Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Duckbilled Platypus...
Who Are You: What's Her Name Today?
Building is taken from Build or Destroy or Divine: a.k.a. If you don't have anything good to say (in addition), then don't say nothing at all. Besides why betray your true nature, doing something else? And what is a God's true nature, if it isn't righteous? And yet, for most of us, before we were presented with this excellent opportunity for positive change called Knowledge of Self, our behavior was anything but. . . Well maybe, some of us had A SENSE of doing the right thing and a pocket full of MORALS accompanied by SCRUPLES to figure out what's what, but that's about it. This is  simply because, as the lessons teach, we "he (or she) was made other than him/herself' (12/1-36).
When the Devil received his punishment for starting trouble amongst the righteous people, the righteous people ran them across the hot Arabian desert into the caves of West Asia as it is now called Europe (White Masons still use this ritual in their historical rites of how they came to be; 4/1-14). When this occurred, the colored man lost everything except their language as a consequence of their exile. The key point here is: having lost those things, the colored man went savage.
Now I think the one to thirty six was done by Master Fard while attending a National social gathering. It was at this gathering where Master Fard stated, "My uncle (meaning 'us' or 'the people' who are descendants of Master Fard's father's brother) does not talk his own language. Also, "he (meaning 'us') does not know he is my uncle." This means that the descendants of the brother of Master Fard's father don't know where they originated from or what their previous stature was. Now imagine what type of impact American slavery had upon the evolution of our people . . .
During the process of enslavement, our people had everything taken--"including our language" (4/1-36). So if the Devil went savage with his language in tack, imagine what losing our language in addition to everything else made us become? Certainly we aren't today what we were originally. Most of us who have Knowledge of Self, and are coming into the realization and awareness of those lessons, know and understand that the majority of Black people in the Wilderness of North America and the majority the colored people are uncivilized people: poison animal eaters; slaves of mental death and power. Most people in this country don't know who the true and living God is, or their origin in this world and worship that they know not. (14/1-40).
Ever since I was young, I've been gang-affiliated. I know I might seem witty and very knowledgeable but my person has always been gang-affiliated: From the times of elementary schools, up into these days and times, gang members has been part of my life. It was the way of my hood; our neighborhood gang regulated a lot of our environment. Even as a young child, I had a fascination with the gangster movies and such. I was very familiar with most of the classic gangster chronicles, both fake and real.
But why? I never wanted to be a tough guy or hoodlum myself but I did stand up for myself; I never cowed down and I was always about something. I have five brothers and three sisters, so boxing was part of the "basic training" of growing up. "Can't get along, get a fair one going," was the motto around the way along with "never letting anyone take your heart." But the hood was definitely "gang ordered" and had gang politics. I never wanted to be gangster. . . Therefore, I guess it's something about the mind set. It's not the disregard I speak of, when talking about gangs, but the act of rebelling against things which didn't coincide. You can't even call it "lawlessness" because all real gangs have rules and penalties. The idea I'm looking at is that they dared to be different and I was different. I always operated as "a person of that said ability" and adhered to what I knew was right, regardless to whom or what (11/1-14). You see, you don't have to teach resistance to a gangster, a gang member knows. A gangster personifies resistance. It's what he or she stands for, and what they rebel about, which makes all the difference in this discussion. I didn't hang around everyone who was gang related, just the intelligent hoodlums: ones you could have a discussion with and they would have reasonable assessments. My family has a tradition of "being right in the loop" but not of it. We helped members and made them know we cared for them personally, but we didn't get caught up in the hoopla.
The NGE is a culture of peace (Islam): which has people who consider and live in harmony. Considering means to use reasoning. It doesn't mean getting angry with the one who brought things to your attention, it means to take it under study as to how it relates to you, then add that on to your cipher. It's the Positive Education used to Always Correct Errors. If your judgment is faulty, then your consideration will be. Humans are multi-polar, meaning, they have many facets or ways and sometimes those ideas may be contradictory. You can't reason with everyone, just those "said people of that ability." This does not make us greater or lesser than, it makes us just different. All I can say is "If you don't like the effects, don't produce the cause" and "Insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results." Harmonizing means to see that what is being suggested is plausible, reasonable and worth a shot at applying. It means "getting in line with" those things you know are right and exact. If one can see contradiction in their own behavior then its time to make a change; a word to the wise is sufficient.
