Minister Louis Farrakhan

Justifiable Homicide: Black Youth in Peril

By the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Aug 26, 2014 - 8:34:06 AM

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[Editor’s note: With the attacks and wholesale killings of primarily Black, Red and Brown youth increasing in the United States, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a message of guidance and instruction to youth in cities across America on Sunday, October 28, 2007 via live webcast from Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Illinois. The following is the second of two articles excerpted from this address, originally published separately in FCN Vol. 27, No. 7 (November 20, 2007).

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

Allah (God) says in the Holy Qur’an and the Bible that He, Allah, is The Author of life and The Author of all existence, and has set up a balance in nature that brings justice.

What does The God of Justice have to say to these deliberative bodies who have shown no respect for life? And you will find that they are even disrespectful of their own lives. Ultimately, God has great respect for the life that He gives to every human being. It grieves God to see human life that is made in His image or likeness and has the capacity to stand in His place with dominion over what He created, that such a life like that has no meaning in a racist society. That is disturbing to The God of Justice.

What is justice? We can’t live without it. We need it. What is it?

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that justice is a principle of fair dealing and is the law that distinguishes between right and wrong. He said justice is the weapon that God will use in the Day of Judgment. These words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad are so pregnant: Justice is the weapon that God will use in the Day of Judgment. Justice now becomes a weapon that evens the score, because if you like killing, then you should like dying. If you delight in killing others that God gave life to, that you cannot return that life after you take it, then The God of Justice will use the Law of Justice as a weapon against White Supremacy, but also as a weapon against wicked governments that have misused their power and authority in destroying the lives of innocent human beings.

Injustice imbalances the mind

In work places today, people are coming to work killing their fellow workers, killing their bosses. You have read about children showing up in school armed, and killing fellow students and teachers, and then maybe killing themselves. This is going on in cities across the country, in work places across the country. The murder rate is rising, rising, rising—but is it justifiable?

Justice is symbolically represented by a female, with a blinder on and with scales in her hand. The scales are not supposed to be tipped, they are supposed to be balanced because when things are in balance, there is equity; there is justice.

You may ask, “Oh, okay Farrakhan, is everything in your life balanced?” No. Was it that way in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life? No, but he tried. Allah (God) told Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Holy Qur’an, “You’ll try,” and that is why we have a prayer that we say, “I have been unjust to myself and I confess my faults. So, grant me protection against all my faults for none grants protection against faults but Thee.”

Every one of us in this room is guilty of some injustice, and you have been unjust to yourself. If each of us in some way has been unjust to ourselves, what protects the neighbor? If you are unjust to yourself, you are going to be unjust to others, maybe not by design, but just the frailty of the human experience. So, when there’s an argument or a fight in the house between two brothers, they can be very vicious. If the father and mother are there, they want the two brothers to reconcile the difference, but they are also looking for some form of justice to give balance. Look how long the Palestinians have been without justice and what has that injustice done to the balance of the mind?

Living the life of a savage beast

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that when balance is so disturbed that the human who cries out under oppression and tyranny for justice is denied justice in the deliberative bodies that have been set up to guarantee that balance, then that human loses balance. And the result of losing the balance of your mind is you become a savage.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that a savage is a person that has lost the knowledge of self and is living the life of a beast. This is what injustice without a proper system of redress for grievance brings about, and the result of injustice is savage behavior. A person will not resort to violence if they can feel in their heart that somebody cares. Don’t say that you are the minister of the church or the imam of the mosque or the leader of an organization or the head of something where people are there and their natural interrelationships set up hurt, pain and feelings of injustice. If, in that body, there is not an appropriate system to address the grievance and even in redressing the grievance, everybody is not satisfied.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (God) says to the Prophet and to the Believer that we are not Believers until we make Allah and His messenger the arbitrator of our disputes, and when the judgment is given, we receive it with no straightness in our breast. That is a Believer. If you come away from a judgment that God’s messenger has given, and you are upset, check yourself.

A human that has become so imbalanced by injustice is labeled in the book of Revelations and the book of Daniel as a beast. A so-called human as Nebuchadnezzar was, the Bible says God took out of him the heart of a human and gave him the heart of a beast.

Did Britain rule Nigeria and Ghana, as well as much of West Africa, with justice? Did the French rule Algeria, Morocco and the French speaking countries in Africa with justice? What about the Dutch, the Belgians? It’s a big “no.” What about Spain and Portugal in their conquering of the Western Hemisphere and the Native Americans? Did they rule the so-called Indians with justice?

Who, but a beast, could prey upon innocent people, burn them, hang them, murder them and castrate them? I read of the Belgians in that which was called the Congo, one powerful White man took an 11-year-old Black girl and with something that resembles a machete, struck that girl in the head; came clean down that girl and split her in half. Injustice has killed millions in the Congo; millions in Africa; millions in the Caribbean and in Central and South America. Is that an act of a human, or is that an act of a human with a heart of a beast?

