Minister Louis Farrakhan

Reparations: What Does The U.K. And Europe Owe Us?

By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Aug 8, 2017 - 12:08:51 PM

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[Editor’s note: The following article is based on excerpts from a videotaped address delivered over social media by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on August 5, 2017. The Minister’s remarks were supposed to be delivered during the Africa International Day of Action in London’s Kennington Park, an uplifting cultural event co-sponsored by the Rastafari Movement UK and the Nation of Islam in the United Kingdom. However, the Minister and his Nation of Islam representatives were denied the right to speak and practice their religion by local politicians who controlled the park permit for the event. The action by the Lambeth Council were based on assessments and false assertions that came from the Home Office of the UK government. The UK government has kept a ban on the Minister visiting or speaking in London for the past 30 years. This latest unjust action extends that ban and ostensibly opens the door for barring any propagation of the faith of Islam under the Minister’s guidance and teaching. It is a gross violation of his religious and free speech rights and a gross violation of the religious and free speech rights of Muslims in the United Kingdom. Further, this wicked machination deprives Black people in the United Kingdom and others who could benefit from the Minister’s message from having the opportunity to do so. The Nation of Islam plans to fight this unprecedented and monstrous violation of the human rights of its minister, its members and those who wish to hear the profound and prophetic message of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Watch this important address at]

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

Greetings to you.  I am Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Leader and Teacher and Guide of The Nation of Islam in America, and, wherever members of The Nation of Islam are throughout the world.  I greet all of you, my dear brothers and sisters, with the greeting words of peace; we say it in the Arabic language:  As-Salaam Alaikum.

What a joy to be back through this videotape to the great city of London, and the great nation of the United Kingdom.  It’s been 15 years, they tell me, since I have been blessed to speak to you by video; but this is very, very important, the subject matter that you have chosen for me to address. 

I want to thank Brother Student Minister Abdul Hakeem Muhammad, and the laborers and members of the Nation of Islam, for joining together with The Rastafari Movement U.K., headed by Sister Stella Headley, Sister Sheba  Levi  Steward, and Sugar Dread.  Thank you for the unity that you have shown to come together on such an occasion: An “Africa International Day of Action.”  The subject matter that you desired for me to address is, “Reparations: What Does the United Kingdom and Europe Owe to Us?”  And by “us,” we mean the sons and daughters of Africa that are in the Caribbean, or from the Caribbean; the sons and daughters of Africa from the continent of Africa, and those from Africa—the sons and daughters of Africa—in European capitals. 

The inhumanity of slave dealers in human flesh exemplified in Captain Kimber’s treatment of a young Negro girl of 15 for her modesty. Graphic: Library of Congress
How did you get to the United Kingdom, and why did you come?  How did you get to the capitals of Europe, and why are you there?  It is because we are the children of a former slave and colonial master that subjugated our ancestors to the vicious Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that brought us into the Western Hemisphere.  And those who remained in Africa, came under the cruel tyranny of Europe in their enslavement in Africa by the British, the French, the Italians, the Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish and the Portuguese.  All of these African nations have been subjected to tyranny, the loss of freedom, and the Europeans have ignored the cry of those of us in our pain for the principle of justice.

What does the United Kingdom and Europe owe to those whom they formerly enslaved and colonized?  Well, if the Biblical law of justice is applied, “a life for a life”:  Tens of millions of us have been destroyed in the Middle Passage of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; tens of millions of us have been destroyed on the African continent.  If Europe were to pay for the lives of Black and Brown and Red and Yellow people who have lost their lives under colonialism and slavery, I don’t think too many Europeans, White Europeans, would be left if that law were applied.  And then when you think of what Europe gained from our enslavement: When I was last in London—they don’t allow me to come there now; but, when I was last there, what a beautiful capital city London was, London is, as the capital of the British Empire.  What a beautiful city Paris is, and Amsterdam and Berlin, and Rome and Palermo.  But all those capitals, all the stones in the streets, all the beautiful buildings that your artists and craftsmen have built, were built on the backs of those whom your ancestors enslaved and colonized. 

Do you think that the pendulum of justice that is swinging back and forward through time:  Do you think that you would have to pay for the evil that was done to so many?  Of course, the Bible says, “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, the same shall he also reap.”  What will Europe reap?  What will the United Kingdom reap?  What will America reap for what she has done?  Well, don’t you think it would be wise to pay attention to the law of justice, because in our universe—and when I say “our,” I mean our universe.  This is a universe constructed on the balance of justice!  So, any nation or civilization whose evil outweighs its good, it’s only a matter of time before the force of justice and truth that undergirds this universe will move against that nation, that empire, that individual who exceeds the limits.  That doesn’t bode well for the present-day world for what it has earned.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

What do you owe?  You owe us everything.  But of course, you can’t pay with all your lives; you can’t pay with the ill-gotten wealth that you have, and what you have stored away for the “rainy day”—but you must pay.  So reparatory justice is the cry of all of the Caribbean; it’s the cry of Africa, it’s the cry of Asia.  It’s the cry of those who are the sons and daughters of those who paid with their lives, and with their slave labor and their colonial labor. 

