry. It stands to reason that if she were more diligent in her studies and committed to learning our degrees she would have seen this impostor coming from a mile away. She didn't and ended up "losing time searching for that, that does not exist" as explained in another degree she didn't know; "Who is that Mystery God?"  
     If a person does know 120, meaning, they are able to recite these degrees, yet they are not studious, they are still going to probably misapply them. In one of our lessons we learn that "the Earth belongs to the Original Man." As the Earth is the Original Woman's twin, I've met some chauvinistic dudes quote this degree to justify the knuckle-dragging notion that a woman literally belongs to him. It never occurred to them that "belongs to" also means to be "a part of." As in, I am a part of [belong to] a family, we are a part of [belong to] a community and the Earth is "a part of" the Original Man. In these and other instances it was clear to me that some people are out here freestyling, and with the development of the internet, they have the platform to do it. When the above scenarios happens in an actual community or another public space, a Five Percenter would simply add-on to offer perspective and correction. Customarily, the person receiving the perspective and correction would stand there and humbly accept it, even if they didn't like it. If this same scenario happened on social media these same folks can just block and delete you for sharing your perspective and striving to correct them.

     ~Atlantis Build Talk Radio Show~
       Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square 

   While there has always been misapplications of 120 since the early years of the Five Percent Nation, in some instances social media has been used to amplify those misconceptions. Nowadays there are people online, particularly religious folks, who have been spreading false narratives like Five Percenters are a religion, we are Muslims, Muslim Gods and other untruths. According our founder, Allah, in a 1967 Interview at Otisville Reformatory School For Boys, Muslims from the NOI were against him because of his non-religious stance and advocacy for black and white unity. In that interview Allah also shared that he didn't believe in religion because "religious peoples do not have no understanding” and that he teaches his Five Percenters that "they can't go on under religion because religion has never did anything for them.” 
     This is one of the reasons I have committed myself to being a consistent voice of the Five Percent in the midst of such digital chaos; to help counter these false narratives about my community. This is not to say that I am THE voice or that I personally have all of the answers and every perspective of how 120 should be applied. What it does say is that I have a commitment to my community and the capacity to help push our culture forward. As I mentioned at the onset of this article, this journey is a learning process and sometimes we misapply these principles or values along the way. However, the consistent question that we ask and answer for ourselves, in deed.., is, "What are we doing about it?"


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Setting The Record Strait: Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square!!

"Clarence 13X was the level of understanding he [Allah, The Father] had when he was in the mosque. As his understanding grew he took on the name Allah. We honor Allah as the man who founded the Five Percenters, not Clarence 13X who was a Muslim at that time.
Mal'akiy 17 Allah 
[Responding to a Community Board Member who asked, "Why not name it Clarence 13X Way?"]

On Saturday March 30th the Official Street Naming of 126th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square set the record in commemorating our community. Through the vision of our brother Mal'akiy 17 Allah [K.O.S. 5 Allah], support of our community members and local government, this permanent landmark was established to honor our cultural heritage, preserve and perpetuate our legacy. 