Let me ask you: Have you been under the balance of justice, or have you been under that which is the heart of a beast, and if so, how could you grow up under this with sanity? Because the society is so filled with injustice, the people are losing their sanity, and we have become a society of people who have gone absolutely savage.

Attempts to extinguish Divine Light

Justifiable homicide; Black youth in peril. When I was a youngster, police carried a .38 and a “billy stick.” That’s all, and that was enough. The police would come on the corner and say “Get off the corner,” because even in slavery, in the Reconstruction Era after slavery, Blacks were not allowed to congregate. So when they see you on the corner, all of you and your boys together, the police will come and say: “Move on! Move on!”

In today’s world, this enemy now comes in the neighborhood and he has pepper spray; he has a baton that he can put a chokehold on you and take our life. He has tasers. No more .38—that’s “punk stuff.” He’s carrying a Glock 9, but in the trunk of his car, he has a shotgun and heavy stuff. Then, he has on a bulletproof vest and helmet. This is SWAT Team, right? Why would the police dress like this? Is this a society of human beings? No. It is a society of animals, and they are frightened. So when they come in our community, they see youth with their pants hanging off their behinds. Youth showing off their muscles, playing basketball and cursing every second word.

So the enemy says: “We can’t deal with these people...they are crazy as hell! I got a call; I’ve got to go in that neighborhood, but I want to get home to my family, so my gun is at the ready position. A bunch of them—they are on the corner. I’ve got to call for back up right away, but I’m not going to ask any questions. I’m shooting first.”

Brothers, the police are frightened of our savagery, but as much as White folks claim that they have no part in producing the savagery that is seen among us, let us look for a moment at their own words.

In his book “Message to the Blackman in America,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote about Henry Barry, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who said on January 20, 1832, 175 years ago: “Pass as severe laws as you will to keep these unfortunate creatures in ignorance. It is in vain unless you can extinguish that spark of intellect which God has given them.”

Now, they know you have intellect and they know that if you are allowed to use your intellect, you will be free. So they wanted to interfere with your intellect. He continues, “Sir, we have as far as possible closed every avenue by which light may enter their minds. We only have to go one step further to extinguish their capacity to see the light and our work will be completed. And they would then be reduced to the level of the beasts of the field and we should be safe. Sir, a death struggle must come between the two classes or races in which one or the other will be extinguished forever,”—and they were going to make sure that it was you that would be extinguished.

But the beauty of no matter what they’ve done, there have always been slaves among us that were the repositories of light. No matter what happened to us as a people, among the slaves there were Brothers and Sisters who could think and out-think the master, and therefore were leaders among the slaves. I don’t care what they do to us; there’s always some among us whom God blesses with light.

The depths of Satan

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad once said to me, “Brother, you cannot fathom the depth of Satan.”

And when I process those words, it means that if you can’t fathom the depth of something, you are not qualified to handle it.

A man by the name of Bertrand Russell advocated the use of vaccines to induce partial chemical lobotomies. You know what a lobotomy is? When they go in your brain and try to do things to kind of so-called straighten you out. Well, they have drugs now that they can introduce into your system and mine that literally make you like a zombie. They can put a chip in you today and talk to you and get you to act as you would never act. These are scientists of evil and you don’t know them. And even when somebody will risk their life to show you your enemy, you think we’re the enemy.

When I was in Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe received us, there was a luncheon put on by the Minister of Health. At that luncheon, I was mortified because the Sister was so proud of all the children of Zimbabwe were given vaccinations. Where did the vaccinations come from? It came from Great Britain and America. You don’t understand this people that you are dealing with. We learned that AIDS in Zimbabwe was such that the biggest industry in the capital city was the making of coffins.

In Zimbabwe, they told us that there were over 5,000 each week—20,000 a month—were dying from AIDS. We’ve been living in Africa for millions and billions of years having sex, and we have never had a problem like this. Where is it coming from? And today, you, my little Sisters, are the number one carriers of AIDS among our people. How did you get it? Where did you get it from? You Brothers are going to prison as youngsters. When you get in the prison, they say “This one is mine,” and you either submit or you have hell.

In the prison, they test you coming in—but they don’t test you going out. When we get in these kinds of situations and we’re raped in prison, they’re passing the virus to us. And we come home like nothing ever happened to us; we don’t want to talk about it. We meet our little girlfriend who’s been waiting for us to come out of the joint and we have sex with her and the next thing you know, she’s a carrier.

And like that woman on talk shows who doesn’t know who the father of her baby is—she’s had one, two, three, four, five, ten men, and couldn’t find the father. But if she has AIDS, you’re being killed and you don’t even know it. The enemy is so smart in that he is making you to like your freak self as you die in pleasure.

