It has been nearly 30 years since Minister Farrakhan made this speech. We always believed this would be a big part of the Million Man March. Now, over 20 years after the first Million Man March, the expectation of politics married to economics for Black people worldwide is more important than ever. This was transcribed from the book “Back Where We Belong: Selected Speeches.”
Politics Without Economics is Symbol Without Substance
(The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered this speech in 1987. In this speech, Minister Farrakhan stresses the need for economic and political development in order to positively affect the everyday lives of people. He uses his historical knowledge of America and other ethnic groups’ rise in America as a sign of what Black Americans can do.
He also clearly illustrates how the recent political victories in major cities by black politicians have not drastically affected the living conditions of the masses of people. Therefore, Minister Farrakhan calls for a balanced mixture of political and economic measures in order to achieve great substance.)
Our message tonight is, “Politics Without Economics is Symbol Without Substance”. We have many politicians, many new mayors of important cities in the United States; we have a growing number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus; we have many sheriffs, many judges, many councilpersons, many state legislators, many federal judges, more than we’ve had in a long, long time. That is a wonderful advancement, but on the other hand the masses of our people are going backward economically, backward socially, back- ward educationally. What does it benefit us to have more mayors over cities, and the masses of our people are not benefiting from this political power? If political power alone is the answer then we can tell it has failed, but politics cannot in and of itself be the answer. Politics must facilitate other kinds of development for the people. If politics does not open the way for economic development of the people then it is symbol without substance and has no value for us. Now we have been told if we would just get out and vote we would demonstrate our power. And of course we were looking for power, and we were told that education would give it to us. We went to the finest institutions,
we got the education, still powerless. Then they said, “well education is an answer alright, but we must become politically involved. You must remember we have to have the right to vote”. So they fought, we fought, and we got a Voting Rights Bill, and a Civil Rights Bill of ’65 and ’66. We got an integration bill passed that would allow our child- ren to go to school with whites where we never had that opportunity in certain parts of this nation. As a result of this effort we have seen black banks in the South go down; black bus companies in the South close up; black businesses in the South dead, gone. Why? Because once the door was opened for us to patronize whites we never saw the need to patronize our own. And therefore our own suffered at the ex- pense of what is called integration. I am not saying that Jim Crow facilities should not have been swept away. I am not saying that black people should not have the right to go anywhere in the U.S. that they wish to go and be safe. I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that if the door opens to us and we rush in and forget that we have a duty and a responsibility to build institutions for ourselves, then we put ourselves more at the mercy of our oppressors than we were prior to 1954 and 1966.
… discusses the increasing number of black politicians
So we have a black mayor in Washington [Marion Barry], and we have a black mayor in L.A. [Thomas Bradley], and we have a black mayor in Chicago [Harold Washington], we have a black mayor in Atlanta [Andrew Young]. Four of the most important cities in America and at the helm of those cities is one of our own, and certainly it makes us feel good. But feeling good can’t feed the babies when they’re hungry. Feeling good can’t pay the rent when the rent is due. So after the feel good is over, we want to know are you better off in 1987 than you were in ’83, or ’81, or ’75? And as black people we have to answer, in spi he fact that in Washington D.C. we have always had a black 1 not better off We’re e have not been better off, We are
most black politicians are like puppets
Don’t tell me that that’s your tax dollar. Shutup, they don’t treat you like a tax paying citizen. They treat you like a piece of property, and that is all that Black people have been in America, something to be used. And now that you have no more utility, you and I are facing death in America, because the Black man and woman have become obsolete. We respect our managers of white enterprise, but I think that if we become economically strong our mayors would be more responsive to our needs. Our mayors would not be in the shameful position to have a segment of the population tell them that one of their Brothers is an anti-Semite, one of your brothers is a hater; “I want you to go out there and condemn him, and do it quickly,” and our managers trot out like trained seals or trained dogs to do the biding of somebody else. And when you thought you had some semblance of power, because you voted one of your own into office, now you find out that somebody else is pulling the strings. And they’re no more than puppets on the strings of that which you have no power to control. I am happy to see a black man in office, but let it not deceive us into believing that, that is a ticket to heaven. It could be, if politics opened the door of advantage for us, and we take advantage of the opportunities provided by our politicians. Then politics would have economics to buttress it, then we would have symbol and substance. Consequently we would have power to determine our destiny and be effective in determining the destiny of this nation and the world.
… discusses economic dependency
We have a lot of independent states in the Caribbean, in Central America, and in Africa, but that is political freedom, but the econ- omics of these states is controlled from the capitals of Europe and America. How then can black Africa assert herself and come to the fore when her mineral wealth is strangled, and Africa is in debt up to her jugular vein to the bankers and the rich Western powers that have sucked the blood of Africa for 150, 200, 300 years. How can Africa be in debt to the West, when the Wests’ strength is based upon her bloodsucking activities in Africa, Asia, the Isles of the Pacific, in the Caribbean, Central America and South America?
This is not hate, this is the truth that the enemy of truth hates
because truth will set you free. Truth will wake you up. Truth will stand you up, and they don’t want no black people standing up like men and women. They want us laying down and grubbing at their feet. That day is over and will never come back again. Some of my critics say, “Farrakhan’s got it all backwards, he’s trying to take an economic approach while we know that it is the other way around. It’s politics before economics”. If I may indulge you for a moment in a little history lesson.
