By Gary Buiso
These are just some of the beliefs behind the bling — the gaudy Five Percent Nation medallions worn by Jay Z and Carmelo Anthony.
Last week, all eyes at the Barclays Center weren’t on Jay Z’s better half, Beyoncé — but on the coaster-size golden pendant swinging from the rapper’s neck as the couple sat courtside. Asked once if the group’s symbol — an eight-pointed star with the number 7 in the middle — held any meaning for him, the rapper shrugged, “A little bit.” So what exactly do Five Percenters believe?
“The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally,” says Michael Muhammad Knight, an author of two books on the radical group.
“Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.”
Smith rejected the notion of a supernatural deity and instead believed that all black men had God in them and that black women were “earths” who took on a complementary yet subordinate role to their gods.
The idea is empowering, Knight says.
“Anytime someone is saying you have to accept your conditions of oppression and slavery and pray to an unseen god — that kind of god is just being used to keep people down and to keep people from looking to themselves as a solution to their problems,” he notes. “If there is a problem, no one will fix it for you, except yourself.”
Five Percenters don’t consider themselves Muslim, but their name comes from the Nation of Islam’s belief that 5 percent of humanity are “poor righteous teachers” who
exist to enlighten the masses about the truth of existence.
Members will sometimes refer to themselves as “scientists” to drive home the search for truth. And they face a tall task, because under their belief system, 10 percent of the world’s population controls the other 85 percent by spreading the belief in a “mystery God.”
To show followers the way, members must learn the Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet — powerful tools to decipher the meaning of the universe. In both, each letter and number represents a concept: for example, 1 is knowledge, 2 is wisdom, while A is Allah and B is be, or born. The number 7 on Jay Z’s pendant stands for God.
“The first lesson I learned from the Five Percent was simple: F–k white people. Seriously. White people are devils,” Knight, 36, who is white and converted to Islam as a teenager, once wrote.
He insisted the movement has been welcoming and that he views the controversial sentiment as a statement about power rather than biology.
“For me, it is about who is marked as privileged in the power relations of this society,” he says.
Some followers take exception to those who transform their flag into a fashion accessory.
“Jay Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him” Saladin Allah, a representative of the group’s upstate region, told The Post. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”