Minister Louis Farrakhan

Time must dictate our agenda!

By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: May 13, 2010 - 11:39:11 PM

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[Editor's note: The following text is excerpted from a message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on April 23, 1989 at the African American Summit in New Orleans, La.]

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

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
In the Holy Qur'an, in the 103rd chapter, called “Al-Asr,” meaning “The Time,” it reads: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Consider the time, for by the time surely man is in loss, except those who believe and do good, and enjoin one another to Truth, and enjoin one another to patience.”

Time dictates agenda. When you know the time, you know what must be done. What must be done is the agenda. It is predicated upon a good understanding of the time. If you don't know the time, or do not believe in the understanding given of the time, then you will not adopt the right agenda. And if you do not adopt the right agenda, then surely man is in loss.

We have been having conferences, after conferences, after conferences, but these conferences have not produced an agenda that has lessened the suffering of our people. Why? It is because we have failed to understand the time and the requirements of the time; or we know the time, we understand the time, but are too cowardly to move according to the requirements of the time. “Man is in loss, except those who believe and do good.” We all want to do good, but good is not good for the sake of good; good is good when it is appropriate, proper, in accord with time and the requirements of time and brings about a good result.

The word “Asr” represents time, but a particular time. Asr is the afternoon prayer of the Muslims. It comes between the time of the zenith of the sun and the setting of the sun. “By the time, surely man is in loss.” We are now in the setting sun of western civilization. The sun is going down, and darkness is coming upon us. If we are not prepared to move through the setting of one world's reality and the dawn of a new world's reality, we will lose by going down with that which is going down, and refusing to go up with that which time has said has come.

The main problems in the world that the western world has rooted itself in are racism, sexism, materialism and a kind of poisonous nationalism. If the sun is setting, it is setting on racism, on sexism, on this sick materialism without any spiritual or moral development. It is setting on nationalism that only makes us concerned with our own nation, but not concerned with the family of nations.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that this world was given 6,000 years to rule; its time is up. Caucasian rule is being challenged today by the rise of our Brown brothers in Japan. They have challenged the West successfully and they are number one in mathematics, number one in science, number one in economics. The Koreans are on the rise, the Chinese are on the rise, and the sons and daughters of Africa are beginning to move now.

What are you challenging? What are you moving towards? We are moving against White world supremacy; we are moving against Black inferiority, to assert ourselves as the dawn of a new day comes. The new day is dawning on us, therefore, we have to have a new activity, a new agenda that fits us out for the 21st century, which will see imperialism on its way out, colonialism and all of its forms being destroyed and racism being obliterated, wiped out totally. But, in order to come alive to the dictates of the time, we have to know who we are and where we fit in the scheme of things. Time dictates agenda.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that we, the Black people of America, are written of in the scriptures of the Bible from one cover to another; that we were prophesied to go into bondage to a strange people and nation for 400 years. Once those 400 years are up, God says He would come and introduce something different. A new relationship would have to be made, for the slave would no longer be a slave. The slave would have to think and act and take responsibility of free people. And that is the problem—that we say we are free, but we do not think and act like a free people.

I want to read something to you from a column by a writer that appeared in The Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1988. It reads: “Two decades ago, a presidential commission, unceremoniously dubbed Lyndon B. Johnson's Riot Commission, warned that America was moving towards two separate societies, one Black and one White.” Do you remember the Kerner Commission? “Today the question remains,” the writer continues, and asks, “Has anything really changed?” The answer is no, according to the writer, not nearly enough. “A few months ago, a new panel made up of some of the original commission members renewed the Kerner Commission warnings and added that America is torn apart by quiet riots, such as unemployment, poverty, crime, housing, school segregation. The 1988 panel reported that the only major change is that now we are not moving towards two separate societies, but there has now become two separate societies, one Black and Hispanic, and the other White.”


According to demographers, if the plummeting birth rate of White people in America continues, in a few years it will reach zero population growth, which means that for every birth there is a death. As for Black, Latino and Native Americans, if their present birth rate continues, by the year 2080, the demographers say, Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans will conceivably be 50 percent or more of the U.S. population. Simultaneously, America is losing control of her borders, resulting in a flood of illegal aliens pouring into the United States.

With our increased birth rate, the Black man and woman can actually breed ourselves into power. If you add to this the intensity of the immigration flow of dark people into the United States, and then realize that any degree of unity between Black, Latino and Native American people will thrust us into power in this country, in less than a century, we could control Congress—both houses.

But if you were a racist sitting in the corner of the basement of the White House, in what is called a “situation room,” dealing with a potential situation, if you were of the mentality of the growing conservative anti-Black, anti-poor, anti-Latino and Native American mood in this country, what directives would you give to those who think as you think? And what steps would you take to insure that this country does not fall into the hands of the children of slaves, Native Americans and Mexicans?

Certainly, there could not be public debate on what steps to take. Therefore, America could not make public policy. But I firmly believe that the National Security Council of the United States and the president, as well as former presidents, have had this question under serious consideration and have quietly formulated a policy to deal with this problem. The time says the Black man and dark people all over the world are on the rise. The time says that White world supremacy is on the way out. So time has dictated their agenda. Time must now dictate our agenda.

We do not bring drugs into this country. Our children are not prone to be criminals. So why has such criminality become the order of the day in the Black community? How did the gangs get Uzis? Who is it that views our being in the cities of America and taking control of the cities as a threat? Their agenda says move the Blacks out of the cities; take control of the cities by whatever means necessary.

By what means shall you take control, since religion is no longer effective in controlling our youth, since education is no longer effective in controlling our youth? Put this dangerous cocaine derivative called “crack” in the hands of the youth. Give them a chance to sell death to one another.

I say that our compassion has to go beyond our political position. We cannot equate an appointed position in government or an elected office in government as equal to solving the problems of the masses of our people. We cannot say we are making progress when our own community is turning on itself and we now have become the number one destroyers of one another. The responsibility of knowledge is not to get money—though money should attend our growth into knowledge; success, materially, should attend our growth into knowledge—the purpose for knowledge is to prepare us to serve that which will out live us, which is the people. The masses of the people will always be here, but we have come and will soon go, but will our contribution be toward the onward struggle of our people?

We need to develop a proper agenda, not just an African American or Black agenda that serves a few persons, politically, who aspire to go here or there. We must stop this vanity. We must stop this self-seeking. We must ache when our little Brother in the ghetto aches; we must pain when the mother cries out for justice; we must see after the needs of our people.

Jesus made a parable where he told his disciples that when they go down to the well, they would see an ass and a colt tied. He told them, “Loose the ass and the colt and bring them unto me.” He said, “If any man says anything to you, tell them the Lord has need of them.”

In this instruction to his disciples, Jesus applies the principle of use. The Black man in America is comparable to the donkey that is tied. He is no longer useful to the slave master's children, but the cord of ownership is still on his neck. We are coming to cut the cord that ties you to an evil master and telling you that the Lord has need of you. He (Lord) will vex a great nation with a foolish people. He will take the things that are weak to confound the things that are mighty, and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen.

The future is bright. The future is going to be all right if we act in accord with the time. What time is it? Rhetorically, you use to say “nation time.” But substantively, it is time for us to get out of a slave mode and get into the mode of a free man. It's time to come to birth in a new mentality and to put to death an old slave mind.

It's time to be born a new person, and to die as the old Negro. It's time to come together as a family, not being divided Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Church of God in Christ, Muslim, Buddhist. Not being divided by Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. We are a family and we need to come together in unity.