BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: JUN 30, 2015 – 8:50:57 AM
The Official Announcement of the 20th Anniversary Gathering of the Million Man March
[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s June 24, 2015 address at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C., during the press conference to officially announce “Justice Or Else!” the 20th Anniversary of The Million Man March gathering being held in Washington, D.C. October 10, 2015.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
To my dear brother friend and pastor, the Reverend Dr. Willie Wilson; to Reverend William H. Lamar, the pastor of this great and significant and holy place, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church; to my brother who prayed such a great prayer that set the tone; and to my sister Tamika Mallory and her beautiful remarks, and to my brother Reverend Jamal Bryant, I couldn’t have had a better opening.
You know we’re in a safe place when elders can look at those younger, and see and feel the fire of their commitment to a cause bigger than denominations, bigger than themselves.
‘What is The Will of God for us today?’ History meeting with the circumstances of Present Time
So much wonderful work has been said and done; but to be here, in this church, and to stand in this place where so many great ones have stood. To think that Frederick Douglass stood here, who was one of our greatest orators of yesterday and today … and to think that in the sister church, Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston, South Carolina where Denmark Vesey was organizing a revolt against tyranny, against slavery and injustice—where he was betrayed by negroes who fear being found out that they stand for justice: He was murdered, hung; and all those with him, tortured. It is said that every imaginable torture was given to our brothers and ancestors in order that they would give up all of those who were with him. And here we stand today, on their shoulders, with the thought and the spirit in mind that we will not betray our ancestors. We don’t just speak for the living, we speak for the dead who cannot today speak, but want their children to speak on their behalf.
These are not the times for weak people, cowardly people—my brother Jamal spoke perfectly correct. And even if you are cowards: You’re in the right place to find your manhood again.
There is nothing wrong with being afraid. Moses was terrified when he was called, out of that burning bush, by God, and given an assignment to go to Pharaoh who mastered the people and was the most powerful of his day. God gave him an assignment to give a message to Pharaoh (and he had just killed a man, and he didn’t want Pharaoh to remind him of what he had done); he was a little afraid, so he asked God, “Send my brother Aaron with me”—and the God had to chide him (because he was not brilliant of speech). But God said to him: “Who made your mouth? If you speak what I give you to speak, The Power of My Will will back your speech. But if you want Aaron, I’ll give him to you; not out of weakness, but out of the fact that he will be your helper.”
I thank Almighty God Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who, when I first heard him, I was critical [of his way of speaking]; because I studied English and Latin in school, and I knew “verb and subject agreement”—and he was breaking up the language pretty good. I looked down on him [from the balcony where I was seated] and said, “Man! This man can’t speak.” He looked right up in my face, and he said: “Brother, I didn’t get a chance to get that mighty fine education that you got,” he said, “When I got there, the school door was closing.” He said, “But you don’t pay no attention to ‘how’ I’m saying it, you pay attention to ‘what’ I’m saying, then you take it, and put it in that fine language that you know—but only try and understand what I am saying.” I ducked back, because I thought “Was he reading my mind, or something?”
Well, 60 years later, I am doing exactly what he told me to do on that very day. I was mentored by Brother Malcolm; and in my elocution, you can hear some of Brother Malcolm. And in the spiritual dynamics of my knowledge of Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings, and the scriptures, you can hear some of Dr. King. Both of these men were assassinated at 39 years of age. I have been blessed to live twice as long in years as Brother Malcolm, twice as long as Dr. King; and I have had a chance to grow, to evolve, to mature, in The Word of God. And things that you thought when you were young, full of zeal—but not according to wisdom; things that Paul said, “When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Brother Malcolm had a chance to evolve to a point, and then death put a period to his testament. Martin Luther King was not murdered because he had a “dream,” he was murdered because his dream had become a nightmare; Martin Luther King was evolving toward a goal—and death put a period to his testament. This is why we have asked all the young people who will come to Washington on 10.10.15 to study the last two years of Dr. King’s life.
When Dr. King met with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad on February 24, 1966, they talked; two brothers from Georgia … And when you see the picture of Dr. King and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad conversing, you could see the beauty of submission in Dr. King, and the beauty of humility of a master teacher talking to absolutely a master preacher. …
We are at a place now where history is meeting with the circumstances of the time to create events that will lead us to the destiny that God determined. The question is: “What is The Will of God for us today?”