Traditionally, the naming of streets were done for a practical purpose. That purpose has been to create a sense of spatial orientation in order to minimize confusion where people travel, to give them a clear sense of direction and to help them easily navigate an environment. A street named Oakwood Street was typically in an area where there were oak woods. River Road is a road by a river. Clearmount Drive is often a road you drive on that gives you a clear view of the local mountain. Commemorative street names of people or historic events move beyond just a practical purpose. Here are just 7 things to understand about commemorative street names and their potential power in transforming communities:
  • Commemorative street names of people and historic events are landmarks that establish a sense of permanence and public visibility that is acknowledged, legitimized and celebrated by a municipality [locally] and reinforced regionally, nationally and globally. 
  • The renaming of a street changes maps, tourist guide books, GPS coordinates, spatial orientation, residential and/or commercial addresses, geography and social landscapes. It is a reorientation of public space and the people in it.
  • Commemorative street names of people and historic events highlight an official narrative that is attached to that landmark. That official narrative establishes "identity politics" that are also attached to a municipality [locally] and reinforced regionally, nationally and globally. It is the location where asphalt meets identity, giving concrete meaning to the culture, chronology and social context of the people this landmark represents.
  • The official narrative representing a person, people or historic event can rise or fall in the eyes of the public, based upon who creates, controls and communicates that content. That official narrative publicly highlights the character, reputation and legacy of the person or people [community] who are associated with that landmark. 
  • Commemorative street names of people and historic events can build civic pride and change the power dynamics [geopolitics and socioeconomics] of a community. 
  • Commemorative street names of people and historic events create cultural [heritage] tourism and other economic opportunities for its community members, AND potential.. outsiders... 
  • Commemorative street names of people and historic events serve as a cultural barometer; an indicator that forecasts the potential conditions and elevation of a community and the politics surrounding its collective identity. That collective identity is its cultural capital.
These are just some of the things I have considered and what some of our Universal Family discussed during the Community Engagement class I facilitated at the Allah School In Mecca CommonUnity Center following the Official Unveiling of our street sign. As one of the representatives of our glorious Nation I give all that I have and do all within my power to see that we manifest our power locally, regionally, nationally and globally. The significance of our street being a 'square' puts anyone on square who claims to be about this culture.

Mal'akiy 17 Allah who spearheaded this Landmark initiative

This landmark commemoration of Allah & Justice, Five Percenters Square is equally a "decommemoration" of those people, places and things that are not us. With this symbolic event we publicly honor, observe and recognize who we are and put to rest any confusion about who we are not. Some of that confusion is the result of misinformation or poor guidance. Some of that confusion has been deliberate propaganda people have used to try and hijack or change our official narrative. People have incorrectly and disrespectfully called Allah, our founder, by his registered Muslim name Clarence 13X, even though he was not a Muslim or a registered member of the NOI [Nation of Islam] when he founded the Five Percent Nation. During one of the Community Board Presentations for the street naming Mal'akiy 17 Allah was asked by a Community Board Member, "Why not name it Clarence 13X Way?" to which he responded, "Clarence 13X was the level of understanding he [Allah, The Father] had when he was in the mosque. As his understanding grew he took on the name Allah. We honor Allah as the man who founded the Five Percenters, not Clarence 13X who was a Muslim at that time." 
Shamel Allah [Allah's Grandsun] and Law Student Starmel Allah with Allah's Military Medals

Over the years, outside onlookers and Five Percenter defectors have incorrectly called us a religion, Muslims, a NOI splinter group, Muslim Gods, a Gang and a variety of other false narratives that fundamentally contradict who Allah & Justice was and what a Five Percenter's square represents. March 30th, 2019 is another major victory in putting that confusion to rest. It is another positive step in the right direction of protecting our cultural identity, preserving and perpetuating our legacy as a unique group or people with our own language, social norms and worldview. This also emplaces [positions] our members in a public space of local, regional, national and global visibility that some of us may have never thought about and professionally prepared for. Because of this, some of us must begin reconsidering how we represent ourselves as citizens of our Nation and what we can do to add-on to the cipher. I am one of many who have anticipated this day and today we set the record strait! 


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Arkansas Dept. of Corrections Sued By Muslims To Recognize Difference Between Five Percenters

