On July 15, 2006, I asked the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “Brother Minister, about 13 years ago, you wrote ‘A Torchlight for America,’ which was published by The Final Call. Why did you write it?”
Minister Farrakhan: In studying the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I saw that there were times when his language was very condemning of the government of the United States, the White people of America and the world, for their evils done and planned to do against the rise of Black people universally. Then there were times when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke a gentle word to Pharaoh, as the Qur’an teaches, that perhaps he would mind.
When I began to see deeper the irrelevance that the government of the United States saw in Black people, and their desire to get rid of a useless piece of property, I wrote “A Torchlight for America,” 13 years ago, to try to stay their hand from carrying out a plan of mass destruction of our people by showing them that among us is a light; is a guide for them that could save America from the destruction that Allah and the angels had planned for this nation. I also wanted to show them that among these so-called useless Black people, there was a group that God had raised as a bearer of warning and good news.
Therefore, “A Torchlight for America” was written with that thought in mind. As Allah said to Moses, in so many words, “Don’t be so hard on Pharaoh just yet. Speak a gentle word to him. Perhaps he may mind.”
“A Torchlight for America” is a gentle word that offers solutions to the many, many problems that America is facing, that Black people are facing, and in some cases, that the world is facing, so that he, Pharaoh–the government of America–might say, “Well wait a minute. There is utility in this people and perhaps we’ll put this plan of destruction for them on hold.” That’s my motive.
Brother Jabril: Thank you.
One of the points that you placed in the book was a possible solution to a very vexing problem that America is dealing with in Black prisoners in many respects. Would you touch on that please?
Minister Farrakhan: I recognize that prisoners, in many cases, are useless to a society. Behind bars they are ill-treated and they ill-treat themselves–and one another–out of their utter frustration with their inability to cope with the problems that life brings to us in our evolutionary development. Recognizing that this great nation was started by the release of prisoners from Europe, England, and also Australia–another sovereign nation and power in the world–was started by the release of prisoners.
Well, since we are filling the jails in the prisons and yet God has a purpose for us, I ask why not let the prisoners do their time doing something constructive? I would reach out to Africa for land that is fertile, minerally rich, with an outlet to the sea and ask if Africa would set aside territory and these prisoners would be allowed to work off their time–building a new reality for Black people, supported by the funds that are given to support state and federal penitentiaries.
I also wanted this–that before that happened that we be allowed the freedom to go into the prisons to teach our people freely. This would begin the process of civilizing them because Africa would be afraid to accept a criminal population from the United States.
So if we were given three years to work, with the help of government, to civilize our young men and women, then they could be released to work in Africa to build a new reality on that continent for Black people.
I thought that what Abraham Lincoln had desired in the Lincoln-Douglas debate, that our sojourn in America could be a blessing for Africa. He suggested that separation of the races was a solution to the problem. He thought that we could be repatriated to Africa, or to some country in Central America, and with help from the U.S. government, build a new reality.
Of course, having robbed Black people of the knowledge of self and the love of self and having inspired in them a dislike for their roots in Africa, the more learned of our people rejected such a suggestion by Abraham Lincoln. So, here we are 150 years later or more with the same racial problems with now over two million in jail, 65 percent of them, or more, are Black; young people that are being wasted away.
So I thought that this would bring relief to the prison population problem. It would bring relief to the prisoners.
I thought that if they felt there was a degree of hope for them, to create a new reality for their people–given the history of how prisoners were used to build the new world–their desire to want to build a new world reality for themselves and their people would inspire them to want to study, prepare and do all the things that they should do, or could do, in those three years, to develop themselves into a group, a people that Africa would be willing to welcome home.
Brother Jabril: Brother Minister, one of the most vexing problems in America, in some degree throughout the earth, and especially in this country, is the problem of improving education. What were among the ideas that you presented in this book for educators and government to ponder to alleviate this vexing problem?
His answer next issue, Allah willing. However, later in this interview I asked him: Brother Minister has there been, to any degree, any positive response from any one to the ideas you had that would produce solutions to the social welfare problem in this book?
Minister Farrakhan: I’m sorry, not that I know of. I don’t think the book is studied. I don’t think it’s known.
The rest of his answer will appear next issue, Allah willing. Meanwhile, I responded with these words: By the help of Allah, we are going to do something that will help spread this book as fast as we can, in the short time we have left.
Almighty God Himself, through Prophet Hosea, especially states of us that: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
It’s prophesied in the Bible that many of us in America will die, unnecessarily as a direct consequence of our ignorance. It’s an ignorance which Almighty God will have already countered through what He revealed through the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, which Minister Farrakhan (and those with him), have propagated far and wide for us to LIVE.
As Min. Farrakhan has said that “A Torchlight for America” was written not only for White America, but also for Black America and also for The Nation of Islam.
On page 118 of his book, Min. Farrakhan wrote that President Lincoln promised that we would never be equal in this society. However, since that conference, Blacks have emerged as masters in every field of human endeavor. That mastery must now be put to work to lift the masses of our people in America and to help lift Africa into the 21st century.