Minister Louis Farrakhan

'Business Is Warfare': What is Required for Our Economic Independence? (cont'd)

By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Nov 18, 2013 - 11:56:40 PM

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‘The time and what must be done’—2013 Lecture Series, part 45

[Editor’s note:  The following article is the continuation of the address “Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility, Part 2” delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at Mosque Maryam on Sunday, October 16, 2011, which serves as Part 45 of his 52-week Lecture Series on “The Time and What Must Be Done” that  aired on Saturday, November 16, 2013.  Click here to order this message it in its entirety on MP3, DVD and CD or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200.  Be sure to visit each Saturday at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. MST and 7 p.m. EST) to view the ongoing series.]

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

Do we need land?  Did you know at the beginning of the 20th century, Blacks had over 16 million acres of land?  Did you know that coming out of slavery, Black folk set up 60 all-Black towns in America? 

Did you know that to see “a White man with a hammer in his hand” was like seeing a naked woman running down the street?  It was an “oddity.”  Not so much today; but you would go to the window, “Come, look, see!”—that’s how odd it was for a White man to have an implement of building in his hand, because we were the builders.  We built the White House!  We were on loan to America from the slave master to help build the Congress, the White House; the fine buildings all over America:  You were the artisans and the craftsmen that did it!  And when slavery was abolished, the White man did not have the skills.  We did! 

But where is your skill level now?  We were the carpenters, we were the plumbers, we were the electricians, we were the engineers; coming out of slavery.  We don’t know carpentry today.  We don’t know brick masonry today.  We don’t know how to work with metals today.  We had all of that coming out of slavery.  We built 60 towns.  We had over 600 state legislators; 18 congressmen; and two senators in the first 10 years out of slavery.  And White folks said, “We can’t have this!  If we allow these Blacks to continue like this, they’ll take the country from us!”  And that is when ReconstructionJim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan (the “Night Riders”): All of that came into play to push us back on the plantation as “sharecroppers.”  This is just our history.

We were betrayed by the government:  In The Wormley Hotel in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 1877, they developed a Plan: “The Compromise of 1877.”  Because when the Civil War was over, Union troops were in the South to make sure that we would be protected; but in that “Compromise of 1877,” in the Wormley Hotel, they agreed to draw the troops out of the South that protected us.  Yes … And they also agreed that all the rights and privileges that we had coming out of slavery would be reversed.

Did you know that when the “unions” were formed, it was not formed for you?  A Jewish man named Samuel Gompers started the unions; and the union was designed to keep our craftsmen out of work!  Then when the floodgates of immigration opened to Jews from Eastern Europe; when they came, the craftsmen from Europe got the jobs and you were pushed out.  And here, 140 years later, you do not have Black artisans and craftsmen anymore among us as a people.  Then they closed down the schools that were teaching us trades.  You had a great trade school here in Chicago!  It’s now gone …

Did you know, brothers and sisters, they were so angry at our potential rise, that when we rose up progressively they sought to destroy us?  This is why we are where we are today, in this condition:  Not because we are “inferior,” it is because a system was set up that you couldn’t break out of!  Because the Law—the Slave Codes, the Black Codes—kept Black people in a subservient position where you couldn’t own land and you couldn’t have business; because “land” and “business” would ultimately make us independent of White people.  And they always wanted to see us at their foot, begging for the crumbs that fell from their table.

Recognizing that We are The People of God’s Promise is the start to changing our condition

Remember “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, Oklahoma:  Black folk in Tulsa had it going on.  Up and down the street there were Black businesses; Black people with pride and dignity in what they had produced under adverse conditions.  But then a lie was told that a White girl, this “precious, pure thing” was raped by a “big, burly Negro”—(you know how they can make that picture look so ugly; they don’t even say, “a young man beat so-and-so up,” no; “it was a big, black, burly Negro”)—that frightens other White folk.  So they say, “We have to keep these Negroes in their place!” and so they bombed “Black Wall Street.”  The first time a bomb was dropped in America, it was dropped on Black Wall Street!  Then they cordoned it off where people could not escape out of it; and as they tried to escape, they shot them down in cold blood, striking terror into the hearts of our men and women.  So today, you’re just afraid now to challenge a system that has been put in place to keep you down. 