According to a public statement issued by CAIR [Council on American-Islamic Relations], a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/1/2019) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today announced the filing of a lawsuit challenging the Arkansas Department of Correction’s (ADC) forced combination of religious services for Islam, the Nation of Islam, and the Nation of Gods and Earths. 
[NOTE: Nation of Gods and Earths is sometimes referred to as Five-Percent Nation or the Five Percenters.]
The CAIR Legal Defense Fund, joined by Professor Douglas Laycock of the University of Texas at Austin, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Gregory Houston Holt a/k/a Abdul Maalik Muhammad. 
Holt, joined in the suit by Muslim inmates Rodney Martin and Wayde Stewart, believes that attending Friday prayer services alongside and led by other adherents of Islam is a spiritual requirement. The current ADC policy, which forces adherents of Islam, the Nation of Islam, and Nation of Gods and Earths to attend a combined religious service, does not meet that requirement because the three groups represent different religious groups with distinct beliefs and practices.
The suit alleges that Arkansas’s combined services policy violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Under ADC policy, Muslims risk losing their designation as Muslim if they skip or refuse to attend the combined Friday prayer services. Losing that designation in turn threatens the loss of their other religious accommodations, including meals during Ramadan.
“Religious freedom protects everyone’s ability to worship with those who share their faith,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Followers of Islam, Nation of Islam and the Nation of Gods and Earths should be permitted to worship separately in a manner of their choice, just as Arkansas currently offers such accommodations for Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, and Buddhist worship services.”
She noted that Holt previously prevailed 9-0 before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case which required Arkansas to permit Holt to grow a beard, in accordance with his sincerely-held Islamic beliefs.
“Mr. Muhammad won the right to practice his Muslim faith in Arkansas prisons four years ago, and should win again here,” said Professor Douglas Laycock, who argued Holt’s earlier case before the U.S. Supreme Court.  “The Arkansas Department of Correction needs to join the Federal Bureau of Prisons and several large state prison systems in recognizing that Islam and the Nation of Islam are completely different faith traditions.” The suit also asks for the Nation of Gods and Earths to be recognized as a separate faith.
“It is unacceptable that Arkansas thinks it may define who is a Muslim based on whether or not they attend Friday services, all while refusing to provide spiritually-valid Friday services,” said CAIR National Trial Attorney Carolyn Homer. “No one checks how often Christians in the facilities attend Sunday services before letting them celebrate Christmas.”
This case is the latest in a series of lawsuits CAIR has brought to defend the rights of inmates to practice their faith inside jails and prisons across the country.  Last, year, CAIR filed lawsuits on behalf of Muslim inmates in Alaska and Washington state. 
According to this CAIR lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Correction’s (ADC):
  • "ADOC is forcing Plaintiffs and other Muslims to hold a combined religious service (in addition to religious study groups and other religious programming) with other religious faith groups – namely, Nation of Islam (“NOI”) and Five-Percent Nation/Nation of Gods and Earths (“NGE”)." 
  • "All three Plaintiffs sincerely believe that attending a religious service led by a different faith group is a violation of their core religious principles."
  • "The Defendants’ deliberate indifference and failure to respect the religious differences between Islam, Nation of Islam (“NOI”), and the Nation of Gods and Earths (“NGE”) has forced Plaintiffs and other Muslim inmates similarly situated to violate their core religious beliefs. Instead, ADOC has unlawfully forced Plaintiffs and other Muslim inmates to choose between attending a combined religious service led by adherents of NOI and/or NGE, or not attending any religious services at all, although the Blue consent decree explicitly requires ADOC to provide separate religious services for these separate religious faith groups. Neither attending services led by another faith nor skipping services fulfills Plaintiffs’ religious obligations. The act of attending a religious service led by a different faith tradition is a violation of each Plaintiff’s core religious 14 principles." 
  • "ADOC’s deliberate and willful failure to recognize the religious differences between Islam, NOI, and NGE has caused significant tension and discord among inmate populations that adhere to Islam, NOI, and NGE across ADOC’s facilities. 

In addition to the lawsuit asking for the Five Percenters [Nation of Gods and Earths] to be recognized as separate from [Orthodox] Islam and the NOI, it was noted that requiring Muslims to attend religious services led by adherents of the NOI or NGE is akin to requiring Christians to attend religious services led by a Jewish rabbi, or Jews to attend religious services led by a Christian priest. Although some of the definitive language describing who we [the Five Percent] are as a culture is lacking within this lawsuit, the legal move to distinguish our Nation from religious bodies such as Orthodox Islam and the various Nation's of Islam is a positive step in the right direction of continuing the preservation of our distinct cultural identity, integrity and autonomy as Allah's Five Percent. 


Saturday, January 26, 2019

In Celebration Of Us!