So Great Britain, you know that you gained more wealth from your colonies in the Caribbean than all your other colonies in the world combined. According to what our research has taught us, that you gained four million British pounds from the Caribbean to one million British pounds to the rest of the world. 

So, we are proud to walk the streets that our ancestors paid for with sweat and blood, and their lives, but we have come to a point, now, where there is a different spirit in our young people.  There was a time when the police in England were called “bobbies”; and the bobbies never misused the people: they had a little stick, and with that stick, they were able to keep law and order.  Oh, what a difference years make.  And now, the police are dressed in military garb, with heavy weapons and all kinds of means of suppression of mass risings against government, authority, and the abuse of authority.  So, it’s a different time, now.  But let me say to my beloved brothers and sisters:  I don’t think you have a permanent home in the United Kingdom, or in European capitals.  No, the Plan of God is so different from your thoughts!  You want to stay where you are, you want to make the governments where you are recognize what they owe you, and treat you better—but they won’t even apologize for the evil that they have poured upon our heads?  So in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, it was very difficult for the European nations to even agree that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a “crime against humanity.”  But wasn’t it a crime against humanity?  It is because they never saw us as human beings.  According to the “Hamitic curse,” which was brought on the world by certain rabbinical scholars, they said that we were the “children of Ham,” doomed to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Caucasian colonizers and slave masters. 

So since you never recognized us as human beings, then you could not do justice by us because in your mind whatever you treated, however you treated us, it was “all right.”  So when you came into the Caribbean, and you brought Africans to the Caribbean, and you slaughtered the Indians that were already there—and you mixed your blood in with the Africans and the Indians—you set up a system where we could make you rich.  You took the raw materials of the Caribbean and worked us.  You came, and you bought up thousands of hectares of land in the Caribbean, and then you took the African slaves, or the peasants, and you hitched us to the plow of your capitalistic ideas.  So, you took sugar, you took bananas, you took tobacco, you took rice, you took whatever we did, or we had, and you made it make you rich and powerful.  But we always wanted to be free!  We always wanted to be independent!  When you granted us what you called “independence,” what did you leave in place?  You left in place the cultural apparatus that made us willing slaves.  You left your religion, you left your politics, you left your education, you left your jurisprudence in all your colonies, and you acculturated us into yourself. 

So the British slave masters, and colonial masters, made us into “little Britons,” “little British”; we always wanted to come to London, and you allowed us to come.  But those of us who had more education, what you call a “tertiary education,” we had nowhere in the Caribbean to practice what we were learning, so a “brain drain” took place.  And that’s why we are there in London, we’re there in Paris, we’re there in Rome; we’re there in Europe and Germany, and Amsterdam.  But now you, you don’t want us anymore—we’re becoming a problem wherever we are; so now, brothers and sisters, the scripture comes into play, that “in that day, every man will find refuge under his own vine and fig tree.”  Well, now you have skills; you have given those skills to Europe.  Now you have skills, you have taken the brain power of Africa, the Caribbean, and brought it to Europe again.  Now the Caribbean is poor, and marginalized; African nations are under neo-colonialism.  When the French left the French part of Africa that they colonized, they destroyed the ability of those that they left to use their resources to create the money that they were giving to France, to Spain, to Portugal and to England. 

You destroyed the banana plantations, you destroyed the sugar plantations.  You destroyed the tobacco.  Yes, you did that, so that we would not be able to take what we had to give you wealth, to turn that wealth back to us.  And everywhere that we could feed ourselves, you came and you destroyed that, so we are not feeding ourselves anymore in the Caribbean.  And as rich and powerful as African soil is to produce food, we are bringing food from England, food from Australia, food from Europe—food that was plucked out of the earth before it ever was allowed to ripen, so you ripen it with gas, you treat it with colors and carcinogens, and you feed it to our people.  So we are dying in wholesale numbers because now there is a genocidal plan against us.

Brothers and sisters, we have to separate from these that are the hands of destruction, and genocidal destruction of our future!  You have no more future in Great Britain, because Great Britain is not as “great” as Great Britain once was.  So if she can’t produce jobs for her own unemployed, where is your future?  Ah, but in the Caribbean, if you woke up to the vision of a “United Caribbean,” of a “United Africa”—not an Africa that is still colonized, not a Caribbean that is still colonized, but a United Caribbean, a United Africa, taking control of our own resources, and then turning these resources, raw materials, into products that we supply for ourselves and sell through trade and commerce to develop our own economies.  You are not thinking like that, but you are going to be forced to think like that.

What is the action that we should take?  First of all, you have to recognize that the education that you have been given is not sufficient for you to free yourself from your former slave masters and colonial masters.  You are going to have to develop an education that makes you understand the value of land, the value of the resources under your feet; the value of producing products to be sold internationally, and to suffice the needs of your people. 