In this holy place, my brother reverends and the congregation say practically every Sunday “The Lord’s Prayer.” When the disciples were with the master, they asked him: “Lord, teach us how to pray.” Prayer is very, very important. And when he answered them, he said: “Pray on this wise: Our Father… .” Well, that’s too “heavy,” because if we marvel at what God did for Jesus—He made Jesus into Himself—then I just want you to think with me on how God took a man born in a manger out of Nazareth, where not too many good things had come out of (like the ’hood), but He raised him up, and he was confounding the wise at 12 years of age. He was destined to meet God.
When we say “meeting,” as in “I’m having a meeting with somebody,” you meet and you come face-to-face—but that doesn’t mean you become “one” in mind. So the Qur’an warns us that we all have “a meeting with God,” and we should not reject that meeting with Him; but “meeting with God” doesn’t mean “how are You doing, God?” “Meeting with God” means that we in His Presence, or out of His Presence, become one with Him.
‘Symbol and no substance’
Taking down the Confederate flag while suffering under the American flag
What kind of “mind” did you bring in this church today? Whose mind is this that you have Mr. Jones, Miss Culpepper, Mr. Black, Mr. White, Mr. Green—names after something that God created? But, you are His direct descendant, why don’t you know His Name? Why don’t you wear His Name? But you wear the names of your former slave masters. That’s why you can put on the back of your collar “Made in America.” But America didn’t make “men” out of Black men. America made niggas in America, less than human beings—and that we have to reject today. That’s why he does not respect us, because he made us into himself.
He took away our parents during slavery. They weren’t allowed to pass on to us the mother tongue, that’s why you speak English, but you’re not an Englishman. And you don’t wear African names. If a Chinese man came in here, and you said, “So, what is your name?” “My name Tim McGillicutty.” You would say, “What kind of ‘Chinaman’ is this?” Well, if a Yellow Man looks funny with a White man’s name, what do you think about a Black person who does not know that he is a slave, wearing the name of a former slave master, and honoring that name as though that name is your name? So, that means you’re still a slave.
Why did our beloved Brother Richard Allen, the founder of Metropolitan A.M.E., break from The Methodist Church? A noble brother; but he wasn’t being treated right by White Methodists. And if you’re a Baptist, you were never “First” Baptist—you were “Second Baptist,” like you’re a second class citizen. [To the press]: Write that down. I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag—we need to put the American flag down, because we’ve caught as much hell under that as the Confederate flag!
Who are we fighting today? It’s the people that carry the American flag! What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the Non-Justice Department? What flag flies over the White House, where a Black man lives that’s called “nigga,” “nigga,” “nigga” every day? What about that flag? So every time we die they give us a “symbol,” no substance! We died on Edmund Pettis Bridge under that flag; we fought in wars under that flag, and came back and were hung and murdered and brutalized, under that flag. So don’t give us a “symbol” (by telling us): “Well, now we’re going to pull the flag down”—that’s as easy as it is pulling your pants down. When you have to answer a call to nature, you pull your pants down; that’s easy. Pull a flag down, and we’re supposed to go away satisfied?
See, you don’t know what justice looks like if somebody can pull a flag down and you are happy as though they did something. We want justice under that American flag—or what the hell is the use of us paying allegiance to a flag under which we get no justice?
God said He was going to choose a foolish people to be His people. … He said, “I’m going to take the things which are naught to bring to naught the things which are; I’m going to take the bottom rail and I’m going to bring it to the top, and thou shalt no more be the tail, thou shalt be the head.” The head of what? The despised and the rejected stone becomes the head stone of the corner. That’s why God has called you: You are not righteous, but you’re the right material. He said, “I didn’t choose you with silver and gold, I chose you out of the furnace of affliction.”
The Bible said after 400 years that the seed of Abraham would be in bondage, God said “I will come.” That’s powerful. You mean our suffering brought God out of His hiding place? He’s coming, He’s going to visit with us, and choose us to be His own. We’re all wrapped up with Pharaoh now, and we’re in love with Pharaoh’s wealth. So just as Moses had to pray for the destruction of Pharaoh’s wealth: The dollar is just about gone.
So, he could give us money (like my brother Jamal said), and I guess we’ll take it … And as I look at this money, “Georgie” on a $1 bill: This is paper. This is not real wealth, this has been given the power of the value of it in terms of what we think about it, because it really doesn’t have any value. This is a “Promissory Note,” when it used to be a “Silver Certificate” that you could go to a bank and it would say “pay on demand $1 in silver.” Today it isn’t worth a $1, or a silver $1; this may be worth 9 cents, or 10 cents.
