[On October 25, 2000, just prior to going into Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.,
Minister Louis Farrakhan was interviewed on Chicago Cable television on the Muhammad & Friends
broadcast by host Munir Muhammad. The following edited text is taken from a transcript of that broadcast]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
Munir Muhammad (MM): At the Million Family March you had people—religious leaders from all over the world and I think a number of heads of states—but I don’t recall the media the next day really talking about the level of humanity represented. Can you speak about the humanity that you were trying to show and relate that to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad having people from all over the world at his table?
Minister Louis Farrakhan (MLF): The wicked do not want to give the righteous credit. Farrakhan made a call and religious leaders from all over the world were present; former heads of state and government ambassadors were present; African presidents and Caribbean prime ministers sent messages to the Million Family March; and every race or creed or color in America was represented. But they want the world to say Farrakhan is not inclusive, Farrakhan is a hater, Farrakhan is anti-white and anti-Semitic and anti-American. How can you say that now in the face of what God allowed to come through the call made by Brother Farrakhan? … But to relate that to the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is the biggest joy, because at the table of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad leaders came from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East, the Chiefs of the Native American tribes. They met with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad but this was not known. Even White leaders came and met with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And he was always kind and gracious and wise in his dealings.
We must remember what Master Fard Muhammad said when He came. He said He came to place us on top of civilization. What does that mean, that we would just be the head of a little block club in Chicago or New York? … When you are placed on top of civilization you will have to have a superior knowledge, superior wisdom, a superior understanding, developing a superior culture and showing superior refinement and are free enough to pursue that which makes you happy. If we shall no more be the tail but the head and the bottom rail will come to the top, why should we get upset if Brother Farrakhan calls the world and the world comes and sits and listens? As they listened to our father in his home at his dining room table, they (now) listen to the student of our father in front of the whole world.
MM: Can you give some kind of message to those who don’t seem to understand the broader message?
MLF: If we represent the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and we saw the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as that man like Moses, then we know that Moses, ultimately, as well as Aaron, had to deal with Pharaoh. I believe that Moses and Aaron were a sign of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his Minister. I have a duty not only to guide and teach as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught our poor and suffering people, but I have a duty to warn Pharaoh. The Holy Qur’an teaches Moses and Aaron to speak a gentle word to Pharaoh, perhaps they may mind. It says that on a well-known day the magicians of Pharaoh submitted to the God of Aaron and Moses. And Pharaoh became so angry that he threatened that he would cut off their hands and feet on opposite sides because they submitted to the God of Aaron and Moses before he gave them permission. So many people came to the Million Family March before he gave them permission.
Our people should never be excited or upset because you see Black and Brown and Native Americans around Minister Farrakhan, or even Arabs or Asians or even poor Whites. If you really understand the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he said that Allah (God) wanted to unite us, the Lost and Found Members of the Aboriginal Nation of Black people, or the Nation of Islam, with our own kind. So at some point, there would be a joining on between us and the Muslim world.
So many of my nationalistic-thinking brothers and sisters may be upset with me because they think I’m abandoning the nationalist creed. But each of you that claim Brother Malcolm and say you love Brother Malcolm, you would have had no Brother Malcolm if there were not Islam. And Brother Malcolm started teaching Islam from a Black perspective. The movie on Malcolm X ends with Malcolm making a Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, which the Hon. Elijah Muhammad also made, which I have made, which many Muslims have made. And Malcolm said he saw on his Hajj people with eyes bluer than blue, their hair blonder than blond, their skin whiter than white, and he accepted them as his brothers (and sisters) in faith. How do you handle that? Surely, Brother Malcolm was assassinated but you can not deny that Brother Malcolm died as a Muslim and was buried as a Muslim. And even though he said his philosophy was Black nationalism as he broke away from the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, he said his religion was Islam. If your religion is Islam, then the book of Islam is the Qur’an. And the Qur’an is the book that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad always had with him everywhere he went.
In our lessons the question is asked, what is the population of the Original nation in the wilderness of North America, and all over the planet Earth? And the answer was 17 million, at that time, with the two million Indians making a total of 19 million in the wilderness of North America. Four billion, four hundred million all over the planet earth. So Farrakhan has been on the reservations. At some point there’s got to be a strategic alliance between the indigenous people of America and the Western Hemisphere and the Nation of Islam.
Then the Hon. Elijah Muhammad went down to Mexico, bought a home in Mexico, and settled a part of his family in Mexico. Who are the indigenous Mexican people? They are called Mexican or La Raza or Latino, but they’re really the Original people of this hemisphere. If you are going to say 17 million with the two million Indians, then what about the Mexicans? What about the people of Central and South America? Islam has to come to them, too. And now many Arab leaders are coming to me, saying, “Brother Farrakhan, we want you to be our spokesman. We want you to be our leader.” I never thought of being a leader of Arab Muslims. But if they ask me, I will serve in the best way that I can.
