Minister Louis Farrakhan

Reconstructing Our Selves Our Lives and Our Communities

By the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Aug 30, 2011 - 12:51:57 PM

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[Editor’s note: The following article is based on remarks made by Minister Farrakhan during a press conference and town hall meeting held January 14, 2006 in New Orleans convened by the Institute of the Black World to discuss rebuilding and redevelopment barriers of Black people in the city. Click here to order full message.]

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

No matter what we will see on television, nothing can compare with being on the ground to see the devastation of New Orleans for ourselves. In the Millions More Movement, we decided that we should unite that which W.E.B. DuBois called the “Talented Tenth” to the mass struggle of our people through programmatic action designed to life the whole. Our scholars and learned people are hidden away in their professions and within corporate America, without any real ties to the struggle of our people, who need to take advantage of the great educational scholarship that Black men and women have attained in this country. We are without a doubt the most educated Black people on the planet.

We are blessed to earn from the American economy nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year. We are not a poor people; we are a people disconnected from ourselves. Once we can make the connection, then we must accept responsibility to do our part in reconstructing ourselves and, through proper and effective organization, we will force the government to do its part.

I came to New Orleans to listen and to learn. I have listened, I have seen and I am learning; and now I must process what I have heard, so that out of this information can come meaningful answers. The Millions More Movement is going to make the Gulf Coast area the centerpiece of the Movement itself. If we cannot unite the scholarship in Black America with the masses of our people to focus on this area, then the Movement will not have any effect and could be considered of no real value to the masses of our people. This is an opportunity and a challenge. What Allah (God) does sometimes in giving us a problem, He is also giving us an opportunity through solving it to advance ourselves.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
This is a serious problem of tremendous magnitude for which we need the help of each other and the help of Allah (God) to solve. We are committed in the Millions More Movement to help solve this problem. It is a fight. We are not going to get what we desire because of kindness, mercy and beneficence from those in power. They have already planned to take New Orleans over completely and leave Black people and poor people out. We have the right to return with our entertainment, music and servant jobs, but we cannot return to this city to live and prosper as some once did.

The fact remains that we do not have a list of where those evacuees have been scattered throughout 44 states. While the government of the United States has invested over $100 million to make it possible for Iraqi citizens of America to vote in an election in Iraq, the same government is not trying to make it possible for those evacuated from this area to return to this area to vote, or vote in absentia, in upcoming local elections. Congressman William Jefferson, who is an advocate for Black people in this city, is responsible for organizing the federal congressional field hearing held Jan. 13, but he is now under attack. If you lose your mayor and congressman, the city council will change. Then, New Orleans will be a White city instead of a multinational and multicultural place.

I want to lift my voice to warn the government of the United States of America and rich people of this city. Remember my words because you will face them: “If you do what you plan to do, to displace the poor of this city, rob them of their land and never give them the right to return to be a part of a new New Orleans, I can guarantee you from Allah (God), Himself, that whatever you rebuild will be destroyed within the next few years because God, Himself, is angry with the way the poor are being treated by the government of the United States of America.”

This is supposedly a Judeo-Christian country, but I wonder if the rulers of this country really believe what is written in the scriptures. Jesus said that God says that He is going to separate and destroy nations according to a certain formula. What is that formula? The disciples asked Jesus: “When were you hungry and we fed you not? When were you naked and we clothed you not? When were you out of doors and we gave you not shelter? And when were you sick and imprisoned and we ministered not unto you?” Jesus answered them: “Inasmuch as you have not done these things to the least of these my brethren, you have not done it also unto me.” That becomes the yardstick by which the government of New Orleans, the state government of Louisiana and the federal government of the United States of America are now being measured by Allah (God).

There will be an appropriate response from God. The government has the power to make this right, but if the government does not make it right, Allah (God) will make it right—but it will be wrong for the rulers of this country when they see the destruction that He has already planned for this area. This is not the last calamity that this area will experience. Hurricane Katrina is the first of many great calamities coming to this coast. Mark my words, write them down, whether I am living or dead, you will face this from God, Himself.

Do right by the people and you can save yourself. Do wrong by the poor and you have signed your own death warrant.

We must not think that we are dependent on those that hate us to deliver us. We must depend on our Creator and on the intelligence, spirit and will that is among us to deliver us as a people. Isaiah the prophet said, “We will rebuild the wasted cities.” Through Hurricane Katrina, Allah (God) gave us an opportunity, not only to unite the forces in this locale, but really Black people throughout America. We feel this pain and have been given an opportunity to use this pain as a clarion call to unite a whole people to action. We need to call this crisis a national state of emergency, although we have been in a state of emergency ever since we have been in this country.

You cannot reconstruct the city until we are reconstructed as human beings. We are a damaged people that have never been properly served in order to be able to reconstruct ourselves as human beings. The churches, mosques, synagogues and all of the institutions that shepherd our lives are the potters that formed us the way we are. New Orleans is a city that reflects the sickness of what White supremacy has done. This city is divided in sections not only according to class, but also color and heritage. In some neighborhoods, you are not welcome if you cannot pass the brown bag test. How can we build on that kind of self-hatred?

So there must be a reconstruction of our minds. Then nothing is impossible. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to me when Almighty God created the universe out of nothing, He destroyed the impossible. So we have the capability to do exactly what needs to be done if we do in our minds what must be done to deposit the knowledge that we need.

Our leaders may have formed a team to focus on removing the barriers to the reconstruction of the lives of Black people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, but we are filled with the same sicknesses of our people. So we must undergo the same mental reconstruction. Physics teaches us that there is 15 pounds of pressure on every square inch of our bodies, but our intake of oxygen balances that pressure so we do not feel it.

We are collapsing as a people mentally because we lack the requisite knowledge to balance the pressure that we as a people are under. The scriptures in the Bible tell us, my people are destroyed for the lack of requisite knowledge. We all have some knowledge, but it is not worth anything if it is not the right knowledge to confront the barriers that we are facing. We never received the requisite knowledge in colleges because they were set up to make us able to serve a structure of White people rather than make us able to build our own structure.

The United States government intends to destroy Black people. We are in the process of being destroyed and, in fact, we have been almost completely destroyed. The government seeks to destroy us out of its fear of the potential power that our large numbers can produce. Like the story in Genesis of Pharaoh fearing the growing population of the Children of Israel, so it is today with the U.S. government. It believes that if it can decrease our population, it can get rid the country of a people that troubles the rulers of this country. It is the same throughout the Diaspora. Our people in the Caribbean are suffering social engineering. There are no opportunities for them to receive a requisite education that they can exploit through industry to their benefit.

In Genesis, Pharaoh planned against the Children of Israel and said, “Let’s deal wisely with them lest they join an enemy and come against us.” His plan was to kill all boy babies while sparing all the female babies. It is the same plan today. That is why the Black woman is called “bootylicious” while Black men are vanishing. Who will stand and be the type of man that can call other men to stand up and be men? There is a lion asleep in Judah acting like a pussycat. How can the lion be a pussycat? If you are not going to be the men that our people need, then you should sit down. If you are not willing to give your life for our people, then get out of the way, because it will demand our lives to resurrect our people.

The Book of Genesis reads that, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and it was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and God said let there be light.” Regardless of the depth of darkness of a situation, light is always present in the darkness. But when you are hopeless and filled with despair over your circumstance, you cannot find the light. The scriptures speak of a people who “walk in darkness, but they have seen a great light; a great light has shined upon them.”

Allah (God) has given us through a negative an opportunity to produce a positive for our people.

We can rebuild. We will rebuild. It starts with you individually reconstructing self.