WISOMMM leadership, community, prepares for battle that lies aheadBy Ashahed M. Muhammad -Asst. Editor- | Last updated: May 17, 2012 - 12:13:29 AM
‘We’re going to fight!’
NEWARK (FinalCall.com) - The Women in Support of the Million Man March (WISOMMM) are getting ready for a long battle as the organization confronts its most significant challenge in the 17-years they have been in existence.
With the help of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, many area activists, politicians, friends and supporters throughout the East Coast, WISOMMM’s support base was bolstered as the sisters showed that a lawsuit would not stop their efforts to serve their community.
WISOMMM, a group founded in 1995 to support Minister Farrakhan and the aims and goals of the Million Man March is a nonprofit community-based organization in Newark, N.J. The U.S. Department of Justice fi led a civil lawsuit against them in January of this year. Community members and the leadership of WISOMMM believe the charges are baseless, and view the DOJ’s actions as retaliatory harassment aimed at the organization because of their effective work and strong support of Minister Farrakhan over the years.
WISOMMM has consistently hosted informational seminars on preventing predatory lending, breast cancer awareness and Black men’s health. They annually hold Kwanzaa celebrations, Black History Month programming and ancestral tributes to those lost during the MAAFA (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade). In addition to the numerous outreach events, WISOMMM opened The Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School in September 2007 consistently working towards improving independent education for Newark’s children. Showing their commitment to safe communities, WISOMMM also provides space for alcohol free social events for Newark’s young people.
Institution building and leadership
“The aim of the enemy is always to destroy the fact that we have been,” Minister Farrakhan told the audience May 4. “The enemy is always watching.”
The building, located in a prime area of real estate in Newark, is a symbol of women coming together to support an independent idea which threatens the powers that govern the city’s affairs, he said.
“Not only do they (WISOMMM) have it (the building) they have the nerve, the gall, the unmitigated gall to say that they are women in support of the Million Man March, but under that is support of Louis Farrakhan,” he continued. “They want this building and believe me, they are not going to keep it like it is. The developers already have plans.”
If the city officials, property speculators and developers really want the property, they will do whatever they can to get it from WISOMMM said the Minister, but the members of the community and other Black organizations should “fight as hard as we can to save it.” The only way it can be saved is through unity and the pooling of resources, he said.
On Saturday May 5, Minister Farrakhan returned to deliver a message filled with guidance, inspiration and love as he discussed the need for unity and the importance of integrity and character for those with the responsibility of managing institutions within the community.
The sanctuary at WISOMMM’s African Cultural Center was filled with citizens not only concerned about the future of the organization, but also concerned with the future of the Black community. Like many urban areas, Newark is plagued with joblessness, homelessness, high levels of drug use and escalating crime rates.
“They’re trying to take this town away from us, not just this place,” said author, poet, and Newark native Amiri Baraka.
Fear of God and strong love for the people the leader is trying to serve are critical or advancement, said Min. Farrakhan.
“Hold God in reverential awe,” he advised.
Although there are many organizational leaders claiming to want to serve the community, vanity, envy and jealousy keeps them from working together to create workable solutions to these problems, Min. Farrakhan said.
“Jealousy and envy is the worst disease of the heart,” he said. “No one who is jealous or envious truly loves.”
During his message, he took those present through his personal journey and struggle, which fashioned him into an instrument of God. He discussed his mother’s mixed feelings once she found out she was pregnant, as well as her unsuccessful attempts to abort him.
He also discussed his journey coming up through the ranks within the Nation of Islam, including his own search to fi nd out who he really was once he found himself in the absence of his leader and teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
“I was vain and egotistical, somewhat arrogant even, because I was winning all kinds of debates and everything, and you think that you can’t be beaten,” said Min. Farrakhan. “I was going through stages, as you are, I am evolving, like you are, I am where I am, not where I was,” he added.
“I liked the praise of the people, I liked the applause because I grew up in show business and in show business that’s what you work for, and some of us are preaching for applause, some of us are leading for the accolades of the people but not for their rise!”Another barrier to effective leadership is greed, said Min. Farrakhan. Jesus in the scriptures informed the people that he was the “Good shepherd” because they had experienced many bad ones prior who misled them, he said.
Leaders who do what they do only for money, or can be bought to represent a certain view are “hirelings,” only concerned with the acquisition of material possessions. A true leader and servant of the people may suffer poverty, may be threatened with physical harm, and may be persecuted, however, this is the price of principled leadership.
A true leader working to follow the Will of God and working to establish the Kingdom of God will be persecuted by the enemies of God.
“Why do you think the enemies of Jesus are our enemies?” the Minister asked rhetorically. “Jesus had a problem with Jews, and some of you Negroes have a problem with me because Jews have a problem with me, because I have a problem with them.”