Now, my little Sisters are falling down on each other. This is the “in thing” in schools today, to be a lesbian. You are not a lesbian. You think you are that, but you are not that. When a real man comes along, you’ll understand it better by and by.

I’m not talking down to you. I love you. I am your Brother. I am not your enemy, but this has been gradually going on in our community—boys with boys and girls with girls—and you think this is okay. Nobody wants to talk about it, and if somebody talks about it, they’re homophobic. Well, bring God to the witness stand. Is God homophobic?

‘Us killing us’ is not justified

Look at the statistics, Philadelphia right now is the murder capital of America. Over 400 Black men have died in Philadelphia and if you compare that to those who have died from police gunfire or even those who died while in detention, the police murder of us is so much less than our murder of one another. Statistics show that in 2005, Blacks were victims of an estimated 800,000 violent crimes and about 8,000 homicides, and Black males accounted for about 52 percent or 6,800 of the nearly 13,000 male homicide victims. We’ve been fighting a war in Iraq going on five years, and the total death toll is about 3,800.

But in one year, 6,800 Black men between 18 and 25 lost their lives—and the killers were not White; the killers were their own Black Brothers.

There are approximately 20,000 murders in America every year, and about half of those murder victims are Black—and almost totally Black-on-Black. If the statistics from the Justice Department are true, in the last three years, 2,002 Black people have been killed while in police detention. So, in three years, about 26,000 Blacks died from Black-on-Black murder in three years, compared to 2,000 police murders of Black people. Now, what’s happening with us? Is our killing of each other justifiable? A mother sitting on a porch with her baby, and gang warfare is going on, and the baby gets shot; a little 13-year-old girl in her apartment, going from the back to the front to the living room to sit down and watch television, and a bullet from gang warfare comes through the window, and kills that child.

It’s not the police. It’s not a lynch mob. It’s us killing us. I ask you, is it justifiable? If it is not justifiable, then it is not excusable. And if it is not excusable, what price are we going to pay for the destruction of ourselves?

Heed the signs of the past

Look family, there is such a thing as justifiable homicide, and when God gets ready to punish, He kills—indiscriminately—men, women and children, and no one accuses God of being unjust.

When the people in the days of Noah had reached a point in their wickedness, God raised up Noah to warn them. Noah was building an ark on dry land in the desert, and the people were laughing at him and mocking him. The poor man preached for 150 years, and one day, a little cloud started to form. Noah told the people that believed, “Get in the ark.” He had a son that did not want to follow him, who said “I’m not getting in the ark. I’m taking myself to the mountain.” And Noah pleaded with God for his son, but listen to God’s words: “He’s not your son. I know best who is your son. He is the embodiment of evil.”

So the son ran up on the mountain, never thinking that the water would reach him there. As it began to rain and the waters came down, as you have seen a whole lot of rain recently, and floods in places where they weren’t expecting floods, in that day, the water raised the ark. In the Holy Qur’an, it says the ark was left as a sign, and the Bible teaches that the reason God killed those people was because, “Every imagination of their heart was continually to do evil. So he drowned them, men, women, and children.” And the Bible didn’t stop there: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be,” meaning you are going to have a future event like that, at the coming of the Son of Man. The weapon Allah (God) is going to use is justice! Remember that.

Black youth are in peril because you are killing your own people whom God wants to save. And your killing your Brothers is not justified. It’s not excusable, therefore it is punishable by death. You have invited death now, into our communities and I am telling you, my Brothers, I love you; and I will work as long as God gives me breath to awaken you and get you out of the danger zone. But you have invited, by your behavior, death to come upon you. The very enemy that is made by nature a liar and a murderer—God is going to set him loose now because you have vexed him and he will slaughter us just like he’s doing the Palestinians.

The Black community is an armed camp. Every day we’re reading another one of us killed by us. I recently read that war no longer is fought like it has been fought; war is urban and the government is planning for urban warfare. Just like you see going on in Baghdad, where they come in and kick down the door, rape the women, kill them. I’m telling you. You are going to see this. And when you see it, then look at your hands! This is what you brought on yourself!


To the young that honored me with your presence today, I want you to think about your life, think about what we’ve been through to get to where we are today. Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, but it got us thus far along the way.

Don’t disgrace your ancestors by killing each other. Let’s form a brotherhood, no matter what gang you belong to, because all of us are one family. If if we unite with each other and learn to love one another, it makes it hard for the enemy to do what he does when the community is united in love.

The enemy is not asking what your religion is when they shoot us down in the street. Before they fire the gun, do they ask you if you are a Jew, a Christian; a Hebrew Israelite; a Muslim? They’re not asking you anything. Your uniform is the color of your skin. When the wagon comes, it will come for us all, so let us all come together as a family.

May Allah bless you as I greet you in peace, As-Salaam Alaikum.