The Nation of Islam has unloaded on Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in its Final Call newspaper, over an April 22, 2010 Op-Ed piece for The New York Times titled “Ending the Slavery Blame-Game,” in which he argued that a moral, historic, political and economic equivalency exists between the culpability and responsibility of some Africans who participated in the transatlantic slave trade with the nations of Europe and the American colonies. I have long maintained that there were two parties to slave trade and the Africans who were involved, were just as culpable. Gates wrote,“The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred….the conquest and capture of Africans and their sale to Europeans was one of the main sources of foreign exchange for several African kingdoms for a very long time.”
The screed, entitled "The Mis-Education of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.," written by Abdul Arif Muhammad, Esq., maintains that Gates perverted and violated what Dr. W.E.B. DuBois called “scientific truth.” He goes on to state Gates is a perfect example of an "educated Negro," who has been taught to find his proper place at the back door. Really? No one is condoning slavery and its implications, but the reality is that the Europeans could not have just landed on the continent and rounded up slaves to transport to the New World without some help from the natives, specifically from the slave-trading kingdoms of western and central Africa.
The NOI seems to take a militant position on slavery and would rather see divisiveness and anger rather than peace and acceptance of the facts. The notion that Dr. Gates is an "educated negro" who was taught to find his "proper place" is an affront to many who share his position. The NOI sees everything in black and white and there is no middle ground or room for debate. If you don't take their position, then you are deemed an "educated negro" and likely, a "sell-out."The reality is that the facts regarding African complicity in the slave-trade are well-documented, but the Nation of Islam seems to have forgotten that fact or it doesn't fit their modus operandi, so anyone who holds true to Dr. Gates position is ridiculed and dismissed as a "wannabe white" person. The reality is that Abdul Arif Muhammad is the one who is "mis-educated."
Muhammad also reminds his readers that this isn't Professor Gates first affront to the NOI. He said in 1992, Gates wrote another op-ed in the New York Times, in which he countered their claims that conspiratorial Jews were behind the slave trade. He asks if Prof. Gates was "proving that he is a hired ‘educated Negro’ by the rich and powerful to be an apologist against the legitimate cries for justice by a suffering people?” The reality is that Muhammad and the NOI have done very little to refute Dr. Gates claims in both articles in reference to the role of Africans in the slave trade. They have come across as nothing more than a bunch of whiners who are pushing a vile rhetoric designed to keep blacks down and angry.
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