Minister Louis Farrakhan

Blessed is the Publisher of Peace

By Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Aug 22, 2004 - 7:13:00 PM

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[Editor’s note: The following excerpts are taken from a message delivered by Minister Louis Farrakhan to the National Newspaper Publishers Association on January 14, 1999 to open the NNPA’s mid-winter conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The NNPA, or the Black Press of America, is the country’s largest group of Black publishers, consisting of more than 200 members.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

I laid in my bed the other night, thinking about what I would say to the Black publishers to help you to see how tremendously valuable and important a publisher is to the struggle of the poor, the needy and the oppressed. And this thought came to me from the book of Isaiah: "How beautiful are the feet of him that publishes peace."

As a publisher, Jesus published the good news that, if followed and carried into practice, would bring peace on earth and goodwill to human beings. Being such a great publisher of truth and justice, Jesus tried to get a coalition together, because publishers need help. They need help from the business community to take out advertisements in their papers so the publisher can be free to speak the truth as he or she knows it and sees it. Publishers also need help from the religious community.

Jesus sent his disciples out to get the business people to come to a feast he was having because he really wanted them to back his newspaper. But the businessman was too busy, the doctor had a patient, the lawyer had a client, the real estate man was busy selling real estate, and the pastors were so busy taking care of Caesar’s business they didn’t know that God had sent a true publisher into the world. So poor Jesus had to publish his gospel by himself, with his few disciples. But today you will find the effect of his publishing the good news.

As a member of the Black press, you start off like Jesus. You didn’t go into business just to make money. Black newspapers have always been cause- oriented. It was the suffering of our people that brought the first newspaper into existence. It was our desire to be free, our desire to publish the truth that would set our people free, that caused Black newspapers to begin their long struggle.

There is good news to tell our people, but there are those who don’t want our people to hear the good news. What is the good news? The good news is that after 400 years of oppression, tyranny and enslavement, God has chosen you—not to be the tail, but to be the head.

You may not want to accept that kind of good news because a slave mentality doesn’t want to be first. We just want to be in the room with those who are first. But if God has chosen us—not because of our goodness, but He’s chosen us from the furnace of affliction to purify us and to make us ready for great service in this nation and world—then as we move out of this century into a new frontier and a new millennium, what should we expect?

Joseph was given a coat of many colors by his father. But Joseph’s envious brothers put him in a pit, sold him into Egypt, and then dipped his beautiful coat into the blood of a beast and took it back home to say to the father that a beast had devoured his favorite son. In reality, the envy of those in positions of power of your future is what has set in motion a conspiracy to destroy the future of the Black male and the female.


Don’t tell me you are a Christian and you don’t believe in a conspiracy. Satan is not a joke. Satan is real. Satan is involved in a deep conspiracy using people in positions of power to alter and destroy God’s own purpose. That’s Satan’s role. As a publisher, as we move into the new frontier, you must ask yourself a question: do you want to be a part of Satan’s plan to upset the plan of God; or do you want to be a part of God’s plan and become a publisher, like Jesus, of a gospel of good news to our people, that at last we are coming together to serve our people as they ought to be served?

Pharaoh saw the Children of Israel multiplying and he knew what that meant for his own future. So Pharaoh said, "Come," that’s an invitation, "let us deal wisely with them." That’s a conspiracy. What are you going to do Pharaoh? We’re going to kill all the male children and spare the females.

Is there a conspiracy? How could prisons be on the stock market? Wise people don’t invest in business unless they have a product. If you are investing in prisons you are investing in cells that you know are going to be filled. And who is filling the jails? Is it true that one third or more of the inmates in Washington, D.C., are HIV positive, and is this a sign of what is going on in the prisons throughout America? And if HIV is that scourge that now is the number one killer in the Black community, then where did it come from? How do we fight it? Is it real? Why is it us and not others that are victimized by this? You have to ask questions.

Yes, there is a conspiracy. And it’s unfortunate that those who would speak out have to be labeled as something other than what they really are.