“We Are At War”—but you can’t be “at war” with no sense.  Here we are, [now “2013”], and we are still “marching,” desperately demanding:  “We want jobs!  Come on, Barack!  Give us jobs!”  I think it’s very unfair to Brother President for you to “load on him” what he can’t do.  President Barack Obama wasn’t put there to fulfill a “Black Agenda.”  Now, if I’m a Jew and I go in Congress, “I’m going to look out for my constituents, but I’m going to always have a Jewish Agenda.”  But Black folk feel as though they have to show White folk, “Well, I am Blackbut I’m not that Black … ”—you always have to show White folks that you’re not as Black as you look; that, if they let you in, you’re going to have to look out for them, too.  (And you’ll probably look out for them “one”; and if there are any left, then maybe some for you.)

The late Chicago mayor Harold Washington was a good mayor; he had to give contracts to White people, but, he gave some to you!  What made Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry “so difficult” for White people?  It is because when he became mayor, he opened the city up for Black contractors to have some of that money, and they hated him!


So, what is “The Answer”?  Did you know that we are The People of God’s Promise?  And what is “God’s Promise”?  His Promise is that after we had served 400 years in a strange land among strange people, He would come.  And then what?  He Promised us Land. 

You say:  “Well, yeah, but people are on the land now.”  God doesn’t care “who” is on the land!  If He Promises land to somebody, then He has The Power to serve anybody an eviction notice.

If we want land, we’ve done enough to deserve it!  Do you know that the American government owns over 700 million acres of land?  And that it leases land out for agriculture?  Well, we could go to the government and say:  “Look how hard we worked for you:  310 years and never got paid … Look at what we did for you.  Would you lease us 100 million acres of land for a start?”  If they say, “You mean that’s just ‘a start’?”  “Yes ... ”  You know how White folks do; they “start”:  They “started” coming in, but the Native Americans were here!  

The Native shared something with The Newcomers, and The Newcomers were plotting all the time.  And they started taking this, taking that; they set up a fort.  They would move out, and take more; set up another fort …  They moved West; and when they got to the Mississippi River:  They killed the Indians, and moved whoever was left out!  But when you study the history of Haitian revolutionaries, such as Toussaint LouvertureJean-Jacque DessalinesHenri CristopheBoukman, and François Makandal:  They rose up in Haiti and whipped Napoleon!  And the French, they were in “Louisiana,” and that area:  They got so “messed up” after Napoleon was beat down by the Blacks in Haiti, that they sold the whole “Louisiana Purchase” for $15 million!  We should be that lucky!

Study a map of “The Louisiana Purchase,” and look how much land that is for $15 million.  They had enough of Black people, enough of Indians, and said, “I’m getting out!”—you know how it is when we “start moving in”:  They “start” moving out.

‘Cotton is King’: How ‘banking on slavery’ afforded Jews wealth and prosperity throughout the world

Now, we are “studying the operations of the White man.”  How many of you, or your parents, are from the South?  Look at you!  Beautiful people …  how many of you are from Mississippi?  Alabama?  Louisiana?  Georgia?  Texas?   Guess what?  If you look at the area that made up the Louisiana Purchase, it is a wide swath of land (that includes a number of Southern states); but when you consider the states where the slaves picked cotton for the master and made him rich, this is interesting!  Because, you already paid for “Mississippi” …

In The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2, on page 164, is a map titled “Jewish Banking Infrastructure in the Slavery/Jim Crow South.”  If you look at the area of the Mississippi Delta—where most of the cotton was grown, and there was a concentrated Black population—the “dark spots” represent the number of Jewish bank owners and founders established during that time (Jim Crow). 

Wherever we were, Jews were.  They owned slaves on the cotton plantation. 

If you look at Arkansas, part of Tennessee, Mississippi; cotton was in Alabama, coming on down into Louisiana, and a part of Texas.  And you know, about 3 million acres of land in Texas is so dry now, that it doesn’t have any use.  We should check it out!  Because, brothers and sisters:  Don’t pay any attention to the fact that the land is “dry”—it’s only dry because God hasn’t sent any rain!  But let us put our foot on that land, and I guarantee you that The God will give us rain!  He came to make you prosperous!

