CHICAGO (FinalCall.com) – “Allah-u-Akbar! Allah-u-Akbar!” (God is Great! God is Great!) chanted thousands of Muslims here and in more than 110 other satellite venues Feb. 29 in this country, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the United Kingdom, France, North and West Africa, South Africa and the Middle East, the instant the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan appeared on the screen to deliver his Saviours’ Day 2004 address: “Reparations: What Does America and Europe Owe? What Does Allah (God) Promise?”
True to his subject, the Nation of Islam leader delivered an impassioned, fact-filled petition to the United States government, making a clear case in the name of true “justice,” not just politics, for reparations payments from this country to the descendants of its slaves–slaves whose free labor made the nation rich.
Joined on the dais at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill., by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus; Judge Mathis, a popular television host; Chicago activist George O’Hare; Rev. Al Sampson, pastor of Fernwood Methodist Church in Chicago; Nation of Islam figures and family members, Min. Farrakhan delivered a message that concluded several days of activities in observance of the annual Saviours’ Day among Nation of Islam members.
“Give yourselves a warm round of applause as we celebrate Saviours’ Day 2004,” said Rep. John Conyers, author of H.R. 40, a Congressional resolution establishing a commission to study slavery and the question of reparations.
“This is a great day. We, the Black people of America, the people of color of the world must join together to bring support to the eight million people in Haiti! That is our duty, even if our president does not understand.
“We will do in America (what) our government should not have allowed in Haiti. They allowed rebels to run out a duly elected democratically elected president. Well, we will vote out an un-duly elected president of the United States of America,” Mr. Conyers continued.
“I’m honored to join this distinguished leader who gives hope and understanding to people all over the world, of every color, of every religion, and of every political belief,” he said of Min. Farrakhan.
Leonard F. Muhammad, Nation of Islam Chief-of-Staff, said to be on “temporary” loan to Michael Jackson, offered a spirited defense of himself and his role as an adviser to the pop music superstar. Mr. Jackson “deserves better” from Black people in this country, “than we did for Paul Robeson,” said Mr. Muhammad.
Mr. Robeson was a Black musical and theatrical star who was persecuted by the U.S. government and often prevented from performing during the 1950s because U.S. officials did not approve of his militant political views.
Restrained, he said, by a court-imposed gag order against discussion of legal charges against Mr. Jackson–lewd conduct with a minor–outside of the courtroom, Mr. Muhammad did assure the audience of his belief that Mr. Jackson is innocent.
Minister Farrakhan said Black voters should consider showing their strong support for Rev. Al Sharpton, a Democratic presidential candidate, in order to give him more power to promote the Black agenda.
“Black people are so angry with President Bush that they’re willing to give Senator Kerry a free ride. Getting rid of Bush and getting John Kerry…will mean you’ll get more of the same.”
February 26, Min. Farrakhan pointed out, is a day that was set aside by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to honor the birth of a man from the Holy City of Mecca in Arabia. He was born on February 26, 1877–Master Fard Muhammad. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that he was and is the great Mahdi, the Messiah,” said Min. Farrakhan. His desire, he said, was to reach the world with a serious message on the principle of reparations and to explain how that message relates to divine revelation.
Despite popular convention which ignores Black issues, Min. Farrakhan insisted that the ancient prophets literally foresaw the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the 400 years of slavery that historians declare to be the worst and most cruel slavery ever put on human beings in the annals of history.
But despite the fact that the prophets did write about it, “Have you ever heard any scholar of Christianity, Judaism or Islam talk about the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the suffering of Black people in America? Well, don’t you think we should ask why?
” Is it that we don’t exist in their hearts and minds or do they think that others in the world in less serious condition than ours can receive warning and guidance from Allah (God), but we, the Blacks in the Diaspora and in Africa, have no place in the heart of God?” Min. Farrakhan asked.
“For reparations, you have to appeal to a government and they may listen or they may not listen, but the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that when we lie down, justice lies down with us. And when we get up, justice gets up with us. Justice is not concerned with the World Court or the International Criminal Court or the local judge and the local court.
“God has set the balance in the universe that caused Jesus to say, ‘He who lives by the sword, will die by the sword. He who has led into captivity, will go into captivity and a man shall reap what he sows.’ That law has nothing to do with courts. It has everything to do with the highest court, the universal court of the divine Supreme Being.”
The Muslim leader held up a book by Gary Wills called “The Negro President,” from which he read a passage: “It is a fact that through much of our history, Americans have shied away from slavery as too divisive or hot an issue leading to a great national amnesia about the impact and the reach of slavery.”
He went on to say that “Americans are suffering from amnesia about slavery. It’s too hot an issue. It’s too divisive. ‘Don’t talk about it, please, for God sake because if you talk about it, as a White person, I’m going to feel bad.'”
But author Wills says “that as our understanding of the role of slavery in our past grows, it will become clearer just how much slavery has affected all aspects of American life.
Minister Farrakhan pointed out that another author, Randall Robinson, writes in his book, “The Debt,” “that unless White people are willing to look at slavery and the impact that slavery has on Black people’s present mental, moral, spiritual, social and economic condition, unless you’re willing to look at that, we will never heal the racial divide in this country.”
“For if America is unwilling to look at the horror of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and what happened to us as a people, there will never be a chance for good relations between Black and White,” said Min. Farrakhan.
If England and America, “don’t wish to look at this, they won’t be a part of the solution. They’ll be the problem, and that problem is going to be removed today by the power of the Lord of the worlds.