The founding fathers of this great nation were once the dregs of European society. I mean that with no disrespect. It is to show you that those who are rejects in society have some value if they are given an opportunity. And the dregs of European society were given an opportunity to colonize the New World that their people had dis- covered. While of course they didn’t discover it for us, for we had already been here before they discovered that they were a thought in the sperm of their fathers? The Europeans saw a new land, therefore they saw new opportunity. The aristocracy of Europe did not want to come here, much like the black aristocracy does not want to take a chance on any new idea or revelation that does not come from the master. “Uh someone else can try this out first and when they get it right I’ll be along. But I just can not risk my future.” So middle class bourgeois professionals they don’t want to indulge or go out and build something that they and their people can enjoy. They are a little timid, a little afraid, so they’re hidden away in corporate America giving their brain and their talent to the multinational corporations that are sucking the blood of Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and poor White people all over this Earth. They had the same problem in Europe so they emptied out their jails and said you go, (not the automobile Yugo), you go to the new land and make it safe for us. So they came to America, and the 13 colonies were established. Slavery right along with the establishment of the 13 colonies. After they got here they said, “let’s get the darkies.” They brought you here to give you a job. You were useful then, but when they set it up they recognized that they had to be liberated from the tyranny of the Crown of England. They were not terrorists then, why they were freedom fighters. Don’t you remember the Minute Men, they would fight in a minute. Don’t you remember Paul Revere? They didn’t have any politics. They wanted to get free to make politics for themselves. So they first had to enter a war of liberation. And that’s why they honor George Washington, because he was the emerging general of the Continental Army that made it possible for America to have independence from the Crown of England. After they got their independence in 1775 or 76, they put together some Articles of Confederation to sort of bring about some cohesion between the 13 colonies that had now become states. But that wasn’t strong enough, so in 1787, 200 years ago they decided they needed something stronger. So they gathered in Philadelphia to write what is called the Constitution. Now where were we in this matter?
… Blacks in American history
Dear sister, dear brother, dear mother and father, ‘We’ in our fathers were not ‘We the people’. When they said ‘we the people’, they weren’t even talking about poor whites of this nation, and they are not talking about the poor whites of this nation today. When they say ‘We the People’, we the people were the privileged landowners that sat in Philadelphia to talk about how to protect their economics. They didn’t represent the masses of the poor whites, and they sure didn’t represent us. But as always we came in the discussion and when we came up in the discussion the question was, “let’s not let them break up our discussion for God’s sakes.” The South wanted to count us as part of their representation so they could get more whites in the Congress. The North said, “no, no, no, it don’t run that way.” So they compromised and said, “well, we’ll call them 3/5 of a person.”
The South’s economy was built on slavery. That means the South’s economy was built on our fathers? The North’s economy was built on light manufacturing and trafficking in black people from Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, New Jersey, down into Virginia. How dare they say that I should not say that there were Europeans, who were Jews, who were involved in the trafficking of black bodies? Why shouldn’t I say such if it is written in the history and it is absolutely true? Why should I deny Africa’s role in the slave trade? Arab role in the slave trade, European role in the slave trade, and Jewish participation in the slave trade? It is true. We were not people; we were property, and this great document, the Constitution, legislated us into a condition of sub-humanity. Therefore, making it easy to dismiss our personhood. As men and women, we had no right that America was duty bound to respect, and if you press her today she will tell you, “you have no right in 1987 if they don’t like what you stand for.”
… discusses the American bombing of Libya
Look Brothers and Sisters, I am a man. My father spiritually, Elijah Muhammad, did not teach me to be a little boy, to scratch where I don’t itch, to shuffle in the presence of white folks. He taught me to stand up like a man, to act like a free man, to walk and talk like a free man. So when America said Libya was a terrorist nation, think of her calling Libya a terrorist nation with the history of covert activity of the C.I.A and the blood dripping from the C.I.A., (All Praise is Due to Allah), on the basis of a calculated lie, a lie put out by the Reagan Administration, a disinformation campaign, another word for saying, “we’re just a bunch of damn liars.” They said it was Quadhafi that was responsible for the Rome and Vienna massacres. They said it was Quadhafi who was behind the bombing of the discotheque in which black soldiers got killed, but when the truth came out it wasn’t Quadhafi at all, but it was convenient because Mr. Reagan wanted to bomb Libya, kill the president of a country in cold blood, using the sophisticated weaponry paid for by the taxpayers. The most expensive assass- ination attempt in the history of the world was carried out by Mr. Reagan on the basis of a lie. Robbing the American people of their right to know the truth. So Mr. Reagan went on T.V. and said, “no American should travel to Libya.” Well wait a minute, why shouldn’t we travel wherever we want to go on the Earth? You didn’t create it, my Father created it and wherever I go on the Earth I feel at home, all 196,940,000 square miles of it is home to me, because I am the original man and the first of God’s creation!