A Jew is defined as one with a covenant relationship with God based on obedience to God’s laws statutes and commandments, he said. The Minister then advised Christians, Jews and Muslims alike to get a copy of the Bible and turn it to the Book of Revelation Chapter 2 verse 9 which reads: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
“These people are not Jews. How could you be a Jew and promote what is against the law, statutes and commandments of God? So I want from now on, don’t call them Jews, call them so-called Jews like we were the so-called Negro. They are the so-called Jews, and separate them from the righteous Jews because the socalled Jews run Hollywood, the so-called Jews run media, the socalled Jews are in control of publishing!” he said.
“See what you’ve been dealing with all of your life is Satan masquerading as your friend while he’s deceiving you at every turn, but today, the modern Jesus is pulling the cover off of Satan!” he said.
WISOMMM ready for battle
Fredrica Bey, WISOMMM’s executive director told The Final Call that if the Minister had only spoken at the VIP reception that would have been enough to make her happy, but his constant guidance, support and vigilance, along with the Nation of Islam’s Historical Exhibit and his keynote message May 5 took everything to another level and did more to fortify her and those with her for the battle ahead.
“Well the most beautiful thing was that our attorney is certainly in touch with the United States Justice Department and of course they see and have been looking at what’s been happening this weekend. In addition to that, we have evidence that at the end of the day, the Justice Department really owes us several thousand dollars,” said Fredrica Bey.
“So we have to see what Allah has in mind as far as the end of this. I was so happy when the Minister said last night that how ever it goes, we’re victorious and it’s true,” she said. “We’re going to fight.”
“Because you are successful means that you are going to be under attack, so the women have been under attack, and my wife Rosalind and I, and others within the community said we were going to stand with them, but we needed the heavy hitters because the attacks were coming from several sources, and the heaviest hitter we have is Minister Louis Farrakhan,” said Dr. Jeffries.
Members of the top leadership of WISOMMM took a “pilgrimage to Chicago” to ask for help, and it was there, said Dr. Jeffries. He witnessed fi rsthand Minister Farrakhan’s deep love and commitment to his people describing the Minister as being “like a sage” as he patiently listened to the different points of view, assessed the situation, and advised them accordingly.
“He’s growing faster than we can understand. Change, transformation and rebirth and resurrection,” said Dr. Jeffries laughing, “I don’t even think the Nation (of Islam) knows all that they have in this brother moving spiritually so forcefully through our world,” he added.
“What he’s doing is absolutely marvelous,” said Dr. Jeffries. “And I see him doing it like no one else.”
Newark city council member Ras Baraka said the message held guidance not only for Black people and organizational leaders in Newark, but Black people and organizations across the country.
“His message always resonates with something that’s going on in your life as an individual and collectively it always resonates with us as a people in terms of where we are and what we have to do about our condition in this country. I thought it was very inspiring and a heartfelt message to us,” said Mr. Baraka.
He added that he believed the Minister’s emphasis on uprooting vanity in leadership particularly insightful.
“I think our enemies use that kind of human nature as a way to divide us and separate us or pull us away from our people,” Mr. Baraka told The Final Call. “It’s defi nitely clear that we have to pray on that and stay strong as individuals and understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. If you don’t understand that then it’s easy for us to be pulled away from our focus.”
Following the Minister’s May 5 message, an emotional Aminah Bey, praised her mother for her courage, tireless effort and called the three-day event “absolutely fabulous.”
“She is the most phenomenal person I’ve ever met. I’m so blessed and I thank Almighty God Allah every day for her; I pray that I could be a fraction of the woman that she is—I would be a success in every area,” she said.
Aminah Bey also thanked the Minister.
“Knowing that the Minister was so generous with his time and his resources and that if he was willing to come and we didn’t have to pay, there was no honorarium for him, he paid for his own hotel, his own fl ight and as busy as he is, if he would do that and take the time out to do that for us then the least we could do is come together and work and try to help ourselves,” said Aminah Bey. “You have to participate in your own liberation.”
She added that it was important for the world to see women in the struggle to educate and free Black people, especially with the way Muslim women are mischaracterized in the Western media as oppressed, powerless, and mute.
“Women are the real mothers of civilization. We are the fi rst teachers, we are the fi rst nurturers, so for us to be able to be blessed to do what we’ve done, to come into the community to teach our children, to nurture and to promote educational excellence and to really unify the family through the work that we’ve done through WISOMMM, it’s just been a blessing and we’re showing not only Newark but the world that we (women) can come together and work together,” said Aminah Bey. “We’ve been together for 17 years strong. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have disagreements but we understand the higher power.”
On Sunday, May 6, the Minister wrapped up his visit to New Jersey speaking at Muhammad Mosque No. 25 delivering words of guidance, warning, encouragement, and inspiration to those in attendance.
(To contribute to the WISOMMM Legal Defense Fund and to see more of what the organization has to offer, visit them online at http://www.wisommm.com.)