What is this thing that the majority of Black people in the Wilderness of North America and the majority the colored people "know not?" Our culture teaches first and foremost that the mystery God is the thing the majority in America worships and knows not (9, 10, 11, 12, 13/1-40). The second thing that they worship, but have no idea where it is leading, are the values of this Western Society. If we look at the wealth in this country, most don't truly look content. Besides, they go to extremes. Kids going to school and shooting up large numbers of elementary, middle, high school and college students. Overdoses and actresses like Winona Ryder stealing items from a store. That seems like dissatisfaction.

Most people immediately go to identifying the ultimate conscious (or a concept like the universal mind) as the mystery God--but how about the looking up to White people and their technological accomplishments as superior and something to marvel and emulate? Is not looking up to what Whites value as important and sacred also a form of Mystery God complexities? We watch their shows, look at the interviews, watch who they think is the "top billers" during Super Bowls and many of us try to emulate a lot of their standards and so-called values. We obey their protocols because we work in their businesses. That also has many of us depending on other than Self -and hoping to stay employed like praying to a mystery God.
It's a known fact that we Blacks in America act more American than Central or East Asian. That's because we lost our language. We lost things familiar. We lost tradition. And by losing our language, we lost the cultural component. All we had, and many of us still have, is the role they designed for us. All that we saw and heard came from them and their God (mystery), sexual perversions, greed, lust and cruelty. Careful analysis reveals that when the White man lost everything except his language, he went savage. So imagine what it must have been like losing everything INCLUDING our language. A word like Ankh would have no connection which would tie our thinking back to ancient Khamit culture (so-called Egypt), for example. Language, or more specifically 'words and their concepts behind them' helps us to reconnect with cultural concepts and allow us to re-embrace our knowledge and understanding of our once lost culture.

Those who say that "Supreme Mathematics is the Foundation" may think this gives them a legitimate leg to stand on but this is not true. First of all, 'the foundation of life' is Triple Stage Darkness: A state in which the almighty One, Allah dwelled--as consciousness--with the ability to make things manifest, but had not.  When Allah, the One, decided to express the power to experience ability, the First Great Sun (or light) was born out of triple stages of darkness. This was long before mineral, plant, animal, male or female; the First Great Sun was the first form of Self (consciousness within a form of pure energy, birthed through ethers from the womb of space governed by a determined idea in the Universal Mind).
From that first form of Self, Allah made stars; some which cooled and became planets, some which died and became asteroids, others went out with a blast and became meteors, supernovas or gave birth to black holes. It took time before Self shaped different vessels from soil and eventually made human forms called 'man and woman'.  And the language that the Sun and star speak is called RADIOactivity; light transmissions of "pure mathematics" represented by intermittent pauses or space between transmissions as flashes over distances over time. Yes, the Sun is conscious! Think not? Then remove an atom of Uranium and attempt to change its atomic number or configuration... The question is, do you brothers and sisters speak these light transmissions of "pure mathematics"? Probably not. Not when you are no longer consciousness dwelling in a vessel made of pure light energy and atomic radiation. But knowing the frame of mind and level of consciousness of these persons who believe "Supreme Mathematics is the Foundation", they will still believe these points are not enough. They will say, "That is pure mathematics and what we use is Supreme Mathematics -which is designed for us in human form. Supreme Mathematics is the foundation and light RADIOactivity as a language proves it!"
But no, it doesn't. It proves that in the creating of vessels to experiences Allah's said qualities, Allah built in affinities (likes and dislikes, which later became discovered in human form as discussed in the lesson: "Who is the founder of unalike attracts and alike repels?" 22/1-40). It also solidifies the need to communicate for understanding (aka being on the same page).  Planets communicate, Minerals communicate (read Peter Tompkins, "Secret Life of Plants") and Animals communicate -albeit they don't argue about the meaning. This means that the language of the sparrow does not have different definitions for different sparrows or starlings to other starlings. In other words, when The Father and First Born asked the question about "How do you see today's degree?" it was to see what you thought about a series of information called One Hundred and Twenty degrees (120 Lessons). This came on the edge of The Father breaking away from the FOI and NOI wherein those under the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would have to always relate what they said to something "the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said." As a matter of fact, they would use those exact words. Either that or "the Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches." Our Father was frowned upon for teaching his "Self Styled Wisdom" within the temple or personalized account of the Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding. Eventually left the NOI and built the 5%, wherein he stressed "what this all means to you." And note: Allah taught us 120 Lessons along with the Supreme Mathematics, Alphabets and Twelve Jewels.
