Monday, April 07, 2014

Jay Z and Wife Beyoncé at the Barclays Center
Open Letter to the NY Post
Good Morning Mr. Buiso,

First I would like to thank you for writing your article "Jay Z is blinging it black", and reaching out to me to lend my "expertise" about my culture -as you stated in your email. It's not often that Reporters demonstrate that degree of journalistic integrity by going directly to the source and I (we) appreciate you for taking that initiative. Because we only spoke briefly and didn't have an opportunity to discuss other areas of my culture in-depth, I wanted to take a moment to clarify some things in your article.

One of the commonly held misconceptions is that Mr. Knight, and the group that he comes from, can speak for and define the meaning of our symbols. We are psychologically different in outlook, and cannot speak for each other; Mr. Knight and us, The Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters]. The fact that Jay Z and Carmelo Anthony have chosen to wear our symbol indicates that they want to be affiliated with the positive works they see us do in our communities.

Our movement is more concerned with issues addressing our esteem and self determination than we are at labeling others for their inequities done in American society. Our symbol -the Universal Flag- represents the sun, moon and star: our universal family, man, woman and child, period. And a unified family is the vital building block of any nation of people.

Thank you for your consideration and giving me the opportunity to clarify this. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me again.
Saladin Allah

Saladin Allah is a Therapeutic/Recreation major who attended Central State University in Wilberforce Ohio, a Region 6 Representative of The Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters] in WNY/Southern Ontario, and founder of A.S.I.A. [Allah School In Atlantis]. Allah has written over two hundred social commentary articles for various national/international publications, self-published eleven books through his company Quanaah Publishing, and he presently works as a youth mentor and community organizer. You can also check out and subscribe to his popular Youtube Channel here: A.S.I.A. TV.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Occupational Hazards
of the Five Percent

Every job has its own occupational hazards, including the job or the duty of a civilized person. Our 17th degree in the 1-40 asks us "What is the meaning of civilization?" The 18th degree teaches us about our job as a civilized person, which is teaching he [or her] who is savage civilization, righteousness, the knowledge of him [or her] self, the science of everything in life, love, peace and happiness. The 19th and 20th degrees elaborate on the consequences of not following through with our duty, and reiterates our responsibility as civilized people. In these lessons that emphasize our duty, occupational hazards or sources of danger that provoke illness, injury, or the possibility of incurring loss or misfortune are undefined. If we had a thorough Enlightener and a positive support system, they taught/teach us about these pitfalls and how to avoid them. Sometimes this isn't the case and we learn about these pitfalls on our own. These potential illnesses, injuries, losses, and misfortunes are what I consider the occupational hazards of the Five Percent, and today I want to shed light on some of these pitfalls; an effective strategy we can use to avoid them.  

Some years ago I met a young man through a woman who stayed in the same apartment building as me. He was in his early twenties, interested in learning knowledge of self, and told me although he didn't knowledge 120, he was holding civilization classes at his house for some of the youth in the neighborhood. He invited me over to add-on and he wasn't lying. When I got there it was about a dozen youth, ranging from ages 10 to 15, in his basement with paper, pencil and a listening ear for what I had to say. This went on for a while and we would hold classes every other Saturday until one day it was like this young man disappeared. Years after that he would resurface and I would see him from time to time in transit. It was always the short build on Today's Math, a commitment to connect, and I wouldn't hear anything from him again until I saw him on the front page of both our local and regional newspapers. According to the press, he was so-called affiliated with a Blood Sect out of NYC running drugs, and the youth he [and indirectly I] were teaching were a team of pre-adolescent/adolescent hustlers being assembled. He was indicted under the Federal Drug Kingpin Law and given 10 years; a charge that carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of $2,000,000. He was given 10 years due to a plea agreement from cooperating with local and federal law enforcement agents involved in investigating the Bloods and other violent street gangs. Whether any of this was true or fabricated, this is some of what the regional papers printed about his arrest, prior to his incarceration:
"At the time of his arrest, investigators described him as a 'high-ranking member' of the Falls’ Bloods set. His home was characterized as a 'Bloods’ clubhouse ... used for organized meetings by the Bloods.' Investigators said a large collection of Blood-related photos and paraphernalia was also discovered at his home. 'He would meet regularly with a group of Bloods (at his home),' Falls Police Narcotics Division Capt. said, 'and he seemed to be pretty dominant (in the gang’s operation).' The local Bloods set was identified as 'control(ling) a large portion of the crack cocaine and (illegal) firearms distribution in the Falls.' In his plea deal, he admitted to being the leader of a narcotics trafficking street gang for more than three years. He also admitted that he controlled or supervised at least five other drug dealers, engaged in multiple narcotics transactions and earned substantial income from the sale of crack cocaine."