MM: It appears to me that people are so obsessed with removing the Hon. Elijah Muhammad (from history). I’m saying, even though you are applauded by a lot of people, a lot of people love you, but will they turn on you after you’re gone?
MLF: The Hon. Elijah Muhammad never doubted that he would be the winner. You heard him say, “I’ll be the winner living or dead.” There has never been a prophet or messenger of God that didn’t have naysayers and even strong opponents. And I don’t mind having naysayers or opposition or people that condemn you, that sit at your table and eat your food and then turn around and condemn you, because all of this is written that we would have to endure as we follow the leadership of the Divine One.
The Qur’an also teaches us that a time is coming when there would be an end to all opposition. And the Bible says, every knee would bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. That means to me, just keep moving. Don’t worry about your critics. Don’t worry about your naysayers. Don’t even fret yourself over your opponents. In the Psalms, The Lord says to David, “sit thou at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool.” So you see God gradually lifting me. And as I humble myself more and more to God, He lifts me more and more. So, no brother, I don’t get excited or upset. I’m going to be a winner with my father.
MM: I want to make sure we talk about your Economic Development Plan.
MLF: I’m asking every Black family in America to give $100 to the Million Family March Economic Development Fund between now and October 16th of next year.
I feel I’m going to pledge $10,000 to this fund. The hip-hop artists and the wonderful entertainers and sports figures that signed on to the Million Family March, I’m asking them to put something into this Economic Development Fund. It’s not for the “little nation of Islam”; it’s for the broad welfare of our people.
One day I was sitting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and he said, “Brother, this is the way I want you to think.” He said, “If we have 30 million people who eat three meals a day and one slice of bread per meal, then that would mean that 30 million people would need 90 million slices of bread per day; 630 million slices of bread per week; 32 billion, 760 million slices of bread per year.” And then he said, “now ask the question, how much land must we have under cultivation to give our people their daily bread?”
He said, “Don’t think for some, brother, think for the whole. Think for all.” What he’s telling me is, you can’t become a little local fellow thinking about the little needs of your small community. Think on the needs of the larger community and work toward satisfying those needs.
Think over a million families putting in $100. That’s $100 million. Think over five million families putting in $100. That is already one-half billion dollars. And think of our sports and entertainment figures putting in five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, fifty thousand, one hundred thousand dollars. Now that’s our commitment to ourselves.
Then I said, I’m going to corporate America on behalf of our people, because last year $550 billion came through our hands and only $5 billion of that stayed with us. Five hundred and forty-five billion was spent outside of our community. Well, corporate America takes a huge chunk of this and they give back something, but not commensurate with what they take. In the Bible, there is a thing called tithing, where you have to give 10 percent of what you earn back to God. I would like to go to corporate America on behalf of all of us and say, look, Mercedes Benz, we were 22 percent of your sales last year. And you took in (a certain) amount of money from our community, but we are looking at the bottom line of what you gave back. What we want you to do, since we have supported you so well, is support the Million Family March Economic Development Fund. If a million families are united with me, they won’t turn me down because then we will find another car to buy. And once you take one corporate giant and make an example of it, all the other dominos will fall in place.
Then, after corporate America, I want to talk to the government, because the government taxes us and gives us inferior schools and no health provisions. We’ve got to attract some of our tax dollars back into this Economic Development Fund. One year from now, if I’m able to say to America that we have one billion or more dollars in an Economic Development Fund, let’s look at our scholars and see how we are going to use this.
Suppose we took $300 million of it and started an investment bank and a mortgage bank. Black people are trying to get loans to buy houses, but nobody is loaning them money. So we loan our people money to improve the quality of their lives. Why aren’t Black entrepreneurs setting up businesses in our own community? Because nobody will invest in us. Since they invested in the investment fund, then we invest in entrepreneurs that will set up businesses in the Black community. And we are going to set up a pool of scholars, CPAs, marketing people, experts, so that when we send our people money to put them into business, we put behind them a pool of knowledge to make them successful in their business ventures.
Africa has said they want Black America to invest in African development. But if you go or I go as individuals with a little bushel basket … but when you’ve got a billion dollars in your treasury, you’re not going with a bushel basket. You can talk business now. We (can) invest in the gold, in the diamond mines, in that which brings revenue back to our community. The whole world is open for us. All we need is this billion dollars to prime the well. And we can leverage a billion to be $10 billion and before you know it, we will be able to attract out of the $550 billion, 10 percent, 20 percent back into our community. And then there is nothing that we can’t do. We can start building institutions that serve our needs. We can build hospitals and medical centers, buy hotels in our own community. Everything is available to us, but we are going to put something in the pot.
And I say to all those who are listening, if you trust me and you know that I won’t sell you out nor will I ever rob you, I want you to put $100 aside and send it to Seaway National Bank of Chicago, c/o Million Family March Economic Development Fund, P.O. Box 19522, Chicago, Illinois 60619.