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Minister Farrakhan: Touching lives and teaching in Trinidad

By Richard B. Muhammad Editor | Last updated: Mar 27, 2012 - 10:14:22 PM

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Minister Farrakhan continues Caribbean tour with a special visit, special message


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad ( - Three generations of her family were present when Maria Meraj came to hear the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speak at the beautiful glass and steel National Auditorium for the Performing Arts. In his words, she heard the voice of a father providing guidance to his loved ones and a special injunction for the Caribbean.

The 59-year-old was accompanied by her mother and her daughter. The Minister’s words were “vibrating, scintillating, enthusiastic and everything else God bless him.”

The beautiful, wood paneled Lord Kitchener Auditorium, named in honor of a famed Calypso performer, was packed on all four levels, nearly bursting at the seams with another 500-600 people in front listening to loudspeakers set up for the overflow crowd on the warm Sunday afternoon and evening.

“We need the wisdom of God to open the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf and unloosen the knot in the tongues of the dumb and to raise a people who once were a great people but have been murdered not necessarily with the rope or the cat o’ nine tails or the gun but murdered mentally so that we exist on a dead level, a horizontal level,” said Min. Farrakhan, who was welcomed by a rousing round of applause and cheering when he took the stage.

“And when you live on a horizontal level you’re either asleep or you’re dead. And if you’re asleep anybody can rule you. And if you’re dead you can’t see, you can’t hear, you can’t talk, you can’t walk—so a dead man has to be moved by those who are alive,” he said

His passionate message, which punctuated a visit that included a press conference upon entering the country, a courtesy call from government Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley, television and radio appearances, a speech at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-Operative Economics, a sit-down with Caribbean members of the Nation of Islam, other meetings, conversations and inspiring talk at the dinner table, the Minister called Trinidadians to awaken from mental and spiritual death and White supremacy-induced slumber.

It is time to reclaim your identity, your future and your country, he said. The Sunday Guardian reported March 25, that Trinidadians, of all races, see poverty was a problem. Blacks are about 42 percent of the country’s population, now second largest behind Indo-Trinidadians. The poll research found poverty was tied to a misdistribution of wealth with “too few people getting too much” and the poor living beyond their means.

Minister Farrakhan was was welcomed by a capacity crowd when he took the stage at the National Auditorium for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 25, 2012.
“You need something strong to pull up on. Something that you can hold on to that will give you strength to stand up like the great people that we once were. ‘Oh brother Farrakhan I don’t know whether we need all of that.’ Well I think Black people have been in political power in Trinidad for how many years now? Nearly 56 years … political power. How come you’re still in the worst condition after you had political power in your hands for 56 years? Something is wrong with that picture … something is wrong,” said Min. Farrakhan.

“We’ve been in power but the Blacks are still in the worst condition of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Chinese doing alright, Lebanese doing alright, Syrians doing alright, Indians doing alright; you’ve been here longer than everybody and doing all wrong. Something is wrong with leadership that if we could be in power and yet have no power. Then political power is symbol without substance if it is not accompanied by economic strength and power,” he said.

In Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean there is a plot underfoot to destroy Black people, he boldly declared, reciting accounts of gang violence recited by city councilors in a private meeting. Pointing to a crisis in the East Dry River East section of Port of Spain, the Minister recounted how violence brings flight and abandoned properties which are gobbled up by developers, who often have played a role in inciting violence that destroyed the community.

“They tell me 99 percent of the doctors in Trinidad are Indian … Ninety nine percent? Have you been to the hospital? How many Black doctors are taking care of you? I’m just asking questions,” he said.

“Eighty-seven percent of the lawyers in Trinidad and Tobago are Indian and if they don’t like you too good they ain’t fighting for no justice for you. But wait 65 percent of the judges are Indian. Ninety-eight percent of those in prison are African Trinidadians. … Eighty-eight percent of those in the crazy house Black people,” he said.

“Now I don’t know, I just got these statistics today so you have to correct this if it needs correcting. But listen if it’s three quarters truth that’s bad, bad, bad.”

Noting that the descendents of African slaves have a longer history than anyone else, he described how East Indians came and used their cultural identity and unity to build a life for themselves and to supply the needs of Blacks they met here. Don’t blame Indians for doing something that Black people should have been doing for themselves, he said.

“Today they can unite, pool their resources and buy up the land. They tell me half of Trinidad is owned by a Syrian Jew,” he said. “I don’t want you to think I’m anti-Semitic. I just got to tell the truth now you can call it what you want. … Did you know that if all your learned ones leave they’re your doctors, they’re gone to England and the United States. The lawyers that should be standing up for you they gone; England and the United States. You don’t have judges, enough judges, to listen to our cases and handle them with justice? Now look at this how much corruption have been in the Black governments that have been ruling you for 57 years? I’m asking questions, I want answers.”

Eighty percent of those with higher education in the Caribbean flee and go to America, Europe and elsewhere causing a massive brain drain, he said. So the hotel and service industry become the places for young people to work as there is not a place to put subjects learned in school to practical use, the Minister said.

There is an effort underway to marginalize the Caribbean and make it the playground for the wealthy and those able to afford a good time, he said. Trinidad is great but it is time for Trinidad to unite with the other West Indian and Caribbean countries to form a strong bond that can make progress and beat back domination from the United States, and Western institutions, like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, who want to steal the region’s resources, he said.

Jews come together every society and are instructed in the Talmud to buy land and control agriculture and distribution, he said. Jews were slave owners in the Caribbean and owned vast tracts of land, he said. They worked together for progress, he continued.