Now as we look at all of this:  We paid for it!  “Yeah, I know Farrakhan, you’re right.  But what are we going to do about it?” Well, the scripture teaches in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 13 that Joshua was sent by Moses to “spy out” the land (“Spies sent into the land of Canaan”); and when they came back, they reported to Moses and Aaron:  “It’s a beautiful land over there, but there’s some giants in that land!  Oh Lord …  Do we have to fight the giants?”  Moses said, “Go.  Take the land”—that’s what he said!  And the people started “punking out”:  “We’re not going over there!  Not until you bring Jehovah down and get rid of the giants, then we’ll go in!”  So God said, pay attention to the words:  “Let these old ones that have been under Pharaoh too long:  Let them wander in the wilderness until they die out!  And we’ll take their children, and they will inhabit The Promised Land!” 

These “old ones”:  They are afraid of “Pharaoh”!  They don’t believe that God will give them the land He Promised them; so they are holding back, now!  Look in the faces of those who are up there in New York in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement:  Is it “old folk”?  Who made the revolution in Egypt in Tahrir Square—was it “old folk”?  They came along; but, it was the youth that started it!  Look at your young people: The Enemy has us killing one another!  But we’re going to stop that; we’ll show you, by The Grace of Allah and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, how we can put our young people to work!


All these banks started from cotton.  The “Lehman Brothers”:  They ran all the cotton in Alabama; then they moved to New York, set up Lehman Brothers on Wall Street.  However, you did that work, and you made them rich—and now they have taken over the world! 

Well why are we studying you, White man?  Because it is our time now to take over the world and build a better one!  A new nation ordered by God!  But those who fear, think:  “Oh, now wait a minute Farrakhan!  That sounds good; it resonates ‘emotionally’.  And, I agree; but, I’m a little nervous.  You’re gonna get us all killed!”  Well, I’ve got news for you:  You’re going to die anyway!  So you might as well die for something, because now you’re dying for nothing!

To my brother and sisters in “street gangs”:  I’m in love with you!  I’m “in love” with the “BGs” and “BDs”; I’m in love with the “Four Corner Hustlers,” I’m in love with the “El Rukns”!  See, our young people are the best generation we’ve ever had:  They are fearless; but, they just need guidance.  Now, you want “territory,” right?  You’re marking it out for drugs, right?  And anybody that comes in your territory that doesn’t belong there, you off them—you “put a cap in them,” right?  Well, wait!  Take your pistol, and sheathe it for a minute; don’t shoot …  Until you know who you’re shooting at and what you’re shooting for!  Put it down for a minute, and consider this:  We live on the “Southside,” and we live on the “Westside”; but we don’t control Southside or Westside, right?  Who controls Chinatown?  The Chinese.  Who controls Greektown?  The Greeks!  I have my Mexican family here; they have a part of town.  They control it!  Do you know why?  They have what we don’t have …  Although the Chinese have difficulty with Chinese people—you know that there are always “liars” and “thieves,” and “greedy people” among every race; but, they don’t lie that much, and steal that much, that they can’t have a common purpose for the good of the whole!

You know they’ve got bad Jews, right?  Lying Jews, stealing Jews, crooked Jews; but in a few days it will be Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” and they come together in the synagogue, saying to one another: “Look, I know I did you wrong.  But I’m asking for forgiveness.”  And, they “get it together”—then go out and steal some more. (Smile).

Brothers, we cannot build a great economy on the serious divisions that afflict us.  Now, I’m a Muslim, and you’re a Christian:  We can’t sit down together?  “Well I’m a Baptist and I’m not sitting down with nobody from the Church of God in Christ!  I don’t like them ‘Holiness’ people!”—some of us talk like that!  So what are you going to do when it’s time to unite to survive?  Are you going to ask the people, “Are you ‘Holiness’ or ‘Baptist’?  Are you ‘Baptist’ or ‘Church of God in Christ’?  Are you ‘AME’ or ‘CME’?  What are you?’”  It doesn’t make any difference!  All of you are Black, and all of you are dying, and all of you are catching hell!  Can’t you unite on common principles?


