[Editor’s note:  The following article contains only excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s interview with Pastor Jamal H. Bryant, host of The Empowerment Encounter program that aired August 3, 2015 on the Christian-based The Word Network, live from its Southfield, Michigan television studio.]


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

Reverend Jamal H. Bryant (JHB):  We welcome to The Word Network, and to the entire world, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan!  We’re honored to have you, Sir.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF):  Thank you.

JHB:  I’m so appreciative to be able to mark in history that I’ve lived in the same chasm of time of one of the greatest leaders of our people.  Never in the history of this nation have one million people ever gathered—except at your call.  I’m appreciative that God preserved your life over these 20 years so another generation will be able to in fact have the reverberations of greatness; I’m thankful He sustained your health, and has kept you strong for such an hour as this.  Twenty years later I never thought we would have to go back, and now we’re right here:  Why do you think 20 years later it is needed and necessary for us to go back to the nation’s capital?

HMLF:  We are over 50 years from the march over the Edmund Pettis Bridge, we’re over 50 years from the first march on Washington; we are nearly 50 years from the murder of Malcolm X, and the assassination of Dr. King—and nothing has changed.  We have loved our enemies, and we have given all that we have for this nation.  We built the country:  Our sweat and our blood, our tears, our slave labor made America rich and powerful.  “Why must we go back?”  Because what we went for before has not been realized.

The flag of the Confederate forces and army, and part of the nation, was taken down.  That is “symbol.”  It’s easier to take down a symbol than to remove the substance that that symbol represents.  I have always been taught by my leader and my mother to stand in respect of the American flag; whenever the flag is produced I stand at attention, out of respect for that flag, because it is the flag of a free and sovereign people that we helped to make free and sovereign.  Yet, we are not free, and we don’t have America as really “ours”—so all the hell that we are catching for the last 150 years is under not the Confederate flag, but under the American flag.


Word Network staff poses after historic interview on Christian network with Muslim leader. Photo: Montez Miller, Office of Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones

We’re going back to Washington because the capital of the country represents the tyranny under which we live!  That flag flies over the Congress…  Laws have been passed, such as the 13th, the 14th and the 15th Amendments, but none of them have been enforced; people died for us to have the right to vote, and they passed the voting rights bill only a few years ago to have the Supreme Court (today) gut the enforcement of that bill, the protection of our right to vote.  The flag of America flies over the state capitals where we don’t get justice!  The flag of America flies over redlining, over police brutality and mob attacks!  The flag of America flies over The Supreme Court where we can’t get justice!  The flag of America flies…  So my question tonight is:  “How can we continue to support a flag and a country that does not support our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”  We must go back, but we must go back with a Determined Idea—it is “Justice…Or Else!” 


“Or Else what?”  We’ll get to that…

JHB:  Minister, there are 17 declared Republican candidates, who all 17 claim they are prepared to lead the nation; and in a few days, are going to have their first debate.  If in fact you were the moderator of that debate, what would you say or ask of those 17?

HMLF:  Oh Jamal (smile)…  None of those 17 speaks for the American people.  They are like—oh God, I don’t want to use a cheap phrase; but, you know, in the major cities of America you find beautiful girls dressed to attract men to lust, and take pleasure on their pain.  America is seeing our children trafficked, babies trafficked; and if a nation cannot protect its young, and protect its elderly… 

Well, why did I use that picture?  Because the candidates are like undressed women, who are looking for people with money to back them when they know most of them are bought and paid for!  You’ll buy a president, and then you expect that president to do your bidding!  That’s why Trump is listened to, because he’s not a whore—he’s got money; so the whore masters can’t buy him, the king makers can’t make him!  So that’s why the American people are listening to him, because for the first time you have a man that can pay his own way.  He’s a business man—not that I would vote for him, because I’m looking to see what you’re going to do, Mr. Trump, for justice for the Black man.  Our cry is worse than any other who is deprived!  We’ve been here longer than any immigrant!  And we didn’t come here looking for something as the immigrants did, we were brought here in the holds of ships; we didn’t come here on The Niña, The Pinta or The Santa Maria, we came to be made slaves and burden bearers of the citizens of this nation. 