Mathematics, Alphabets and Jewels had fixed words and somewhat fixed meanings to those words. We were allowed to personalize what those words meant to us but only in accordance with what we were initially taught by our Enlightener concerning them. As we listened, your words were under great scrutiny;  you had to be right and your words exact. If your definition deviated too far or did not make sense in relation to what these words generally mean to all of us, you'd have to show and prove that (usually by using some of the logic and reasoning within your 120 to substantiate your claim). Since many of these "Supreme Mathematics is the Foundation" members don't have any degrees to use to substantiate their claims, nor are many of them affiliated with the proverbial wisdom of our Nation's chronology (via our Elders) that serves as an appendix to the meanings behind the words in our Mathematics (and Alphabets and Twelve Jewels), these members usually make up the meanings from outside our cultural references or make it up as they go along. And when you attempt to correct errors and give them supplementary information, many of them defiantly say, "That's your understanding!"
Where is the culture, when everybody feels free to do what they please? There must be some standard or guidelines. Where is the cultural unity if all of us have a different concept for the same word?  How can we come to some consensus as to what these words truly mean? How can we have so-called different understandings and come to "Thee Understanding" of the terms in which you speak? There most be a code or standard. When I say, "shek'er'e" all the people of Yoruba land in Nigeria know I mean a gourd musical instrument, with beads and knitted cotton chords surrounding it. Upon hearing that word, one could easily remember the instrument, things central to it and things associated with it just by saying it to the right person. Why? Because the meaning is fixed! But what if "shek'er'e" meant gourd to one person, a milk shake to another person and a knife to a third? How could it remind you of the culture and tradition of the originators of such terms, when the original meaning is obscure (not so clear)? Surely we must come to terms about these terms, but those from an obscure school of thought seem to operate as cultural freelance artists instead being about "Us" and "We" as true Nation members...
What this foolishness is becoming is a hodge-podge of random meanings assigned to our national language; a bastardization due to inconsistent cultural references to stabilize it. Who knows, twenty years from now you might have someone saying, "An Italian named Christopher Columbus created Supreme Mathematics, Alphabets and got the Twelve Jewels from the master scientist Vasco De Gamma?" Who of the "Mathematics is the Foundation" crew, who don't have 120 Lessons, would know the difference then?!
When we lost the language, we lost the last thread of cultural references besides our Elders (culture degree in the knowledge to understand your equality). If we use the language in conjunction with the Lost/Found Lessons, we can access our tradition by amassing and emulating the concepts, meanings and terms behind the words as they appear within our Lessons and Mathematics, Alphabets and Twelve Jewels. No doubt it is Islamic because the word "Islam" appears in the Alphabet... Albeit some of your foundation Math folks discard alphabets and jewels as well the lessons. . . But it's a known fact that before being found, we were lost and made other than Self (12/1-36). You can't take a person living in the state of being LOST and OTHER THAN SELF, give them Supreme Mathematics, Alphabet, Twelve Jewels and 120 Lessons and expect them to FIND themselves without changing things within their life! All of us have accumulated bad habits over time, which we MUST change in order to be God/Earth! In our Supreme Math, does power come without refinement? Look outside your house. There's a trans-former at the end of your block. Trans means "change" and then you have the word "form." What this means is: the kind of power that comes from the generator, 440 volts, is too raw to run anything in your house. It must be refined by changing the form of electricity into the appropriate voltage; 240 & 120 volts. In the Wilderness, things are wild and need civilizing or calming down. One has to refine him or herself BEFORE they can manifest the power inherent within the 5%.

A Peter Pan Syndrome is highlighted in the "Lord of the Flies" novel/film and "Toys R Us" chain store symbolism; where little boys do not want to take on the responsibility roles necessary for boys to become men. They still wanted to play at freedom instead of learning culture and were outright unwilling to change. I would speak on females as well, but I think it more appropriate, that a righteous Earth continue this conversation. We have to make the transition from Niggers to Gods and that means metamorphosis, transformation or change. Nigger is a name the White man gave us. It was derogatory and used to describe all the ugly things he felt about us. This became the meaning behind the word and has been used since the earliest times of American slavery. Knowledge of Self is not gained by a change of terms or words (like Nigger to God/Earth). Knowledge of Self is gained through a metamorphosis, transformation or change in the way we think and reason -especially about our own being/house or person. When we were stripped of our language, our culture and our names we were cultivated by the concepts that this Western society had about us and life in general. All we "saw and heard" (10/1-40) came from what this man and his culture shown us. All his misconceptions, ignorance, arrogance and prejudices towards Self and others was learned as well. Certainly that will take some undoing! 

