From Closing The Gap pages 389-392 we read:
Brother Jabril: Brother Minister, about thirteen years ago, you wrote and published A Torchlight for America. Why did you write it?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: In studying the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, 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.
Thirteen years ago, when I began to see deeper into the irrelevance that the government of the United States saw in Black people, and their desire to get rid of us–which they deemed as a useless piece of property, I wrote A Torchlight for America 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 had planned for this nation.
I also sought to show them, that among these so-called useless Black people 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 did say to Moses, you know, in other 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.” And that’s my motive.
Brother Jabril: Thank you.
One of the ideas that you placed in the book was a possible solution to a very vexing problem, plaguing America, was with Black prisoners, which is a tremendous problem. Would you touch that please?
Minister Farrakhan: Recognizing 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. I recognized that this great nation was started by the release of prisoners from Europe, England, Australia–another sovereign nation and power in the world–was started by the release of prisoners; New Zealand too.
Well since we are filling the jails in the prisons, 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 and minerally rich, with an outlet to the sea. I would and ask if Africa would set aside territory and allow these prisoners 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 before that happened, to allow us the freedom to go in the prisons to teach our people freely and begin the process of civilizing them because Africa would be afraid to accept a criminal population from the United States.
If we were given three years to work, with the help of the government, to civilize our young men and women, then they can 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. Lincoln suggested that separation of the races was a solution to the problem. He mentioned that we could be repatriated to Africa, or to some country in Central America, and with help from the U.S. government, we could 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 one hundred and fifty years later, or more, with the same racial problems. Now we have over two million in jail, sixty-five percent of them, or more are Black; young people that are being wasted away.
I thought that this would bring relief to the prison population. It would bring relief to the prisoners who are sitting in prison, having time to think about themselves, their families and their future. 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 give them hope and inspire them to want to study and do all the things that they should do, or could do, in those three years to develop themselves into a group of people that Africa would be willing to welcome home.
Brother Jabril: Brother Minister, one of the most vexing problems in America, and in varying degrees throughout the earth, especially in this country, is the problem of education. What were among the ideas that you presented in this book for more educators and government to ponder in order to alleviate this vexing problem?
Minister Farrakhan: Education is an evolutionary process. Since no discipline and the scholarship of that discipline, is absolute, there is much room for growth and improvement in every field of human endeavor; mathematics, biology, chemistry, science, technology, geopolitics. Everything is evolving. But the educational system is not. It is stagnant. As a result of stagnation, and people feeling that a PhD degree has ended their search for higher knowledge, or understanding, of their discipline, then the education becomes a tool for enslaving the mind, rather than freeing the mind.
We saw from the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that this system of education has run its course. As the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us, education is the torchlight for civilization. If that torchlight is going out and you find the educational system in revolt against itself, then the civilization spawn by that educational process is on its way out as well.
The American people and Black people in particular, need a new educational experience. That new educational experience must start with the most priceless and precious of all knowledge, which is the knowledge of self and the knowledge God.
More next issue, Allah willing.