How can you tell me I can’t go home to where you took me and my Brothers and Sisters from? So I didn’t pay Mr. Reagan no attention. I’m not defiant. Defiance is the act of rebellion of a sub-ordinate to a superior. I don’t recognize Mr. Reagan as my superior in no way, shape, form, or fashion. I respect his office. I respect him as the President of the United States, but when he lies and deceives the American people and robs them of their rights given to them by the Constitution that they framed, as they say, for the people. “We the people, We the white people, for the white people, by the people, and we mean the rich white people and we will use poor Whites, poor Blacks, poor Hispanics, poor Native Americans to fight wars all over the world.” So the rich man can get richer, while the poor are in miserable conditions, homeless in the streets of the richest country on the Earth.
So I went to Libya, and God had showed me in a vision that the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had met to plan the war, but he did not show me where. But while I was on my trip in Africa, it crystallized for me. Reagan and the boys are going to go to war with Libya. While I was in Libya, I sat down with the members of the Libyan Jamaharia and told them what God had showed me that America was about to do. And before I could get out of Libya, it was happening. I came back to America, since the Attorney General said if I go I should be prosecuted. I sued the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the President of the United States, the Secretary of Treasury, and right here in Washington in Federal court, they don’t want to talk about it, “that nigger, who does he think he is?” In my lawyer’s presentation of our brief we accused Reagan of being a liar and using lies and deceit, not just to rob Farrakhan of his right to travel, but robbing the American people of what they are guaranteed under this paper that they call the Constitution.
You don’t have leaders, white folk, that will champion the cause of truth and justice. Your leaders are politicians, and politics is the game of expediency. So they will tell you what you want to hear, but I’m not a politician, and I say to my Brother Reverend Jackson, that he has to decide whether he wants to be a politician or whether he wants to come up in the prophetic mold of the divine men of God. Listen to what I’m saying, because if you are going to be a politician you’ll stay away from those issues that will create controversy, because you want to win votes, but if you come up in the prophetic mold like Amos, like Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Obadiah, then you got to talk to the kings independent and free, and let them know thus saith the Lord. IF JESSE WON’T DO IT HERE AM I GOD SEND ME. I’M NOT AFRAID OF THE CONSEQUENCES, I KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES. THE CONSEQUENCES ARE DEATH, BUT I AM A MAN THAT YOU CAN NOT KILL. I AM A MAN THAT THERE IS NO MORE DEATH WRITTEN FOR ME. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN FARRAKHAN?” YOU CAN KILL THE FLESH, BUT WHAT I REPRESENT, THE SPIRIT THAT MOVES MY TONGUE TO SPEAK THE WORDS OF GOD YOU CAN NEVER KILL THAT SPIRIT.
The lower court threw my case out and said “Farrakhan don’t have standing”. Well, I knew that from jump street. No Black man has standing here, not with you. They said the Mosque had standing, but the Court was not going to second guess the President when it comes to foreign policy, because the court is appointed by the politicians. There is no justice for the American people there. If the court has a political inclination and political ties to a political philosophy and political machines, then how can one who is not a member of that get justice? But oh, you’ll either give it today or it’ll be taken tomorrow, because justice must come.
…the condition of blacks have not been amended
So I say to you, beloved, that America always looked upon us as their piece of property, not as a person. So when they think in terms of us, they think in terms of economics. So George Washington said, “I fear that before too many years pass over our heads, the Negro will become a most troublesome species of property.” So here’s the founding father of the republic, who had slaves and called us property. Now after slavery there came the amendments to the Constitution, 13th, 14th, 15th amendments, etc. What did the amendments say? Our Negroes should have equal protection under the law. That has not happened yet. They should vote. That has happened, and it’s gradually being taken away by sophisticated means of chicanery and deceit. Can you imagine men sitting down to amend a faulty document, but only after we had lived 310 years as property? (We were) Robbed of our name, our language, our culture, our religion, our God, our country, our flag, our self respect, our dignity and worth as human beings. Denied the human right to know. So these hypocrites amended a piece of paper. Leaving black men and women covered with the blood of slavery. Nobody amended our condition, and because nobody mended our condition, we have not been able to take advantage of this document called the Constitution.
… discusses economic development of other ethnic groups
Please listen to me, this is very critical. The Cubans, when Fidel Castro came to power and initiated agrarian land reform, taking land from the rich wealthy landowners and setting up a Marxist-Leninist philosophy and regime, many Cubans fled; penniless, propertyless, to the U.S. In 30 years these penniless, propertyless Cubans have now become so powerful in Florida particularly. They maximize their cultural unity. They maximized their suffering; they maximized their hope in this new world. And even though there were those who didn’t like those who spoke spanish, they were so united, they worked hard and pooled their resources. They didn’t start running for mayor, they started running for dollars, and they got those dollars and they opened up banks and they started building institutions.
Now in Miami, Florida if you don’t speak Spanish in many places you’re out of luck. They have taken advantage of the document called the Constitution and the freedoms that America guarantees. And even though there was bias, even though there was prejudice, even though there was hatred, their unity rose above it. And now with their wealth, they have gone into the political arena, and the mayor of Miami is Cuban, and the governor of the state, I believe, is Cuban. So they came through the other way, the right way. They built economic power and then moved toward political power, and the Cubans are respected for what they accomplished. While the blacks in Florida still remain pitiful; wretched. Talking about how racism keeps us down. It is not racism that’s keeping us down, beloved, it’s something else I want to talk to you about this evening.