Do you know how White folks got rich?  Have you ever been to Macy’s?  Gimbles?  All of these big department stores, like Sanger-Harris in Atlanta?  Did you ever go shopping for jewels at Kay Jewelers?  You did?  But you don’t even care who owns it, do you?  How did they get it?  Brothers and sisters, when the Jews came into America, the more “seasoned” Jews had backpacks, with lots of things in the backpack that the people in the South needed

So they loaded the Jewish fellow up that had just come over from the old country with a “100-pound backpack.”  And if you’re thinking, “Aww man, that’s a lot of weight!”:  Well, if you’re in the Army, you have to carry that too, don’t you?  Don’t worry about that then; because now you are “carrying something for yourself.”

Now look at this:  They came with their backpacks, and they sold pots and pans and things that the people would need.  They sold to the slave master and they sold to the slave who was on the plantation!  From those backpacks, they consolidated, and then started setting up stores in Alabama, in Mississippi.  And in their stores, they would tell you that you couldn’t come in there; or, “You go round there (to the back).”  See, they set it up for themselves at our expense, and from there they became bigger and bigger, where they controlled huge department stores.  Now when you go in the department stores, Jews own most of that; but it started from cotton

Well, we’re studying you now.  Suppose we go back South and buy up the plantations?  Some of them may not want to sell, but we may give them “an offer they can’t refuse.”  See, if God is with you, He is going to help you!  We’re not stealing, we’re buying:  “Okay, how much acreage do you have?  We’d like to have all of that.”  From the farm is where all industry starts! 

Consider what you can produce from “one bale of cotton”:  215 jeans, 249 bed sheets, 409 men’s sport shirts, 690 terry bath towels, 765 men’s dress shirts; 1,217 men’s t-shirts; 1,256 pillowcases; 2,104 boxer shorts; 2,419 men’s briefs; 3,085 diapers; 4,321 mid-calf socks; 6,436 women’s knit briefs; 21,960 women’s handkerchiefs; or, 313,600 “$100 bills.”  All that came from one bale of cotton.  When the Jews sent the cotton North to their brother who had a mill that turned the cotton into cloth, that brother then sold the cloth to his brother in New York, and they made the jeans, the pillowcases; they made the sanitary napkins; they made the baby diapers—from cotton!

Now, if we could pick it for the White man, and make him rich, what’s wrong with us, now, owning huge tracts of land with cotton growing?  “Well, I don’t feel like pickin’ no cotton … ”  No, they’ve already made a machine, so you just buy the machine, and you won’t have to mess up your hands again. 

But “the machine” doesn’t take everything out of the field!  So we could take a young brother and show him how to pick it, and give him a decent wage.  Clean the field, and bale the cotton!  And then start an industry from cotton that gives your people what?  Jobs.  Jobs, just from cotton! 

We must learn ‘Growing Power’ to become self-sufficient land owners

The Messenger said that “God is curtailing the land on its sides”—and this is written in the Holy Qur’an.  If you look at the storms that are raging on the East Coast, the West Coast; the fires, you will see that He is pushing people toward the center of the country! 

Now, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said we should start North, and go South, buying land.  Well, I like Michigan; at the top of Michigan, called “the thumb”:  They are the greatest producers of the navy bean.  They (the navy beans produced in the region) had a little disease recently …  And that’s good, because God promised them disease!  He didn’t promise that for us.

Do we eat corn?  Do we eat rye?  Do we eat barley?  Do we need wheat?  Well, then let’s study what are the wheat-producing states!  Now, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin are states that either produce corn and/or soybeans; and Wisconsin also produces dairy products.  And, we have a little farm in Michigan—but, we won’t grow soybeans, because we don’t eat that.  (We’ll tell you why at another time.)  We grow the navy bean

Agricultural scientists once came down from the University of Michigan, and they said, “Umm, Farrakhan, navy beans don’t grow in this kind of soil!”  I said, “Well, watch and see!”  We planted the navy beans; then the people from the University came again, and they couldn’t believe it!  The bean was so nice …  Man, you put it in the pot, and it just acts like it wants to get in your stomach!

