[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s address on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at LeMoyne-Owen College, an HBCU located in Memphis, Tennessee, as part of the Student Government Association’s Diversity Leadership Conference.]

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

Jesus was not a friend of this world. … The disciple James said the “love of this world is enmity with God”; and some of you will retort from John 3:16: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whosoever believed in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” So it is with these scriptures that I begin our subject matter.

“God so loved the world …” It didn’t say God so loved “this” world. When you use “the” in English, that’s called the definite article: something very “specific,” something very “unique”; something that “stands by itself” because it is the! Do you remember how we used to refer to White folk as “the man”? Why did we call him “the man”? Because that man had made us “boys” in his presence! And we, like little boys, ask the man to give us a job; the man to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, and educate us.

A “man” doesn’t beg another man! What makes you a “man” is that you are able to do it for yourself. But what makes you a “boy” is that in 2012 we are still asking the same man that our fathers and our great grandfathers asked for things! You, today— with a college education—are begging the White man for “the crumbs” that fall from his table when you are able to get up and “bake a loaf of bread” for yourself! “Give us this day our daily bread …” you pray? No one is going to “give” you any bread! When you say ” give us this day our daily bread,” God answers, telling you:“ Get a wheat seed! Plant the seed; and when it grows, then take that wheat and grind it into flour! And take that flour, and make your own bread!”

All you want from God is a chance to produce what you are asking Him for—not “pray” and “sit down on our backside,” waiting for God to drop down a loaf of bread for us! God has done all that is necessary when He sent Jesus into the world.


“God so loved the world …” What “world”? The world that Jesus was The Cornerstone and  Foundation of: God so loved “the world” that He gave His only begotten son; that those who believe, they would not “perish.”


Why was perish mentioned? Because you are living in a world that is destined to go out; it is dying as we speak. … Have you ever seen weather like this before? These are the words of Jesus coming to pass; that as you’ll study in the Book of Luke, there would be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, the sea and the waves roaring; and men’s hearts failing them with fear for the things that they see coming upon the Earth. The number one disease is heart disease. Why is your heart failing, brother? It is because you see things approaching that you have no control over, because this is the end of the world of White Supremacy. This is the end of a world of injustice: This is the end of people having to plead for what God intended for every human being to have! But only a few have it, and they deprive the rest of it. This kind of world must end.

And what The Enemy does not want you to know is that you are The Choice of God. God is carving you out of this world to make you The Cornerstone of a Brand New Civilization. You are the stone that all the builders have rejected, but God has chosen you to be The Headstone of The Corner.

Quality of Leadership: The Pillar of consecration, service and truth

From one of the speakers tonight who preceded me, I heard them state these three words: “consecration,” “service” and “truth.” But the pillar of consecration, service and truth is the quality of the leadership.

There is no real leadership if that leadership is not rooted in moral character.


Consecration: What kind of leader will you be? Let’s see what the prerequisites are for good leadership by studying the words of Jesus. Jesus said: “The greatest commandment is this that you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” That doesn’t leave anything else; so, I can never “pledge allegiance” to a flag if I’ve given my all to God. I’m not being “political,” I respect the flag—but if I’ve given my all to God, then my obedience is to God.

But when “politics” conflicts with what God has said, then as the scripture teaches when Peter and Paul were asked “Should 

I obey man or should I obey God?”: That is your test, young people! It isn’t about “game” playing,” it’s not about getting an education so you can “get a job and make money.” It is about the love of God, the love of yourself and the love of your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t love, you can’t lead. We are a people that wear out our leaders. …

If you want to lead, this is no easy people to lead. Can you have the heart to withstand being evil-spoken of; rejected by the people you want to lead—and yet you still stand up? I know a lot about that—but I’m still standing, that’s the point!

You’ve got to be strong, because our people don’t need any “pussycat leadership.” The Bible teaches, “There is a Lion asleep in Judah: Who will wake him?” You can’t send a pussycat to wake up a lion; you have to send a lion to wake up a lion! And those of you who have any knowledge of Masonry: The Lion’s Paw was The Master Grip that raised Hiram Abiff—but these weak, spineless leaders we have will never raise you up as The Great People that God intends for you to be!

I’m not trying to be “bold” and upset you; I’m just trying to be truthful, even at the cost of my life; because my life is not more precious than yours. “Greater love has no man that he

lay down his life for his friend. …” If I wanted my life spared, I would sit in the corner and be quiet like most do. If I wanted the press to be kind to me, I would speak soft, sweet words that tickle your ears.

Do you think The Enemies of our rise are going to love me if I did that?


Service: Jesus said, “I didn’t come into the world to be ministered unto, I came into the world to minister. So he who would be chief among you, let him be your servant.” You as a leader have to know who you want to serve.

Jesus was shown by his Father that he would be The Eternal Father of a Kingdom that would have no end; those who believed in him should not perish with this world that is going out, but have eternal life. Nothing lives forever physically, but the world that Jesus brings in has “no end”; it’s “eternal.” He came to serve; but with every good servant, Satan comes.

But know that as followers of Muhammad or Jesus: If you are not tempted of Satan, then you’re not a real “follower.” Here’s an example: When Jesus went up on the mountain, Satan showed him all the cities that he could give him, saying, “Now if you just bow down to me, you can have all of that.” What did Jesus say? “Get thee behind me Satan.”