Our Haitian Brothers and Sisters came from Haiti suffering under the regime of Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier, who were the puppets of Western imperialism. Wicked black men, showing you that we are capable of being as wicked as our oppressor. So we can not say we are making progress if we trade a white oppressor for a black one. Oppression in and of itself, exploitation in and of itself, must be destroyed from the Earth no matter who does it, it is not acceptable. So the Haitians came to America. We couldn’t even offer them a job. They are our own kith and kin, but did they sit around and moan and talk about these racists? “These people don’t like blacks.” Oh no. They maximized their cultural unity, they maximized the things they had in common, they worked hard and now…Little Haiti is coming up in Miami. They have 5 banks in Miami alone in just a few years.
What is it that the Haitians have? They are your kith and kin, your people. What is it that they have that you don’t have that makes them take advantage of this document called the Constitution? Even our Brothers and Sisters from the Caribbean, who have suffered the same rape and ravishing as we, their Brothers and Sisters in America. When they come to these shores if they’re from Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts, Montserrat, Martinique, Dominica, don’t make any difference what island, they recognize they’re in a strange place so they maximize their cultural unity and they go to work. And the West Indian people, as they are called, though they are African people transplanted in the Caribbean, they are moving ahead of the black man and woman of America. What is the matter with us?
The boat people just got here yesterday; the Koreans just got here yesterday; the Vietnamese just got here yesterday. Now little Asian girls and boys are winning national spelling bees, national science competitions, and the Asian people, according to what I read recently, are the most healthy racial group in America, because their culture does not permit them to destroy themselves. And so they maximize their unity, they maximize their cultural sameness, and they rise above the “slant-eyed gook” hatred of the war lost in Vietnam, and the second World War with Japan. They rise above it, and the Japanese are buying up America. And the Koreans right behind them, and the Vietnamese right behind them. While you and I have been here longer than anybody. Four-hundred thirty odd years we been crying in the wilderness what white people have done. “These racist people, these honkies, these devils, these pigs,” whatever name you want to call them. Then, after the name calling is done, “Mr. Honky, can I have a job, sir?”
Dear Brothers and Sisters, can’t you see amending the Constitution was proper, but what America should have done; you destroyed a nation of people and you have done nothing to amend or make whole the condition of Black people. Every time we produce a leader from our ranks who could work on the problem that America would not work on, this same government that amended the Constitution worked tirelessly, ceaselessly, to discredit and destroy those great leaders who came among us to serve us. So today we can mark the centennial of the great and honorable Marcus Garvey. Today there is a movement to go to court and have Mr. Garvey’s name cleared, because the government lied on Garvey; the government deceived Black people and made them turn on a man that offered them salvation. He came to amend the condition.
To my dear Christian Brothers and Sisters, those of you who read the Bible, I can not quote it perfectly but I want you to help me Reverend. It’s in the book of Ezekiel, somewhere between the 17th, 18th, or 19th chapters. Ezekiel talks about a baby that was born, and there was no one to cut the umbilical cord. There was no one to suckle the baby; there was no one to wash the baby from the blood, the afterbirth of its mother. There it was in an open field and Ezekiel said, “and I walked by and I saw the baby and I said live. Aye, I said live.” When I saw that scripture I was reminded of a pitiful Black people who were held in the womb of slavery for 310 long years, and when it was time for us to come forward we came forward, but there was no one to cut the umbilical cord and make us free at last, free from the bondage of our oppressor, free from the oppressor. To breathe on our own, to live on our own, but there we were covered and polluted in our own blood.
Blood is the life fluid of the mother; blood is the life fluid in the placenta. It covers the baby as it comes out. There is a slime on the baby. There is blood on the baby; the baby has to be taken, brought to life, and then cleaned immediately. Washing out the eyes and the nose, cleaning the baby up. But the scriptures say that there was no one to do such work.
Here we are 30 million in number, still covered with the blood or the life of slavery. Covered with the slime of slavery, covered with the slime of self-hatred, division, envy, jealousy, squalor, disease, destruction of our families, our loved ones, our women and girls. You are covered with that slime today. So although we have the N.A.A.C.P., the Urban League, C.O.R.E, and S.N.C.C., and S.C.L.C., and A.A.P.R.P. and all of the other wonderful groups that have fought for us. And we have the black church, yet beloved pastors, preachers and teachers. The slime is still on the people even though they are in the church. The slime is on the people. Wherever the people are, they are not being cleaned up. The church is not cleaning them up. The school is not cleaning them up… you are not inferior; you are in an inferior position and an inferior circumstance. But Lord, if somebody would do their duty by you. If somebody would show you who you are, and cut the cord, and say you’re free men and women. If somebody would wash out your eyes that you may see yourself and love yourself, and see your enemy as he is. Wash up your body and make you clean, and like Jesus, restore your sight, restore your hearing, restore your tongue, restore your withered hand. Make a dead man who is living on a dead level, on the plane of the animals and beasts of the field. Say to him, “Get up, pick up your bags and walk.” If we, if the Church, if the Mosque, if the Synagogue, if the religious houses would become involved in the duty of mending our people, then in a short time we could take advantage of this Constitution. In a short time, we could maximize the two-hundred and twelve billion dollars that comes to us each year. In a short time, you would have politics that has meaning. In a short time, you would have substance to add to the symbol, and you would have power at last and power forever. Then you in America will say to the Justice Department or to the State Department, “we do not like your policy to South Africa. We do not like the way you are treating our family members in the Caribbean,” and we, with a unity and a strength, and maximizing our economic resources, we could make America a heaven for ourselves if we wished to. What do you wish to do? Beloved, can you see that something needs to be done for you, to you, and by you?