   A God Brother of mine recently got married and he is one of a number of people around the world who have utilized a non-religious Divine Union Rite I created to celebrate this bond. Most recently with the incarnation of my new Queen Anusha I held a private Naming Ceremony to announce her arrival. The Divine Union Rite was created over a decade ago when considering how I could help develop customs to ‘demarcate’ Five Percenter life cycle celebrations that express important transitions in our life. Thus was born a very intricate document that articulated everything from the seasonal symbolism, colors, regalia, structure, officiate dialogue and vows of a Divine Union. Although it was created to express and celebrate core principles and values of the Five Percent I crafted it as a universal template for any couple to use who desired a culturally based non-religious ceremony. The Naming Ceremony was done with the same intention and emphasized our notion that "the babies are the greatest."

   When I came into Knowledge Of Self [KOS] one of the main things I became aware of is what Life Justice calls "the clash of culture." All of us who come into KOS experience this. It is challenging because we have been indoctrinated into Western society and its traditions. This requires us to invest every waking hour of our lives striving to differentiate between what is culturally acceptable or in line with what we call Allah World Manifest [AWM] from what is unacceptable or a part of Yacub's Society [the devil's civilization]. This does not mean that everything about Western Society is wrong; indoctrinated people have a hard time even knowing the difference. When an indoctrinated person descends from an enslaved or colonized people, they are born immersed in the enslavers or colonizers point of view. This is all that they know, and learn to believe, until they learn something different from an outside perspective. An outside perspective is not primarily taught in school or throughout the media because it does not represent the cultural norm or status quo. Even if it appears  to be taught, you often discover that even that perspective is the enslavers and colonizers narrative. This creates a dilemma because KOS exposes you to many irreconcilable differences. Some things, such as dietary habits may be fairly easy to discontinue. Other things, such as practicing certain Western traditions or breaking certain habits may be difficult to break. 

   A custom is a tradition, procedure or form that is specific to a society or group or people. Its goal is the reinforce and perpetuate principles and values for the present and future generations. While some people might believe that certain traditional foods are simply passed on from one generation to the next because of its flavor, a close examination of that dish, its ingredients, its preparation, the time it was shared and under what conditions will reveal something much deeper than tantalizing taste buds. This is custom, and a custom demarcates or distinguishes important events along the life cycle of a people. All people possess them and this is the purpose of celebrations like Passover, National Days for Countries, St. Patrick's Day and others. Even so-called primitive tribes had customs to demarcate or distinguish important events along the life cycle of a people, especially in relation to changes in the natural environment and in sync with celestial events. These events of significance, sometimes shrouded in legends or myths, serve as psychological and social landmarks along a people's cultural landscape. Why? To insure that a people do not lose their way in order to stay the course of reinforcing and perpetuating principles and values for the present and future generations. In one of our lessons about 85% of the population, we learn that they "do not know their origin in this world and worship what they know not" and are "easily led in the wrong direction but hard to be led in the right direction." When a person does not know their origin or place where their people began, it creates a sense of cultural disorientation; having no sense of direction. When a person or people have no sense of direction they become easily led.

   Customs is also the place at a port, boarder or airport where a person and their luggage is checked for taxable goods coming in and out of different territories. As an official department, Customs governs and levies traffic. Consider for a moment how cultural customs serve the purpose of supporting the institutions, resources and economy where people live. Consider when people practice cultural customs that are not theirs, yet still support the institutions, resources and economy where they live but do not control. Also consider when a people do have their customs; they operate like Customs and effectively tax anyone coming into their territory. When you look at many black communities around the United States you are looking at territories without cultural customs or Customs, saturated with foreign and religious trading posts.

   Gaining KOS is not the same as being WOKE. WOKE folks are just walking up, are usually still immersed in Western tradition and typically trade customary insults for injury. In other words, they may not practice Christmas anymore but they will buy everything they need for Kwanzaa from Family Dollar and practice that. While the thought of giving credit to a fat white man coming down a chimney they don't have is insulting, the real injury is the black dollar is still not circulating once in their community. 