We met a man named Will Allen (  A giant Black man!  He taught us how to “sweeten the land” away from the pesticides!  So during one fall/winter, we planted winter wheat.  Mr. Allen said, “But don’t let it ‘seed’: Cut it down just before it seeds, and turn it under.” (i.e. “cover crops”/“crop rotation”).  We had over 50 acres where we planted winter wheat; and when it got to the point where it was about to “seed,” we cut it down, turned it under; then, we planted sorghum (which produces a sweetener), and that cane grew three, four, five feet tall!  But after it grew we cut it down, and turned it under.  We also planted “winter rye”; and it wasn’t a week before the whole field had turned green!  So by springtime, we will turn that crop under, and then plant our navy beans.

We checked the “ph factor” of the land—because you have a “ph factor”!  We are from the Earth, and if you don’t know how to care for the Earth, the Earth won’t care for you!  And if you love God, and love the Earth, then the Earth will give you all the health and well-being that you need; but you must know how to care for what God has given us!  And since White folks (not “all” White people, but those that were in power):  Because you just messed up the Earth, with your greedy self, you’ve got to go! 

And from Will Allen, we also learned the value of worms.  “Little F.O.I. and M.G.T. Soldiers”:  These worms are so powerful!  When you get earth that is filled with worms, according to what we have learned, it takes out 98 percent of the toxicity of the earth.  So we experimented, and man:  We made soil, and we are making soil; and we bought soil that Will Allen made!  You ask, “Made?”  Yes!   Look at your beautiful body:  It is from the Earth, and you have to know how to take care of this body so you can live!  You die too young, too full of disease, because The Enemy is making a profit off of denatured food.  And that is why we have to go back to the Earth.

Now these worms, they worked for us this past spring and summer; those little soldiers!  Let me tell you, these worms are so powerful, that when you turn the earth and you see them:  They’re not little small, wiggly things that are just like “Negroes that have been eating pork” (lazy)—these are feisty worms!  I mean, they “jump,” literally; and that is the kind of life that is in them.  And when you have worms in the earth that have that kind of life, and that soil has that kind of life, then you plant your seed in that kind of soil.  And the product that we had that year made all the farmers around jealous!  While they had these little cucumbers, our cucumbers were so big … 

We have to own the land. 

Support Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Program and Position

Now, I would like to meet all of the gang leaders, and we have a summit.  I want you all to arrange this.  They are good soldiers:  You can’t take dope out of their pockets if you don’t put something else in it for them to sell!  And it looks so stupid for us to tell the drug dealer, “Oh, man, you shouldn’t do that!  You know you’re killing the neighborhood!” because he would say to us, “Yeah, but at $1,000 a day, everybody can die!”  They don’t feel good working for McDonald’s, and whatnot.  And even if you’re a Black “McDonald’s” owner, see, you own, but they work!

The difference in what we are proposing is that if all over the country, we map out our cities—we have to take our Black millionaires and our Black billionaires, and we start pooling our monies—then watch how this works:  In a little while you have enough to supply the young man, that has no hope, with a backpack full of products!  And in the community where he lives, he’s “knocking on doors,” selling to the people what the people need.

And he looks respectable—he is not out there with his pants hanging down off his behind.  Brothers, (you who know):  You have to help him out, now; teach him, “Brother, you have to look like a business man, so pull your pants up, cut your hair.  Look decent; smell right.”  And then when he knocks on the door, the customer will say:  “Isn’t that you that was over there shooting on the corner?”  And the respectable salesman will say, “Yes, but I stopped that.  I have something in my backpack that you might want …”  And, you always try to sell cheaper than the corner store.  See, when you “buy in bulk” you can compete with Walmart.  We have to close Wal-Mart down!  Wal-Mart isn’t “good” for us; Wal-Mart is crippling Black business in the Black community, giving you a job with punk wages!  But, you’re “happy” because you’re working … 

But tomorrow, we have to own what we are selling!  In a “commonwealth”:  We are owners, and we share in the profits.  So we don’t need the “union”; don’t come to us talking about “union,” now:  “A man needs $35 an hour”—stop it!  That’s why your “union” is closing down.  We don’t need that!  What we need is the same kind of unity that the Chinese have, that the Japanese have, that the Koreans have, that the Mexicans have; that the Italians and the Irish and the Polish have, because we’re working for ourselves!