… discusses the significance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s teachings
Now here I am, a student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, a man who performed this service for us. He cleaned us up; he stood us up; he united us; he made us love ourselves and love our people. Oh, we were uncompromising, and we have to admit we were somewhat hateful, but we were justified in hating that which oppressed us. Weren’t we? I don’t have to make an apology for being hateful of that which oppressed us. It’s very healthy; you say, “oh now Farrakhan you shouldn’t talk like that.” Oh shut up. The problem with you is you hate yourself; hate the blackness of your skin; hate the kinkiness of your hair. You go so crazy, we see men today walking the streets with rollers in their hair, plastic bags on their head. There was a time when a woman would be ashamed to walk like that, but now men are walking the street with a plastic bag. No wonder white folks are scared of you. No wonder your own people are scared of you. You would scare Godzilla. Imagine Godzilla coming and seeing a bunch of black folk walking with a plastic bag on their head, with gold chains around their neck, reefer in their mouth, snorting cocaine, talking about, “treat me equal, I’m human too mother.” You need help, you need help. Beloved, we need help. I’m willing to help and do my part. I can’t do it all, but I can do what God will allow me to do. But the enemy knows that I am effective, he said, “there’s a nigger talking to black people and the other niggers is listening to him.” They couldn’t send the Mayor, Reverend Jackson, Fauntroy, the Congressional Black Caucus, to the Convention Center and charge a dollar and get this many people in here to hear nothing that they had to say. You better bring Luther Vandross, and after he stops singing, the people are leaving.
… Farrakhan’s effectiveness in the Black community
They are afraid that a black man can talk to black people and he’s not under their control. You can’t control me! I will never be controlled by you, by the help of Almighty God! Never will I bow down, never, NO, NO, NEVER. Death is sweeter to me than apologizing for what I never did.
They came to me and said, “Farrakhan, you should apologize to the Jewish people.” I said apologize for what? If I said something wrong, I am the first one that would come and say I beg your pardon, but what they say I said in the paper, I never said it. So I will never apologize for the lies of the press. You are going to have to apologize to me before this thing is over. I will not bow down. So you are going to have to destroy me, and I’m not running from you. I’m running to you, because I don’t believe you got the power.
Some of you oughta be able to see, you religious people, that when Paul was preaching Jesus, the people were afraid, because Paul had many people listening to him. Paul was so smart that when he was in Rome, he was a Roman, and when he was in Greece, he was a Greek. He seemed to take on the identity of wherever he was, because Paul, being baptized of Christ, he had fire in his tongue and he knew how to unite all philosophies because he was the root of all the philosophies. So therefore, he could put on the clothes of a Shriner, cause he knew who was in the shrine. He knew why it came about. So he could talk to the Jews and he could talk to the Gentiles. So the authority said this is a dangerous man. I didn’t write the Bible y’all, so if I say what the Bible says, you go get the writers. The writers said the Jews didn’t like Paul. The Bible said the Jews didn’t like Jesus. I didn’t write it, they said “Jews”. I know there were some that liked Jesus, I know there were some that liked Paul, but they were so damn quiet that those that hated him took predominance over those that said they understood him. There are some Jews who understand what I’m saying, but they are weak and ineffective, and if they could speak they wouldn’t speak. So when they got ready to get to Paul some of them said, “we’ll fast until Paul is dead.” Some of the chief priests had gotten together in league with the enemies of Paul to trap him and kill him. But if you notice he always escaped. He was always one step ahead of them. He was always on time, never late. God was with him.
Finally, they got a hold to him. As you going to get a hold to me soon, you think. But somebody in the government is going to say to Reagan or whoever his successor is, “look here Reagan if this work is of men don’t worry about it cause it will come to naught, but if what that man is doing is of God and we fight that man we’ll find ourselves fighting God.” And I don’t care how powerful you are Rome, God never lost one, and He will not lose one today. If I am of man then you can attack me, and I will come to naught like those that went before me, but if I am of God, and am, then if God is with me, and He is, then there ain’t nothing you can do that won’t get you in trouble with God. He will destroy your government. He will turn your country upside down. He will turn the nations against you. He will lay you low. He’ll bring children up at your feet who will slaughter you in the streets. Your day is over, that’s right. I’m here by the help of Allah to amend a condition that has remained too long, and I will do it or die in the attempt.
