BY FINALCALL.COM NEWS | LAST UPDATED: SEP 6, 2010 – 1:57:21 PM
[Editor’s note: On Aug. 10, 2010, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson interviewed the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as part of The Michael Eric Dyson Show’s presentation of its “Open Mike” series which aired Aug. 16-27, 2010 featuring thought-provoking conversations with various leaders and intellectuals. The following article contains excerpts of this interview.]
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (MED): We have a Black man in the White House, unprecedented unemployment among African American people, especially Black men; four out of five jobs lost in the current economic crisis for men, and Black men are disproportionate to that.
What’s your assessment of where we are now?
HMLF: I think, dear brother, and those who are listening: In spite of the fact that we are blessed to have a Black president, and a Black head of the Justice Department, and Black people in so many positions of authority and influence; and in spite of the fact that we have more millionaires than ever, multi-millionaires than ever, more billionaires than ever; and in spite of the fact that we are graduating more Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Science, and Doctorate degrees, yet, dear brother, the masses of our people are going down at an alarming rate.
So even though we have this wonderful show of tremendous progress, progress is never judged by the few that seem to make it. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said these words to us: “No one man can rise above the condition of his people.” So, if the masses of our people are in the worst condition that we have been in, in our history here, then we can look at the condition of the middle class, the upper middle class, and the wealthy and learned of our people, and ask the question: “Why are we this way, and what can be done to change the reality of poverty and want among the masses of our people?”
And there, dear brother, I feel that we have to call our learned and our brilliant from corporate America, and call the wealthy of our people to study how others have lived the American Dream, and made it successfully, so that we can apply this knowledge to help the masses of our people rise from a degraded state.
MED: Given the fact that there is such devastation among especially the Black urban poor, the Black ghetto poor; those who are nearly lodged permanently at the bottom, what effective measures can we exert to get those people out of the conditions that continue to trap them?
HMLF: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in writing an Economic Blueprint for us as a people, raised this statement; he said, “Study the White man. He is successful. He makes no excuses for his failures, and he acts in a united way. We must do the same.”
The most successful of Caucasian people are the members of the Jewish community. And if we look at how they became wealthy and powerful, they are politically powerful now, but they didn’t start politically powerful—they went after economics. And, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Politics without economics is symbol without substance.” And so, what we need to do is see how others capitalized on what they had in America, and used it to advance a people rather than advance individuals.
And so, as I look at the future of us, and I see the learned of our people, the wealthy of our people, what I don’t see is the networking of wealth; that that wealth may be used to create economic opportunities for our people as it was done, and is being done, by other people. And this, others have not shown us how to do, but this is something that we must do if we’re going to change the reality of our people’s condition, because I don’t think we can depend on White America to create jobs for their millions of unemployed, and ours as well.
We, Dr. Dyson, according to figures that I have recently read, get out of the American economy over $800 billion a year! We are not poor! We are divided, and we’re distrustful. But if we found a way to get 10 or 20 percent of what we get out of the American economy, and turn it back into our communities, we then would not have to keep begging others to do for us what our unity, and, our pooled resources intellectually will allow us to do for ourselves.
And I pray, Dr. Dyson, that we will learn how to network wealth, and create industry. And then network with people all over the world as the world is open to us, if we are ready to do business, trade and commerce, on an international level.
MED: Does that ignore, or, in one sense, under-emphasize the necessity for political engagement and to use the resources of the world?
HMLF: Absolutely not! No, sir! Our tax dollars are interwoven with the tax dollars of every other citizen of America; and therefore, we cannot abdicate a political responsibility to put pressure on government to yield, to create opportunity, to create an atmosphere; to try to create a level playing field so that we have as much of a chance to advance in the society as others.
And we can’t do that without political inclusion, political activism—but activism on a political front must be matched by activism on the economic front. Otherwise, we’ll have political power that looks powerful, but in the end, if you can’t back it up with economic power, then our voice is very, very weak in the political sphere in America.
