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Minister Farrakhan presents vision, action points for Black America's progress

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Assistant Editor- | Last updated: Feb 23, 2016 - 11:56:25 PM

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Crowd fills Joe Louis Arena in anticipation of Min. Farrakhan’s message. Photo: Hannibal Muhammad

DETROIT—The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan called for urban renewal through an action-oriented strategy and work driven by a spirit of self-determination and desire to establish safe, industrious and productive Black communities during his annual Saviours’ Day keynote message here Feb. 21.

Crowd prepares to enter the Joe Louis Arena to hear Min. Farrakhan’s keynote address to commence the Saviours’ Day activities in Detroit. Photo: Cartan X Mosley
The crowd of over 16,000 at the legendary Joe Louis Arena cheered loudly, greeting Min. Farrakhan with a standing ovation as he returned to the city where the Nation of Islam in North America began.

“Detroit was the mecca of industrialization but it became the Mecca—the place where the knowledge and wisdom of the Original Man first started in this country when the Black man and woman of America who was lost, was now found,” he said.

His message, titled “Divine Instructions and Commands For 2016,” wrapped up the yearly Nation of Islam convention held to honor the birth of its founder, the Great Mahdi Master Fard Muhammad who began teaching Islam in the area known as “Black Bottom” on July 4, 1930.

“We (Black people) have been made into a great problem that only God can solve,” said Min. Farrakhan. “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said our problem is not a problem that can be solved by traditional methods or means, our problem is such that there has to be divine intervention and the offering of a divine solution that will enable us to come up once and for all out of the condition that being under 400 years of tyranny has made us,” he added.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Photo: Michael Muhammad

Although he is known as a great orator, the Minister said he thought it might not be good to deliver another address, noting he has delivered words of profound guidance throughout the years. Now, he stressed, it is time to do something.

“You’ve got the teaching, what you need are the commands and the spirit to do after the command,” said Min. Farrakhan. “You are by nature soldiers. You just have not had commands to follow that would demonstrate the power that you possess!”

The Minister addressed police brutality and inordinate use of lethal force and attacks against Black women throughout his message. Min. Farrakhan recalled a time when he was a young minister in Harlem and the mosque was attacked by police. One of the police officers died.  Min. Farrakhan, who was very popular in the city, was very angry at what the police had done. When the police chief came to meet with him, the Minister spoke with passion and told the chief, “we would bathe the city in blood.” He ordered all White policemen out of Harlem by sundown, and the chief complied.

While Muslims are commanded never to be the aggressor, he said, they are commanded to fight in Allah’s (God’s) name against those who attack them. If one is attacked and then God gives the person attacked the upper hand, “it is not wrong to take (the aggressor) off the planet,” he said.

There comes a time in life when one is forced into a position where “death is sweeter than to live under oppression,” said Min. Farrakhan. 

“When your love is deep enough, you will lay down your life for what you love,” he added.

Later that he was summoned to Chicago by his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who “was not happy” about what he heard his young minister had told the police chief.

He asked his young minister: “How many of them did you kill?” When the Minister told him only one passed away, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Brother, never speak ahead of your actual power to do because if you speak ahead of your power to do and you are called to do and you cannot do, then your folly is laid bare as a big mouth with no substance,” said the Minister.

dience listens to Min. Farrakhan’s address at Joe Louis Arena. Photo: Michael Muhammad

He also received strategic guidance from the patriarch of the Nation of Islam, who told the Minister that 35 percent of the people in New York supported him, 15 percent are sympathetic and another 50 percent was neutral. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad, who would work for 40 years to establish the Nation, also had an instruction for his devoted helper.

“He said go back to New York and take the 15 percent who are sympathetic and make them like the 35 percent who are with you and then he said reach over into the 50 percent until you make 25 percent of them sympathetic. Then any command that you give will be carried out!” recalled Min. Farrakhan.

The Minister has also given commands: During the 10-10-15 Justice Or Else! gathering held in Washington to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. Economic withdrawal and a boycott of the holiday shopping season beginning with Black Friday was the first phase of the movement. “Up with Jesus! Down with Santa!” was the cry and many participated, resulting in a precipitous drop in revenue for many corporate giants.