Whenever you become somewhat powerful among your people, The Enemy will come and make you an offer just to see if they can bend you and make you compromise your principles. Then, they’ve got you. Now, if you want to lead Black people, you can’t love money more than you love your people; you can’t love the “big house,” the “big car” more than you love the advancement of your people, because The Enemy prints money every day that has no value. He can offer you money to betray the best interest of your people. So how will you respond?

Brothers and sisters: All of us have desires; all of us want the best things in life. But in this world, which is the world of Satan, you can’t “crack that ceiling” unless you pay homage to the ruler of the world. They hated former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, because he wouldn’t just “bow down”—and that’s the kind of leader you’ve got to be: A leader that, when they come to you with the proposition, you’ll say like Jesus, “Get thee behind me!”

And you know what will give you the strength to say that? You got to love your people more than you love anything in this world. If you can say, “I can’t be bought! I can’t be sold! There’s nothing you can offer me that will make me betray the best interest of those whom I lead!” then indeed you are a true leader, and a true follower of Jesus the Christ or Muhammad and the Mahdi.


Truth: The Enemy says about our weak leaders: “Well, we’ve got that one! He will never wake up his people.” But look at the way the media treats Farrakhan. … Next month I’ll be 79 years of age, and I’m no ways tired of serving you and taking the heat for telling the truth. I’ve never been arrested in 79 years. I’ve been stopped by the police for my only “crime,” which is sometimes my foot is a “little heavy” on the gas pedal—that’s it!

When people come to The Nation of Islam drunk, blowing their money on alcohol: When we get finished with them, the alcohol is gone, the money is in their pocket; and, with their wives, are taking care of their family responsibilities. There are people who come to The Nation of Islam as coke/crack cocaine users; reefer smokers, booty shakers.

The women of The Nation of Islam: We clothe them so that no man will look at them and lust after them like a dog sniffing the backside of a female dog. But who is dressing the Black woman? Your skirt is so short that

you can’t sit down comfortably. If you look at the women who were around Jesus, which one of them had a mini-skirt on? Do you think Jesus would tolerate a sister being in his face with a mini-skirt or something so tight that every curve is seen? You’ve never seen that when you see Jesus! You see women with their hair covered; no mini-skirts, no tight dress—but aren’t they beautiful?

Now who is dressing you? It’s not Jesus. … We’ve been turned “backward.” You say, “Farrakhan, I didn’t come here to hear that!” Well, maybe not; but I think this is what you need to hear because if

 you’re going to be a leader, male and female, you have to know how to respect yourself and how to demand respect from others.

A leader is one who struggles for selflessness

What I started with is “character” and “moral turpitude”—that’s the base of true, good leadership. Articulation doesn’t mean anything; you can be as “articulate,” as Brother Farrakhan—and I am articulate; and some of us are stupid enough to follow articulation. But if “articulation” is not rooted in something bigger than articulation … if you can articulate, but you’re weak in character and cowardly of heart, you’ll just be an articulate punk. And if you call them your “leader,” you’ll never be better than your leader.

And, your leader will never be a “good” leader if he is leading you to himself. No leader is “good” who leads you to themselves, because not one of us is perfect enough to have people “bow down” to us. So Jesus never led people to himself. Jesus said: “If any man would be my disciple, he must first deny yourself.”

A person who leads must struggle for self-less-ness. Any degree of “self” that is in the “leader” can be gotten by Satan, because he knows how to offer what you have a desire for! But if your only desire is for the freedom and justice and liberty of your people, then you’re devoid of self. And when you’re devoid of self, you make a vacuum for God to “come in,” for the scripture teaches: “He knocks, and if you open up unto him, he will come in and sup with you.”

Do you know what that means? Jesus is offering to us his mind. Jesus’ mind is really The Mind of God, because he emptied himself to receive of The Father! And that’s why he could say: “Me and my Father are one. When you see me, you see The Father, for I am in The Father, and The Father is in me.”

When you become a “leader,” don’t look for exaltation. The more you humble yourself, the more God will exalt you. But the more you try to exalt yourself, God will humble us, abase us; and drop us down.

*** LeMoyne-Owen is a great

school, with a great president; and some wonderful faculty members. But I would like to see this school, and all the other HBCUs, dedicated to making the Black students come out ready to become productive: Making jobs for our people rather than begging White folk to make a job for us!

That’s your future! You want to be a “great leader”? Consecration: Consecrate your life this night to God:

“Without You, God, my fathers wouldn’t have got through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Without You, God, we could not have survived 310 years of chattel slavery. Without You, God, we could not have survived ‘sharecropping’ and ‘Jim Crow,’ ‘The Night Riders,’ the ‘KKK’… The ‘tricky laws’ that they made, and are still making; that even though they call me a ‘citizen’: If they arrest me and I’m called a ‘felon,’ whatever rights I had are gone, and I’m a ‘slave’ again in a prison colony. Lord, I couldn’t have made it without You. But now that Wisdom has come, I’m stronger. I’m wiser. I’m better. But I couldn’t have made it without You.”

God is on your side. But you’ve got to “come up” now. … Then, like Martin Luther King said, “We’ll be free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty”—we took our destiny in our own hands! And with Lemoyne- Owen by our side, and the HBCUs united, we’ll be free at last.