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The Right Time, The Right Call, The Right Man

By Richard B. Muhammad and Ashahed Muhammad -Final Call Staffers- | Last updated: Oct 17, 2015 - 10:04:41 PM

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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the terrace of the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Michael Muhammad

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(Top Photo)Panoramic view from the U.S. Capitol on October 10, 2015. Photo: Monica Morgan (Bottom Photo, L-R) Tamika D. Mallory; Ishmael R. Muhammad; Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant; Leonard F. Muhammad; Rev. Willie Wilson; Nuri Muhammad

WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) - Responding to the call of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a virtual sea of determined faces, different ages, races and ideologies gathered at the U.S. Capitol with their numbers swelling down the National Mall.

Supporters felt it was the opening salvo where the weapon of unity was fired in a coordinated battle and budding unity at those who designed and benefit from systemic oppression of the darker people of the Earth—and even poor Whites.

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National Mall Oct. 10 were filled with throngs of people.

“I am honored beyond words to be here standing on this rostrum, in front of this hallowed building,” the Minister said, standing on a stage at the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol. “I thank Almighty God Allah for every single one of you that decided to answer the call to demand Justice Or Else!”

The Minister was pleased with the display of unity by the aboriginal people of the planet as Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos joined in march organizing and turnout. He pointed to the global suffering of the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere, and said Native Americans are a key element in the demand for justice.

“They’re here because they are the original owners of this part of the Earth, and we honor them with the honor that they are justly due,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Their suffering in their land is very great, so all those who cry for justice—no cry is greater than those who have suffered the most,” he added.

A joint resolution was steered through Congress by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and it passed both houses, which allowed the Minister’s message to be delivered from the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The weather couldn’t have been better, with a brightly shining sun, moderate autumnal temperatures and a calming gentle breeze.

The gathering started at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, the crowd stretched down the National Mall and it wasn’t an accident. The U.S. Capitol was built by Black slaves. Blacks have fought in all of this country’s wars and were forced to fight and die for civil rights while denied the human right of self-determination. The blood, sweat and tears of Black ancestors soak the soil of the National Mall, which at one time was a central location where slaves were sold, said Min. Farrakhan.

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Looking and listening to powerful words at 10.10.15, the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. Photo: Erick Muhammad

“I feel the cry of our ancestors; the pain of those on whose shoulders we stand. I feel that the ancestors are happy that a young generation has arisen,” said the Minister. “We who are getting older—and I’m speaking now of myself and my generation—what good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry the torch of liberation to the next step? What good are we if we think we can last forever, and not prepare others to walk in our footsteps?”

Youth are looking for uncompromising leaders who cannot be bought or sold, and it is becoming increasingly hard to find such leaders in a society rife with inequality and corruption, the Minister observed.

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Family and supporters honor their slain loved ones at Justice Or Else in Washington, D.C. Photo: Toure Muhammad
“You’ve got to have wisdom to lead our people today out of the clutches of a deceitful, satanic mind,” he said.

Those who prepare youth for the future will not be those who would pass on a legacy of cowardice, or would sell out for nearness to those with political power or to those who promise great wealth, the Minister noted.

“To the young that are here, we honor you, we know who you are and we will not forsake our duty to you,” said Min. Farrakhan. “We are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.”

“These are not just young people who happened to wake up one morning. Ferguson ignited it all. So all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson, all the brothers and sisters that laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters that challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.”

“Justice or Else!” was the theme for the 20th Anniversary Million Man March at the National Mall.

New leaders for justice

The time is up for selfish, tyrannical, corrupt leaders who oppress those whom they actually need to make them rich, said Min. Farrakhan.

All corruption “is an enemy of the progress of man,” he said.

There will have to be new leaders of good character, unafraid to lay down their lives for those they are working to liberate because the lives of the many are greater than the one, the Minister said.

“There can be no freedom, no justice, no equity without the willingness of some to sacrifice for the rest,” Minister Farrakhan continued. “The demand for justice demands integrity; the demand for justice demands selflessness; the demand for justice is bigger than all of our lives.”

“You’re yearning for something that the government can’t give you,” said Min. Farrakhan, referring to a universal cry for justice.

America cannot give you justice, you must build your own nation—we are not integrationists as Moses called the children of Israel out of Egypt, he said.

“They can’t give you what is not in their nature to give you,” he said. The gathering was to show the world America’s hypocrisy and express outrage over injustice, not as a false expectation that the United States would change, the Minister said.

Min. Farrakhan chided those who are constantly talking about forgiving their enemies, even in cases where those who have done harm have not shown remorse, as in the case of Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine Black people in a historic Charleston, South Carolina church.