… issues a warning to black leaders
Now I issue a warning to the Black leaders, then we’ll get on with P.O.W.E.R. The Mayor of Los Angeles does not want me in Los Angeles. The City Council voted against me 11-0, three blacks on the City Council. One of them has been our friend over the years. He stood up in the City Council, praised my work, then voted with the others. My brother and friend Reverend Jackson says he will not accept my support, he will not accept not even kind words of praise. He don’t want me, but he will go to Alabama and sit down with Wallace, and call governor Wallace his friend. A man that lynched black people; a man that castrated black people; a man that denied black people justice; but you say he repented. I have lynched no man, I have kept no man back from anything that any man wanted to do of good. I speak against evil. I don’t care who does it, but I am personae non grata. My friend Mayor Barry who proclaimed a day in honor of me when it was cool, but when it got hot, he denounced me. Mind you, when they denounce me, they call me on the telephone and tell me, “Brother, you got to understand Brother.”
Even my own Mayor, Mayor Washington, in a recent election, they tried to force him all through the election to denounce Farrakhan. He didn’t want to do that, in the end he made a little statement, but it’s a little but it’s a lot, because ain’t nobody opening the eyes of the blind, making the deaf hear, the dumb speak, and raising black people to life and reforming them as God is blessing me to do today. For my brothers who have known me for 30 years and know I’m not anti- Semitic, you will never find a Muslim going to a Jewish synagogue making a swastika, because our Holy book the Quran forbids us to disrespect any house of worship where the name of God is remembered. You will never find a Muslim taking the Torah that God gave to Israel through Moses and denigrating such divine work and divine book. We respect Moses; we respect what he revealed and all of those Jews that will live like Moses taught; they are Brothers in the faith of righteousness and truth. They know that I am not a hater, but now they can’t speak what they know, because to defend me will mean the loss of some ambition, some political objective, some plum that they are promised.
I say to you my beloved Brothers and Sisters who are leading our people; the government wants me. Jews are walking the street today, the little radical fellahs saying, “WHO DO YOU WANT? FARRAKHAN. HOW DO YOU WANT HIM? DEAD. WHO DO YOU WANT FARRAKHAN? HOW DO YOU WANT HIM? DEAD.” You don’t really mean that. You really don’t know what the hell you’re saying. You don’t know what you’re saying. You don’t want me dead. I am your salvation. You’re finished except you come right today. You have murdered the prophets of God. You have stoned the righteous. You that accuse the righteous night and day, this is the end.
I am not a Prophet, I’m just a simple black man. A student of one of the greatest black men you’ll ever know, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And make no mistake about it, that is the man of the hour, living or dead.
So I say if you want to deliver me up as the Quran teaches, Pharaoh sent summoners into all the cities saying to them bring to me every skillful enchanter. And pharaoh said, “If you will join me in opposing Moses, or your own liberation, I promise you wealth and nearness to me.” You that want to be near the enemy, the slavemasters children, that you would deliver me up to get a position of governor, senator, mayor, congressperson, banker. You will deliver me up. They want me dead, not dead or alive, they want me dead. But aye though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, because God is with me. I feel so good. I get up and walk with no guards around me. I’m not trying to tempt God, I just feel good. I just feel that God is able, and if you are able to put it over, I feel sorry for those of you leaders who won’t open your mouth. You are taking the position of Pontius Pilate. He was a Governor too, of Judea. He wasn’t a big fellah, he was minding the store for somebody else. So when they brought Jesus to him on false charges, Pontius Pilate knew he was a good man, but he washed his hands of the matter. I can’t talk because the big boys say, “we got to get him.” So Pontius said, “I’ll wash my hands of the matter.” And so my brothers, they won’t come near me, ask them. Fauntroy, “what did he do?, he didn’t do anything. Why can’t you walk with him? Its political suicide.”
If you won’t walk with me Reverend, you’re a liar when you say you’ll walk with Jesus. Cause if Jesus were here, Jesus would take the position that I take right now. Jesus wouldn’t walk with Reagan. You don’t want to walk with me, I’m not a thief, I am not a liar, I will not violate your wife or your children, I don’t use drugs and won’t sell them, use them or countenance anybody doing such. I don’t rob or steal, but you won’t walk with me because its political suicide. Mayor Barry actually loves me, yes he does. In truth he say, “that’s a good man.” Jesse, if you get him in the corner, “he’s a good man, Farrakhan is a good man, beautiful brother.” Tom Bradley, you know Tom, Tom would say, “that Farrakhan is alright, I had to condemn him. I didn’t really want to do it. The devil made me do it. You know the devil, he makes you do things that you don’t want to do. I didn’t even hear the tape, but I just had to say he’s a hater and a bigot.”
Now all the Negro leaders want favoritism with whites. They will either be silent or condemn me, and they are sending a signal to the government, saying, “we are not going to let Farrakhan stand in the way of our cherished goals and ambition.” And so they’ve made a pact, an agreement with hell to deliver me up, but what the government ought to think about is that these leaders no longer have the ears of the masses, and even if they deliver me up you better be careful because there’s something else coming. There’s a new crop of leadership coming up, strong and uncompromising. As it was the students in Iran, the students in Korea, the students in Vietnam, the students all over the world, there’s a new student coming up. He’s in Howard today, he’s in M.I.T and Harvard today, he’s in high school today. He looks like a bopper, but he’s mean and he’s watching his counterpart in Azania preparing neckties, necklaces for the collaborators, and he’s getting his ideas. Come on, government, take me. I will die happy knowing that you will be right behind me in a hurry. You’ll never get away with it.
