BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: AUG 5, 2007 – 12:59:00 PM
[Editor’s note: The following article is based on a message delivered by Minister Farrakhan on December 11, 2004 to the Bloods and the Crips in Newark, New Jersey. This message is not only relevant to the Bloods and Crips, but also to all of the Black and Latino street organizations throughout the cities of America.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Above all today, I am honored to be in the presence of my young brothers, the Bloods and the Crips. I am very grateful to the leadership and those who follow that leadership who have tried their best to produce peace in the streets of Newark, New Jersey. There are too many mothers and grandmothers grieving because, in the natural sequence of things, parents should die before their children, having built a platform for them to stand on.
But circumstances in America and the world are such that children are dying before their mothers and grandmothers. Seeing a mother in a funeral parlor, grieving over her son who was shot down through the violence in the streets, feeling the pain of these mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, gives way to great joy, knowing that you are making the effort to bring peace to the streets that you now control, to a degree.
Some of you were stopped by police on your way here, harassed for nothing but the fact that you are organized. An unwritten law among the slave masters of our fathers and among the children of the slave masters today is that Black people must never be allowed to organize. That frightens the government. Whenever there are Bloods, Crips, Black Gangster Disciples, El Rukns, or the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party or anybody that sees the value of coming together as an organized unit, you become dangerous.
Brothers, the best greeting that we could give is “peace.” I offer you peace and you offered me peace in return, meaning that from my lips and hands, you have nothing to fear, because peace is what I have in my heart for you, and I hope you have peace in your heart for me. So, we offer each other peace.
Although you made a peace treaty, you need to understand the depth of what peace means. Peace means that I love for you what I love for myself. Peace means that I’ll never go behind your back and talk about you, but if there’s something in me that I want to say to you, I will talk directly to you, brother to brother, man to man, sister to sister. Backbiting breaks peace; slander breaks peace; gossip and rumors break peace.
The moment you made peace, some people were not happy. The people who should have been happy about your peace were very disturbed about it. Why should people in government become disturbed that you made peace in the street? The police should have been the first to say, “This is good. It makes our job easier.” Instead of certain members of the police and city administration becoming happy about your peace, they immediately tried to break the peace.
We have become tribes and clans. Crip is a tribe. Blood is a tribe. Baptist is a tribe. Methodist is a tribe. Catholic is a tribe. Sunni Muslim is a tribe. Ahmadiya Muslim is a tribe. Nation of Islam is a tribe. As long as we think like tribes, the enemy—who put Shoshani against Navajo, against Hopi, against Cree—can keep you fighting each other, until a leader comes along who makes you able to see each other as one people and not a tribe. Whoever has the wisdom to break down the barriers that separate us from each other becomes the most dangerous individual to the aim of White people, which is to dominate the people of color of our planet.
When we practice peace, there has to be certain laws that we follow in order to bring peace. I cannot steal from you, yet offer you peace. I cannot come in your house, after your sister and desecrate your family, yet offer you peace. I cannot know that you are married and want your wife, yet offer you peace. I cannot sell drugs to destroy your household, yet offer you peace. If we mean peace—because there is too much hypocrisy around the word “peace”—then what supports our peace has to be the principle, “I treat you like I want you to treat me.” This is a code of righteous conduct. Peace with a righteous code supporting it produces love.
The Crips and the Bloods, if you do not love each other, then you will not feel the pain of your Brother when he is hurt. When you hear that a Crip was shot, or a Blood was shot, why does it send shockwaves through all the Bloods of that group or set, or all the Crips of that set? You tell yourself, “We must take revenge because we feel the pain of the hurt of one of our members.” But instead of Bloods feeling the pain of only Bloods, or Crips feeling the pain of only Crips, suppose Crips feel the pain of Bloods and Bloods feel the pain of Crips. Then, you would know that we are becoming a family now—a real family.
It is similar to our bodies. If someone steps on your toe, your toe does not speak, it is your mouth that opens in pain, because there is a connection between your mouth and your toe through a nervous system. The enemy does not want a replication of a nervous system developed among us, as a people, that when one of us aches, all of us feel that pain. When we are connected like that, we will stop the enemy’s evil treatment of us all over the country. You will not have to ask him to stop police brutality, we will stop it ourselves when we feel each others’ pain.
But now, if somebody can kill our Christian family and we, as Muslims, do not feel their pain, then we are disconnected. If somebody can hang one of our Brothers in Georgia and we read about it in Newark, but do not feel the pain, then we are not tied to each other. In the ’60s, we could not watch television in Newark and see dogs and firehoses aimed at Black people in Alabama and Mississippi, and not feel the pain. That’s why when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot down, 100 cities were set on fire because of rioting in the streets.
