Language shifts created divisions among Black people

By News | Last updated: Jun 30, 2020 - 1:27:02 AM

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[Editor’s Note: This article was published online on February 17, 2005.]

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: Well, the more I thought on why he did what he did—and since he knew the Nation was going to fall and had told me that it would—then there’s nothing that those professionals or intellectuals could do to save it anyway. So, he was priming me for the future when I would one day make a call to the intellectuals and they would respond positively to help me build and save a Nation.

So the other night, knowing that I’m coming here [to Phoenix] and not wanting to leave the city of Chicago without calling the movers and shakers of that city to sit down with me to share with them why I felt the time was right for the remobilizing of the Million Man MarchTM—and although I knew it was short notice—I made a call. Within 48 hours, those men and women stopped what they were doing to answer that call. When I looked out at that Salaam and at the type of people who were there—I mean these were powerful men and women—I was moved that they all responded.

That meant and bore witness to me that, if I made the call, the intellectual community would respond to help save a Nation and to help build a Nation. The talent is here. Now God, through the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, has put me in a position to make that call, and scholars will answer from all over the world. This is wonderful.

Somebody even mentioned the word “pinnacle”—this third one—like the first, The Million Man MarchTM, The Million Family March and this third one, they felt that this would be the one that triggers whatever it’s going to trigger.

You remember The New Testament says that when Lazarus responded, it triggered something among those of the Sanhedrin. The first time, in ’95, they didn’t think it would happen. They were caught by surprise, in a sense.

I was brought some polling information, put out by CNN, USA Today and the Gallop Poll, around October 6th or 7th, 1995. They said “Reverend Farrakhan may very well get his million men from the polls that we have taken.” But they didn’t publish that at that time. But they had gone out, when the men had gathered, and they had figured at least a million, too. Isn’t that something?


Minister Farrakhan and I had to stop, but agreed to return to this subject, be it the will of Allah.

Then, on December 20, 2004, I asked Minister Farrakhan: “A few days ago, we touched on the talks that you made in the last few weeks on the East Coast, your increased or deeper study of the Word [of God] combined with your being alert to the news of developments and your recognition of the increased subtlety of the enemy’s tricks, these things combined—with Allah’s guidance—enabled you to speak to these audiences, and caused the Brothers and Sisters who are studied to see more of that which they didn’t see just before you made this or that point. Please, let’s go back to that.

Minister Farrakhan:

Yes. In New York City, I took time with a friend, Gil Noble, with whom I spoke privately, and later with the leaders, to show them how language is used to change perceptions of our people and the realities of what we’re looking at.

I talked about how the word “Negro” was used and how limited that term was and how the Honorable Elijah Muhammad used the term “Black” in such a way that it developed in us a body and the nervous system that connected us to our people all over the world.

So that when something was done in the Congo years ago, in the killing of Patrice Lamumba, there was a demonstration by Black people at the UN. When Martin Luther King was murdered, 100 cities were set on fire because we had developed a nervous system that allowed us to feel the pain of one another through the language that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad used.

So the enemy stepped up his studies of us. He wanted to know what was it and who was the leader that ignited us to burn up 100 cities when all of the people that were burning the cities were not followers of Martin Luther King Jr.

They concluded that it wasn’t a specific person that was causing this, as much as it was the way the media was used. It had given us, as a people, one shared attitude toward White people and toward what we called “the establishment.”

These attitudes hardened into a system of belief that all of us shared, no matter where we were in America—a belief about police; a belief about government; a belief about White people—that was very real. That attitude and belief grew into ideology—a common idea—that all of us shared. We had become a national community, even though we were in different groups; different churches and mosques, etc, there was something that bound us altogether.

When the enemy saw that television had served that purpose and the name “Black Brother and Sister” had caused us to see ourselves as kin to people of color all over the world, they decided after the assassinations of Malcolm (X) and Martin (Luther King Jr.) and the departure of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, they had to change language.

They started that by again using the term “minority.” Once we accepted the terminology, “minority,” a certain frame of mind came with accepting that language.

The fact that we are the “majority” was destroyed. Then, we became the “disadvantaged.” Then, we became “the largest minority in America.” Then, we became “African Americans” and there we have stayed—“minority, disadvantaged, African Americans.”

But what happened to us as a result of accepting that language? It killed the nervous system that the language of Blackness created. Then, every television show with Black as an adjective describing it, such as “Black News” in New York; “Black Journal,” “Black Star” program in Baltimore, every city had something “Black” as a description of the main noun, and so “Black Journal” became “Tony’s Journal;” and “Black News” was eventually taken off the air. “Black Star” was gone. Now, you do not have any program anywhere on television with the name “Black” in front of it.

So, the subtlety of the enemy, in deceiving us, was that he knew the value of language and that, if you shift the language, you shift perceptions. What he did was create the death of our nervous system that connected us as a family. Then, we could become tribes and kill one another and not feel the pain of our Brothers in the Caribbean, our Brothers in Brazil or our Brothers in Africa.

We began to be less and less global and more and more narrow in our focus, to be narrower right down to gang and tribes in terms of denomination and organization, and kill each other throughout America and not really feel the pain.


More, next issue, Allah willing, on how Minister Farrakhan works to help the Original People of America become sufficiently united to be saved.