So, if I were the moderator, I’d tell them:  “Go home”…  Not one of you would get my vote!  But it’s the same on the other side.  “What?”  Oh yes:  We have to look at this “horse and pony show” on the Democratic Side.  And most of you are Democrats, and most of you are slaves; most of you are Democrats, but most of you are deprived; most of you are Democrats, but it is under democratic leadership that we have suffered.  You owe us something America…  So no campaign speech is going to get our vote this year—no campaign speech.  I’ve heard Mrs. Clinton say that “All Lives Matter,” but to Mrs. Clinton, and to all the candidates:  If Black lives don’t matter, no life matters, because all life came from The Black Man and Woman!  You have your existence because of us; so “Black Lives” must matter if your life is to matter!

So this is in an interesting time!  When we go back to Washington, my dear and beloved brother, companion and friend in struggle, we can’t go back weak.  It’s come to the point of explosion, now; the statistics that you laid out, and the words that Sister Tamika Mallory said (“We are killing each other”):  This is not because we just want to kill, we are socially engineered into the behavior of a savage!  “Socially engineered”…

JHB:  Today, as we are mindful of five sisters (Raynette Turner, Joyce Curnell, Sandra Bland, Ralkina Jones and Kindra Chapman), Minister, who died in police custody [with]in three weeks [of each other]—but the news cycle is focused more on a lion dying in Africa; and I find the irony in that they will in fact pause, and find the importance of an animal dying out of Africa, but not The Sister Lionesses who have died coming out of Africa.  If we believe that “Black Lives Matter,” why is it that we only march, only get enraged, when it’s a White officer holding the gun?  But when it is that we see death amongst ourselves, we have in fact become desensitized to it, and don’t mobilize around it?  Minister, I want to ask you a question:  Is it that America doesn’t believe “Black Lives Matter” because we don’t act like it does?

HMLF:  I think that’s a part of the problem, because you can’t ask somebody to treat you better than you are willing to treat yourself.  And, I like what you said Pastor Jamal; because “Cecil,” I think is the name of the lion?  “Cecil” got shot because somebody wanted a trophy of a great, powerful lion. 

Now they’re looking for Cecil [remains], and they’re looking for the one that shot Cecil.  The dentist (who shot him) has closed his shop; he’s in hiding.  Darren Wilson (the killer of Michael Brown) is walking.  The killer of Trayvon Martin is walking; the killer of Oscar Grant is walking—but the doctor is in hiding over a dead lion.  We have to answer for our weakness and our cowardice in the face of tyranny!  I’m saying this, Brother Jamal, and I pray that God will guide my words and guide my heart.  Beloved brother, and my dear brothers and sisters:  Sometimes, as Dr. King said, there are things worth dying for; and Dr. King said if there is something in your life that’s not worthy of dying for, then what are you living for?  …

And I want to say to pastors:  You must man-up, and stop preaching a doctrine that makes you a better slave!  Stop it!  And don’t put your cowardice on Jesus Christ—you misunderstand him totally!


I was with Martin Luther King, III the other day, and we were talking about the violence in our community; and you’re right, Brother Jamal, we don’t stand up when we kill each other; we go and rush [to “march” when the White man kills us].  But the White man has been killing us ever since our fathers set the soles of their feet in the Western Hemisphere—he’s been doing it for 460 years now.  So you can’t say:  “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”  They didn’t just do it since we’ve been here; they did it all over the Earth!  The Book of Revelation (18:24) calls them “blood shedders,” who have shed the blood of every creature. 

That’s why Cecil is dead!  That’s why the animals can’t live, because we want to kill and kill and kill, and put trophies on the wall!  That’s why when they burned us at the stake, they would cut off our ears and cut off our private parts, and make them trophies!  This is why John The Revelator refused to call the rulers of this world “human beings”; John The Revelator called them “beasts” (Rev. 13:16-18)and we had the mark of the beast in our forehead and in our hands.  Look at what our hands of doing!  Look at what our minds are thinking!  Don’t you tell anybody that you’re a “Christian” and you are not Christ-like.  And we can’t tell anybody we are “Muslims” if we are not in submission to The Will of God …



So my beloved brothers and sisters, if “hate” is bad—and they always tell us:  “You shouldn’t hate…  No, this is not nice, that we should hate,” because they know with the evil that they are pouring on us, the natural thing would be not to love them!  But we are like a silly woman married to an abusive man, and he’s beating you all the time; and silly woman, says, “But, I love you…”  After a while, people begin to think you’re insane if you don’t love yourself enough to protect yourself from an abusive man.  That’s why they have courts, supposedly, and judges, supposedly, that you can go to court and say:  “Your honor, I can’t take no more.  And before I kill him, or he kills me…”  Well, the same today (for us):  “Our differences are irreconcilable.  I helped him get what he got, so let’s divide up what we helped him build.”   Look at the Bible; in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 49, it raises a question—The Judge is asking us, “Shall the lawful captive be delivered?”  Wow  Then Isaiah says, “He shall take the prey from the mighty, and the lawful captive will be delivered.” 