I share this as one example of what I would consider an occupational hazard. To this day I am not sure if the Feds have a dossier on me from simply being in what they defined as a Bloods' clubhouse. With the job I've been performing as a civilized person [a youth advocate within my community/region, online via this blog/videos, publically speaking, publishing books, and operating a A.S.I.A. Prison Correspondence Project where I communicate with and distribute literature to people incarcerated around the country], imagine the potential losses and misfortunes involved in me getting caught up in a situation like this. Consider the actual losses and misfortunes this young man, a father, suffered from getting caught up in this situation. And when I say losses and misfortunes I'm not just talking about personal losses and misfortunes, I'm talking about positive contributions and support our people, community and society loses from situations like this. That is misfortune. I definitely don't regret the fact that I taught civilization to this young man and the youth in his neighborhood, I have learned to better position myself where and when I teach. And this awareness has allowed me to minimize the risk factors that can result in the possibility of incurring loss or misfortune, for myself, and anyone that I associate with.

Since I've had knowledge of self, there's always been debates about right or wrong amongst the Gods and Earths, and with good reason. It's important to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the rightness or wrongness about what we say and do as civilized people. I also think it's important for this conversation be framed in such a way that broadens our perspective and our willingness to listen and learn from each other. One approach I've learned is to frame the subject of ethics [right or wrong] as a conversation about occupational hazards (i.e. What are the potential losses of putting yourself and family in that position as opposed to what you [they] stand to gain? What are the pros and cons of that action? How does that choice benefit or hinder your ability to effectively perform your duty?) So instead of just having a philosophical debate on right or wrong, it becomes a practical discussion about effective and ineffective ways to perform our duty as civilized people. In other words, we assess right or wrong within the context of results; "What's in it for you?" as Life Justice would say. If our true intent in being civilized is to mean it, then we've declared that knowledge, wisdom, understanding, culture, refinement and not being a savage in the pursuit of happiness is of special importance to us, and those who mean it too. Sometimes people may lose sight of the fact that we are here to help each other grow and develop. The purpose of framing our builds within the context of results is not only to be scientific, but to emphasize the love and respect we should have for one another, and to maintain peace within our ciphers. We are not URL Battle Rappers and I've been in ciphers where people greeted and departed the Gods/Earths with the word "peace", yet everything they said and did in-between their arrival and departure was everything but peace. Real peace is what links our love for one another and our happiness.

In closing, I want to encourage us to continue working to build and maintain our solidarity by supporting one another in the positive work that we do. Also, remain mindful of the occupational hazards that undermine our ability to stay solid and unified as civilized people. Aside from the external environment of living within this wilderness of North America, Jealousy, Envy, Lust and Hate are some of the most significant occupational hazards we're dealing with as a people; they fuel a pursuit of happiness a person hasn't found within themselves. This raises the risk of being a savage and the probability for illness, injury, loss, and misfortune to occur to us, and those who associate with us. Consider all of the risks we've taken, the risks we've seen others take, looking for happiness outside of self. More importantly, Jealousy, Envy, Lust and Hate doesn't bring people closer to together, they work to separate people and drive them apart... That's hazardous to any relationship, family or community. Jealousy, Envy, Lust and Hate are the same postures/attitudes 30% of our people had towards each other in Mecca during the time of Yacub. Discontented with themselves and what others were doing, they used their dissatisfaction to slowly draw a line in the sand and disassociate themselves from aligning with their own people. Yacub and his clique of followers then relocated to an island to do their own thing, and the devil was eventually born from this division, isolation, and antisocial behavior.

When it comes to civilization, none of us can do it alone or on an island. Whether we choose to admit it or not, we need each other. The cultural development of our people is multifaceted and requires all of our expertise and participation. The belief that we personally have to be the Leader with all of the answers parallels what's been said about Yacub having a big head, him finishing all of the colleges and universities of his time, and seeking to ultimately possess 366% of knowledge. See, if we are truly dedicated to "peace" and the common cause of performing our duty as civilized people, there should be no problem with building about effective and ineffective ways to perform that duty; we have each other's best interest at heart right? It's not about coming together anymore, it's about being together and doing what is positively needed to remain together for the greater good of the people and our planet. Anything less, would be uncivilized.