The sad thing about the publishing business is, if you don’t have a lot of money—which most of us as Black publishers don’t have—you’re dependent on Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters. When did AP, UPI and Reuters become the gospel? Do they lie? Do they manage news? Do they have a purpose for skewing the truth? If so, then should we fall into the trap because we have to fill up a paper, that we fill our papers with the same lies they tell without an appropriate check or balance?

Fifteen years ago, Newsweek magazine published an article that said by year 2056 Black people would not only be equal to Whites in population, but Blacks could very well be the majority population in America. If you are looking at those figures 15 years ago and you are a racist, what plan would you put in place to make sure that by 2056 that would not become a reality? The self destruction that is going on in our own community today is assuring that we will not be a majority population. In fact, we will be in a terrible condition by the middle of the next century if we don’t make some drastic changes now.

So what is the role of the Black press in this fight against the ignorance of our people? As publishers, you know your paper must have advertising. But sometimes people buy advertising in your paper because they really want to control the editorial content. And if you look like you’re going to be too bold, a letter will come to your desk. You may say, "Farrakhan, do you know what you’re talking about?" Yes, I do.

Bro. (Muammar) Gadhafi loaned me $5 million to get into the personal care products business. I made it known to the government of the United States that I was accepting the money, and the money came. I put the money in a Black bank earning less interest than I would have gotten at a White bank. And I went to one of the leading Black personal care products manufacturers in the city of Chicago and asked would he make products for us to sell. We sat down with his sons and his chemists and we were on the road. But I got a call from our brother and he said, "Farrakhan, I can’t do it." I said, "why can’t you do it, brother?" He said, "I got a call, that if I made one product for you, then they would take all my products off the shelf and they control my distribution." That man was George Johnson. I’m calling names not to embarrass anybody, but to let you know that your giants are midgets in the eyes of your oppressor. And your giants that you admire, when they get in the face of big money, they crawl like worms. I cannot live like this. And if you can take this, then you will pass on to your unborn generations the legacy of your cowardice.

You can’t be a publisher of peace and not be willing to pay the price. Jesus was willing to pay the price and that’s why we are redeemed today. But are we willing to pay the price to redeem a people that are dying because they have no advocacy because the advocates have been bought off?

A Black banker came to my little office and said, "Mr. Farrakhan, will you please take your money out of our bank." That hurt me to the point where I said if I have to fight alone, then God is sufficient for me. But I will not compromise principles of truth for an easy life. The easy life you have for compromise, you pass on a harder life for your children.


The Black church is the natural ally of the Black press. There should never be a time when the Black press meets that the Black church is not involved. The Black church is the center, it has the people. We need people to read our papers, and we need business people to advertise in our papers. So we must form an alliance between the Black business community, the Black spiritual community and the Black publishers. We must do that this year because if you are free, then we are free.

You don’t have money individually to chase stories all over the world. Iraq is a story. You don’t go there so we have to go by what the State Department says, and I don’t think that’s wise for us. There was a big story for the last two years on slavery in the Sudan. And the White press said "Farrakhan is a friend of the Sudanese government," and by inference they were saying "he’s a Moslem and he doesn’t care that those Arabs in the North are enslaving the Blacks in the South." If I could tell you, there’s nobody in this room Blacker than the Blacks that I found that are called Arabs in the north Sudan. Your Black looks very light.

If we really want to know the truth, why shouldn’t we pool our resources and choose several very good reporters and photographers and send them? There are stories all over America that we need to be in on. Wherever the story is we may not be big enough individually to cover it, but we are big enough collectively. We have to think like this for the future of our people.

I would love for you to go to the Sudan, which was bombed by Clinton recently. He was bombing a pharmaceutical plant that he said was producing weapons of mass destruction. Such arrogance. But who did we have to send?

Suppose Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, nationalists and Pan Africanists are in the delegation that we send. In this way we become informers of our people, and we become dangerous.

I don’t want you to be satisfied not being dangerous. I want to be as dangerous in America as Jesus was in Rome. I want the government to look at me like Pharaoh looked at Moses. I’m not your friend if you are oppressing my people. I’ll sit with you, I’ll be civilized and I will talk to you. But when it gets down to the real nitty gritty, let my people go. There’s no compromise.