BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: DEC 22, 2015 – 8:16:36 AM
[Editor’s note: The following article contains an excerpt from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s interview with Brother Munir Muhammad, co-founder of the Coalition for the Remembrance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) and host Muhammad & Friends talk show.]
Munir Muhammad (MM): As-Salaam Alaikum! Welcome to another show! My dear brothers and sisters, as always, I am excited about this show because I have the privilege of sitting and having the lively art of conversation with my dear brother, Brother Minister Louis Farrakhan. As-Salaam Alaikum, Sir! How are you?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF): Wa-Alaikum Salaam, sir! I’m good!
MM: I’m so happy to talk to you! I never know where we’re going to start; but I’ll just say thank you so much for coming.
HMLF: Thank you for inviting me, sir.
MM: And you’re always invited. You know, the phenomenon [‘10.10.15’ – Justice…Or Else! Gathering in Washington, D.C.] that we just experienced … You know, an “accident” is something unintended or unforeseen: They will never be able to say that was an “accident,” that you had a million people, brothers, at The Million Man March, and you come back and do it again. I mean this is just overwhelming, and I want you to know I was happy to be a part of it. I know they’re still counting [the number of people]—but they don’t even talk about it. [Before 10.10.15, during our talk on July 19th], the way that you framed it—I thought it was a little rough; I asked you the question, “Who are you inviting?” I want to be clear, but I’ll just paraphrase: You said, “Hell naw,” [that] you’re not inviting certain people, and you’re not going to worry about them. But people came from everywhere … And it was not the traditional “Negro,” allow me to use that term in this instance, “leaders” that have been speaking, it was a fresh group of people; and it was quite meaningful. So, I would ask you, “How did you do it?” But I think in the course of this talk today, people will understand this is something that was on your heart and mind; and you worked, and we worked (you motivated others), and it has come to pass—and you said “the day after” is what you was concerned about. But you’re still working … What do you want to say about that?
HMLF: First, as a Muslim: All praise belongs to Allah. I cannot take any credit for the success of 20 years ago, nor can I take credit for this success of “10.10.15.” I believe that God gave us the thought 20-years-ago, and gave us the victory. And He gave us the thought again, through the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and He gave us the victory. One of the things that set Muslims, true Muslims, apart—and true Christians—is that we don’t want to rob God of the glory and honor of things that we do under His direction. “Praise” is not something that the human being can handle well; so The Qur’an opens with God speaking to Muhammad, peace be upon him, Al-Hamdu Lillah (“Praise belongs to God”). And as long as we will not rob God, not just in tithes and offerings but in the honor and the credit that He is due, then He will continue to exalt us once we humble ourselves.
So I thank all of those who helped—and there were many that are known that helped, and many, many more unseen hands that helped. And it was God and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that made The Call, and so I am honored to have been used like that. But remember we said, “this was not a moment, but a movement,” so “the day after” was more important than the day of, because if we only relish the moment then the moment becomes vanity. But if the moment leads to a movement, then that will live beyond “the moment,” and it will live beyond those of us who helped create that moment.
MM: We had a lot of conversations during that time when you were preparing for it. I was blessed to spend time with you in different cities that you were in, but we had wonderful conversations as well. And I’m so happy that you, as you mentioned The Call from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—which in this interview, I’d like to talk more about him before we wind down; but on the outset, I want to talk about the things that led up to this (i.e. the constant killing of our young people). It was a “movement”: These people had taken all they could take around the country; it seems as though every day no one cared whether people were talking about it or not—“Kill another one, so what? What are we going to do about it?”—you know? And as you know, we were all looking forward to South Carolina, which they decided that they couldn’t make that possible for us. Nine people shot down; and, they forgave the young man before he could even be arrested. So, what difference do you think that this Movement [“Justice…Or Else!”] is making now, or having on the entire population of America, even though they’re not speaking about it publicly?
HMLF: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote that when Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh, and spoke to The Children of Israel, and Pharaoh refused to let the people go, Moses prayed to God (“Jehovah”) that the wealth of Egypt—which was so attractive to the slaves—that God would break the power of the riches of Pharaoh. This is happening. But he also said that The Children of Israel were blessed by God to be chosen for God’s glory, to make of them a nation for the benefit of the whole world. But the slaves were fascinated by Pharaoh … . He was not willing to let them go, but even more tragic: The slave, no matter how evil the master treated him, was not willing to let the master go! So God did several things: 1.) He struck at the wealth of Pharaoh; 2.) He began to break Pharaoh’s influence around the world; 3.) He made Pharaoh’s people begin to really attack The Children of Israel to the point where they were beset—like we are now: every day there is another Black person shot, another Black person killed, another Black person killed by another Black person.