I’m telling you black people, I’m not saying this out of any pompous notion of self importance, but you failed Marcus Garvey. We failed Malcolm; we failed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; we failed Martin Luther King; we failed W.E.B. Dubois; we failed Booker T. Washington; we failed Frederick Douglass; we failed Denmark Vesey; Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth; we failed everybody that stood up for us. And I’m here to tell you if you fail your Brother today, God will chastise you with a chastisement that no people have ever had in the history of the world.
… minorities will soon be the majority in the U.S.
So I think I better get to this P.O.W.E.R. so we can go home. I been on power all night. Do you know you got power? Do you know what they’re saying? They are saying they put it in books and magazines that you don’t read, but listen, they are saying that the birth rate of whites is almost a zero population level. They are saying that white folks are trying harder and can’t make it. It’s a rare thing when one of them says, “I’m pregnant.” The whole neighborhood goes up in joyous shrieks, and that’s why God promised Israel He said, “that if you disobey my commandments cursed shall you be in the city, cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket, cursed shall be your store, cursed shall be the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your womb.” So today while they are at a zero population level, even though you are aborting babies like they going out of style, even though you are piling it up, God has moved over you, under you, round you, through you. Now 9-year-old, 10-year-old, 11-year-olds who never heard of a pill are having a baby. You know what they are saying, that if this continues, by the year 2080, that’s 93 years from today, by the year 2080 if this trend continues Black, Hispanic, Native Americans could be the majority in the United States of America. In less than 100 years. Now you see about that secret weapon. You say, “the black man didn’t have nothing up top.”” He don’t care top or bottom, he’s a dangerous fellow today. This black man is powerful. And so if you are a white racist and saw those alarming figures, that in less than 100 years, you that are calling yourselves the majority would have to refer to yourself as the minority, and then you can take advantage of all the minority legislation that you passed. You would become the disadvantaged group, and we the ‘niggers’, we the ‘spics’, we the Native Americans that you laugh at, we would become the majority. And with any semblance of unity among the Blacks, the Indians, and the Hispanics, we could vote in or out who we please, and politics in America would take on a radical change.
So if you were Colonel North in charge of covert operations in the corner of the White House, and you knew that in less than 100 years blacks would be in power, what kind of policy would you send up to be reviewed? A policy that say’s let’s cut down the Black, the Hispanic, and the Native American. And if you go to the Indian reservations today, you see men and women dying in whole areas, the women have been sterilized. If you look at us Black women and men the way the drugs are flowing in our community, the death march is on. We are killing each other at an alarming rate. So they figure if we have 60,000 excess deaths a year, more than all that died in Vietnam in 9 years. We have that many excess deaths above the normal death rate, that shows that we are programmed for extinction. And so beloved, somebody like Farrakhan is dangerous, but that’s perspective. If you look at me in the right perspective, you’ll say, “the man is a blessing. He is not only a blessing to his own people, but he’s a blessing to America.” Because if he can make the Black man amended or whole, with the help of his Christian brothers in the clergy, and those that are religious men. If we can go to work and make our people whole, the Hispanic whole, the Native American whole, then America can become to the world a beacon of hope. Because as long as the Black, the Brown, the Yellow in this country are oppressed and suppressed, you can never claim to our Brothers in Africa and the Caribbean; you can never claim to the Arabs in the old world, if you oppress the Arabs in the new world. You can never claim to the Hispanic people in Central and South America if you oppress the Hispanic in America, that America means anything to the peoples of the world. That’s why the whole world is turning on America.
So what are we going to do? Are we going to roll over and die? Come on, or are we going to get up and do something? Why shouldn’t we get up and do something? Then, if we’re going to get up and do something, what are we going to do? I’m not going to say that the P.O.W.E.R. program is the panacea of all the ills that black people have. We need as many people working on the economic problem of our people that have the power and the will to do so. This is just one avenue, but because of the popularity that God has blessed me with, if I use it rightly to benefit the masses, that makes me dangerous to those who want to continue to suck your blood.
Now you know Mr. Johnson, of Johnson Publishing, isn’t he a giant? He made 175 million dollars last year. He’s the top black business in the country, 175 million. However, when you look at the top white business which was G.M., not only did G.M. do 10 times better or 20 times better, G.M. did 96 billion, 371 million, 700 thousand dollars last year. So when you look at our giants compared to white giants, we’re not giants at all. If you take all our businesses put together, 329 thousand black businesses in America last year, we only grossed 12.4 billion dollars. Now the 10th largest company in America is G.E., and they almost tripled what all the black businesses combined did in America. Do you see that? So our giants to us are what to white people? Midgets. Can you see that? So anytime the midget acts up, all the giant got to do is show him a foot. So when one of our giants was going to make the products for us, they told him, “we got your distribution. So if you make the product for Farrakhan we will close you down.” Qaddafi loaned us 5 million dollars, we put it in a black bank. Did you know that the bank received it with joy, and then later when the pressure got hot they came to me and begged me to take the money out of their bank? They were so scared of white people they didn’t even want 5 million dollars and what they could earn off of it. So we said to ourself no scared to death Negro can make business for black people. So we decided if they won’t do it, we’ll have to do it ourselves. So we found Muslim chemists, and the chemists sat down with us and we told them what we wanted. We found another Muslim Brother who knew the business and knew how to set up the factory and he said, “I’ll help you,” and he helped to set up the factory. And even though it was hard for us, the opposition was severe, and it’s still severe we made the start. And the first 6 products are out and 6 more are being formulated now for your consumption.