Being cultivated by his concepts we either reacted to or went along with the Devil's civilization:  we ate the poison animal and laid in the mud, right along side the pigs. Surely we must clean ourselves up also (9/1-14, 10/1-14)! We start cleaning ourselves up by embracing new concepts. We start by embracing new ideas. We start by incorporating new values. We start by reading what it means to be and visualizing ourselves as! We start by using our imagination and considering our possibilities. Ours is a culture of peace. Musa had a hard time civilizing the Devil because he was a savage (2/1-14). A person can be uncivilized and not be savage, because he never had knowledge to begin with; a savage means a person who has lost the knowledge of himself and is living a beast life. Many of our people act this way because they don't want to change. Neither do they want someone tell them about themselves or their "skunk-like" behavior. We have adopted many of the White man's ways though, finding it totally acceptable now to take out our anger on each other. Whereas, in our past, it was prohibited to do so. It's fine for a person to not like the fact that things aren't going their way, but taking it out on each other is totally unacceptable in a culture of peace.

The Sky is your Limit
If you are "a said person of that ability", you have infinite potential. This means the God you seek, lives inside of you. That being the case, as in the words of the song "Keep On" by D-Train: The sky is the limit and you know that you can have what you want, be what you want.  We were never taught this in the Great White Way--but you always have a choice. You have a good conscience and a bad conscience. Good and evil are within. God and Devil, they both live inside of you, the same with satisfaction and dissatisfaction. As a Black man being a stranger in a strange land you have to mind your wants, because someone wants your mind. These beings play this way, so that he can use you for a tool and also a slave (6/1-14), he desires to make slaves out of all he can so that he can rob you and live in luxury (12/1-14). I tell you, the only thing that can limit your potential is another idea entertained by you. A wish is a weak wanting, a weak will or desire to do. The first battle of Armageddon starts within. We have been battling so long with Satan until some of us are beginning to look and act like him. This alone should teach you, you cannot trust him or his ways (10/1-14). We have to let those contradictions go: They are two distinctly different cultures! But many are looking for a "right way to do wrong:"
"What about the time, you were rolling over--fell on your face, you must be having fun. . ."-David Byrne
Think about it: How much do cigarettes cost today? Many people act like they are doing the choosing, when the sad fact is they've been hooked and they're paying some Devil's company for the option to suck smoke down their lungs, get cancer and die. Meanwhile, the Devil has fooled the people into believing they are having fun while in reality they are accumulating sickness, laboring towards their death -while the Devil eliminates more of us by our own hand. His culture is, he robs people and lives in luxury, off of the nothing he gives.
Nonetheless, many believe that their acts are a conscious, intelligent and deliberate choice... when in fact, they are often things you saw in society as child (but this society is not divine, it is wild). When I speak wise words to many of our people, most are either too smart for their own good or get offended that I am even bringing it to their attention. They take it like, "How dare you check me; I'm grown!" They claim they know what they are doing. Truth is, Allah is One, not many: each one of us is but one of Allah's many expressions or attributes. As Self I make knowledge born out of love, so put that anger away! I understand and care about Allah's future manifestation. Those thoughts this person has are not civil or cultured. These ideas are from the wilderness.
So after a person is finished putting their theories to the test, fighting their own efforts and looking at the results not coming out the way they think they should then maybe they'll listen to the wise words coming from a scientist. Once these types get up off their trip, the ones who are said persons, will be looking for the right answers and will listen and experiment with the words of wisdom from the righteous scientists. The chronology within 120 Lessons tells of what we did, what experimented with and the reasons we came to certain conclusions and positions expressed in real time (now a days) as scientists. Our Lessons show us what we learned, how we are, why we are what we are, how we must struggle and how things should be. Also many people improperly identify with thoughts within their sphere of awareness as being their own thoughts -when it is really suggestions subliminally planted. No thoughts belongs to us; they are wants and emotions without any physical body waiting for you to take the bait as you breath them in as suggestions. Women get possess all the time when they get caught up in the rapture of emotions, yetthat is not who they ultimately are or should be. Behaviors are like overcoats, you can take them off or put them on. There is a divine aspect of the Blackwoman called Earth and a divine Blackman form called God. It's not what you are called but who you answer to. Most gravitate (or decline) to that which they secretly love most. The easiest way to tap into your inner and true self is ask the question, "What would God do in this situation?" and the answer will be divine to the best of your awareness and present ability. The next step is to identify to the right thing, not your habits. It may take time, but practice makes perfect.