MED: What is your assessment of President Barack Obama’s handling of the issue of race in America?
HMLF: As we all know, when Pres. Obama was campaigning for the presidency of the United States; and, Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s statements taken out of context were cast into the political debate, our brother, in Philadelphia, went to himself and wrote a speech that as I’m even talking about it, I get chills because he faced the racial problem squarely, spoke to it forcefully and effectively. And he did not alienate White people, nor did he alienate Black people. He spoke to an issue that divides this country, and he did it well.
Now that he is president; and, of course, his becoming president has ignited some of the darker elements in the racist community of the 57 million who voted against him. And so now he’s in a dilemma because he’s being called “anti-Semitic,” he’s being called a “socialist,” it is being said that he never was born in America. His wife is being castigated. It does not appear that there’s anything that our brother has done that is appreciated.
Now, as far as to your specific question, I believe he is a little too timid now in dealing with the problem of race. And if he could deal with it, in the manner that he dealt with it before he was president, he would not lose those Whites that voted for him knowing that he was Black; hearing him address “race” in his candidacy, on in his quest for the presidency. So, why would they think less of him if he dealt forthrightly with the problem?
For instance, in the troubled Asset Relief Program: This man got $800 billion to bail out who? The banks, and bail out the American people who were suffering the loss of their homes, and whatnot. But he didn’t speak to the bureaucracy and the racism that is between his words and the money; and how that money gets down to those who need it most. That, to me, is what the “bully pulpit” is made for! Why would good-hearted Americans of all races feel negative toward him if he tried to make an even playing field that those who needed the money most would get it?
So I believe, whether he is a one-term president, or a two-term president, he must do what a president should do who wants to save America from itself. And so I would urge our brother not to be timid in speaking forthrightly to the relationship between Blacks and Whites in America that is deteriorating.
MED: Recently, you sent an “Open Letter To Black Leadership” where you spoke about the need for Black people to re-examine our relationship with the Jewish community; and, [with] “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy, Volume 2,” and “Jews Selling Blacks;” you have indicated that these books will be distributed and shared with Black people to show how we were “completely undone, and how others have benefited from what has happened, and continues to happen to us.”
Minister Farrakhan, why the need to focus on Jewish brothers and sisters among many ethnicities of European extraction who have done devastating things to African people in America and indeed around the globe? Why single out Jews in particular to focus on, and why not talk about the devastation of White Supremacy without reference to a particular White ethnicity?
HMLF: Thank you so much for the question. You know, whenever somebody is desirous of achieving a political office, or an office in corporate America, there’s a process that is called “vetting”; and it is a thorough and diligent review of a prospective person or project prior to a hiring or investment decision. “Vetting” often refers to an individual or group, and it is to gain a knowledge of that person, so that when you make a decision, you make the decision based upon knowledge.
We have always read that it was Africans that sold our people into bondage, and that is true, as it is recorded in the history of Joseph in the Bible, and his brethren selling him into bondage. We have often read about Muslims, and the Slave Trade; and that Muslims were involved, Arab Muslims were involved in the Slave Trade yesterday—and even today! But what has remained a secret, and not spoken of, is the Jewish involvement in the undoing of Black people, and the Slave Trade, and the owners of ships, and the selling and dehumanizing of Black people. How then can we have real friendship if it is absent of real knowledge of what has happened, and who did it?
There is no respectful Jewish person who entered into a dialogue, with Germany after the war, that didn’t bring to the forefront those who did what they did, and the effect of what they did; and then asked for repair of the damage for what they did. And many present-day Germans, who were not involved in the Holocaust of the Jews at all, are paying reparations for what their ancestors did.
Here we are in America: We have Black History Month; we have people purporting to teach Black Studies, but they don’t know the real history of what happened to us! So, the Qur’an says it like this, Dr. Dyson, that you’ll see “every nation kneeling down before its book,” so most nations keep a record of what they do in their history.
