Estimated reading time: 15 minute(s)
Originally published 10.13.11
Don’t be alarmed.
I know the title of this blog might seem a little radical to some but at this point do we really have a choice?
President Barack Obama’s jobs bills, or anything he proposes for that matter, is being jabbed upon, boxed out and outright opposed. The jobs bill is now on hold in the Senate. Will it pass? Probably not.
And the Demos are now planning and scrambling to break it down in to “itty bitty pieces” just to please the Republicans with more compromising deals. Will they be satisfied? Probably not. Quite frankly, nobody in the halls of Congress is afraid of Pres. Obama or even respecting him. He’s been on the offensive, speaking bold as can be but it is as if he’s talking to himself. He can’t get out of this political gridlock over deficit-reduction ideologies.
Sorry Mr. President, but the rich won’t budge on their taxes.
That’s why the “99%” is occupying the streets while the wealthy will continue to occupy and look down at the protesters from their penthouse suites. The rich could care less about poor people and they love to say “Hey, why don’t you pick yourself up by your own bootstraps like we did?” That’s laughable when we know historically that the wealth of this nation was built on the backs of can’t-see morning to can’t-see night labor by slaves. So, in truth, the rich picked up themselves by our bootstraps. You may call this racism, we call it reality.
Speaking of reality: Even if the jobs bill passes, will it create enough jobs to hire everyone that is presently unemployed? Probably not. You say “well its a start.” True, but what will others do in the meantime?
Here’s a solution: If nobody will hire you, create your own job. Hire yourself. Does that mean we should let the government off the hook? Of course not.
Why not tap into our skill sets and see how we can start our own business? People still doing it everyday successfully. Like the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has advised since the ’30s, we can pool our resources intellectually and financially to build something for ourselves and not wait on the government. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has continued that message and drove home the point on October 9 during his keynote address at the 16th Anniversary celebration of the Million Man March in Philadelphia. He said â€œWhat in the hell is wrong with your hands, your head, your bank account, your pocketbook, your labor that you are going to beg another man to do for you what you can get up off of your backside and do for yourself?â€
Think it can’t be done? Let me give you a few tangible examples.
Several male members of our Nation of Islam mosque here in Houston pooled their resources together to buy land in Winnie, Texas a few years ago. The name of it is Pure Farms. It has expanded to be a huge dairy farm with cows, chickens, bees, horses, etc. They are producing raw milk, eggs, honey, butter, whey protein, cheese and building hoop houses that will be able to grow food year-round. That farm has also created opportunities for those with various skills and it’s servicing the needs of the people. All of these men are entrepreneurs too.
One more example.
Ray J. Muhammad, who is under 30 years of age, recently quit his job–yes, quit–to become a full-time organic farmer. Early last year he deepened his study and took a five month Urban Harvest course at the University of Houston to become a certified organic specialist. He stepped out on faith and invested his personal income tax return into starting the now quarter acre organic farm next to Muhammad University of Islam on the grounds of Mosque No. 45.
With over 30 raised beds and four compost piles, heâ€™s growing okra, bell peppers, jalapenos, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes, egg plant, string beans, romaine lettuce, red lettuce, corn and more. Every Sunday, mosque meeting attendees line up to purchase from his table.
In October 2010, Minister Farrakhan took a delegation to the headquarters of Growing Power, a three acre urban farm in Milwaukee. Minister Farrakhan was so impressed with the work being done by CEO Will Allen that he called upon every region in the NOI to send someone to take the five month training offered at Growing Power.
Bro. Ray was selected to represent the Southwest Region and successfully graduated from the training. He traveled to Milwaukee one weekend a month learning project planning, worm composting, hoop house development, aquaponics, marketing, financial planning and more. With a determination to apply what he learned at Growing Power, he has begun to build an 18 x 48 ft hoop house. It is called a hoop house because the framework includes pipes bent into semi-circles. Aquaponics is a system of sustainability that marries hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) with aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) in a symbiotic environment.
See, it can be done.
Yes, everyone’s situation is different but in unity there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
(Youâ€™re welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter @BrotherJesse)