THE CONCEPTS BEHIND WHAT THE WORDS MEAN within our divine language; Lessons, Mathematics, Alphabets and Twelve Jewels, is the key point. These concepts/meanings demonstrate the many qualities to be emulated and assimilated by those who are striving to be as our culture suggests; God and Earth. Emulate means to strive to be better, especially by imitating, yet you have to do this with a devoted and sincere heart: "Each was required to do what?" Bring in Four Devils! And What was his reward? What will be your rewards in regard to the destruction (10/1-14, 40/1-40)?
No real change is made without sacrifice. You can't come into this nation, remain the same and think you'll be nothing more than a whole bunch of lip service (suck-ups and kissing does not apply in this). In order to see this, you have to be this from the inside out. Then you'll know what it's all about. This is an applied science. You can't say you are the same as me, until you walk a mile in my moccasins. You got to take on these qualities. You have to remove the contradictions within your personality. You have to remove your Four Devils because you are creating a "Us and Them" situation, wherein an Allah condition is a "We" condition. This means that God is a group reality or a collective perspective experienced by each who belong. We are Allah and Allah is one: When you think "I" it should be the "All-eye-seeing", not a limited singular version. Civilization is a "We" thing too. Think about all aspects of a society and think of what would be there if you didn't have the high degree of cooperation expressed within a nation. When the USSR fell they had trucks of food on the service roads and people in the city starving because the company that pays the drivers were not able to give them comparable pay. So the drivers held the product, refused to go in without pay and people starved. That is a nation without cooperation. The concepts/meanings behind our words and Lessons show the way and the qualities. Strive to practice them and you shall become them. Put more care in loving, living and learning and there will be more care in you. That's how you emulate the Lost/Found Lessons. That's how you knowledge 120!
Universal (Allah Universal Lord Life Justice Shabazz)

Friday, January 16, 2015

American Horror Story: Asylum
Allah & Azreal

In May of 1965 after being arrested with several other men for unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct at a rally in front of the Hotel Theresa in Mecca [Harlem, NY], Allah [the Father] was arraigned in criminal court before Judge Francis X. O'Brien and held on a $9,500 bond. Four months later he was shipped off to the Psychiatric Unit at Bellevue Hospital. Allah would remain there until a final psychiatric report submitted to Judge O'Brien stated that "he did not understand the charges against him" thus remanding him to the NYS Department of Mental Hygiene for indefinite confinement. At the age of 37, Allah was confined in these institutions, Bellevue and Matteawan State Hosptial, for two years. Matteawan was a limbo for sadists; a living nightmare used to house people considered too dangerous for civilian institutions yet too ill for prison. It was during Allah's stay in Mattewan that he met and befriended a young 17 year old Caucasian transfer from Elmira State Penitentary named John Kennedy. Because Allah didn't represent a religious group he didn't have the constitutional protection of religious freedom in a court of law. There were always others who considered themselves a diety, yet because they claimed it within a religious context, they were afforded religious protection under the law. Allah was not afforded that protection and some Five Percenters are still being catagorized as 'criminally insane' and denied the right to practice our culture in correctional facilities around the country. Allah also wasn't politically affiliated, a member of any organizations or representing any institutions. Therefore, he didn't have their support, publically or privately. He stood alone, and as he came to learn, the 17 year old Caucasian boy he met in Matteawan stood out, and alone, in his own way too.
Allah and Azreal
Born on September 28th, 1948, 17 year old John Kennedy was Allah's first Caucasian student. As the first Caucasian Five Percenter, John adopted the name 'Azreal' becoming a prototypical model of how Caucasians were educated and entrusted to function within the context of our growing national body. As a civilized man who was empowered with the knowledge of his people, and ours, Azreal grew to educate people on how to survive and avoid the snares of this devilish society, especially mental health institutions. He had a lot to tell because he had been through hell. An institutional hell that he knew so well that Allah symbolically gave him the keys to it.

