We see the true nationalist in the person of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who not only complains about the nature of the education of Black children but who does something about it. He builds the schools and universities and constructs and instructs as a part of his nationalist mission.
The true nationalist is not obsessed about the destruction of his civilizations, about the cruelty of his fate and the devilishness of his enemies. Certainly he analyzes that and looks at it. Certainly he laments the destruction of Black civilization and the fall of our empires and kingdoms and our fall from grace to a degree. But he does not become traumatized by those falls and destruction. He does not become obsessed and compulsive about their analysis. He looks at them, he learns from them, he integrates them into his personality and ideology, he swears never again, and he moves forward using that knowledge to construct a new civilization.
He looks at the mistakes of his ancestors; he looks at the mistakes of his past civilizations and he integrates the mistake [of his dissociation] into his personality; he then moves forward to build new civilizations, new worlds, and found new empires; not just lament the ones past and gone.
Though the true nationalist recognizes the greatness of [Ausar, Auset and Heru] and all of the rest, he recognizes that ultimately the pyramids were built by the hands of men. I have yet to see a god build a temple. [?!] I see men building temples; I see men building cities; I see men and people digging the mines; I see people doing the jobs. There is nothing wrong with using the astrologies, the esoteric religions and using the moons and planets as guides for our behavior; but let us not become obsessed with them to such a degree that we do nothing else.
In fact, in my daily life the most retarded people [?!] I see, in terms of economic, social, political and personal development, are the ones who know the most about the moon, the most about the planets, the most about the numbers-and-you (numerology). Why not demonstrate the effectiveness of what you’re talking about into your own behavior, life and therefore be a beacon to other people, demonstrate through your life-behavior and habits the effectiveness of your ideologies, religions and concepts? I don’t say don’t believe in it; but let it work for you!
We can differentiate between the pseudo-nationalist and the true nationalist in the question of whether his religion, his ideology, his philosophy is serving him or is he merely serving them.
A brief look at the movement of the Asian today. If you study a bit of Asian culture you will recognize that at its very center is so-called ancestor worship; great respect for the ancestors. At the center is a huge and long history built around tradition. But one of the things that puzzles western man (the European) as he looks at the Asian, is how the Asian, though he respects highly his ancestors and engages in ancestor worship and is exceedingly traditional, at the same time technologically equals and advances over him. He shows clearly that one can still respect, love and worship the ancestors yet still be very much into the world of today, can still move and advance technologically and otherwise beyond his or her enemies.
The worship and respect for ancestors and the respect for tradition do no imply that we cannot concern ourselves with the immediate and with the future. The correct worship of ancestors and the correct praise of tradition is the foundation for and advancement in the future.
The true nationalist not only educates the wounded egos of adults, but also educates its young. Nationalist organizations that are concerned almost exclusively with the education of children are practicing a nationalism that is incomplete. That is why you see in Elijah Muhammad concurrent education of the adults and the children, an education of the family as a whole and of individuals as well. A true nationalist knows he must educate, as the word nationalism implies, the nation and everyone in it.
The true nationalist recognizes the necessity of building both a national and international government; that we ultimately must build in this country a nation, and nations of Afrikan people the world-over. A true nationalist is not afraid to delegate power. I often warn people not to fall for people merely because they project a nationalist ideology. You must look into their souls; you must look at their character and see what the character really has in it. It is that which determines your relationship with them, not just the statements of their ideology.
Ultimately if we are to control our destiny, we must become self-governing. A nationalism not talking about self-government, not talking about nation-building, not constructing a national network, not constructing a national economic, social, and political system, is a false nationalism, Brothers and Sisters.
A true nationalist not only motivates through language, rhetoric and oratory, but trains. You cannot train a people with a two-hour lecture on Saturdays. Institutions have to be developed and built so that this training could take place. The greater part of their time and the time and efforts of our children should be dedicated to being trained to acquire the behavior that we need to advance our interests. We are not going to get that behavior if we depend upon that behavior being trained into our children by our enemies, by people who need to have ill-adjusted and maladjusted behavior to maintain their power position in life.
The true nationalist grounds his social and political philosophy and practice on a realistic analysis of his situation. He cognizes his enemies. He is not a slavish reader of foreign sources and of other political ideologies. Does it mean that he should not read the other people? Certainly he can read the other people, but his ultimate decision is based on his own analysis, upon the sound knowledge of himself, who and what he is, and upon his reality.
The true nationalist is not a purist to the degree that he is paralyzed. Some of us want to be nationalists but also want to be so pure that in the end we end up doing nothing. We end up paralyzed. We would go into business, but that’s capitalism, isn’t it? [?!] So we don’t go into that. We would do this, but that’s in some way related to this ideology or that enemy ideology. So you see the individual often trying to be such a pure nationalist until he cannot engage in real, practical behavior. He is so concerned about getting his hands dirty that he dares not do anything at all. We can see the nationalist who is so hung up in his traumas of nationalism and capitalism that he dares not engage in any economic development.
Consequently, we get a nationalist who is hung up waiting for Afrikan communalism to come into being, or communism; who is also frightened to engage in any kind of business, so he remains frozen while the other economic groups move into his community, taking his economic resources, un-employing his children and using his wealth against him. The true nationalist is not caught up in indecisiveness and in some pie-in-the-sky dream about classless societies. He gets engaged in the true work of building and construction.
[…] Where one sees nationalism, one sees building, one sees institutional development; one sees trade, development and commerce; one sees restructuring of values, restructuring of priorities; one sees the rebuilding of relationships; one sees the reallocation of resources. When we as nationalists say that we are carrying out the legacy of Garvey, let us show that legacy in concrete development, institution building and, ultimately, nation-building.
Source: RBG Communiversity – RBG Blakademics