Jewish people have kept a record of their dealings, so we went into their libraries, and we looked at scholars, historians and rabbis, none of whom were “anti-Semitic,” and we compiled a document with 1,800 footnotes so that our people, and others, can read scholarship from their pens, from their lips! That we can see what was done to us, who did it, so that we don’t go into these discourses with our so-called friends blind to the history! That is why we study history. It is not to undo friendships, but to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what was done, and how we can undo it, and make a new beginning for Blacks and Jews, and, Blacks and Whites.
White people, although they hated us, are not the Architect of White Supremacy. That started in Europe, and it is here in America, and we document the Architecture of White Supremacy in this volume, “Volume 2: The Secret Relation[ship] Between Blacks and Jews.” I know it is upsetting. I know it is hurtful for us to learn truths that are painful. Many Jews do not know what has been done to Black people by members of their people who claim to be the “Chosen of God,” who claim to be “righteous.” How in the world could any “righteous” person do to another human being what was done to us? And that’s why I’m encouraging us to read the book.
Don’t judge me! Don’t attack me! Read the history from their lips, from their pens; and then let’s sit down and have an intelligent dialogue—not based on our ignorance, and our fear of the power of Jewish people to inflict pain on us!
They can inflict pain, but they also have the power to help get us up out of this condition. And I’m appealing to them, and I’m appealing to the government that they have influence over: Let’s look, really, at the mass condition of our people and stop “playing” with it. Let’s deal with it! Or, it will become destructive to the future of this nation.
MED: But don’t you understand why Jewish brothers and sisters would be sensitive, some may even argue “hypersensitive,” to claims that specifically focus on them given the vicious history of anti-Semitism that has riddled the world, that has rendered them insecure. So the balance between your legitimate critique, which can be offered against any people, including Jewish brothers and sisters, versus what they perceive to be you “singling them out,” how would you respond to that?
HMLF: I would say that their four to six years under Hitler, and the pogroms against them in Europe, would make them sensitive. But now, does that negate the sensitivity of Black people and what we have suffered? Should not we come to the table of discussion, armed with the full knowledge of the history of who did what?
We are not “singling out” Jews! They singled out Africans, Muslims, and Gentiles, but they do not talk about their role! I’m bringing it up, not because I want trouble with them—I’ve been trying to have a dialogue with them for many years. But the dialogue has to be an informed dialogue, based on an accurate account of history.
And lastly, I said to them what’s done is done; we can’t undo the past. But we can, today, have a better future! I’m not interested in anybody hating Jewish people, or, punishing Jewish people. What I am asking, though, is that a serious dialogue between them and us.
And not weak-kneed Negroes in the dialogue! We’re not looking for Uncle Toms who are on their payroll! We’re looking for people who are unafraid to face them, and face the truth! I have offered my life! And since members of the Jewish community in the days of the Jesse Jackson campaign, members of the Jewish Defense League were saying, “Who do want? Farrakhan! How do you want him? Dead!” Well, I’m offering you my life.
If you can face the record of your history, and prove that we are incorrect, you can have my life!
MED: When Jewish brothers and sisters who are Progressive say, “Look. We are critical of Israel as well … , and so we are not slipping down the slippery slope of ‘ethnic cheerleading’ for our own brothers and sisters.” And yet, some of them seem appalled and resentful of what they consider to be your “mono-maniacal obsession” with Jewish brothers and sisters.
Yes, there can be some definite disclosures and engagements with Jewish failure, but they think you are exaggerating the nature of Jewish participation not only in the African Slave Trade, which we can debate forever, but even in the Black American economy right now. Can you bring it home to why you think that Jewish brothers and sisters control the Black American economy right now?
HMLF: That is why I’m urging us to read the book. These people that say that I’m exaggerating: Why don’t you come out in the public with me?
See, I’m not afraid to put our scholarship up against any Jewish scholar, any professor, any rabbi! Come on out in the public! Don’t send your Negroes out to me—come on out yourself! Scholar-to-scholar, historian-to-historian, rabbi-to-imam, or minister: Let’s sit down and talk!