You may not realize that part of the strategy of the government is to put you all against each other. If the enemy sees you trying to organize, he will send people to organize you. He says, “You have a spirit to come together, but I am going to make sure that whoever leads you is my man.” This is the way the enemy thinks. He always sets up a counterweight or a countermovement.
Fifteen years ago, when the Berlin Wall was torn down because East and West Germany decided to be one Germany, many of the CIA operatives working in Eastern Europe were brought back to the United States and assigned to gangs.
What was the aim of the government? Why do you think the only industry thriving today is the industry of prisons? Why do you think prisons are now on the stock market? People are investing in the prospect of Blacks and Latinos filling the jails.
Do you know that in the 13th Amendment, which says that slavery is abolished, there is a clause that many do not mention, that states, “except that when you are charged with a crime.” They are locking up our Brothers and Sisters all over the country, and when you are incarcerated, you lose your citizenship. This is a clever plan of the enemy. The Latino family is growing, so if Black gangs get tired of fighting each other, the enemy will produce another fight for you. They urge you on, saying “The Latinos are growing in power and you have to do something about that.” So, all of a sudden now, you find Black Brothers fighting their Latino Brothers. You all are being played against each other to somebody else’s benefit. When the police stopped you today, they asked each other if they had a warrant on any of you. You call it harassment, but it is also another means of placing leaders behind bars, where they can make a punk out of you.
When some of you are sent to prison, you begin to engage in sex with other men. When you come out of jail, you start living on the “down low”—you are in a relationship with a woman by day, and another man by night. You claim to be a heterosexual, while living a secret gay lifestyle. Most of our women who contract HIV/AIDS were infected with the virus during a heterosexual relationship with a man. And now, Black women are dying from AIDS more than any other group. Can you not see that the enemy is plotting our destruction and we are playing into his hands by destroying one another?
The government wants you killing each other because it makes its job easier. In every major city in America, and even minor cities, who is filling up the funeral parlors? It is our young Brothers age 18 to 35, either killed by AIDS, gunshot wounds, drug overdose or suicide. This is happening all over the country, Brothers, and it is part of a plot to deprive you of your future.
What is your future that the enemy knows, but you do not know? Do you think that you were born to be nothing, to walk the streets, smoke dope, have sex, party, dance, rap and die? Do you think that is what Allah (God) intends for you, the children of slaves who have suffered the worst slavery of any people in the annals of history? What kind of God would want that for you?
In the Bible, God tells Abraham, “Know of a surety that your seed, your offspring will be a stranger in a strange land and they are going to be afflicted in that land for 400 years. But after that time, I will come, and I will judge that nation which they shall serve, and afterward shall they come out with great substance and go to their father in peace and be buried in a good old age”—not buried as a young man. Then, Moses is raised as a prophet from among the Children of Israel, who are suffering in bondage for 400 years. Allah (God) plagues Pharaoh and his people, takes the Children of Israel out of the country. He gives them a land of their own—not a piece of sky, but people were on the land who looked like giants to the Children of Israel. Allah (God) told the Children of Israel, “Go in and take the land.” But out of fear of facing the giants, their fathers said to God, Moses and Aaron, “You go in the land first and clean the giants out, then we will go.” So God said to the elders, “I am going to let you wander in the wilderness until you die out. Then, I will take your children and they will inhabit the Promised Land.”
Later in the Bible, in the Book of Deuteronomy, there is a prophecy, where God says He will raise the seed of Abraham who will be in a strange land among strange people, and He will also raise them up a prophet like unto Moses. But you do not need a man like Moses unless you have a wicked king like Pharaoh and a people in bondage like the Children of Israel. Once God raises that man like Moses, He says, “I will put My words in his mouth and he will speak unto them, all that I shall command him.” You may think this prophecy is referring to the Jews, but it is referring to Black people in America. Our fathers were brought to these shores 450 years ago, and this is a strange land and we have been like strangers in it and afflicted ever since we have been here.
Now, America sees the Judgment of God on her. Throughout the countries of the world, dislike is increasing for America. Anti-American sentiments are so bad now that they give travel advisories to Americans.: “Don’t go here. Don’t go there.” Americans even find it difficult to go to London, because the euro and the British pound weighs more than the American dollar. So, if you go to London, you have to spend a lot of money for little things that are much cheaper in America. The American dollar used to dominate the world economy, and if someone paid us, we would betray each other out of greed for money. I am warning those of you who think money is God, the wise economists are predicting that the dollar is going to collapse. After the dollar collapses, the government will collapse, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told me. Those who think that they have security in a dollar bill, rather than in God and the unity of their people, will cause blood to run in the streets.