So we are getting sick and tired of it. We want a solution. So now the slave is being beaten … and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that these killings will continue; in fact, they are going to get worse. And why is that? Because God wants us to let Pharaoh go so He can make of us a great nation for His glory, and for the benefit of all humanity. So I’m not surprised that the killings are going on; and they will continue, and they will get worse until we recognize that behind it all is God’s Will to break the relationship, and get us out of the way of His Judgment of America.
MM: Now, I’ve noticed in all of your conversations, wherever you go [in] your talks that you give to people, you really hit hard. And when I say “hit hard,” you say things to people that might make them “uncomfortable” … I’ve heard you say some things in Christian settings that is really, you know, pretty rough. What you’ll say to a people that claim Jesus, that don’t know Jesus and you reel off the questions, and they end up bearing witness that they don’t know. The point I’m making is that when you go into these settings, and you are trying to get a people to listen to you, what method are you trying to use? Like you mentioning the Honorable Elijah Muhammad a lot in this conversation we are having so far: Do you think they are getting to know the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? Do you think they believe you when you tell them that’s your Source of Power: The God that he served, and The Messenger that you represent?
HMLF: The more successful the representative, the more they look at “Who” he is representing—and I’m not representing myself …. And yet, they cannot defeat my arguments. And I’m not a college graduate; I don’t run around with a lot of “ABCs” and “D degrees,” but what I have from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is so powerful and so invincible, that they have to think, “If that is the ‘representative,’ what is ‘the teacher’ like?”
MM: I’m so happy that you put it that way, because I agree 100 percent. And that’s where I’ve gone past “belief”; it’s a statement of knowledge to me. You’ve done something in your last few Saviours’ Days that The Research Team brings before the people W.E.B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman—all these great statements that they have said. I’m from Birmingham … Dr. King was not somebody that I cherished; he was a person that, when we were growing up, we knew, and [would] say, “Well, you’ve gotta say nice things about him/He loves everybody”—but I’m from the “old school.” The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said when he taught him [Dr. King], he woke up right away—but he was scared to death. Now you have taken Dr. King, almost single-handedly, and eliminated this “I Have A Dream” [persona] [we have been given], and made us begin to see him from an economic perspective (“redistribute the pain”). You introduced us to another “Dr. King.” And his students have not been able to do it, to my satisfaction. I’m maybe a little prejudiced here, but I am from Birmingham. I could say I was living there when they bombed 16th Street Baptist Church. I know what the fear factor was, I know what we did, “We shall overcome.” I know the boycott was successful. But you have taken [Dr. King] and reintroduced him on a level that I haven’t seen. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he studied himself from 1931 to 1935, comparing Detroit and Chicago to “Mecca” and “Medinah” but he said The Holy Qur’an was like “a teacher teaching his student” in the present, showing why it couldn’t be for Prophet Muhammad. You and I understand that. He also, in [the chapter] “Hypocrites, Disbelievers and Obedience” in Message To The Blackman, talked about “The Messenger would come in a land that no other had come,” so [Prophet Muhammad of 1,400 years ago] couldn’t have been the answer to Abraham’s prayer. And as you say, you “represent” him—and you represent him so well. But there are people who think that we’re foolish in some instances, the “old school” [Muslims], even some of the young Muslims, when we talk about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. You and I know that he is a superior teacher, a man that has no vanity; but he studied himself: He knew he was The Messenger. He knew this was God and His Student. You and I know that. I told you once before that you do so many different things that people don’t seem to be aware of. … What do we have to do to galvanize our people, and say, “Okay, well you see, this is a moment in history. Now you need a little bit of depth?”
HMLF: You know, in The Problem Book, Master Fard Muhammad talked about “17 million keys that fit 17 million locks,” and then He talked about “rusty locks” and “how much time would it take a rusty lock to receive the key, and allow the key to turn”—that person whose mind is in “yesterday,” or in a mentality of a slave, would turn toward freedom and finally discover the truth that had been around him all the time. Now many of us, Brother Munir, who profess “Elijah Muhammad”: We burn out; we get tired of dealing with our people. Our love for God and our love for our people is not deep enough that we could take the abuse of rejection, the abuse of our peoples’ slander and backbiting, and not break down under it and say, “Aww, the hell with this! I’m going to go on and do something for myself.”