Americans spend $602 billion each year during the holiday shopping season beginning on Black Friday and going to the New Year. Last shopping season, Apple announced a quarterly decline in sales for the first time in 13 years. Best Buy announced holiday sales declined and Macy’s announced plans to lay off 4,350 employees, again, due to slumping holiday sales, the Minister noted. 

Many Blacks have begun working to find Black businesses to support and there is a higher consciousness about the need to support Black banks, publications and institutions and this should continue and create wealth in the Black community, he said.

“So we’re going to commission a poll because I want to see if I’ve reached the percentages that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad said that if I gave a command it would be carried out. There is no more time to teach now,” said Min. Farrakhan.

Self-determination vs. colonization

Detroit, a town that is 83 percent Black, can be an example for urban areas across the U.S. Blacks are suffering as a “colonized people” and continue to suffer spiritually, mentally, economically, educationally and politically. Self-determination and unity in areas like Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn and Chicago are needed to solve these problems, he said.

“Money is being extracted from the colonies,” said Min. Farrakhan, and police serve as an “occupying force to keep the colony under control.”

Political power could be used to gain leverage but Blacks continue to fall for empty promises given by politicians who court them for votes then forget about voters after they win. This must change, he said.

“You have made no progress under Democrats. I don’t know why you are such a slave! What have they given you with what you have given to the Democratic Party?” he asked.

Instead, Black people should form the “Justice Party” and run candidates for offices across the country, Min. Farrakhan declared.

“We’re not Democrats, we’re not Republicans—this is the Justice Party! It will have in it Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, poor Whites, anybody that wants justice. Come out of those parties that won’t give you justice!” said the Minister. “Set up our own candidates, run them in the cities, take down the weak bloodsuckers of the poor and cast them out and set up people that will fight for justice!”

A cultural revolution

Min. Farrakhan encouraged more artists to follow Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé who used huge public platforms—the Grammys and the Super Bowl—to bring attention to the plight of Black people.

“I loved Kendrick Lamar’s presentation,” said the Minister. “Kanye West is railing on his new album and my sweet sister Beyoncé, boy, boy did she fix them?” Kendrick Lamar performed in chains and broke his chains at the Grammy’s, dramatizing the plight of Black America. Beyoncé served up a huge production in tribute to Black victims of police brutality, Hurricane Katrina and other racial injustices faced by Blacks. Her latest video features a newspaper cover which mirrors a cover from The Final Call newspaper and features a member of the Fruit of Islam distributing the newspaper in New Orleans.

Addressing critical comments from “conservative blowhard Rudolph Giuliani” and police groups who said officers would protest her appearances because they were unhappy with her message and would not provide security for her, the Minister had a solution.

“You’re going to picket? You’re not going to offer her police protection? But the F.O.I. will!” said the Minister as the audience leapt to their feet and cheered. The F.O.I., or the Fruit of Islam, is the name given to the military training of the men who belong to Islam in North America and who have legendary reputation for discipline and security.

“We say to the hip hop community and to our cultural giants—say what you feel! Put it out there with strength. They allowed you to call your women ‘bitches’ and ‘whores.’ Now put it out there that you love your Black self and you want to see your people free! Put it out there and we will back you up!”

“Now when the rappers are free to say it like it is,” the Minister continued, “the cultural revolution is on!”

(L-R) Student Minister Rodney Muhammad of Philadelphia, activist Yonasda Lonewolf and Nation of Islam Haitian representative Joseph Makhandal (rear) listens to program. Photo: Hannibal Muhammad

Segregation vs. separation

There is a difference between segregation and separation, Min. Farrakhan noted.

“Segregation is imposed on an inferior by a superior. Separation is voluntary by two equals,” he said.

“We are in a colonial state of being,” repeated the Minister, citing Detroit, Harlem and Bedford Stuyvesant in New York, and the East Side of Cleveland as examples.

“The wealth of the colony is extracted from the colony by those who control the colony through leadership in the colony,” said Min. Farrakhan.