“Now, I know that we believe that America is all powerful,” Min. Farrakhan continued. “There’s no question that America is very, very powerful, but so was Pharaoh. So was Nero. So was the Caesaros of Persia. Everybody that thought they had that kind of power, time and the motion of people toward freedom set them down.”
There is, he continued, a foundation in the Holy Scriptures to support his arguments. “God said to Abram, know of a surety that your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them 400 years. But also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance. That’s a promise. That’s a promise. That’s when God stepped in and slew Pharaoh’s army.”
Even though Pharaoh was personally drowned with his army, “God saved his body,” Min. Farrakhan continued. “What did he save his body for? So that a man like President Bush can go and look at a Pharaoh that was powerful, but is dead and powerless, so that he will know that the same God that dealt with Pharaoh is well able to deal with the power of the government of the United States of America.”
Then, Min. Farrakhan issued a challenge to Christians and Jewish analysts of his remarks. What if the Messiah, of whom the prophecies are written, is a Black man from America? Would they be able to accept him?
In order for a leader to be a man like Moses, Min. Farrakhan continued, the only human condition capable of producing that kind of leader is the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Blacks have been in America more than 400 years, fulfilling another aspect of the prophecy, he pointed out. And the U.S. is a “strange land” to Blacks said Min. Farrakhan, referring to the promise made to Abraham. Africa was eventually “raped of Black people” he explained, pointing out that young Black males and females don’t know what older people know about how bad it was to be Black in America.
“You think now because you can turn on your TV and look at a Black man romancing a White woman, we have arrived. You see the great Judge Mathis holding court, coming out of the ghetto to rise now to a position of honor and respect. You see Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant. You see the great basketball players, football players, multi-millionaires and you say oh, boy, we’re making it. America’s alright,” for Black people.
“But I want to say to all of us who have a nice home, a nice car, a little money in the bank, do not allow yourself to be used as a mannequin in the window of democracy to sell a lie to your poor brothers and sisters who are suffering in the ghettos of America.You cannot rise above the condition of your people.”
“Money doesn’t make a Black man or woman who is a child of those brought across the Atlantic Ocean whole,” Min. Farrakhan explained. “Nothing that we have achieved has healed us as a people. Political office doesn’t heal us. When you get there, you know you don’t have any power. The power that you have is the power they allow you to have and when you step over the line, they cut you off and leave you with nothing.
This doesn’t mean that our politicians are not valuable, he continued. “It only means that they are not powerful enough to really make a change.
“The court is the brother of the robber, the murderer and the thief and the kidnapper. The court isn’t going to give you justice. One brother will knock you down and the other brother will come and say, did my brother do that? My brother’s so awful. Then later that night, you see him with his brother talking about how they did you in.”
“There isn’t any justice for us with that. That’s why I’ve got to talk about what God promises, because, right now, this question of reparations is the hottest thing that any Black person could talk about; but why won’t we talk about it? Because we want to go along to get along. We are slaves with a slave mentality who want the approval of White people rather than to confront them for justice.
“What does God promise?” he asked rhetorically.
Before now, Blacks have always been subject to the cruelest punishments for acting on their desire for freedom or for the slightest infraction during slavery said Min. Farrakhan. Lynchings, corpse mutilations, beheadings, live burnings and ritual displays of amputated body parts were commonplace.
“There are recorded cases where the severed heads of Africans were impaled as a warning to other Blacks. Whippings were cruel and sadistic. One former slave wrote of having witnessed a Black man being forced to whip his own mother to death. The shrieks of horror were often audible for miles.”
No one–neither Arabs, Christians or Jews–feels the pain of Black suffering, Min. Farrakhan said. “That’s why all you scholars can talk about God in the kingdom, but you don’t mention the trans-Atlantic slave trade. You don’t mention the horror of our suffering. Here’s why: It’s because of “The Hamidic curse.”
The Hamitic curse was written in the Talmud 400 years after the birth of Jesus, said the Muslim leader. In the Talmud, they say that because (Noah’s son Ham) looked at him in (a drunken) condition and mocked him, he was cursed–with features that Black people possess. “We were Black and cursed” according to what Jews, Christians and Muslims were led to believe that this Hamidic curse was applied to Blacks.
“Let me tell you something, your days are numbered,” Min. Farrakhan warned White American leaders. “The finger has written on the wall in blood. Your kingdom has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
At the same time, he issued an appeal to Black men and women: “You’ve got to stand up. Money is not more important than principle.”
Slavery made England rich, he said. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the foundation of that European economic system of capitalism, Min. Farrakhan explained. African slavery was the cornerstone of the development of European colonial enterprises in the Caribbean, Central and South America and the English colonies that became the United States.
Americans should follow the example of Pope John Paul II, who apologized to all the world’s indigenous people for the crimes which may have been committed by and in the name of the Catholic Church.
But more is required, even of the Catholic Church, which has at least taken a first step. The United States of America has an even more tremendous burden, Min. Farrakhan said. Estimates of the cost to “repair the damage (reparations)” done to Blacks by America range as high as $9 trillion. But the cost, the Muslim leader continued, need not be calculated only in dollars and cents. “The transfer of knowledge is the start of the repair of the damage,” he said. “That’s what produces equality” between people.
“What is God’s promise?” Min. Farrakhan asked again in his conclusion: “Justice, after which (Blacks in America) will come out with great substance,” he answered. “What does America and Europe owe? They owe everything. They must repent or be destroyed from the planet.”