Minister Farrakhan addresses National Black People’s Unity Convention
[Editor’s note: The following excerpts are taken from the address delivered March 10 by Minister Farrakhan to keynote the forum, “The Challenges We Face,” during the four-day National Black People’s Unity Convention in Gary, Indiana, which was themed “Policies for Empowerment: The Struggle for a New Economic Order.”]
A new educational paradigm
Without the proper requisite knowledge we will never have economic empowerment.
One of the challenges that we face is that the educational system is a failure and it is designed that way so that the mass Black and poor will always fit into socio-economic paradigm.
They will always be the 85 percent that the 10 percent live from to remain rich at the expense of the Black and the poor. The educational system was never designed to cultivate the talent within the human being. True education cultivates what God has put within so that it comes out to glorify God and better the person, family, community and the world. You have never been trained to succeed, but a few of us do, to sell the lie to the masses that the system works for all. We must never sell that lie to another generation of Black children. Stop telling your people, “If you work hard, you will achieve.” You will achieve, only if they open a door for you to achieve; the door does not open for everybody. So we cannot trust a system of education like that.
So the challenge is an education that enlivens us to do business. Business is the activity of life itself. You do not have to teach a worm what to do to survive. Every creature is born with the inherent ability to attract out of this material earth what it needs to perpetuate its species. If we are made in the image and the likeness of God, something is wrong that we do not know how to make something happen for ourselves and if White people do not make it happen for us, we want to picket, lay down, sit in, crawl in and wade in. Nobody respects a beggar. We have the ability to do something for ourselves. We have wonderful political progress in one sense, but politics without economics is symbol without substance. What good is it to be the Black mayor over someone else’s reality and if you do not govern their reality right, they move you out.
The challenge is to create a new educational paradigm. It is not outside of our grasp to do this, because this educational system is a failure. Do not worry about trying to transform it. It was never designed to serve you well. In my humble suggestion, we need our own Ministry of Education, where we bring our brightest minds together to think about what do we want for our children and people.
Sound economic empowerment
If you live in a society that out-sources jobs to cheap labor markets overseas and everything that we wear now is made in a foreign country, what happens to the functional illiterates and dropouts. Do you think you can wait for the U.S. government to create more jobs for us and what kind of job will they create for our children? The price of living is going up, but wages going down or remaining the same. What chance do our young people have in an economy that is dying in front of our faces? The economic challenge is, do we sit around and wait for someone else to provide a job for an ever-shrinking job market?
The food in agribusiness is more for profit than the health and well being of the American people. There was a time when Black people owned 21 million acres of land. Today, we own less than three million acres of farmland. If we do not own land, we do not have the basis of building sound economic empowerment. As long as your mouth is in someone else’s kitchen, then you are at the mercy of the food merchants of death. So, we might as well as get ready to do something for ourselves.
Next week’s edition of The Final Call newspaper, will feature a full- length article full of the guidance delivered by Minister Farrakhan in this lecture.