How are you a “lawful” captive?  You’re under the law, under that flag, and your hands are bound!  You know you are being killed—but the Justice Department will not act on our behalf; they will not intercede to see that those of us who are wronged get justice!  So what are we to do?  We can’t live like this anymore!


I was talking to the police chief in St. Louis the other day, and I said, “Chief, this thing is coming to the point of explosion”; I said:  “We don’t have anything to lose; we are already dead.  And our young people don’t think they’ll live to see 21.  So we have nothing to lose, but you, chief, have everything to lose:  Your life, the city, and your country…” 

Have you ever seen the eruption of a volcano that slept for hundreds, even thousands of years, and you’ve been playing around the volcano without respect for what its potential is—and then one day a roar comes up?”  It ain’t Cecil—it’s The Black Oppressed!  It’s The Brown Oppressed!  It’s The Indigenous Oppressed!  It’s The Poor White Oppressed, who do not see the government of America as their government; so since Barack Obama was elected, you have over 1,200 militias in America, armed to the teeth!  They’re not armed because they want to go out in the field and shoot; they are ready to fight their government.  America is in trouble… That’s why we’re going:  We have to get justice. 

And I have to tell you:  It is better sometimes to be dead than to live continuously under tyranny.  And when we get to that point that “death is sweeter,” then we will act as a human being should act in defense of our life. …  There was White policeman that was shot in Memphis (recently):  I don’t know what happened, but suppose the brother saw him coming, saw that uniform—as I told the captain, or the chief of police in St. Louis, “We see this uniform of yours as the uniform of the enemy.” 

Brother Malcolm said the police are an “occupying army,” and we are not there to be “served and protected” by them, they are there to run a cordon around our community; so that the disease of our savagery won’t penetrate downtown where the tourists come so that we won’t interfere with the flow of business.  This is real…  But one day, in the island of Montserrat in The Caribbean:  A sleeping volcano erupted.  [The Soufrière Hills volcano, in 1995]:  When it erupted, first it’s just “a roar”—oh Cecil…  Then dust and debris coming up that covers great distances, so high till planes can’t fly (because if that stuff gets in your engine, your plane is coming down); then comes the fire, then comes the lava, then comes the destruction of everything around!  Is that, America, what you want to see from us, your faithful servant; your loyal servitude slave?  Is that what you are hoping for, so you can slaughter us? 

Yes, you can slaughter us, you have the means to do it—but you won’t last.  I’m here to warn you America:  We are The People of God.  God has chosen the foolish things of this world to be His People, and He has come to be our God.  As our beloved pastor, Rev. Dr. Freddie Haynes said, “The battle is not ours.  The battle is The Lord’s,” the scripture also teaches, “Vengeance is Mine saith The Lord”—so America, you can look for [that] if you come with your tanks (and you’re ready to do it).  But when you come with your tanks, know that we are ready to die—but, we are not going to die without putting up a fight. 

Brothers and sisters, if you’re not ready yet to defend the gift that only God can give, and if you can’t and will not fight to protect this gift [your life]—and like a sheep led to the slaughter you offer your lives up on the altar of cowardice:  If this is you, then you deserve to die.  But if you stand and fight for the life that God gave you, then victory is assured!  Some of us will die, but the rest will be free to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! …

JHB:  Awesome…  It’s almost like a “déjà vu moment” of the processing of what Dr. King was going through seeing four little girls bombed in a church, seeing dogs unleashed on women; having to have men hold a sign making the declaration: “I Am A Man,” and out of that pain, writing Strength to Love (1963).  One of the most critical things you’ve said to me since I’ve had the privilege of walking with you is hearing you say “Dr. King didn’t die because of his dream, he died because he woke up,” in that we really don’t understand the effulgence of the development of Dr. King.  And part of your drive of going back (to Washington, D.C.) is your newfound affinity for where the direction of Dr. King was going; that there is a “missing integer”:  after “civil” rights, there’s some “silver rights.”  And we can’t forget that he was on his way for The Poor People’s Campaign; that, there is a financial issue that is at stake that is going to have to be met.

HMLF:  Oh, Brother Jamal…  Most of our pastors have allowed the historians to make a caricature of the greatness of Dr. King by saying he had “a dream.”  Is that all you know about that man?  The last two years of his life he was on an evolutionary journey:  He was going up to God, and down into The Valley of Death.

