By Richard B. Muhammad

How much is freedom worth to you? Men and women have offered their lives to be free, are you willing to give a nickel-a-day to save yourself and plot a future for yourself and your children?

That is the essential question raised with our opportunity to support Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint and program to fight poverty and want.

We can agree that the Black community is in dire straits and wrecked by joblessness, violence, hopelessness and despair. We remain a consumer nation, giving away almost $1 trillion a year and are sometimes angry when those who have exploited us actually don’t want to take our money.


Respectfully, the time demands a change in behavior and a change in our mindset. We have seen good government jobs are no longer safe havens for us. We remain the first fired when corporate America doles out pink slips, if they hire us at all. We can even go into very high-end stores, present a credit card, an i.d., purchase a $350 belt and end up arrested for simply trying to make a purchase.

We have watched a government shutdown that resulted in billions of dollars of lost productivity and continued political acrimony. There is no common cause in Washington, D.C. as those with money protect their interests and the common people seem to do nothing but lose. If the real citizens of this country have lost faith in government and political leaders and are wondering what the future holds for America, what should we be thinking? We have never been true citizens of this nation and remain convenient scapegoats for its woes and weaknesses.

There is no talk today of racial reconciliation, no talk of expanded opportunity, no talk about the value of diversity and no talk about a moral duty to serve the least of the American people. Such speech and code words for dealing with the Negro Problem are gone. Not even the poor are mentioned today as political leaders pay lip service to the difficult plight of the middle class.

If this country cannot save itself, it surely cannot save us. When Black people in America numbered only 22 million, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad warned the U.S. would not be able to furnish enough jobs for her own millions of unemployed, let alone for increasing numbers of the children of her former slaves. There are now at least 43 million Blacks in America as the U.S. economy and the world economy are in trouble.

Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint, given to us by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, is profound it its simplicity. It asks if just 16 million wage-earners are willing to put away 35 cents a week, less than $20 for the year, in a national treasury as a beginning effort for Black America to go for self. More information and the ability to donate can be found at But by coming together with a nickel-a-day, we can amass over $291 million in a single year. And we can do it in a way that we will never feel any pain–simple and profound.

The money would be used to purchase farmland as the engine for national development and provide Black America and others with healthy food. Then there would come related investment in agribusiness and other ventures that would allow for funding our colleges and rebuilding the wasted cities.

Not only is the plan backed by Supreme Wisdom and God Himself, it is put forward by a man utterly devoted to our community and a man of integrity. Louis Farrakhan is no robber, no thief, no charlatan. He is a faithful warner and a man whose life has been one of service to our people. While others have sought cushy positions, soft pedaled our problems, and sought pseudo-racial reconciliation, the Minister has spoken and stood on the truth. His stances have not been popular with the enemy nor those who desire to stay with and benefit from the largesse of an enemy whose world is dying and whose power is fading.

The Minister has defended Black people regardless of religion, political affiliation, class, geography, age, gender or any of the things we use to define and divide ourselves. He thinks and acts for the whole; are we willing to think and act for ourselves?

As Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant to Min. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, noted in a recent message at Mosque Maryam in Chicago: No divine servant or man born from the longing of the people to be free can deserve freedom more than the people that need deliverance.

Louis Farrakhan was born out of our longing to be free and his life is a testament to that fact. So the question is what must we do, what will we do? We must act now to save ourselves quickly getting behind the Economic Blueprint and exhorting others to do the same.

As Donna Farrakhan, speaking before Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad Oct. 27 at Mosque Maryam pointed out, we should be busy nation-building. We must do things for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with us having our own grocery stores, airports, factories, and businesses, said the student minister and Min. Farrakhan’s daughter. Why do we send our children to college when we have nothing for them to do? she asked.

Why indeed? Are we still stuck in the mindset of freed slaves, unwilling to act on our own behalf in the 21st century? Or do we wish to be in vanguard of those who were determined to be free and willing to make a sacrifice for the future? As the great Marcus Garvey noted, “Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.”

There is no “chance” when you fall in line with the time and what God wants done, your success is guaranteed. This is our time to save ourselves with His backing. If we don’t seize the time, we will suffer the consequences.

–Richard B. Muhammad, editor