Dr Ava Muhammad, representative of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, said all black people in the western hemisphere are where they are because of the Atlantic slave trade.
In her speech, Psychological Warfare in the Black Community, at the Kwame Ture Education and Development Centre in Laventille, Muhammad said no matter where black people are on the planet they have a common history, ancestry, and experience. She said they suffered spiritually, emotionally, physically, and psychologically over the past 500 years. “And one of the most horrific injuries has been the break up of the black family.”
Muhammad she said it was part of a plan to control the economic wealth and power of black people, avoid paying reparation, as well as limit the population. She said coming out of slavery the marriage rate was 90 per cent. Now it was under 60 per cent and dropping because black youths do not see the point of marriage.
She said statistically, most wealthy people were married. The partnership offers support and produces wealth and healthy communities since married couples want to live in decent communities because they usually want to have children and for those children to be safe.
In addition, she said rather than pay what was calculated as US$21 trillion in reparations to descendants of slaves in the US, Caucasians developed a welfare system. She said after black men were denied opportunities for financial stability, black women were told if the man is not there her rent would be paid and she would be fed.
Muhammad believes black people in the US were making progress under segregation and asked if racial and ethnic harmony was a reality or a perception in a world dominated by a doctrine of white supremacy.
She said Trinidadian Kwame Ture in his final message “before the new world order” was, “It is time for us to make the final break from the children of our oppressors... This country has been feeding us of the thalidomide drug of integration. People aught to understand that we were never fighting for the right to integrate. We were fighting against white supremacy.”
She told the audience thalidomide is a treatment for skin conditions. The side effects include weakness, confusion, anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness, and even dry skin which made the condition worse. “Integration is used to treat a psychological condition that we have concerning our skin colour called black inferiority. And it makes us feel more inferior.”
She said Elijah Muhammad called integration a sin. She said that was because the Bible’s book of Genesis referred to separations. For example, God separated the day from the night, and sent Moses to Pharaoh and commanded Pharaoh to let his people go.
Therefore there was nothing wrong with separation, “going among self and doing for self.” Instead she said separation was the creative process where something comes forth from something else and takes on a life of its own.
She added that Ture said black power was black people coming together to form a political force electing or forcing representatives to see to the needs or do the bidding of black people.
For that people need to believe in themselves and their self-esteem had to be fed. She said aggressive behaviour and a belligerent attitude were forms of compensation for feelings of inadequacy. And some direct those feelings towards each other so that they do not feel anything is wrong with killing a member of their own people.
She told parents they should stop using negative reinforcement to teach children. She said they should tell children what they can and should do instead of what they should not do.
She said it is not in the genetic make up of black youths to be slaves, second-class citizens, and to set aside their own creative resources. “Now every thought we think, every idea we have, ends up being poisoned because they have to be filtered through the white man’s damaged perception of reality. We have to think, not what is best for us, but what is relatable to him. And until we come out of that we are not going to flourish.” She suggested TT change the street names of people who killed African ancestors and owned slaves, and erase them from the country’s history instead of glorifying them in history textbooks and taught at schools.
Finally, Muhammad quoted Malcolm X during his The Ballot or the Bullet speech in 1964:
“The economic philosophy of black nationalism is pure and simple. It only means that we should control the economy of our community... The philosophy of black nationalism involves a re-education programme in the black community in regards to economics. Our people have to be made to see that any time you take your dollar out of your community and spend it in a community where you don’t live, the community where you live will get poorer and poorer, and the community where you spend your money will get richer and richer.
“The social philosophy of black nationalism only means that we have to get together and remove the evils, the vices, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other evils that are destroying the moral fibre of our community. We our selves have to lift the level of our community, the standard of our community to a higher level, make our own society beautiful so that we will be satisfied in our own social circles and won’t be running around here trying to knock our way into a social circle where we’re not wanted.”