I’m not doing something that I’m not inspired to do, brother! God is backing me in what I’m doing! Every prophetic voice that has ever risen up in history has always given a Warning to The Wicked, that if they fail to take the Course of Truth and Justice, Judgment will come on them! Judgment is on America now as we speak, and Judgment is on the Jewish people!
I know that there are good Jews, and I know that there are honest Jews, and I know that there are Jews who will speak forcibly against the injustice to the Palestinian people—and yet those Jews are called anti-Semitic by their own brethren. This thing called “anti-Semitism”: This is what I want to deal with, so that never again, when somebody is critical of Israeli policy, or Jewish misbehavior, all of a sudden, we are called “anti-Semitic.”
I will prove to the world that those who even use the term are not Semitic at all! Let’s go before the world and have the argument! Let’s have the dialogue! Let’s have the religious scholars! I’m saying to the world that the Black man and woman of America are the Real Children of Israel! We are the ones that are to receive the Promise of God!
Come before the world, and let’s speak before the world! You find your Jewish scholars, you find your Islamic scholars and your Christian scholars.Not one of you, as Christians, speak about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade! Why? Why don’t you address something as horrible as that?
And don’t you think that the prophets could see that? Where is it in the Bible? Where is it in the Torah? Where is it in the Gospel? Where is it in the Qur’an? Let’s sit down and talk about it like intelligent, civilized people; and then come to an equitable agreement as to the way forward.
But if you continue to call me “anti-Semitic,” and seek to impose your will on a government that you already have under your control to do me harm, you do whatever you think you are powerful enough to do. But I’m here to prove to Black people in America that God is real, and He’s with me! So the more you attack me, the more God will attack you. Do it and see!
I know I’m on a perilous journey, Dr. Dyson. And I know that by singling out not “all Jews”—no, no, no!—but those specific irreligious Jews, that the scripture calls “The Synagogue of Satan”; those who use their power to influence people away from The Way of God, making evil fairseeming to them.
Those irreligious Jews; and Mr. Abraham Foxman, who is like the “attack dog” for The Synagogue of Satan: I want to deal with those kinds of Jews! Not rabbis who study their scriptures and want to be good, and follow the law of Moses—no! Those are good people, and they have their reward from their Lord. But they have to speak out against these irreligious Jews, who claim they are Jews, and are they not! They blaspheme the name of a “Jew.”
A “Jew” is a good name; to be a “Jew” is to have a covenant relationship with God, in obedience to His Laws, Statutes and Commandments. And if you are a Christian, Paul gave a whole new definition for “Jew”; he said, “The Jew is not the Jew outwardly by the circumcision of the flesh. The Jew is the Jew inwardly by the circumcision of the heart.” That all the diseases of the heart may be taken away; washed clean, that we may enter a New World of Peace, Freedom, Justice and Equality.
That’s The World that I want us to bring in, where no man, as Martin Luther King said, is judged by the color of his skin, but by the content of character. And I speak as I speak because there’s deception here; and The Deceiver and The Deception, has to be exposed. And that’s why Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
MED: Minister Farrakhan, thank you so very kindly for coming on The Michael Eric Dyson Show.
HMLF: Oh, thank you, Dr. Dyson. And, I pray that my passion, which is not out of hate at all, but it is out of a desire to correct the wrong. And the most difficult part in correcting a wrong is pointing the wrong out. And none of us want to be wrong.
But I’ve asked the Jewish people, if you can show me that I’m wrong, I’ll go before the entire world and apologize, and ask your forgiveness. And I’ve added to that, if you can show me where I’m wrong, you can have my life.
It’s not worth living if I can’t live it on the basis of The Truth, and die for the sake of The Truth, because The Truth is that which our Universe is built upon. And if we’re going to build a solid future, the Kingdom of God—it has to be built on Truth.
God bless you, Dr. Dyson.
MED: Thank you, my friend.