BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: APR 20, 2012 – 8:25:23 AM
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address in St. John’s, Antigua, at the Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre on March 28, 2012.]
I am happy to be in Antigua-Barbuda. I want to thank the Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Baldwin Spencer, for his warm welcome of me and those with me to this beautiful island. He gave me a welcome such as I’ve never had in all of my travels in The Caribbean. When I came on the island, he had his minister to welcome me. But then we also spoke to one another on the telephone, and he gave me a personal welcome to this island.
And there is no way in heaven, or in hell, that I’m going to leave here, and God spare my life, that I don’t come back again! I am a son of The Caribbean. And I have said that in the closing years of my life, I have to come back to The Caribbean and give whatever I can give to The Caribbean, because The Caribbean gave me life itself.
I also want to thank the opposition leader, Mr. Lester Bird, whom I met. The first question I asked Mr. Bird was: “When I entered Antigua, there was a wall; and on that wall was your father, Vere Cornwall (V.C.) Bird as ‘the father of the nation.’ Please tell me about your father.” And for about 15 minutes, he enlightened me on the greatness of Mr. Bird who is the architect and father of Antigua-Barbuda’s independence. And, during one of my radio interviews while in Antigua, the editor of The Final Call newspaper showed me a $50 bill which had the face of Queen Elizabeth II.
Now, I don’t have a problem with the Queen; but if we are “free,” then I ask you: “Why isn’t a Black face on the money? I think that the Most Honorable V.C. Bird should have his face on some of that money! And I think that the children of Antigua & Barbuda should know the rich legacy of that man’s life, because he was a man of great ideas! All in Antigua are “the sons” and “the daughters” of V.C. Bird; and if you look at his ideas, then whoever holds power needs to go back and see what that great man said, what that great man did, and carry out his program for the liberation of the entire Caribbean!
Dear people of Antigua & Barbuda: We have to think of more than just “Antigua & Barbuda,” and think of The Caribbean as a “whole,” because all of us are the sons and daughters of Africa.
All of us, whether we speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, English: None of us came to The Caribbean speaking those languages; and none of us came to The Caribbean with an English name! If you tell me your name is “Mr. Brown,” “Mr. White,” “Mr. Green,” “Mr. Blue,” “Mr. Tree,” “Mr. Flower,” “Mr. Carpenter,” or “Mr. Woodman”—whose name is that? That is the name of your former slave master! When they branded their horses, their pigs, their cattle, they knew that was theirs by their “brand.” Well, they branded us with their names; and if we changed “slave master,” then we changed “names.” Whoever bought the slave, named the slave.
And if it was the British who enslaved us, we were not permitted to speak our language! How did you grow up, children of slaves, never speaking one word of your original tongue? That could never have happened unless they killed your mother so that she couldn’t give you your “mother tongue”; and killed your father so that he couldn’t teach you and give you the name of your tribe, your culture, your religion, and your God!
That is why we’re in the condition that we’re in today, because we are “Englishmen,” but not English. We were trained by the British—I didn’t say “educated”! Trained … When discussing Antigua’s history, the Prime Minister told me that when the French came and tried to attack Antigua, they only came once and the British beat the French back. In The Caribbean, we have the people of Haiti, Guadalupe and Martinique who speak French, have a French name, but they aren’t “Frenchmen.” The Spanish also came to The Caribbean, so now you have Spanish names, and speak Spanish—but are you “Spanish”? No! How did get a French name? You’re not “French”! It’s because he’s branding you with his name!
Here are Europeans that hate each other, who are trying to take each other’s possessions that they stole from the Native people. So if the British don’t like the French, and the Spanish don’t like the French, and vice versa, then they breed that into their subjects. And because you have come up under them, the same “dislike” they have for each other is in us today; it’s bred into us in through the “education” that we receive.
But the one thing they gave us all was their religion; so I want you to consider this question: When a man treats you as bad as we were treated, how would he give you a “God” that would free you from his grip?
To my Christian family—I want you to hear me; and don’t be angry: Have you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? And how many have heard Reverend teach from the Gospel? I want you to go back and read them, because at no time in the Gospel did Jesus say, “I am a Christian.” Not one time. How come? The only time you’ll find the term “Christian” is when Paul was teaching at Antioch; and the people who heard Paul called “the followers of Jesus Christ,” Christians. That’s the first time!
Read your Gospel: Jesus never said “I am a Baptist.” Some say, “Well, I am not a Baptist, I am a Methodist!” Well, what does “Methodist” mean? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” but he never said, “I am a Methodist.” Some of us are “Episcopalian,” but you don’t find that in the scripture; you don’t find “Catholic” in the scripture! Jesus was the “witness of Jehovah”—yet, he never called himself a “Jehovah’s Witness”!
When you say, “My denomination is better,” how is that when the word denomination means “down from the name”: de, “down”; nomination, “name”? Well, if you are “down from the name of Christ,” then that is a de-nomination! So now, Satan is breaking The Family of Christ apart, and we are fighting each other over our different religions. But if Jesus never said he was any of those names, like “Christian,” then why are you angry if somebody comes to you and doesn’t say that?
Now, I will tell you: Brother Farrakhan is a Christian! I am a Muslim, and I am a Jew!
“Now come on, Farrakhan! Either you’re crazy, or you’re confused! How could you be all three?” Because those three names have value! However, when we use them for divisive purposes, they become the instrument of Satan that keeps People of God divided against themselves!
If we don’t straighten out our thinking spiritually, then nothing we talk about “economically” will have value. Our problem is spiritual!
Paul said, “The Jew is not the Jew outwardly by the circumcision of the male instrument. The Jew is the Jew inwardly by the circumcision of the heart.” And sometimes you see a picture of Jesus with his heart “open,” because his heart was pure: There was no wickedness in that man! The Holy Qur’an says that Jesus was a “perfect example” of The Law of God.