I knew Azreal personally and one of the things he always talked about is how he suffered in various facilities, especially Matteawan, because of his name. Some of us took that for granted and never looked further into what Azreal may have been striving to communicate. "Yes the President's name was John F. Kennedy and Azreal's birth name was John Kennedy" some of us thought, believing that Azreal was just proud to have an honorable name that many of our people looked at honorably. Well what politics and policies did President John F. Kennedy represent that the guards at Matteawan felt the need to persecute Azreal, AKA John Kennedy, for? Why the transference?
President John F. Kennedy
Doing further research I learned that John F. Kennedy spent his entire political career, as a Senator and as the President, striving to reform the mental health system. It personally hit close to home; his elder sister Rosemary was 23 when she had a lobotomy [brain surgery] that incapacitated her and eventually led to her death. In 1955, then Senator Kennedy sponsored the Mental Health Study Act to begin reevaluating the practices/procedures employed in mental health institutions around the country. As the President of the United States in 1963, President Kennedy authorized the Joint Commission on Mental Health to investigate mentally ill related problems and sponsored the Community Mental Health Centers Act to reform the entire mental health system. This final Act, was one month before his assassination. Following his death, in 1968 John F. Kennedy's sister Eunice Kennedy Striver, partially inspired by their sister Rosemary, started the Special Olympics.
Matteawan State Hospital
I mentioned an American Horror Story in regards to the mental health system because that's exactly what these institutions were, and Matteawan was considered the worst. Along with medical care that was below hospital standards, the institution's practices were barbaric; performing lobotomies and using shock/water therapy, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, starvation and other Spanish Inquisition-like procedures on people as young as their early teens. It's also worth noting that lobotomies were not carried out by professional surgeons nor were they performed in surgical laboratories. They were done in un-sanitized environments with poor lighting, poor staffing and crude instruments. This is not even mentioning the knuckle-therapy, sexual and verbal abuse people had to deal with or died dealing with while confined in these institutions where prison guards were also trained. It wasn't until the 1960's with the political pressure of President Kennedy, and during the time Allah and Azreal were in Matteawan, did the mental health system begin popularizing the use of psychotropic drugs for psychiatric treatment. However, this did not spell relief for these inhabitants of hell; the drug experimentation, overdoses and Thorazine straight jacket's made it that much easier to carry out the knuckle-therapy, sexual and verbal abuse. 

No I am not saying or implying that Allah and Azreal were sexually abused. Because of the nature of the environment, both of them were verbally abused and Azreal talked extensively about the physical abuse he suffered. Allah, Azreal and others witnessed many of these things and lived to tell about it. Many who survived this hell still carry a mental diagnosis along with physical scars. All of them suffered some degree of PTS [Post Traumatic Stress], including Allah. Allah was confined there for two of the five years he and his companions organized the Five Percenters; that's 40% of the time he was here among us. Have you ever asked yourself why there's not much conversation about that time, or have you even considered how he was psychologically affected? As Five Percenters, some of us romanticize the idea that the Father showed and proved who he was and just walked out of Matteawan unaffected. Just researching the state of the mental health system in this country at the time Judge O'Brien deliberately remanded him to it would show you this idea is unrealistic. The state of this country's mental health industry was so horrific that John F. Kennedy, as a Senator and as the President, made its reformation a key talking point of his entire political career. One of his final talking points prior to his assassination. Given this history, it is my perspective that Azreal was more than a prototypical model of a Caucasian Five Percenter. He symbolized, in the name of John Kennedy, the reformation of the devil's mental health institution. With President Kennedy's Community Mental Health Centers Act he sought to de-institutionalize mental hospitals with community mental health services. This translated into the closing of long stay mental health institutions because of its reduced population, staff losing jobs and companies aligned with these institutions losing contracts [money]. President Kennedy was messing with a lot of people's money, which over time cut 90% of the beds at state mental institutions. Staff at Matteawan were forced to change and find a new hustle. They didn't like that, nor did they like Azreal's honorable name that represented that change. And because many couldn't reach President John F. Kennedy the President to show their dissatisfaction with these changes, they persecuted the John Kennedy they could reach. Azreal mentioned his honorable name, President Kennedy, the mental health industry and his experience in Matteawan often. He also talked a lot about Allah's compassion and insight to not only recognize what we was going through, but to educate him on how to become better. These correlations help us better understand the context of our plight as a Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters].