“Find me a Jew that forgives Hitler, and you say they are the people of God and they don’t have any forgiveness in them!” he said.

The hypocrisy of America

Min. Farrakhan said many wonder why he’s so bold and challenges those others fear. Freedom from fear allows for truth to be spoken to those who seem powerful, he said.

“Our problem is that there is too much fear among us! A fearful people can’t be free!”

Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s Founding Fathers, feared divine retribution for slavery and its heinous acts. The Minister noted Black suffering and racial animus has increased. “This thing has reached the point of explosion. Even those in high places are saying ‘ “we can’t take this much longer.’ ”

“You’ve played with the lives of poor people, indigenous people, Black people and women. You’ve played with the lives of soldiers who have given their lives on a foreign battlefield only to come home and be rejected and die while they are waiting for treatment and service,” he said. “I want to show the world the hypocritical America that is telling everybody that they are violating human rights while in America there’s all this dissatisfaction,” he said as the crowd cheered.

“We’re trying to show the world that there are problems here and these problems demand resolution!” continued Min. Farrakhan. “Justice for Pharaoh is not the same as justice for the children of Israel! Justice for the oppressed is not the same as justice for the oppressor! Mercy is for the oppressed!”

Min. Farrakhan also called for the FBI to open up all the files related to the killing of Minister Malcolm X in the face of slander trying to connect him with the death.

“Don’t redact a damn thing and let the people see what really happened to Brother Malcolm!” he demanded. The Minister pointed out that Malcolm X’s bodyguard, and the man over him after he was shot, was an undercover police officer. Min. Farrakhan again declared his innocence, noting there is no statute of limitations on murder. The enemy would not hesitate to jail me if they had evidence, he added.

The murder of Blacks by police officers must end and fratricidal violence must cease, he said.

If the United States repents there is a small window she could survive as a nation but if she fails, America is finished, he declared boldly. God has come for Black people and will destroy America to save Black people, the Minister added. The divine hand is striking America through unusual, destructive and deadly weather like storms that devastated South Carolina, he said. More is to come if America does not stop her evil, added Min. Farrakhan.

Blacks must also respect and cease slaughtering one another, he said. Women must guard the fruit of their wombs lest a great one who could fulfill the needs of a suffering people be aborted, the Minister said. He stressed the value of women in society and the need for women to be fully respected.

Women in the Nation of Islam then walked up and formed a line across the stage dressed in beautiful pastel garments. No man is worthy of you except he is your husband, the Minister said.

Min. Farrakhan again called for a holiday spending boycott to punish a nation steeped in oppression and Christmas holiday activity rooted in pagan beliefs and commercialism. Let’s devote this Christmas to Jesus and celebrate it by showing the love of Jesus to one another, he said. The crowd roared its approval.

At another point in the program when the Minister said he was closing his address, a vocal wave swept that Mall and Capitol with a resounding, “No!” coming from his listeners.

Put the Muslim Program Before Congress?

Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad’s desire was written of in his book titled “Message to the Blackman in America” in a chapter titled “Put The Muslim Program Before Congress.”

The Muslim Program which appeared in The Muhammad Speaks newspaper and appears inside The Final Call, it is not just for Muslims. It calls for justice regardless of creed, class or color.

The Minister said his teacher could not think of one that he would trust to do it so, “I came to bring it myself, as his student.”

The greatness of the day and beyond

Despite the deliberate distortions, mischaracterizations and devious strategies designed to dissuade participation in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, another glorious historic gathering is forever etched in the minds of those who experienced it.

Over 1.7 million Black men came together in 1995 under the banner of “Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility.” Detractors tried to separate the Message from the Messenger but that was impossible. Many said that spirit of peace and tranquility of Oct.16, 1995 could never be recaptured. But peace reigned on Oct. 10, 2015, despite a newsletter published by a U.S. Capitol Police employee without permission or approval of Chief Kim C. Dine, who leads the force. The letter falsely said there were concerns of violence.

Crowds gathered early, touched by a morning chill, and stayed all day, touched by the warm rays of the sun. They brought signs demanding justice, blankets, cameras, photos of loved ones lost to violence and proudly proclaimed “Justice Or Else!” on a myriad of t-shirt designs.

Young leaders and entrepreneur Russell Simmons were there and hosted a reception the night before the march. Young Jeezy sat on stage next to Revolt TV owner P. Diddy as did Snoop Dogg, J Cole, Common and others like Dave Chappelle enjoyed standing with a throng calling for justice.  Revolt TV broadcast the day live.

