Volume 9, Number 1 March 6, 2006
"Laying Pipe" for a New Government
by Dr. Ridgely Abdul Muímin Muhammad
As Dr. Cornell West at the "State of the Black Union" was calling Minister Farrakhanís plans for the establishment of a new government for Black people in America a "pipe dream", one of the ministries of that new government was reporting its progress at the Nation of Islam annual Savioursí Day Convention. This report was given on February 25, 2006 in Chicago just as Dr. Cornel West in Houston, laid a challenge at the feet of the Nation of Islam and the Millions More Movement.
On October 15, 2005 over a million Black people agreed with Minister Louis Farrakhan that we needed a Ministry of Agriculture. However, Minister Farrakhan had already begun that process in the Nation of Islam in August of 2003. We have been directing the development of the Ministry of Agriculture along with running the Nation of Islamís 1600 acre farm near Dawson, Ga.
The mission statement of the Ministry of Agriculture states: "Our major goal is to develop a sustainable agricultural system that would provide at least one meal per day, according to the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad for the 40 million black people in America. Also this system should provide the necessary raw materials for the production of clothing and housing for the 40 million or more black people in America. This requires the attainment, proper utilization and conservation of the useful land and using science and technology to make the non-useful land useful."
To accomplish the goal of feeding 40 million black people we will need at least 51 million acres of land, if we eat meat or 6.3 million acres of land, if we donít eat meat. To operate this amount of farmland we need $2 billion in equipment and 18,000 farmers.
There are two ways to establish the infrastructure or "lay the pipes" for our "sustainable agricultural system": 1. Buy the land, equipment and train the farmers and/or 2. Utilize the existing Black farmers, their land and equipment. The Ministry of Agriculture of the Nation of Islam is using both approaches. First through the generous donations of Black people all across the country to the Three Year Economic Savings Program, we have bought 1600 acres of land in Georgia and have been in operation since 1995. In our continued efforts to make our farm, Muhammad Farms, a viable operation and a model for other Black farmers in 2005 we installed a state of the arts irrigation system which included laying 7, 200 feet of 8 inch irrigation pipe (see pictures at www.MuhammadFarms.com).
Although we are proud of our accomplishments in our farming operation, we realize that 1600 acres is not enough acreage to meet our objectives. Therefore we have reached out to our Black farmers to bring them first, back into business, then secondly within our food production and distribution system. We have been working with the Black farmers in their struggles against the USDA since 1998. We have marched, organized and served as an expert witness in the Pigford v. Glickman class action lawsuit. We encourage our readers, especially Dr. West, to visit and read the past articles on the "Farmer Newsletter" to see how we have been fighting for and with the farmers since 1998.
Also on the Mall in DC on October 15, 2005, Minister Farrakhan said that we need to help Black farmers by supporting legislation that is being introduced into Congress that would stop the USDA foreclosures on Black owned land. He also stated that the Black community needs to set up grocery stores to serve as outlets for the products of Black farmers, not only to help the farmers but to provide safe and healthy food to our people in the cities who are dying from diseases that are produced by a poisoned food supply.
In the Ministry of Agriculture we hear and obey (smile). We started a letter writing campaign to influence the passage of the "Black Farmers Judicial Equity Act" on the Mall on October 15th. You may down load the letter by going to www.MuhammadFarms.com.
Three years ago the Ministry of Agriculture began "laying the pipe" for a new food distribution system for Muhammad Farms and other Black farmers by setting up food buying clubs. To date we now have 11 active food buying clubs in eleven cities. These "clubs" will eventually become cooperative corporations, and then cooperatively owned super markets. We also have Ministers of Agriculture in 23 cities who act as farm marketing coordinators that help educate our people and distribute our produce.
Each year the Ministry of Agriculture sponsors farm tours and farming experiences for our "city cousins" and youths. You can see some of our visitors by going to "Visit Muhammad Farms" on our web site. We will be expanding our capacity to teach and train more students so they can carry this experience back to the cities and set up community gardens.
We have also begun an "Eat to Live" tour to teach our people the life giving instructions of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad on "Öwhat you should eat and what you should store in your houses" (Holy Qurían, 3:48). We have been to six cities thus far and where ever we go we leave the seeds for a new food buying club.
Gary R. Grant, President of BFAA, and myself have been invited to speak on many campuses and at many conferences, where we spread the word of Black land ownership, and establishing an independent food production and distribution system, "from the land to the man". Therefore, to my dear brother Cornel West, if you talk to the right people you might find that the nine ministries that Minister Farrakhan talks about are no "pipe dreams", because the Ministry of Agriculture is already laying big "pipe".
In the Ministry of Agriculture we say "Let hope die", if that hope is in the moral conscious of American whites. White America didnít care when they took Black farmersí lands. They donít care that now the Black victims of Katrina are being stripped of their land and dispersed like refugees in their own country.
We say "Let hope Live" in God, ourselves and our will to be free. We want a future for our Black children. GM, Ford, and IBM are laying off while we in the Ministry of Agriculture, BFAA and Muhammad Farms are laying the pipes for an agricultural industry that will provide safe and wholesome food for ourselves and jobs for our babies. And like our Native Americans, we know that "the only thing that the white man invented was the patent office". We will now keep our creativity for ourselves, market ourselves, produce for ourselves and with the protection of our God defend our industries against the "Skull and Bones" pirates of this world.
Books and lectures by Dr. Ridgely A. Mu'min