Many pastors and others are used to keep those who are colonized “docile, happy, meek and weak.” As a result, the controlled leaders will get called downtown to meet with high level political officials and will be offered favors. They are beholden to their political patrons, but not to the people they are supposed to represent, which is what makes Min. Farrakhan different. He is supported by those who love him and provide him with what he needs to work for the liberation of oppressed people worldwide.

L-R: Carmen Perez, Mysonne and Tamika D. Mallory of the New York Justice League.. Photo: Monica Morgan

“I am a free Black man! I’m free because they can’t buy me! I’m free because my people support me! I’m free to talk like a man, think like a man, act like a man and die like a man!” the Minister said.

Spiritual leaders could be helpful, because change starts on the spiritual level, but prayer without works is not worth anything, he warned. God is not a mystery spook, so work must be done to back up prayer, he said.

Turning his attention again directly to Detroit, Min. Farrakhan said he met with and thanked Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who provided a motorcade to escort him and members of his delegation throughout the city during his stay. The Minister, as he has done in many cities across the U.S., offered the Nation of Islam’s help to get rogue cops off the streets. Most rogue officers are found in neighborhoods where there is little economic and political power.

“I told the chief, all the rogue cops are found in the ghetto, so we’re going to help you. We’re going to find them and point them out. We’re not going to kill them, but we’re going to give you a chance to take them off the street, bust them and try them and sentence them,” said Min. Farrakhan.

He also said Muslims, who are in neighborhoods, must also be morally upright in order to straighten out the communities they are being called to serve.

“No cover for a rogue cop, no cover for a rogue Muslim,” said Min. Farrakhan. “We’re either going to be righteous or were going to have to leave it alone because we’ve got work to do in Detroit, in America among all of the colonies.”

The Minister said the educational system of the colonial masters cannot be used. The communities cannot be improved using the current educational reality with White supremacy at the root, and protection of Black women and girls must become a priority for the men who are to be the protectors and maintainers of the communities.

“If we are under the control of God, then our families should have peace under the control of a man who is under the control of God,” he said.

Family members of Minister Farrakhan including (left to right) daughter Betsy Jean Farrakhan, his wife Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, daughters Maria Farrakhan and Student Minister Donna Farrakhan, Fatimah Farrakhan and Khallada Farrakhan and daughter-in-law Karen Farrakhan. Next to her is Student National M.G.T. Captain Sandy Muhammad, Captain Emeritus A’ishah Muhammad and wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Mother Ola Muhammad. Photo: Monica Morgan

Decent, self-respecting security can become the norm in Black communities across the country. This can be done, as long as Black people are determined to move forward in a strong and collective manner, Min. Farrakhan added.

“The law of cause and effect is very real,” he said. “God is real, you are real, we can change the realities of our lives if we understand that we are the ones to do it.”

Reactions to a powerful message

Abdul Arif Muhammad, general counsel for the Nation of Islam, said Min. Farrakhan’s message encouraged Blacks to take responsibility for community improvement.

“I think it was spiritually profound yet at the same time tremendously practical in the reality of actions that we must take or commands that we must obey to make our communities clean, safe and decent places in which to live and better the conditions of our communities,” said Atty. Muhammad. “We have to accept the responsibility and be accountable to fulfill what God has given and promised to us.”

Imam Abdul Malik agreed, saying the Minister’s message is consistent. 

“The message we got today was trust in Allah and take full responsibility and control of our own destiny and don’t wait for anyone to do for us what we as a people must do for ourselves,” he said.

Carmen Perez of the Justice League of New York said she enjoys hearing from the elders like Min. Farrakhan and Harry Belafonte who not only put their lives on the line, but also reinvest in their communities. She also was inspired by his talk about formation of a political party.

“I’m really excited about the fact that he talked about a Justice Party because that’s something that we’ve been talking about in the Justice League,” said Ms. Perez. “We need our own political party because not only do we need to invest back into our communities, we need to put a different type of political pressure on this country,” she added.

Edited by James G. Muhammad, Final Call contributing editor.