Dr. King: I want to come back to brother, because we never agreed with his methodology. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad felt that he was one of us who wanted to see us free, but his method was such that it would not bring the results that he sought. And Brother Malcolm, at that time of The Freedom Riders when they went down to Birmingham, and they were beaten up and the bus was set on fire and all of that. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Brother Malcolm, after Brother Malcolm said, “You know, they’re talking about us [The F.O.I.]: They’re saying we ain’t nothing but ‘paper boys’, and they are out there in the trenches.” You know, being beaten up at lunch counters and “turning the other cheek,” and doing all the things that we were doing to make White folk change. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew you can’t change the nature of a thing by your foolish desire to love him in spite of his wickedness. So Malcolm wanted to take The F.O.I., and “let’s go out with The Freedom Riders” and whatnot, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to Brother Malcolm: “Stay where I put you, for they have no place else to go but where you and I are standing.”
What is the difference between “the word” and “the fulfillment” is time; and in between the word and the actualization of the word there’s this virtue that most of us don’t have, and that’s patience. So, The Qur’an said, “Seek assistance through patience and prayer.”
Now here, Brother Munir, Dr. King met with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Now, our teacher was given not to “some” of us, but he was given to all of us—and all of us have meaning to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Those that hate him, those that turn against him, he said he would get them all. So now, he put that in my head … Well, if that’s what you believe, that all of them are going to awaken, and all the dry bones are going to live—and I believe that—then I’m never going to abandon The Mission of trying to wake them up.
Now why do I bring back Dr. King, and even Brother Malcolm? Dr. King, to me, is a beautiful brother; he said he loved “everybody.” And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “When a man says he loves ‘everybody’, that’s a proof that he doesn’t love anybody, even himself, because God don’t love everybody.” So Black Christians have to wrestle with that: “God doesn’t love everybody?” No. The scripture teaches “no man can serve two masters,” you’ll “love one” and do what for the other? “Hate him.” Well, as a Christian, under White “Christianity”—not the real Teachings of Jesus … because you know and I know, and The Qur’an teaches and the Bible teaches, Jesus never taught some of this stuff that we say we believe in. He was a teacher of The Essence of Life itself, “Freedom, Justice and Equality.” Dr. King: When my brother was shot down, I was on the radio making broadcasts for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and I said just before he was killed, “My brother is marching, but he’s marching to the drumbeat of death”—I felt that my brother was going to be assassinated; so in my broadcast, I mentioned it. Sure enough a few months later brother was killed, and I sat by the TV, and I was weeping … I was weeping because I believed him to be sincere and committed. And I went to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and I said, “Why is this, that we can disagree with a man, and then when a bullet strikes him down we are tender and soft, and all of a sudden we are hurting?” And these are his words to me: “Brother, as long as the testator lives, he’s writing his testament. But when death comes, it puts an end to his testament, then the historians come and gather up the bits and pieces of his life, and gives him his place in history.”
Here is the problem with “Black leadership” and Dr. King: White people write our history. White people interpret our lives. And they assign us to the dustbin of history, not saying how valuable our contribution was to the onward march of our people. If you listen to what White folks said about Marcus Garvey, Noble Drew Ali, would you love them? No. If you listen to what White people wrote about Brother Malcolm, while Brother Malcolm was “Brother Malcolm, a student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad”: They hated him! Now there is Dr. King (“I have a dream today”)—now, they love that, because he was “dreaming” about his children and White children: they’re all going to hold hands, and “one day it’s going to be like that.” Okay. That day never came. That day has not come. But they buried my brother like they buried Garvey, like they buried the good of Brother Malcolm, like they buried Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey—all of The Great Ones, they “buried” them. They lied, they twisted their history, so we don’t even think about them anymore.
Dr. King is in the grave, and we see him as a “dreamer”—that’s the way White folk left our brother. But when he met Elijah Muhammad, his testimony was still being written; and the last two years of his life is not what the world knows of Dr. King. Why not? Because he met The Messenger of God, and he was affected by that Messenger, and he began to be much more militant. He was always a man of character, but he now is militant; and now, they can’t stand a “militant Dr. King,” so they want to “dress him down,” make him “soft and sweet” [through constant repetition of]: “I’m a dreamer! Let’s all get together!”—hell no! Dr. King became a man that they had to kill, because now he was talking revolutionary talk. So I, as a follower of Elijah Muhammad, began to read the effect of the meeting between the two men … .