The garbage workers were experiencing pain, no justice; Dr. King said, the night before he died [in his speech “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” delivered April 3, 1968]:  “We (at that time) have 30 billion dollars coming through our hands in one year.  We are richer than every country on the earth except nine.”  He said that money represents power:  “We are poor individually.  But collectively, with the money that comes through our hands, we are richer than most of the nations on the earth that have hospitals, schools, agriculture, science, technology—with less money!”  This year, $1.3 trillion dollars is going to come through our hand…  And the business community romances us for our consumer dollars, not even 10 percent of which stays within our community.  So Dr. King said, “We must redistribute the pain.”  He said we must go by the big business of these tycoons and tell them, “God sent us by here”I like that:  “God sent us by here to tell you that you’re not treating His people right.  God said He wants you to treat His people fairly.  And if you’re not prepared to treat His people fairly, then we have an agenda; and that agenda is to withdraw our dollars from you.” So he said, “Tonight, in Memphis, go and tell your neighbors ‘Don’t buy Coca Cola.  Don’t buy Sealtest milk.  Don’t buy Wonder Bread”; and then there was another bread, and he looked over at Jesse (Jackson), and said, “Jesse!  What’s that other bread?”  Jesse screamed out, “It’s Hart’s bread!”  He said, “Yes!  Hart’s bread.”  He said: “Let’s go and take our money out of their banks and put it in our own banks.”


Brothers and sisters, we’re in a great time, now, that our unity will propel us to victory.  Dr. King said you don’t need to talk bad, you don’t need to shout, you don’t need to shoot, you don’t need to throw a Molotov cocktail—all we need to do is to come together in unity, and use the power of our purchasing to deliver pain, and they will properly respond. 

So in concluding, Pastor Jamal mentioned the four children that were bombed in Birmingham (in 1963):  My Research Team found words from Dr. King after that happened; he was so hurt, he wanted all-out war—not physical, not violent, but to shut down cities (“go out in the highways; don’t let nothing move”).  And the one thing Dr. King really wanted to do was boycott Christmas, and he knew that they were united enough to make it effective.  I looked at that, and I said, “Oh, Dr. King…”—I didn’t know that’s what he wanted!  But that’s what I’m asking:  That this year, on the day after Thanksgiving, let Black be absent on that Friday (“Black Friday”).  Let Black people keep their money in their pocket!  … 

[This Christmas], what I am asking all pastors, please join us:  Let’s honor Christ.  Do you know what “Christ” means?  Christ + mas:  It means a mass of people gathered for the honor and worship of God through Christ.  That’s what “Christmas” is.  Don’t defile it!  Don’t make mockery of it!  Don’t make the wicked, who don’t even believe in Jesus, happy by spending your hard-earned dollars with those who hated Jesus!  Go home, and open your heart. 

Paul said the Jew is not a Jew by the circumcision of the male instrument; the Jew is a Jew by “the circumcision of your heart.” (Romans 2)  You see pictures of Jesus with his heart exposed, because he had no secrets hidden; he was perfectly pure.  And after Jesus gave us The Two Great Commandments, he gave us another as he was leaving us:  “Love ye one another even as I have loved you”—and the love of that man is almost incomparable.  But to rise to that, that’s “the ideal”; because he went to that cross to suffer, and bleed and die, to reconcile human beings who lost their way back to The Father. 

See, you and I have children wandering; we have family crazy; they’re drug addicts, criminals:  Bring them to the table.  It’s Christ mas time!  Bring them to the table and make a good meal for them; and say a prayer before you eat!  And then while they’re eating on the beauty of the food, talk to them about The Beauty of a Man; talk to them about a Man not the image of the Caucasian—because Jesus was not White.  (You don’t want him anymore?)


JHB:  Thank you.  Would you help me salute and celebrate Minister Louis Farrakhan?  What an incredible, valuable gift…  Listen, we want everybody to come to Washington, D.C.—“10.10.15, Justice…Or Else!”:  It’s going down!  I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss HISTORY.  It’s going to happen!  I’m going to give you a “sneak peek”:  Minister Farrakhan is going to preach the sermon Martin Luther King was never able to finish.*  …  We were able to get the notes of what Dr. King left right there on the nightstand of the Lorraine Motel—and he’s going to finish that “dream” in Washington, D.C.  It’s going to be very critical, very monumental, and you want to be a part of it!  …  “10.10.15”:  It’s going to be like no other day America has ever seen before!  Thank you Minister Farrakhan