Is America willing to sacrifice to survive?By Richard B. Muhammad -Editor- | Last updated: Oct 18, 2013 - 10:57:36 AM
At Final Call presstime Oct. 14, the president and congressional leaders were trying to reach a deal to reopen government and approve additional credit to allow the country to pay its bills. Experts warned the country risked serious financial and political repercussions if it defaulted Oct. 17 on payments tied to U.S. bonds. Opinion polls showed Republicans, led by the Tea Party, faced the brunt of blame for the political crisis and China, which holds substantial U.S. debt, called for the world to be “deAmericanized” in the face of a dysfunctional U.S. government.
“As we are witnessing the recent shutdown of the United States government, which has caused hundreds of thousands of Americans to suffer, it is reported that 800,000 federal workers were furloughed with Blacks being 18 percent of that workforce, national parks and museums have closed and workers laid off,” said Ishmael Muhammad, who introduced the message that aired Oct. 12 at http://noi.org/thetime/ as part of the weekly lecture series The Time and What Must Be Done.
The message was titled “Guidance to the President and Guidance to the Nation” and delivered after the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and prior to the national election. (See page 20 for the edited transcript of the Minister’s message.)
Min. Farrakhan warned political leaders need to speak straight words to the public and call for sacrifice at all levels. The trouble America faces will require radical solutions, not scapegoating the poor, he said.
The question is not who to sacrifice, but what, as the poor and the non-White are already and always sacrificed, said Min. Farrakhan.
He warned America’s pernicious racism and rejection of Black people, including the first Black president, was dooming the country. Racism is driving GOP commitments to ruin President Obama and any policy he champions, whether the policy is good for the country or not, said Min. Farrakhan.
Last year, the Minister forewarned a second term election would not free the president to pursue his agenda singlehandedly. No matter what President Obama does for America’s benefit, those on the racist right will oppose him, play down his accomplishments, and even Democrats have proposed nothing that would “radically alter the condition of the masses of the Black and the poor,” said Min. Farrakhan.
Americans were growing angrier and more frustrated at the failure of government. Veterans tore down fences at D.C. monuments, carried the fences to the White House and dumped them on the sidewalk.
Pain was spreading and hitting necessities, food, clothing and shelter, said advocates. “There is a nationwide shortage of 7.1 million rental homes that are affordable and available for extremely low income households. So long as the federal government is shutdown, key low income housing programs are unable to advance, and we can only expect the shortage of affordable housing to worsen in the coming year,” said Sheila Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Others warned food pantries were seeing increased need.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) complained Oct. 8 that conservative cause backing billionaires Charles and David Koch and wealthy elites were financially backing the movement that forced the government shutdown, citing New York Times coverage. Some House Republicans, Rep. Sanders said, have gone along with their party’s right-wing Tea Party wing to fend off well-funded primary challenges.
“We are living in a society where a handful of people with incredible sums of money like the Koch brothers and others, are undermining what this democracy is supposed to be about,” Rep. Sanders said.
There were concerns “compromise” sought by the president and federal lawmakers would hurt the most vulnerable. “Just because a handful on the right have shut down government and threatened default on the debt that’s no excuse to embrace proposals to slash Medicare and Social Security,” wrote Karen Higgins on www.commondreams.org.
“Perhaps you might detect a trend here. All the compromises seem to be coming from the liberal side of the ledger,” she said.
Even if the country forges a pact to limp through the latest crisis, guidance is sorely needed. But will a nation founded with slavery at its core, heed a call coming from among its once-abject captives?
We are rising up from the shackles of slavery to offer guidance to the country, despite mistreatment, based on guidance from God Himself, said Min. Farrakhan. The country’s history of slavery, oppression, exploitation of Blacks and wisdom of God bestowed on the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam qualifies the children of former slaves to provide direction to their former masters, he said.
“In the time of your greatest trouble, in the time of your greatest suffering, in the time of your greatest dilemma, we are to offer you Divine Solutions to your plethora of problems,” he said.