But the White man likes his face: So if we gathered a lot of his faces on paper, we could go to him and say, “I know that America is for sale, and I want to buy The Delta” where White folks got rich off of slave labor and the growing of cotton. All we need to do is take the money, buy the land, and start producing again a Black Economic Foundation. “The Kingdom” is what God wants us to build—not this world.
A lesson from Dr. King on how to ‘redistribute the pain’
Our people need justice, and they need leaders that will give their lives to represent their love for God and their love for His Christ. If you look in the Bible, “The Kingdom of God” is likened unto a man sowing seeds. There are other beautiful parables that the master gave, such as The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed: Something so infinitesimally small, but when you plant it and it grows into a tree, he says “every bird could find refuge under its branches.” Well, why would God make a parable of The Kingdom being like a tree? Like a seed? Like a man going around sowing seeds? That’s how The Kingdom starts, reverend. It starts with a man; and that man was Jesus, who was dropping seeds. Everywhere he went, he dropped seeds: Some took it in their heart, but the birds came and ate the seed; others, the seed fell on stony ground—the cares of the world ate it up. But the other one, when it fell on good soil, that person began building The Kingdom, starting with his church. Starting with his house, he began spreading the truth. And when people come together in righteousness, and spread righteousness, then you see the seeds of The Kingdom beginning to build.
In the Book of Daniel, Chapter 2, the scripture teaches there was “a stone hewn out of a mountain without hands.” This doesn’t mean an actual stone; “the mountain” represents America. Inside America is a people that God wants, and a leader that He has to call out of the mountain! And it’s a stone, hewn out of the mountain—but no hand was involved; and as it rolled down the mountain it began picking up mass, and it hit a great statue with a head of gold and a breastplate of silver; legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with miry clay. But when that stone hit the idol and knocked it down, the stone kept on growing until it became a mountain and filled the Earth.
This is where we are today. This is where we are: God doesn’t want you to integrate into this. He’s come to take this down. That’s why you see Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White marching with you, that’s “Joseph’s coat of many colors”—but they are to drape somebody Black! In Mecca you have a black stone: That’s a sign. It’s not the real thing, the real thing is a man, a human being black, brownish red in color; but He is The Cornerstone! It’s all about you.
And God is fighting for you! He’s after you. So you sing the song “My God, He calls me, He calls me by the thunder, I hear Him call within my soul. I ain’t got long to stay here…”—“stay here” where? In the whore house! In the casino! In the drug house! He’s calling you; He’s whipping on you now! You don’t have long to stay in a fruitless church… You have to come up now, to be what God wants you to be! …
When you see the picture of Master Fard Muhammad [the teacher of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad]: If we hated White people, we wouldn’t go near Him, because He looked like a White man. “What?” Yes. He had Black father and a White mother. “What?” God’s Coming is skill and wisdom. He said He “came in sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh”; He came, look at this, now “as a thief in the night.” The thief has been White all the time! That’s what Dr. King said: “These are robbers and thieves.”
I met with rapper Young Thug the other day; we had a talk together. He’s not a real thug. He is a beautiful Black man. But the real thug: He doesn’t rob banks—he robs countries of their banks. He’s a real thug! He’s a real criminal! Write that down … The real “thug” and the real “criminal” are those that took us out of Africa and dropped us in America, and turned us inside out. That’s a criminal act; it’s called kidnapping, it’s called murder, it’s called robbery—every crime you could think of. …
And that snake—coiled snake—crawled into the church … But here is the problem: At the end of the service, according to those that were left to tell the story, he (Dylann Roof) pulled out a weapon, started shooting, then reloaded—and none of us attacked that skunk and put him in the ground.
Now there’s something wrong with that picture. Because just as the Bible calls us “sheep that are led to the slaughter”: See, the sheep will lie down and let the wolf eat it. So they didn’t have a shepherd, because the first one he killed was the reverend. But there was a young man there; that if he had any training at all, and knew something about the enemy at all, he would have rushed that skunk. … The enemy has not repented! Somebody has to take up the cry for justice! Nine of our brothers and sisters lie dead. … White folks march with you because they don’t want you upsetting the city. They don’t give a damn about the “Nine.”
