BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: JUL 19, 2006 – 9:00:00 AM
[Editor’s note: On May 7, 2006, Minister Farrakhan appeared on “The Open Line Show” on 98.7 KISS FM in New York, N.Y., which is hosted by James Mtume. We reprint edited excerpts from the discussion, which included several questions called in by the listening audience.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
James Mtume (JM): Could you give us your summation of your trip to Cuba [in March 2006], as you explain the need for Black people in America to globalize and (that) we don’t have to depend on people necessarily here in America?
Minister Louis Farrakhan (MLF): In the Book of Genesis, when Adam was made by God, he was told to eat of all of the fruit of all of these trees except one. Today, we are in the Genesis of the birth and rise of Black people all over the world. We have fed from a tree of good mixed with evil, of lies mixed with truth and it has poisoned the bloodstream of the Black family. So we are filled with self-hatred and self-destructive behavior. But we are a global people, we are an international people and there are many trees of knowledge all over the world that we should be willing to at least taste the fruit of.
After Hurricane Katrina, which unmasked the naked racism and ineptitude of government and the non-caring attitude of government toward the suffering of Black people, we decided that since Cuba was only 90 miles from the shores of America—under a blockade for 47 years with a leader who has withstood over 670 assassination attempts—Cuba has been mobilized for 47 years to withstand disaster. There have been Category 5 hurricanes that hit that island and not one life was lost.
At the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March, which we call the birth of the Millions More Movement, we said that we can no longer depend on government to look after us, but we must set up those instrumentalities that would allow us, to look out for ourselves. So we wanted a Ministry of Health, a Ministry of Education, a Ministry of Defense, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Ministry of Science and Technology, a Ministry of Art and Culture and the people that were on that Mall agreed that we should set up these types of ministries, gathering the Talented Tenth that W.E.B. DuBois talked about and with a programmatic thrust to work to lift the masses of our people.
So as the Ministry of Defense, we wanted to go to Cuba to see how they defended themselves and their people against hurricanes, against natural disaster. It was one of the greatest learning experiences that we had—and that is a tree that I believe we all can eat from and the fruit of that tree will not poison us.
JM: Many people do not understand what your image and relationship are with world leaders. Could you elaborate on that?
MLF: In Cuba, we documented with a videographer everything that we saw and we saw much. Every word is being transcribed and we are bringing from that transcription a document that we desire to share with our Brothers and Sisters, church leaders and organizational leaders because disaster is going to strike America. It is written in the Holy Qur’an that Allah (God) will bring one calamity after another until the enemy is laid low. So Hurricane Katrina is only one, but there are many more to come. We, as suffering people in America and the poor of America, must be prepared to save ourselves and our people. So what we learned, we want to share it through churches and organizations to Black, Native American and Chicano families. We also want to work with city, state and federal government so that when these disasters strike, as they will, we can make sure that there is not the loss of life, that tremendous loss of property and dislocation that we saw with Hurricane Katrina.
As far as the global effects, I want to say to Bob Law, Viola Plummer and all of the wonderful Brothers and Sisters here in New York, Reverend Herbert Daughtry and others who helped make the Million Man March such a great success—this was certainly not a one-man show. It took many, many, many wonderful people to turn out nearly two million Black men on the Mall.
All the news media was there, so it was an event that was seen around the world. When the world saw these Black men in peace and unity, demonstrating love for one another, the outside world saw Black America as hope for them. They knew that, if we united, we could form a political base of power that could change not only domestic policy, but also influence foreign policy.
So when I went around the world after the Million Man March, we were met with leaders that literally praised Black people in America for such a demonstration. People lined the streets and cheered us from the airports into the cities. There was no head of state or government that did not receive us with honor and now the doors to the world are open to us.
But we must be prepared for when these doors open, to go in and take advantage of the fact that we are an international people, a global people. We are not a minority. We are the majority on the Planet and the whole world is looking to Black America because we grew up in the world leader. We understand them better than anyone outside of America. We get nearly a trillion dollars out of this economy and we are the best-educated Black people on the earth, but what we need is a knowledge of self that will give us self-love, self-determination and a desire to do for self. Then, the whole world is not our playground, but our garden, where we can eat the fruit from all of the trees except the one that’s in the midst of the garden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
JM: Minister Farrakhan, let me ask you a question about leadership, and certainly your leadership over the last 15 years. Organizing the Million Man March and the Millions More Movement I think is an example of the quality of your leadership, as well as the vision of the best possible folks coming forward to provide that leadership to us.
MLF: I think the best of us is yet to come. The best of us is like the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught me once. He said there is a force in the universe that, in the darkness, a star is being born. You cannot see it, but then that force that is in the darkness will bring that star into view. What that is telling us is we are never bereft of leadership. When leaders fail us or when good leaders die, that same force that is in the universe that makes new stars and brings them into view will bring new leadership into view.
New leadership is required among Black people because there is a sickness in our leadership. I do not want to put myself apart from them except I do that which sets me apart. I will not place myself beyond our Brothers and Sisters in leadership because none of us have done all that we should or all that we could. But having said that, there is a sickness, a disease, in Black leadership. When it comes to leading our people, they can only take us so far. That is why that young cadre of leadership, those stars that are being born in the darkness, they must rise now and come forth without the poison of loving others more than you love yourself and wanting to please others before you please yourself.
John (a caller from Princeton, N.J.): Given the plight of the African Americans and the country, with all the devastation going on in the world, do we as a people have the light to impeach this president, kick them all out and start all over again? What we have now does not work and if we don’t do that, this country truly will be destroyed.
MLF: President George Bush is really taking the country down at a very fast pace. He is born to do this. He can’t help himself. He is an empty vessel that was looking for the right idea that he could latch onto and the neo-conservatives who offered this idea of an imperialist America, a global America, offered it to (former president Bill) Clinton. He turned it down, but Pres. Bush accepted the ideas of the neo-conservatives and he is now the chief exponent of an idea that is taking the country into ruin. You can vote him and his administration out, but you still will not get the powers that controlled Clinton when he was in, controlled (former president Jimmy) Carter when he was in, controlled (former president Richard) Nixon and (former president Ronald) Reagan when they were in. There has to be a sweep.
That is why Christ comes with a government on his shoulders: “For unto us a child is born, a son is given and a government will be upon his shoulders and he shall be called wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, and of the increase of his government of peace, there shall be no end.” All of these governments of the world have failed in their stewardship of human beings. So God is coming in this day to take over the rule Himself and set up a government that will give the people freedom, justice, equality and the kind of peace that will make human beings able to live together in brotherhood.
You can vote if you want to and vote this out, but whatever you vote in, believe me, it is the same thing that you just voted out. Because when you sit in that seat, you do not see the electric shocks that come up under it to let the person sitting in the seat know, there is another power here that you better pay attention to. So all of your votes, whether it is for the mayor, city councilman or alderman, these are offices that good can come from, but there is so much evil under this good that if you do not continue to wash your representatives in the pool of Salome, they too will become corrupt and compromise away the future of our people.
(Pick up next week’s edition of The Final Call for the second part of this article, which will feature Minister Farrakhan’s answers to questions about the African Union and the crisis in Darfur.)