Some of you are thinking like that; but time and circumstance are going to force us, all of us, to think like that.  Have you noticed the clouds of war gathering over Europe now?  Have you noticed that America is now putting sanctions on Russia, interfering with their energy production, 38 percent of which oil and gas comes to Europe (only two percent of America’s gas comes to Europe)?  So, putting sanctions on Russia forces Europe to say to Mr. Trump, “Oh, I am sorry.  I am not going to stop trading with Russia.”  What are you going to do now as the clouds of war thicken?  Germany is the strongest European country right now, but soon it won’t be so. 

We have to unite wherever we are.  We have to start doing something for ourselves wherever we are.  We have got to stop allowing the enemy to increase us in more division: “my” color and “your” color, “my” little island and “your” little island; “my” little nation in South America or in Central America, or in Africa, pitted against others, using European languages to further our division.  So, you speak English, but you don’t speak French, or you speak French but you don’t speak Spanish, or you speak Spanish but you don’t speak English; yet, these are the colonizers that have divided us through language, through culture, through religion. 

And by the way:  The Catholic Church used to issue “papal bulls” that allowed them to come into our lands and take whatever we had, and kill us if we resisted; and then make us “Christians” so that we could be a willing tool.  You don’t have the real Christianity, dear Christian family; you’ve got a man-made religion that was made by your oppressor under the name of White supremacy.  Jesus was not a White man—so why are you worshiping him?  You better wake up, and wake up fast. 

What actions should you take?  Muslims, unite: Stop fighting with each other over this or that; you cannot afford that.  The Holy Qur’an says to the Muslims community: “Hold fast to the covenant of Allah”—or “the rope of Allah, and be not disunited.”  Allah is calling us to unite!  He said, “And remember Allah’s favor to you when you were enemies, and He united our hearts and we became brethren.”  But now we are on the brink of a pit of fire because of our division, our hatred, our envy, our jealousies with each other.  To my own Muslim community in the U.K., or wherever you are, you have to settle your differences, and come together as one. 

I know it’s difficult, because you have all of these things that you dislike about one another.  But what is more important?  Isn’t your life, and the success of us as a people preparing a future for our children: isn’t that more important than our petty dislikes?  Of course it is!  You’re going to have to become economically strong where you are; and then soon you’ll start migrating back to your islands and to your nations, bringing with you the knowledge that you have gained in Europe, the wisdom that you have gained through your years.  And then unite the Caribbean, because everything that the Caribbean needs to become a world power is already under your foot—the only thing that’s missing is a vision that will make you one Caribbean.

It’s better to be the head of something:  It is better for you not to think of yourself as a “little nation” and be the tail of nothing, when in unity you could be the head of something. 

So I think I used up enough of the time.  I am asking you on this Day of Action to remember this:  Europe is not going to give you reparations—but the repair for us is already here.  In the Bible it says, “I will send My messenger from before My face, and he will prepare the way before Me,” and that Messenger would have “healing in his wings.” 

“Healing in his wings”:  What are the “wings” of a messenger of God?  The “wings” of a messenger of God are knowledge.  What you are suffering from is ignorance, and the manipulation of our ignorance by the forces of power.  You wouldn’t have even had this meeting today.  Why?  Because somebody fears what Farrakhan is saying. 

What am I saying that you should be afraid of?  You, England, should be afraid of The Wrath of God!  You should be afraid, in a day and time like this, that you have to reap what you have sown.  Don’t tell me you love your children, and you won’t do justice by those whom your fathers oppressed and enslaved.

So my beloved brothers and sisters, we must unite.  We must set up an educational system that will free us from our former slave masters.  You don’t need their system of jurisprudence, you need to set up a law system of your own.  You can do these things.  You have done it for them, now wake up and do it for yourself.  May Allah bless you.  May Allah guide you.  May Allah strengthen you, and may you become the great people that you were born to be, but you must separate from the mind, the spirit, of your former slave masters.

And I will close with this:  The Qur’an says, “Set your face for religion, being upright, the nature made by Allah in which He has created man,” and “there is no altering Allah’s creation.”  And in another place in The Qur’an, it says, “Set [your face for religion], being upright, before there come from Allah that which cannot be averted,” and “on that day they shall be separated.”  And the Bible comes back, saying: “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

Thank you, my dear Rasta brothers and sisters, for helping to renew the minds of the people.  Thank you, my dear Muslim family, for trying to renew the minds of our people.  Let’s do it together as best we can, and by Allah’s grace I hope one day I will be able to come in person to see you.  But if not, the Word is sufficient, for in the beginning was the word, and the word was God and the word was with God.”  And ultimately, that Word “became flesh, and that flesh dwelled among men.”  Whatever you envision, your unity will give you power to extract something from the governments in which you live, but it will never be the justice—that will come from your unity, and your uniting with God in His will, to do His will.  Power is at your door: Grab it, and make a future for yourself.

Thank you for listening!  Thank you, Brother Abdul Hakeem, for your invitation to me.  Thank you, Sister Sheba, Sister Stella, and Brother Sugar Dread.  Thank you for all of you who attended this great gathering, an “International Day of Action.”  Now go from here, and take the necessary action, and move toward Freedom, Justice and Equality.


As-Salaam Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You).