by Arian Muhammad
I am writing this letter as a sister in the Nation of Islam, your sister, a fellow artist trying to help the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan within the Ministry of Arts and Culture based on what we have been given from him but not taught exactly ‘how’ to do in a step by step manner. I write this letter in hopes of clarifying the intent, motive, and vision behind the MIA Music Is Alive Campaign and the recent move called the ‘17 day theory’ which calls for pulling support away from entities that aid in our destruction as a people and redirecting our support to that which contributes to our growth and independence. The MIA Music Is Alive Campaign was founded on the 9th issue of the Millions More Movement and is an attempt to unite like-minded artists in a campaign to spread the seeds of cultural transformation across the nation. This campaign was formed in 2008 beginning as a letter to the minister and has gained the support of many artists both within and outside of the NOI along with activists within the hip-hop community.
Recently we’ve sent out the idea of a 17 day call for withdrawal of support of degrading songs and images via radio, purchase, and download. This is more so aimed towards those of us who have a following and can spread the message since we do not support this culture anyways, I believe. This may be deemed as a bold move esp. upon the release of a tweet that called for a ‘shut down of “corporate ignorance”. But I believe that those of you whom I am writing know, understand or have some idea of the corporatization of and exploitation of our talent by outside forces and not only did the Minister say for us to demand an end to it but we have been called upon as artists to recommit to the development of our people.
A way to do this is to address and confront the ‘machine’ of ignorance that we all know exists and as the case is with our Minister the interest is not to ‘attack’ our people but help to raise and awaken them, however rude the awakening may be. The fact is we are losing our children and not truly realizing that there is a real war going on while the people are popping their fingers.
It is hard to write this without shedding tears because I see the Minister pleading with us not only for us to make the necessary steps to save ourselves but to help him save our people. I am asking if we could unite in this effort. Unite and put our heads together on this because although we have not been given specific instructions, we have been given a base. I see that base in the 9th issue of the Millions More Movement and we established MIA upon that base. No one told me to do it, yet at the same time by studying the words of the Minister, I saw it as an instruction. Recently while speaking of the trouble I was experiencing with support I was blessed to have a brother tell me of a recent experience he had with the Minister where he was invited to dinner with him. The Minister was speaking on how he wanted ‘Witnesses’. In a booming voice he asked the brother “since when did we have to have permission to stand up and be a witness? “ (Paraphrasing from conversation) “Who will stand up and be a witness that a man came and raised us up from death into life?!”
That was definitely inspiration for me to continue despite the emergence of trial. Now, since this letter is addressed to artists/activists I asked how can we be witnesses that we heard a man like Minister Farrakhan? A man who is not ‘loved’ by the world for the truth he represents and neither wishes to conform or lie in bed with it? Of course we have to be wise in our dealing because the enemy is wise also. In 2005 I will never forget how the Minister called for ministries to be established and 10 issues were laid out that were given to as the absolute last hope of our people. Within our community I see that respective movements are growing to achieve the goal of cultural transformation and they are being expressed in different ways. I believe that there is power in unity. I believe there should be a line of communication between us so we can operate faster and more effectively. If there is something we disagree with along the way or feel would not work, we have to at least be willing to offer suggestions for improvement as opposed to simply objecting and withholding our support.
The believer is the friend of the believer and we are in the hour where we will come to see this quickly so let us start to become the sister and brother of one another now in our fight to establish that which has awakened us amongst an already present force of opposition. The 17 day theory is about bringing attention to a stance against nonsense but it doesn’t end there. We have to unify and find ways to better support our artists who represent the opposite. The idea for the 17 day theory came from discussing how Egypt made a difference in 17 days, and has officially started on Feb 16th. What would happen if we spent the remaining 12 days and our days from there on going over ideas to help usher in the change we want to see, in a “collective” manner? The cultural transformation, the hereafter, none of it is going to fall into our laps, we have to build it, and it is solely upon us and our reliance on the God.
Please take time to read the 9th issue of the millions more movement and reach out if you are serious about helping to establish a new cultural paradigm and willing to unite and come forward with ways to effectively perform our duty of civilization. How will they know except they have a teacher? And how can they have a teacher except he be sent? We have been and are being sent, so let us be bearers of witness to those whom we are being sent to that one has indeed come amongst us to lift us from our condition. Can we establish a solid system of support? Can we really evolve from being event driven into an operating entity? And last but not least can we do it together?
With love, humility, sincerity, and earnest desire to help the Minister,
Your Sister Arian Muhammad