After standing trial, Allah was eventually released from Matteawan in April of 1967. Some time after that Azreal was also released and came to Mecca to find him. Because of the national political pressure to change the psychiatric landscape of state mental institutions and the mental health industry as a whole, they, and others being held unreasonably, were able to go home. It wasn't because Allah debated a board of psychiatrists about the science of everything in life and they were so mezmerized by his wisdom that they just had to let him go. Nor did Azreal burst out of Matteawan like Chief in One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest. Allah, like Azreal and others, didn't demonstrate the kind of maladaptive behavior, dependency or learned helplessness institutional staff documented to justify keeping them there. This was the climate of America during this time and slavery by another name; a 'citizen-to-asylum pipeline' that shuffled people into a system they often didn't survive.

In closing, keep in mind that nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is not as explicit as we may like for it to be. Some things are implied, if we listen, and give us deeper insight and a better appreciation for what others may not say. Azreal and Allah found themselves caught up in a kind of system that many of us could only imagine. They, like many others, didn't walk out unscathed and there were things they saw and experienced that they probably took to their graves. So behind some of the things Azreal said, what Allah instructed some of us to do, and how they coped, is a story. A story that gives context to AWM.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Labors of 'localism' can lead Falls back
I think all of our children need to learn the word “localism” and by the time they reach middle school it shouldn’t be an unfamiliar word in their vocabulary. Localism is the idea of prioritizing the local.
For us, it’s a “Niagara Fallsian” philosophy of investing in our local businesses, advocating a local control of government and promoting our local history, culture and identity. It’s the posture and attitude that we need to support each other. Whether it’s supporting our staple businesses like Richardson’s Fast Food Deli on Highland Avenue or Steve’s Automotive on Main Street, there is a pride of ownership and personal service local businesses offer that is rarely seen from BIG business. Why? Because local businesses like Richardson’s and Steve’s are people we see every day and there is a different sense of community and accountability in providing products and services to the people you see every day.
When it comes to problem solving, BIG businesses are more likely to route you through a labyrinth of representatives who tell you, “There’s nothing we can do about it” as opposed to local businesses who ask you, “What can we do to resolve this?” I don’t mind trying to contact a corporate headquarters in a different state or country, but I’d rather just talk to the owner face to face.
I recently had an opportunity to visit two new local businesses in the Pine Avenue City Market — Maple’s Restaurant that offers a southern-style menu and a Sunday’s Best buffet and The 755 Restaurant and Lounge that specializes in authentic Lebanese and Italian-American cuisine. I actually discovered one, sitting inside of the other. While out to lunch at Maple’s Restaurant with local author/business owner D. Scott, we met Hanna; the daughter of The 755 owner who was also there purchasing lunch. This was localism at its best; maximizing the circulation of each dollar before it leaves our community. Since then I’ve patronized both establishments and in addition to the excellent food, I’m glad I no longer need to drive out of our city to get it.
Over the last five years with well over a dozen businesses closing in the city of Niagara Falls, many wonder how we can increase sustainable business development here. While local support is vital, one component of localism is the creation of ‘cooperatives’ [coop] or ‘co-operatives’ [co-op]. Co-ops are businesses that are owned and managed by the people who use its services [a consumer cooperative], the people who work there [a worker cooperative] or by the people who live there [a housing cooperative]. It’s the idea of shared ownership, work and financial responsibility of that business and co-ops are one of the fast growing successful business models reshaping local living economies today.
Barbershops and hair salons have been running informal co-ops for years. Family owned Italian restaurants, Chinese variety shops and Arab corner stores have been operating like co-ops too. Gui’s Lumber & Home Center, which has remained in business all of these years, is a co-op. Living in a state with some of the highest taxes in the country and a city/county with a tax-exempt casino and BIG businesses that local business owners must compete with, this has created a unique set of socioeconomic challenges. 
Our city of Niagara Falls can be one of the premier local living economies in the state with the right community support and people in leadership positions that have the shared vision, plan and work ethic to meet those challenges. This is not just a noble idea. It’s a commitment to empowering each other with the cooperative economics to thrive. 
If not us, who? If us, when?