The day included messages, cultural expressions in hip hop and the music industry. Black, Native American, Latino and indigenous leaders recited their grievances as did youth, women and activists who touched on other domestic issues like forced vaccinations and international issues, like Palestinians rights.

Present were Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Mike Brown, Sr., the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr.; Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of motorist Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop and Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant who was fatally shot and killed by a transit cop as he lay facedown handcuffed on a subway platform.

The families of the slain sat in a special section and walked across the stage holding huge placards to humanize their losses, call for justice and an end to killing.

The mother of Kendrick Johnson, who would have been 20 years old Oct. 10 was there—her son’s bruised body was found inside a rolled up gym mat in a Georgia high school gym.

The Minister saluted the families for their willingness to stand for justice and young people in the Black Lives Matter movement for their bravery. These young people are on a right course, he said.

March co-conveners Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist church in the District of Columbia; young activist Tamika Mallory, Pastor Jamal Bryant of Empowerment Temple, Nation of Islam top officials Ishmael Muhammad, Leonard F. Muhammad and Dr. Ava Muhammad, National Spokesperson for the Nation of Islam and Min. Farrakhan were among speakers. Young activist Torry Russell from Ferguson, Mo., delivered words as did Jay Winter Nightwolf and Yo Nas Da Lonewolf on behalf of Native Americans while Emma Lozano and others spoke to the issues of the Latino community.

Mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, mass deportations, statehood for the District of Columbia were just a few of the issues discussed.

The Minister brought the children of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad on stage and thanked his spiritual teacher for fathering children that are committed to raise a nation. Elijah Muhammad planted part of his family in Mexico to solidify the unity of the Black and the Brown, he said.

Preacher Melech E. M. Thomas was seven years old when the Million Man March took place in 1995. Twenty years later, he was a speaker at the march commemoration.

“They attacked us with the U.S. Capitol Police, they attacked us with Fox News, but we also know that even though Satan is prince of the airwaves, Satan is also the father of all lies, so this is just the proof that Satan ain’t nothing but a lie because there’s nothing here but peace, joy, love and passion and calling for Justice Or Else!” he said.

“We live in the age of Ferguson and there is a new moralist militancy among the younger generation and this younger generation broke the back of fear,” added Dr. Cornel West, a leading intellectual and activist. “Once you break the back of fear, you organize, mobilize and stand up,” he said. Organizing is the next critical step, he said. That work is already underway in Local Organizing Committees and over 1,500 people showed up the day after the march for a planning meeting at the Marriott Marquis Hotel where the Minister spoke again.

Attorney L. Londell McMillan, owner of the group that publishes The Source magazine, described the Minister’s message as “fearless, loving, thoughtful and refreshing.”

He is ready to work on the specific assignments to give people the “knowledge and science of economics” to create profit and prosperity in their communities.

“I know that there’s a lot of details that will have to follow but it was just very well said and well thought out; and I think he also was very considerate of a lot of people’s feelings and their issues and interests,” he said. “A lot of times you hear people speak and you hear agenda all woven into what they are saying, but when you can hear just truth with consideration of feelings and growth and an allowance for us all to come together, it is just powerful.”

Noted theologian Dr. Jeremiah Wright said, “I think it is an historic moment. I think it is building on what the Minister started 20 years ago in that we have awakened the nation and the international community to the fact that this is not just about the injustices done with Black on Black crime where Black men atone to one another and to our women and our families, but it is a larger issue in terms of the struggle that we have on our hands that Black lives matter, that Black women’s lives matter, the Native American lives matter, the Palestinian lives matter.”

“What is being done to us by the powers that be that control the military and the money needs to be addressed now. We’ve had enough pray-ins and sit-ins and worship services and singing and praising God.  It’s time for some legal action to be taken or else something else is going to be taken,” he said.

Jamilah Lemieux, senior editor of Ebony magazine, felt Black people are making progress by squarely confronting challenges.

She was 11 years old in 1995. Her father went to the Million Man March. She stayed home from school and watched it all day on C-Span—which carried the 20th anniversary march live as did radio stations like WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, New York and other cities.

The Farrakhan Twitter Army, led by Jesse Muhammad, set the internet ablaze furiously sending out photos, videos and information that had the march anniversary trending over social media.

“To be here 20 years later as an adult, as a parent, as a journalist, it really has been an emotional day,” said Ms. Lemieux. “To see hundreds of thousands of Black people gathered in love and solidarity in a belief in the same things, in peace, you have different religions, different sexual orientations, different backgrounds, different parts of the country—we don’t all have the same lens but we are here for the same reasons.”

All roads led to Washington and all cries demanded justice—Or Else!

(Starla Muhammad contributed to this report.)

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