Then you go to the bank in your community, in a firm voice, saying:  “Where are all the houses that you foreclosed on?  We’ve sold enough from our backpacks; we’ll buy it all.”  And then you get your craftsmen and you fix those houses up, and you sell it to your people for a decent price.  Then the money:  You put in a “common pot” that we own, see?  Then you start buying up your community.  It starts with just going after landreal estate

And if we start doing that in the North—then, all of you from Mississippi (where Blacks now make up approximately 40 percent of the state’s population):  Suppose some of us moved back, took our money, our skill, and bought some land and moved back home?  After a while, we become the majority population. 

See, White folks aren’t making babies anymore …  It’s in the Bible:  God is closing them down.  And dear sisters, if you stay away from this wicked birth control, that you don’t really know what you’re doing with:  This thing is killing you for The Future!  You just want to have sex, with no responsibility!  But when you know who you are, you don’t let any man come at you like that!  When you know who you are …

If you and I—we—went back to Mississippi, after a while we become the majority!  Mississippi, Alabama … You have the right to vote?  Then you become the governor!  You become the mayors!  You become senators!  You make the laws that govern the state that you are now the political master of.

Suppose we took 10 states and did that?  That is how the Mexicans lost Texas:  White folks just “moved in”—a few of them; and then created a problem, claiming, “These Mexicans killed some of us White people.”  Then they bring The Army in.  That’s how the Mexican-American War started.  It didn’t start because Mexicans were bothering White folk, it was because White folk went in and created a problem, then took Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, all up into Colorado and Utah.  So now the Mexicans own “below the border” when all of that, at one time, was “Mexico.”  Now the poor brother is coming home (to America) … and they say:  “He’s an undocumented alien!”  Like he dropped out of space somewhere …


What I want us to see is that “the time is up” for us to be ignorant and divided.  And The Time is in for us to pool resources to buy as much land as we can get our hands on.  Now I’m asking The Believers to help me … 

I see about 400, 500 acres in Michigan that I think we can own.  There’s land in Georgia, in Alabama, in Louisiana.  It will be easy to do if we follow Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Program.  He said 40 years ago that: “If 5 million workers put up 5 cents a day, 25 cents a week, 1 dollar a month, ‘5 million x 52’ would give you $260 million in a National Treasure in one year.”  So now, just look at what 16 million of us can do today with “5 cents a day, 35 cents a week, $1.40 a month, $18.20 a year”!  Do you know at the end of one year you would have multiple millions of dollars in our National Treasure?  And it’s painless

And imagine if, on our land that we purchase, we grew cotton, and had some cattle, and produced leather; and had some sheep, and produced wool?  My point is:  America got out of the business.  You buy suits now:  They come in from Taiwan, from China, from India, from Brazil, right?  Who makes the shoes?  When you get a nice pair of shoes, they’re made from outside. Imagine if we had hundreds of thousands of acres where you’re raising your cattle, you take their hides, you design shoes and we buy from ourselves?  We make the clothes, and we buy from ourselves!  After a while, in all-Black towns you’ll find in your own clothing store that we have made the garment, and we have produced the shoes!  Because the same animal that gave its hide to the White man will give it to us.  That is how you produce jobs. 

If you are going to “beg the White man,” you are not going to have a job.  But if we are going to go to work, then we will produce jobs. 

So in the famous words of our president who, when he spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus, said, “Get up!  Take off your bedroom slippers!  Put on your marching shoes…”—I say:  “No!  Put on your working boots!  Get up!  Stop whining!  Stop complaining!  Stop begging!  And unite as never before, and let’s produce a future for ourselves and our people!”

Thank you for reading these words.