   When a person comes into KOS and starts to differentiate between what is culturally acceptable and what is not, we learn that there are certain Western customs that we must no longer participate in. Some of us struggle with this because these customs may be more than just a habit; they may be intimately tied to our family tradition, work culture or our relationships. Our non participation is a break from practicing certain social norms that we no longer agree with. And as a person who no longer participates in certain dietary choices, holidays or other people activities it leaves a void. A void that some of us have tried to replace by "not really" participating in dietary choices, holidays or other people activities or trying to substitute them with a watered down version of the same Westernization. Seeing this void, where people gaining KOS went from having their life structured and defined by Western landmarks, we now are faced with the challenge of restructuring systems with psychological and social landmarks along a newly defined cultural landscape. Customs, as a traditions, are a part of this. This is the reason I saw the importance of crafting a Divine Union Rite and Naming Ceremony. Celebrating the unity of our family, the arrival of our children, and etc. are important. In Western society people typically acknowledge points along one's life cycle based upon driving age, the age of consent, drinking age, the age one can join the military and other arbitrary things. 

   I had private Naming Ceremony for my youngest Queen Anusha on the Winter Solstice which I briefly explain the significance of in the video above. She was born at home with a Midwife, my God Brother Divine's Earth was her Doula and she is not vaccinated. Her full name is Anusha Adjua Quanaah meaning "a bright and morning star of peace and great vision." I did not want to bring her into this world in foreign hands, in a foreign environment or sharing pictures to memorialize that foreign moment like I see so many of my people do, including those of us with KOS. If we don't have customs to define significant events along our life cycle, what are we using, whose interest will that serve and where does that leave our cultural legacy?


Sunday, December 30, 2018

9 Ways To Master 2019!!

Reflecting upon how positive and progressive 2018 has been for me and looking towards 2019, I just wanted to take a moment to share some of my thoughts with all of you. First I want to THANK all of you who invested time in reading these articles, researching the links/information I share via my Facebook Page, checked out and subscribed to my Youtube Channel (A.S.I.A. TV) and Radio Show (Atlantis Build Talk Radio), purchased my literature/music (Quanaah Publishing) and connected with me in whatever capacity we were able to. It is very much appreciated!! The numerous dialogues, testimonials, emails, messages, questions and constructive advice I receive on the daily lets me know that what I do is not in vain. It is serving my intended purpose; inspiring, empowering and educating people. There are some of you I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time this year and others I’ve had the opportunity to build/rebuild relationships from all over the world. None of us are in each others lives by chance and I look forward to what these bonds continue to positively produce for the future. I also want to THANK all of you for staying in tune with the renovation of the Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters, the creation of my Animation Series that is now available worldwide on Amazon Direct and Boys As Allies Rights of Passage Program!! As far as Resolutions are concerned, I don’t have any. I am a work in progress so I am always exploring ways to improve myself so that I can be a greater resource to others. Living a way of life that includes the phrase ‘striving for perfection’ as a part of its fundamental principles is the essence of any/all Resolutions. Therefore, I will continue being as resolute as I have been.

Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters Animation Series

   For those of you who making Resolutions for 2019, here are 9 Ways To Master this upcoming year:

1. Although it is your personal Resolution, your Resolution should be something that improves (progresses) you with the intent/consideration of making you a better resource to others and this world we share. Life is interdependent, we all play a role in how the world turns and there is a constant process of giving and receiving. This intent/consideration ensures that our Resolution is in tune with the universal order and is something that is sustainable -because we are actively providing a service (and/or products) that others, and the world, needs. If all we are thinking about is what we can get (keep), and not what we are able to consistently give, what we get (keep) will eventually run out. If you don't believe this, try it with your breath. Keep it to yourself and see how long it takes for your oxygen to run out...

2. Make sure your Resolution is real and obtainable. It is less likely that we are going to change EVERYTHING at once so it is important to work on what we can change, one goal at a time. Also, take things one day at a time... It took a while to create habits/routines and it is going to take time to change them. The smaller goals we accomplish serve as stepping stones; helping us build confidence and gain the tools and experience that are necessary to forge our larger goals. And with any goal, one of the first and most important steps we need to take, and habits we need to create, is to "get our day underway with a positive, productive attitude." That attitude sets the stage for our altitude.

3. Make your goals specific. Instead of saying something murky like, "I’m going to read more" say something more specific like, "I am going to read one book every month." This is called Specificity. This helps you better focus on your goals and encourages you to be more responsible and committed to those goals. If you were to say, "I want to be healthier in 2019" there is no sense of ambition or plan of action to achieve that goal. Now if you said, "I am going to only eat baked chicken once a week and go to the gym three times a week for 1 ½ hours" that has a sense of ambition and provides part of a plan of action to achieve your goal of being healthier in 2019. If it's not clear, our path won't be cleared. 

