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Minister Louis Farrakhan
For America to Survive, She Must Make a Real Change
By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Updated Jan 7, 2010 - 10:57:41 AM

[Editor's Note: The following text is taken from a message delivered by Minister Farrakhan on November 1, 1997 at Celebration's Banquet Hall in Chicago, Illinois.]

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

Tonight I would like to take as my text, “Sing Unto the Lord a New Song and His Praise from the End of the Earth.” America is in trouble. It is the greatest nation ever in the history of the world. She has the finest constitution of any government in the history of the world. She is the greatest economic and military power in the history of the world. She has everything that it takes to be the greatest nation on the earth, but she is dying from an internal rot produced by a moral decline that is taking her into the abyss of decadence.

Those of us who are preachers and teachers have to analyze our preaching, whether we are imams, rabbis, ministers, cardinals, arch-bishops or high potentates. When you see the decadence that we see everyday of our lives, of what effect is our preaching if our preaching cannot change people's hearts that they may do better? Or are we preaching a watered down Torah, Gospel and Qur'an that literally tickles the ears of the wicked and makes people satisfied in their wickedness with no pangs of conscience that they are in manifest error?

The church, mosque and synagogue have embraced what Christ, Muhammad, Moses and the Prophets of Israel cannot embrace. We can embrace the human being, but when the human being's ways are contrary to the will of God, we cannot embrace that. We can come as we are, but we can't stay as we are.

America is sick, and America needs a doctor. What is America's sickness? She started off wrong. She started off with an ideology and a philosophy that was not Christian, though she came in the name of Jesus. She started off in the name of a philosophy of White supremacy. White supremacy, as an ideology and philosophy, spawned from it a racist America and a Constitution watered with racism, so that the darker people that live in America could never feel like they are a real part of the promise of this nation.

It's wonderful to see Promise Keepers on the mall; White males saying that they want to keep a promise. Why a name, Promise Keepers? It is because their fathers have been promise breakers. The Constitution was fashioned by White males who made a promise to the American people of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This was a guarantee. Where is it? It does not exist for the masses of Whites, much less the darker people who inhabit America. Where is the promise for the homeless? Where is this promise in prisons that are filled with our young men—1,600,000; more than any civilized nation on the earth?

The building of prisons is the number one growth industry in America. What is happening to a nation that promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and yet if you have no money and you get sick, then you die where you are? Something is wrong with a nation that sends its young people to war on the basis of a lie, making them to think they are fighting for democracy when they are fighting to keep multi-national corporations filthy rich at the expense of poor people. Something is wrong with a nation that will allow soldiers to be poisoned by chemical agents, biological agents, and then the government acts as though they don't know anything about this. Something is wrong with a nation that has millions of people living under bridges and in cardboard boxes, going to bed hungry at night, children who cannot read, yet there is a Hubbell telescope in space giving us pictures of what is far out and we can't see what is right around the corner.

I'm not anti-American. This is the only country I know, but the country needs help. I can't say to Bill Clinton, “Yes sir, Mr. President,” while a country is going to hell, when the nation is over $5 trillion in debt and wants to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

You take the poor Mexicans and Hispanics and call them aliens when you took the land from them. Native Americans are mistreated on reservations.

So many of us today are steeped in religiosity that we lose spirituality. So many of us are bound in rituals that we have lost the truths to which the rituals are pointing us. So Jesus was such a refreshing personality in the Roman society. The scriptures say that the poor heard him gladly. Anybody that the poor hear gladly concerns the rich. So many of us today are steeped in religiosity that we lose spirituality. So many of us are bound in rituals that we have lost the truths to which the rituals are pointing us. So Jesus was such a refreshing personality in the Roman society. The scriptures say that the poor heard him gladly. Anybody that the poor hear gladly concerns the rich. And if you won't, it's all right with me. I have to do it. God has put it on my heart to do it. You may not like me for doing it, but I care nothing about popularity with you. To be popular with you doesn't mean anything if I am unpopular with God.


Our poor fathers, when they were brought to America in chains, would go down to the shore because one of the ships that brought them here was named “Jesus.” They would go down to the shore and they would say, “You can have all of this world, just give me that ship Jesus that will take me back home to my land and my people.” The Bible says, “By the rivers of Babylon, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps on the willow tree and our joyful song had turned to mourning, and they that wasted us required of us mirth. They that carried us away captive required of us a song, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.' But they said, ‘How can I sing the Lord's song in a strange land?'”

If you can't sing the Lord's song in a strange land, what kind of song have you been singing? “Shake your booty. Shake your booty.” These are the kinds of songs that you sing. The songs that you sing reflect the state of your mind, and your mind has become so degenerate that you can sit and listen to filth and it doesn't bother you.

We have to sing unto the Lord a new song. And if we are going to sing a new song, then we need a new composer, because the one that composed the song that we are singing about, the life that we've been living, is not a song that the Lord will accept. It is one thing to sing gospel music, but should not we live the Gospel? It's one thing to sing about Jesus Christ, but singing about Him is not going to get Him to accept us, if we refuse to live the life that He asks us to live.

America needs a new song. The songs that she is singing now are songs of hate, division and injustice; songs that praise and elevate the things that artificially separate us from one another. We are proud to be Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, AME, CME. That's fine, but these are denominations, meaning “down from the name.”

We are proud of our Islam, our Judaism, or our nationality. We split up religion. We split up and literally made ourselves something by means of color. How can you describe who you are by means of a color? Don't you realize what you are doing to your humanity by describing the infinite being, God and self, by means of some color or the lack of it? We (Nation of Islam) used color as a medicine to heal the effect of White supremacy that produced in its wake Black inferiority. Color is insufficient to define the majesty of God or the majesty of the human being.

What is your nationality except some little piece of land somewhere that is used to give you a different language or culture or history?

The Bible teaches, “Behold, I make all things new. There will be a new heaven and a new earth and the former things shall pass away. Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is only out of a renewed mind that a new song can come. “Let this mind be in you, the same that was in Christ Jesus.” If you have that mind in you, then you can sing a new song. But if you don't have his mind in you, then you sing the same old song—the songs of division, discord, hate and bigotry, sexism, racism, materialism, and a sick nationalism. If you are going to sing a new song, you have got to be a new person.

I leave you with these words: America is at the pinnacle of power and greatness. When you are at the pinnacle, they say, there is no place for you to go but down. But America does have a choice. She can go the way of ancient Rome, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah, Egypt, and the wicked in the days of Noah and Lot, or she can make a step up and make America the basis for the Kingdom of God. Every nation, kindred and tongue lives within the borders of America, but we have not related to each other as we should.

White supremacy, Black inferiority, money and the lack of it, class—all of these divisions have kept the American people from realizing their true greatness. Don't think that America cannot fall. The Romans thought that. The Babylonians thought that. But no nation, I don't care how powerful it is, can remain when their evil outweighs their good. America can go down, but if we would sing this new song, if we would have a change of mind and heart where we could be lifted beyond color, race, sex or nationality to see spirit as the common denominator that will bind human beings together, if we can do that, then we will sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth will be seen because we in America set a new tone called, The Atonement.

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