“Now why aren’t we making progress? No unity, no trust, no love. How then could you as a Christian tell me you follow Jesus and in the Book of John Jesus said, ‘God is a spirit those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.’ … . Those who worship him should worship him in spirit and in truth. He said God is love and if God is love and you know God where is the love in us for one another? I’m only challenging us to think; you really have been deceived, you really don’t know Jesus. For if you really knew Jesus you would be a better person not only for yourself but you’d be better for each other.”

(Top) Min. Farrakhan was welcomed by several city councilors and Deputy Mayor Kerron Valentine of Port of Spain for a discussion of problems and solutions on issues affecting Trinidadians. (Bottom) Min. Farrakhan greets the Honorable Dr. Keith Rowley, the Leader of the Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago and head of the country’s People National Movement March 23. Standing behind the Minister is Student Minister David Muhammad, Trinidad representative of the Nation of Islam. Photos: Hassan Muhammad
The Minister urged the crowd to throw off the shackles of Black inferiority by learning who they truly are, their great history, and uniting by pooling their resources in a National Treasury to buy up and redevelop areas, like East Dry River, instead of abandoning them.

The audience roared its approval in response.

Muhammad Salih Ali, from Somalia was struck by the Minister’s message and wanted to deliver a message from Africans to Blacks in America: “We love you, you Black people. We love you as a brother,” said the 42-year-old Muslim.

“He’s a good imam,” said Mr. Ali, calling the Minister a leader of Black people everywhere. Minister Farrakhan “told the Black people to wake up and build themselves and I appreciate the imam Louis Farrakhan,” he said.

Bongah Chops, an entertainer who offers messages especially for Black upliftment, said Blacks are in last place and need to share uplifting things. “Listening to Farrakhan opens your mind and most of the things he is talking about is in our music,” he said. “Right now the world needs some kind of shifting, especially Black people, people of African descent.”

Trinidadians accepted second class citizenship under a more subdued oppression different “bold faced” oppression in America, he said.

“The Black man in Trinidad has no idea who the enemy is,” added his partner Make It Happen, another conscious musician.

Isha Wells, a city councilor for East Dry River in Port of Spain, hadn’t slept a week since the Minister arrived March 20. She entered politics at 26, not having a true direction but wanting to help her people. Her two years in office have been difficult, but in 2007 she started listening to the teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad after meeting David Muhammad, the Nation’s Trinidad representative. In Islam taught by East Indians, “you always feel like a second class citizen as a Muslim in Trinidad,” she said.

The teachings of the Nation of Islam awakened her and she joined in January. “When you are in a condition you don’t realize it until you are on the outside looking into it,” Ms. Wells said.

She came to the Minister’s March 20 press conference and joined him the next day for a meeting with other councilors, the vice mayor and staff. Her area is wracked by gangs, violence and drug dealing. The situation is so bad her residents could not come to a March 24 speech at Cipriani College or a private meeting with the Minister. Trinidad’s Guardian newspaper reported March 22 on the alleged killing of a gang member after a community meeting. The 22-year-old was shot to death after meeting with opposing gang members, according to the article.

If young people hear and know this message, it can change them, Councilor Wells said. “Nobody talks about us and a man of his magnitude came here to discuss the problems we are trying to address,” she said, almost overwhelmed with emotion.

The “borderline” issue means no passage between different areas, especially for men, though the distances between the areas is a short one. Even senior citizens traveling between the different areas are harassed and abused, she said.

Police mobiles keeping law and order moved out of the area with no explanation, Councilor Wells recalled. “I just wanted to pray for my time in office to pass for me to get out of this,” she admitted. Now she feels inspired and believes she can make a difference through learning the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and applying them to her problems.

Min. Farrakhan was last in the country in 1996, and met with the acting prime minister, members of Parliament, the Opposition Leader, spoke to thousands in Trinidad and then on the island of Tobago. There was a chillier government reception this go-round, perhaps dictated by calls from the U.S. government to the Indian-dominated party ruling the country.

“It was out of Trinidad that African Muslims called the Mandingos wrote legislation to the British Parliament applying for repatriation back to Africa in 1833. It was African Muslims out of Trinidad who gave the world the idea of repatriation that was transformed into reparations. It was three brothers from Trinidad, Saleh James, Henry Sylvester Williams and George Padmore that started the world’s first Pan Africanist Congress where there were delegates from over thirty countries coming to a meeting and a mission that was started by three Trinidadians,” remarked David Muhammad, Trinidad representative of the Nation of Islam.

“It was a brother from right here in Trinidad named Kwame Ture formerly Stokely Carmichael who gave the world the phrase ‘Black Power’ and now Black people all over the world are saying ‘Black Power,’ ” he observed. “And it was this island where the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan drew his cultural ideas from in his early days as an entertainer singing Calypso music and so this island, Trinidad, produced so much greatness not just great leaders but we have always had a revolutionary spirit.

“But in 2012 we’re having a mind revolution because as Black people we’re starting to think differently. We’re starting to change our culture, change our behavior and start to adopt a plan of progress for all of us to uplift ourselves and to no longer be the footstools of other people. But all of that great Black history that has been written about Trinidad and Tobago cannot be complete until the leader of the global struggle himself becomes part of it to share his ideas and to introduce his leadership and guidance into the scenario of that revolutionary thinking and consciousness in Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.

Related news:

Farrakhan opens visit to Caribbean in Trinidad (FCN, 03-23-2012)

Farrakhan on Africa, Libya and cowardly leadership (FCN, Trinidad Press Conf. 03-23-2012)