4. Set a projected time/date for your goals. Setting a time/date creates a sense of urgency, responsibility and accountability to meet your goals. If you don’t meet your time/date then set another one. Without setting a time/date then we are saying that our goals are not really a priority (important) -because under these circumstances they can happen any time and any day. That is not resolute, and if you don't have a time/date, there will probably never be a time/date. Keep in mind that "one day" or "someday" are not days on a calendar.

5. Write down your Resolutions. I have known people who had challenges with organizing their day, appropriating their time and focusing on achieving their goals. One of the solutions I shared with them was writing down their goals on index cards or signs and posting them in visible places around their home. This helped reinforce/remind them of their goals so they would not allow themselves to get lost in the hustle & bustle of each day.

6. Only share your Resolutions with those who have shown themselves to be supportive of you fulfilling them. If they are not there to help you, they are only going to hinder you. If they are not an asset, they are a liability. If they are not in your life to build, they will destroy. This includes the nice folks with the pleasant attitudes also. Just because they have a happy disposition it does not mean that they can automatically help. As cool as some people are, without sharing your vision they can become a cool obstruction.

7. Look into networking with people/organizations that will help you fulfill your physical and mental health goals. If you want to cut back on the substances you’ve been using like drugs/alcohol, or have some mental health issues going on, reach out to any local, regional, national organizations that specifically deal with drug/alcohol abuse and mental health. There are no Resolutions when we don't have your health!

8. Keep a positive outlook! Some days it will be easy to maintain a level of positivity and other days you need ‘social equality’ (fellowship) with others who share the same goals and are just as resolute as you are about positivity. This means, whatever religious, cultural, or secular organization you are a member of or affiliated with, invest the time to be there and learn as much as you can about the positive principles/values they are sharing with you. This is part of your foundational network and will help you maintain a positive outlook when you need the support, which we all do.

9. Your Resolution is not the end all be all. Some people live to have a wedding while others strive to be married, have a family and etc.. While the wedding is a place, a marriage is a state. So although your Resolutions may help you arrive at a place, the ultimate goal should be to achieve a state of existence. And this state of existence should set the stage to help you achieve even higher/greater goals! It’s all about constant growth and elevation, not stagnation. Life is constantly changing & evolving, and so should the living.


*"Be a shark, not a peacock" as one of my homegirl's would say. When a peacock walks into a room with its feathers fanned out everyone can see it. It's not necessary to be showy and strive to get attention. You also attract predators that way. Sharks move in silence and by the time you see their fin it's too late. In many cases staying below the radar and not revealing what you're doing until it's actually done is a sure way to be successful in your undertaking. When we talk a lot we're also subject to the expectations of others which are usually unrealistic. If you tell people you're writing a book and you know you don't even have a manuscript yet, they may assume you're going to be publishing a 300 page book next week and expect it. Now when you obviously don't deliver, people begin to look at you like the boy/girl who cried wolf. Always remember that light travels 186,000 miles per second and sound only travels 1,200 feet per second. People will see what you're doing before they can hear what you're saying so your reputation proceeds you. So talk less in 2019 and let your work speak for you!

*Just say "NO." Sometimes we put too much on our plate because we don't know how to tell people "NO" and we feel guilty about it when we do. Here's the thing, if you literally don't have the time, you don't have to agree to do it. Let time be the reason that you are literally not able to commit to something. It's unreasonable for someone to expect you to create more than twenty-four hours in a day. Just. Say. NO.

   In closing, I want to will every one of you and our families a very safe, happy, healthy and productive 2019! I also will that while reflecting on this past year, we consider those negative things we have held fast to that has not only destroyed our ability to unify with others but undermined our ability to accomplish anything significant on our own. Begin your new Gregorian calendar year with the right mindset, on the right foot and making the right decision to move forward. We’ve all had challenges within ourselves, and with others, this past year, and I will that 2019 is much more positive and progressive for us all!