Now what are we in Washington for. We want to create 100,000 jobs across this nation. We want to offer black people a chance to sell these products, not only to black people, because they are not black products. I mean, if you open the top it don’t come out black. It’s even in a white bottle, ya’ll, with some color in it. So the object here is to sell the product. It’s a good product to anyone who will purchase the product. This will give to our young people jobs that they don’t have to sell dope, sell hope. Go on out, clean yourself up. We will help you to do this and show you how to sell it and go on to your people and make a living for yourself. Now if we get 100,000 distributors across the country, think about that, that sell just 50 dollars a month, that would give us approximately 60 million dollars a year, which is not a lot of money, but it’s a start.
We have in the audience Brother Abass Rassoull, National Secretary of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Hon- orable Elijah Muhammad. He remembers and so does Porsha Bacha, and Sister Ameena Rassoull, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s advanced 5 year economic savings plan. If the 5 million black work- ers would set aside just 5 cents a day, 25 cents a week, 1 dollar a month, that would come to 60 million dollars a year. And in 3 years with 180 million dollars we can begin to do the kind of business for our people, building the kind of institutions that would be beneficial to us all. Since our saving habits are so atrocious it would be wiser not to even ask black people to save a nickel a day, but if you can go to black people with what they already use, hand and body lotion, shampoo, soap, conditioner for your hair, something for under your arms, and something to smooth out, kind of lay it down and make it look well groomed. These are things that black people use every day. All we’re saying is buy it from us. Buy it from a Clean ‘N Fresh salesman. And if we get 100,000 people that would just sell 50 dollars worth of product a month we have 60 million dollars a year, and in 3
years 180 million. But that’s not all, that’s chump change really.
On this little bottle you see a little ‘H’, and that says in the Arabic, Hilal. Which means that there is no foreign substance in here that is forbidden by God for us as Muslims or righteous people to use. Which means that this product can be sold on the international market. So the Muslim world, which is a vast world, some of them have already pledged to me that they will take the products. Which means if the Muslim world takes the products, we do a joint venture and set up a plant in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, set up a plant in Mexico, for Central America and South America. Then before you know it 60 million will be 200 million, 500 million, a billion a year. And that kind of money is what we need to do, the positive things that have to be done to lift our people toward total liberation.
Brothers and sisters, the difference when you buy this is that this don’t go into the personal pocket of Louis Farrakhan. It wouldn’t be a bad idea, but Louis Farrakhan is not interested in becoming personally rich, so that he can die and leave his wealth. May not make a will, have people fighting and killing each other over it. But Louis Farrakhan is born into the world to serve a people. So all of this belongs to the membership of the Nation of Islam. You say, “well that ain’t me.” Oh yes, it is you, because there’s nothing that we will build. that you’re not involved in it.
… blacks must maximize their cultural unity
Here’s my Christian brother sitting on the rostrum with me. Do you think I will build something for Muslims and leave my Christian brother without? We got to maximize our cultural unity; we have to maximize our suffering and our experience, and we can not let labels keep us apart from one another. So what we build for Muslims, we build it for Christians; we build it for agnostics. we don’t care who you are as long as you are one of our people we’re building for you. The money that will be realized as profit will go to set up independent schools, hospitals, orphanages, shelters for our young, more businesses, farms, factories. This is what America offers us. Let’s take advantage of it, and make America say to us, “we hate you, we don’t want you to even do business.” Then I say this to America, if you don’t want us to do business, if you don’t want us to do for ourselves, then there’s nothing that I can do but come to you like Moses said to pharaoh, you either got to let us go, give us separation or give us death. If you want us to stay here, then we can not stay here doing nothing. We can stay here working hard to build for ourselves and our people. If you don’t want us to do that, then you got to let us go, and if you won’t let us go and you won’t let us work, then we have to fight you to death us do part. It has to be that way. With God on our side, we’ll have to go to war with this nation for our freedom.
…America must aid in Black independence
Now what alternative do you want? Do you want 30 million black people to rise up against you? Even though we can’t win, we can make it so hot for you, you can’t win either. Because the moment we rise up, Russia attacks, China may get an idea that you are weak now. This country is beloved to many and most, we don’t have no other place, so why not open up and let us build? That’s a better alternative than losing it all. You think about it.
I close with this thought in mind. Moses told his people, “go and take the promised land.” Somebody spied it out and said, “there were giants over there.” And they didn’t want to take on the giants, but brothers and sisters there were some that did and they won the promised land. Don’t worry about the giants in business, don’t worry about no giants, you’re not a midget, you are only a midget in your thinking. Once you are wide awake, thinking right, you can go to the top.
Brothers and Sisters, the Haitians, the Cubans, the Vietnamese, the Arabs who were displaced from the Middle East, they can do no more in America than you if you wake up and let this condition be amended. We can go to the top in America in spite of racism, in spite of prejudice, in spite of bigotry. There ain’t nothing that they got that can stop us if we get our foot out of our own way. Do you agree? Will you help us to build for ourselves?…