When the Jews of that day were criticizing Jesus because he was working on the Sabbath day, Jesus came back and said: “Man is not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath is made for man.” What does that mean? See, there’s a man that’s coming to the planet to rule The Children of Adam.
You are not the children of the “Adam” of the Genesis; you existed before there was an “Adam”! You are called “The pre-Adamites” who are the Aboriginal People of the planet. You were before Adam, and you were before the Caucasian!
What image in your mind do you have of “Jesus Christ,” the most beautiful and wonderful human being that ever lived; who reconciles the whole of humanity to God? What is the image of Jesus in your mind?
Understand that these people enslaved us: For the 300 years we were toiling in slavery, they wouldn’t allow us to read. The Bible was locked away from the slave. And after 300 years they said: “It is not incompatible for you to be a slave and a Christian at the same time,” so then they told you that they were going to “teach” you the Bible. “Come and listen! Read this scripture: ‘If they smack you on one cheek, turn the other. If they take your coat, give them your pants! Pray for those that spitefully use you.” They told articulate Black men what Gospel to preach!
But they never preached and taught you from “The Old Testament,” because The Old Testament produced Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey! The Old Testament produced men who wanted to get out of slavery; who said: “An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth! And a life for a life!”—and they rose up against the slave master.
In Jamaica, those who rose up against the slave master were called “Maroons.” And in beloved Haiti, there was Jean Jacque Dessalines; Toussaint L’Ouverture. But you know what? Haiti didn’t have The Revolution until a man came from Jamaica whose name was Boukman. They called him “Boukman” because every time they saw the man, he had a book in his hand! And Boukman came to Haiti, and they had a meeting. They weren’t “Christians,” they were of voudou!
What is “voudou”? “Oh God! Don’t talk about ‘voudou,’ that’s devil worship, you know?” How is it “devil worship”—and our colonial and slave masters came bringing us “religion,” all the while hanging us on trees and depriving us of justice? What kind of religion did he bring to us?
What The Enemy has done has made us hate what we had in Africa. If you sing in church about, “Give me that ol’ time religion,” then what is the “old time religion” since you just became a “Christian” a few years ago? Don’t let these people tell you that your native African tradition is of “the devil”!
How could François Makandal who was of voudou, and Boukman who was a Muslim: How could those men lead a Revolution and beat the greatest army in the world, the army of Napoleon Bonaparte, if they didn’t have a religion that had substance?
In closing, there are scriptures from both Bible and Holy Qur’an which I would like to share with the beautiful people of Antigua & Barbuda, and The Caribbean.
In the Holy Qur’an, there is a verse that reads, “God will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves.” (Chapter 13, verse 11). So the “change” that we are looking for others to bring to us, the burden is on us. We are the ones that have to change.
Well what is the “agent of change”? You see the Earth turning, right? The Earth, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us: Its circumference is 24,896 miles, with a diameter of 7,926 miles. The Land is 57,255,000 square miles; the Water is 139,685,000 square miles. Now look at this Earth; a planet that weighs “six sextillion tons (a unit followed by 21 zeros): The Earth is turning at a speed of 1,037 1/3 miles per hour, and you don’t even feel the motion! What is making the Earth move? It’s the light of the Sun striking the Earth at the Equator; and the light is turning the Earth, and the Earth is making changes. So when it turns throughout the year, it makes dips in and out, and you have seasonal changes… On the 21st of September, December, March and June, you have fall, winter, spring then summer. What makes these changes is the presence of light.
In the Bible, the Book of Isaiah, it states that the people “walked in darkness” and “great darkness, the people” (9:2 and 60:1-2)—so you are not “changed” from the condition of your great-grandfathers! And it’s terrible: You think you’ve made progress, but you’re up under the same master that your great-grandfather was under. So if you’re still looking to the Queen, bless your heart … If we are “free,” then let’s be free! If we’re “free,” why are you going to England for the education of your Black self and your children? They cannot educate you to free you from them!
The Bible also teaches: “How can they know except they have a teacher, and how can they have a teacher except he be sent?” The Enemy is not going to send you a teacher to free you from them. God has to do that for you—and He has! Now, the people that walked in darkness have seen a Great Light, and upon them has The Light shined.
Dear beloved brothers and sisters, in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 3, what did Jesus mean by: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is The Kingdom of God”? How do you define “spirit”? Spirit is “The Energy of Life.” And life has an “activity.” Now let’s look at the word “business”: In it, you get the word busy (busi-ness). So when you are involved in business, you are involved in “The Activity of Life”!
Well, who are the businessmen in The Caribbean? Who has the business—The Activity of Life? It is the Indians, the Chinese, the Lebanese, the Arabs, the Asians and the White people. And what about you? The Black man has the “politics,” but you don’t have the business: “I am the Prime Minister, I’m the Minister of Arts and Culture; I am the Minister of Trade and Commerce; I am the Minister of Education…”
Yes, but whose “education”; what “trade,” what “commerce”—when your people don’t produce what they consume? Margarine from America; and canned goods from England, America, New Zealand and Australia: Everybody is feeding you! Here, and in America: You’re on the rich Earth, and we are not feeding ourselves?
The Bible teaches you that birds have their nests; and God feeds them. As well, the worms, the bees, the ants: Everything is being fed! … You may pray for your “daily bread,” but you can’t just wait on it to come—you’ve got to do something! If you have land around your house, go get a wheat seed! See if the wheat seed won’t grow for you like it grows for White people! Then when the seed is grown, you take the wheat and grind it into flour: You make your “daily bread”!
The action that a civilized man must perform is this: You must provide what you eat, what you need, where you live and what you wear for yourself and your people.