When they arrested that skunk … When they arrested him, they took him to Burger King. Now I’ll be damned. The man just killed nine human beings … and you know what they were saying? “You did a good job. You did a good job: You killed all them niggas!” You think they were sympathetic? If they were sympathetic with us, they would have snatched him, put him in chains, had the gun on him …
You say, “Farrakhan, you shouldn’t talk like that.” Let me—let me just make you very understanding: I stand up for the flag, but I will not pledge allegiance to it! I give my allegiance to The God Who created me—I give my all to my Creator; and I respect that flag as it’s the flag of an independent nation—that’s what I want to be, under my own flag—in a land of our own!
Dr. King, the night before he was assassinated, he called us to a duty that they never talk about since his death. He called us to the duty of “re-distributing pain”: Pain for the lack of justice; pain for the lack of fair dealing. Pain…
And since we are suffering, and we don’t have any guns to go up against this (injustice, tyranny), then through our unity, and the taking back of $1.3 trillion of Black spending power in America: It will be three months from October 10th that you’re going to be in Christmas? Let’s redistribute the pain. From “Black Friday”—the day after Thanksgiving when you run to the store to spend your money, making American business successful for the whole year with what we spend—to December 25th (Christmas), suppose we all make an agreement that this year we’re going to keep our dollars in our pocket? This year, we’re not going into debt just to make America happy! This year, we’re going to honor Christ as he should be honored.
Let’s come home. Let’s take this Christmas and make it a real honor to Jesus. Even though he wasn’t born on December 25th, let’s not worry about that; but if you believe that Jesus was born on that day (that’s my point): Then you don’t honor him, being drunk. You don’t honor him, high. You don’t honor him, chasing women, or men. You honor him not buy spending your money that you don’t have, and going into debt—and then letting the big fat White man from the North Pole push Jesus to the curb? Bring Jesus home. Go to church the night before, and honor him in song, honor him with praise, and then let your talent be a praise of God; and then the next day, instead of a Christmas tree—which is a heathen practice—you gather your children around the table, and let’s talk about Christ.
Talk about Christ, “the good shepherd.” Talk about him, “the true vine.” Talk about him who said, “I am the resurrection and the life, even though you are dead if you believe in me yet shall you live again.” And that isn’t talking about any bodies in the cemetery. That is talking about a man with a Word in his mouth that can raise you from the condition that you’re in.
On ‘10.10.15’ let’s show the world Our Unity
I thank my brother, Pastor Wilson, for standing by my side and inviting me to his church—and lost nearly half his members when he brought a Muslim into his church. But we’ve been together, and we are together… “Muslim-Christian Unity”: Let’s show them overseas that we are the real Children of Abraham, and we are embracing each other in the love of God and His prophets.
Twenty years ago, I knew that the government had planned a war on our young people. And I went to major cities calling on our people, our men, and the result was an idea to bring Black men to Washington. It would never have happened if it wasn’t for the mother of that movement. What is her name? Mother Dorothy Height. It would never have happened if I didn’t go to the office of my brother, the mayor of this city, Mayor Marion Barry, and his wife, Sister Cora Masters Barry, and a team of dedicated Christians, made that march successful. On the stage was Betty Shabazz; may Allah be pleased with her. On that stage was Maya Angelou, may God be pleased with her. On that stage was Mother Rosa Parks, may God be pleased with her. And there were Brother Malcolm’s daughters, two of them; and women were there. Queen Mother Moore: She was there; but she’s gone on now.
And here we are today, now: This is the time that our people must see our unity, Muslims and Christians together as one. As “one”! As one … So, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, all of the young giants: We’re going to match you with young giants from the Nation of Islam; they’re going to be standing with Brother Jamal, Brother Nuri, Brother Carlos … And we have some powerful young women: Like Miss Mallory and Miss Perez who are going to stand together in unity to bring about “Justice Or Else!” so will our Native American family (organized by) Sister YoNasDa (daughter of the late Wauneta Lonewolf) … The Black and The Red, together. The Black, the Red and the Brown, together. The Black, the Red, the Brown—yes, and White—who know that Black Lives Matter; who understand that when you come and join us, don’t say “All Lives Matter” to change the chant and thereby weaken it.
Yes, “All Lives Matter.” But the only reason you are here is because it’s Black lives that are being slaughtered. And Black Life is the mother and the father of your life; so when you come to honor Black Lives that matter, then you are saying “All Lives Matter” because all came from The Black Man and Woman.