Look, you know how the enemy is: He’ll plot on you, and then kill you—and then name an alley after you? And all through the Black community, you’ll drive around and you’ll see an alley, or a little side street, named for some Black person who did something? All of this is “pacification” that means nothing. But Dr. King, when they assassinated him and 100 cities went up on fire, they had to name streets after him, boulevards after him; now they’ve made him a “saint,” and they’ve made him a great, great “lover,” if you will. So now, they’ve made him an idol—so I went back and got the idol.
I [have been saying], “Now, this is the ‘Dr. King’ that you don’t know, and this is the ‘Dr. King’ White folk don’t want you to know. Let’s go read what he said here,” so I bring Dr. King back from “the grave”—because he never has been treated right. He can’t rest in peace if you don’t know his peace. So I’m bringing him back. And I’m literally, I would say, “pricking the conscience” of his followers, who let the historians put that man in the box that they put him in as a “dreamer” after they heard him say he had awakened from “the dream,” and “the dream” had become a nightmare. Who is saying that? Who knows that? Who will stand up for Dr. King, and say it? See, I am not the kind of Black man that am envious of other Black men and women of greatness. If you can’t recognize the greatness of your own brother, how can you recognize The Greatness of God? Because The Greatness of God is what’s manifested in the brother that you see every day and don’t even want to talk about.
So not only Dr. King has got to come back, but so must this Christmas Boycott.
MM: And that’s just precisely the point. So you agree, that people have failed to recognize the contribution that he made; and you attribute it to the meeting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? But you also could notice: I don’t hear that “I Have A Dream” anymore …
HMLF: No, they play it. They keep playing it to reinforce the image of Dr. King that they want the people to have of Dr. King. And what we are doing today is: You all need to know a man not from “1963,” but you need to know him up to April 3, 1968—the day before our brother was assassinated. Now look, I’m saying that to say this: When I speak Dr. King’s words, some silly Muslims—
Now, I’ve got to deal with us, too, because there’ll come a time when I won’t take foolishness from us anymore; there’ll come a time when you will pay dearly for the way you think, and the way you talk about a man who is representing God and His Messenger. That’s just “a warning” I am putting out, because it will happen. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “There is a day coming when if you speak ill of him, somebody will make you pay for that”—and that’s real. That man worked for us until he left, and we are still not caught up to The Brilliance of Elijah Muhammad.
Now I want to finish this point with Dr. King: He has become an “icon,” because the enemy made him that for their purpose. Brother Malcolm has become an “icon,” but the enemy made him that for his purpose. Malcolm’s greatness was in the 13 years that he worked for The Nation of Islam under The Guidance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Now, he has to come back; because, the things that Malcolm said before he fell, and the things that he said after, that has to be studied: “What caused this change in him?” “What caused the change in Dr. King?”
Now for this “boycott”—let’s get to that, because that’s very important. I didn’t know what Frederick Douglass said about the White man’s “holidays” until our Research Team dug it up—that means Frederick Douglass is relevant right now: He is not a man of yesterday, he is a man of today. For when he was alive among us, he condemned all the holidays of the White man as nothing but a trick and a tool to keep our people from insurrection; so, [to do that], he let the slave have “a day off.” And we don’t care anything about the holiday, we’re just happy that “Massa ain’t working us today!” When [the slave master] let us off, he let us have a little fun that day: He let us have games and sports things with each other, wrestling matches and betting on one or the other; then afterwards he would give us something to drink, and we would get drunk. Then he would say, “Which one of you can drink the most and not show it?”—and that one would get a prize. But the rest would be totally drunk … .
Every holiday of the White man is alcohol, games of chance, sport and play—that’s the way we’ve been trained, and that’s the way we act. So, come out of the shadows, Frederick Douglass, and take your place as a great thinker, a great mind. Your words have relevance, right now, in this boycott of this wicked machination called “Christmas.” It’s not honoring Jesus.
We want to bring honor back to Jesus, and take “Santa” and this commercial madness, and put it where it belongs: In the garbage pail of history.