The same bloodshed that is happening to the Palestinians by the Israelis will happen in America. The Palestinians have AK-47s, but the Israelis have helicopter gunships and jet planes flying over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, firing rockets, and killing Palestinian leaders. You have guns. Who do you think is giving you guns and why are they supplying you with guns? I am not your enemy, I only want to make you wise to what is about to happen. The enemy will send people to join the gangs in order to spread rumors about your Brother to cause you to fight and kill one another. These demons will even kill a policeman and then blame it on the gangs. You need to wake up and realize that you are dealing with a people with a mindset that is opposed to the thinking of God, you are not dealing with righteous people. The White man has not changed his treatment of us. A few of them will speak nice words to us but, in the end, we have not gained anything substantial as a people. Instead, we continue to live in hell, while the rich enjoy heaven at the poor’s expense.
The enemy joins the gangs, like he did most of the Black organizations, and places snitches around our leaders. They pretend like they are a Crip or a Blood, but really they are agents of the government of the United States of America. They give you an AK-47, a MAC 10, and other weapons that are rejects, and cannot shoot straight, so when you try to kill your Brother, a baby or somebody else innocent is killed instead as a result of your foolishness.
You are the people of God and God has come to take the bottom rail and bring it to the top, and make the last the first, and the least the most. But you are standing in the way of your own progress by your hatred of yourself and one another.
We, Muslims in the Nation of Islam, are not strangers to what you are facing on the streets. We are your Brothers, only we have been brought out of certain negative lifestyles with the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We were killers, pimps, hustlers, robbers, thieves and liars, but we are reformed now. But we still share the same spirit of brotherhood. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “My greatest followers are still in the street.” You are the best generation that we have ever produced. You are stronger than the generation we had in the ’60s, you only need guidance.
Why can’t these young people find something to do other than street life? When city governments set their budgets, why do they cut these young people out? Somebody has to speak up for them. How are White policemen able to harass them in a city that may be predominantly Black? Why can’t they become the policemen who patrol and protect their communities? Are they going to be told, “You’ve been to jail so you cannot patrol your community?” Time is out for playing games. If Black leaders call it like it is, the enemy will back up, but if they are too afraid to open their mouths to speak for the voiceless poor, they need to get out of their offices and jobs.
I am hurting for these young people because I see their beauty and I see how they are being betrayed. The only people that can deceive you are the people that you trust. We are living in a time of betrayal. How did Yasser Arafat get poisoned? How did Yuaschenko of the Ukraine get poisoned? How did Indira Ghandi get killed? It is always someone close. How did Jesus get betrayed? There was a Judas in the family. You must understand that, during the height of the political movements of the ’60s, the enemy had agents among us, pretending to be Muslims in the Nation of Islam, Socialists, Panthers, and even Christians in the church. They would say “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord” louder than everyone else, but they would also be reporting.
I am not trying to make you suspicious of one another, but I am trying to make you alert, because traps are being laid for the peacemakers. How can we mobilize the city for the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March—which saw members of rival gangs embrace as Brothers—until we bring some peace to the streets? You cannot ask the Brothers to put their guns down, if you do not have anything for them to do in return. You cannot give them lip service. Brothers have children; brothers need jobs and income.
That’s why I am concerned about these city budgets. Why can’t city governments set aside money to train these Brothers in building skills? There are many run-down, dilapidated properties. If these Brothers were partnered with licensed plumbers, electricians, brick masons and painters, so that they could learn the skill, they could rehab and fix up these old abandoned houses. After the city sells the rehab buildings, they could put the profits in a Crip or Blood treasure, in order to buy more houses and land to start building their communities. When you start building, you control the streets but, right now, you do not own any part of the streets that you control. What good is controlling a street if you do not own it? You have to own it, then you are justified in controlling what you own. Then, when you own it, you want it run right.
Then, the next stage in community development is a Crip and a Blood getting elected to the city council. I heard that one of the Brothers told a city councilman, “We decide whose sign goes up, whose sign goes down in the streets that we control.” But suppose it’s your picture going up? Suppose you vote your man into office, and when your man is in, he has to represent the people who do not have any representation. And if those people on the city council refuse to divide the budget fairly, vote them out of the council and elect somebody who has your concern at heart. Then, look at the budget for the city’s schools. You may think that I am getting carried away, but I do not want to see my Brothers lose the promise of God.
They are the leaders of today and tomorrow, but they must be protected so they can grow into the manifestation of their powers.