The Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan State University was buzzing with excitement, adrenaline and love as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam spoke to students and others at the historically Black university in Baltimore.
His words hit home and his words inspired young people who should be learning all about themselves and planning and working for their future.
But his words were not just for the students alone, much of what he said was aimed at elders, leaders and grown folk who love to tell young folk what to do.
In plain language, the 81-year-old stalwart of the Black struggle offered those who think they truly know guidance for the time, what the time demands, what young people need–and what young people will accept.
The Minister told over 2,000 people inside the theater, 300 people watching via webcast at Muhammad Mosque No. 6 in Baltimore and countless others watching via the internet that the age of the Black apologist is over. The era of the respectable Negro trotted out to calm passions after yet another assault on Black life is done. The time for the pacifying patsy for White supremacy, eager to be near the slave master or his children, is up.
“Your day of being the pacifier for the White man’s tyranny on Black people is over. You’ve got to know they’re not going to hear you anymore,” said Min. Farrakhan. “When you talk to young people, you can’t feel that you’re missing them?” he asked.
His words were for preachers, pastors, parents, politicians, imams, professors and anyone who is supposed to be guiding young people today.
Calling for calm and calling for quiet is improper at a time when the cry of the oppressed and the murdered has been stifled for far too long.
Seeking nearness to the White power structure while structural racism, structural inequality and systemic destruction plague our children is the wrong thing at the wrong time. If God is just how can one justify urging compliance with the oppressor instead of urging the oppressor to do justice?
It is pitiful that while young Black men, Black women and even Black children are shot down in the street, the best some can do is to pray for peace, weep and mount symbolic protests.
If God is just, when do the wicked reap their just reward for the evil that they have done? Must the innocent suffer and die forever while the killers walk away scot free, suffering no consequence at all?
And if God wants justice for us–and he does–what position do we put ourselves in when we reject the natural right of self defense and a divine warner as we have in Minister Farrakhan?
What 81-year-old do you know who can stand and speak without notes and breathe life and purpose into people in a single message by God’s permission?
The man is a special man with a special message and delivering that message at a special time. That man will have success because he is acting in accord with the time and biblical prophecies that foreshadowed the Black sojourn in America.
We fi t the description of Abraham’s seed in servitude and affliction in a strange land and under a strange people for 400 years. We fi t the prophetic picture of the children of Israel suffering under a modern Egypt and a modern Pharaoh– the government of the United States of America and its leaders. We fi t the pattern of those God has chosen to deliver in the past. We are those who must be delivered and raised if the moral arc of the universe bends not toward tyranny but toward justice.
Even as the Minister described conditions in Ferguson, Mo., that have forced America’s racially reluctant president to urge calm among Black youth demanding justice for Michael Brown, their unarmed 18-year-old comrade shot to death by a White police officer. The young man’s body lay in the street for four and a half hours. Police officers responded with heavy weapons, tear gas and snarling dogs as sorrow, pain and anger arose among those who saw the youngster treated with less respect than a hurt dog.
Yet some have endless patience and endless hope in those who have delighted in Black destruction. A photo op here, a dinner invitation there, a certificate, a job, a piece of chicken and buttered bread is dearer than the lives and future of our children and our people.
Have we no shame at all? Have we no pride at all? Have we no hearts at all? Are we nothing but slaves and lap dogs?
Can any people go free with such leadership and will the people follow such leadership? Today the answer is emphatically not. Those who are mouthpieces for the oppressor only make themselves irrelevant and doom themselves to death in the wilderness instead of marching into a Promised Land and new God-given reality.
The very weekend the Minister spoke a 12-year-old allegedly holding a toy gun in a park in Cleveland and a Black man in New York who opened a stairwell door died at the hands of police officers.
Days before his address, protestors in Utah demonstrated outside of a police station because a Black male allegedly holding a sword was killed by officers but an officer’s body camera reputedly was off. Protestors say police in Saratoga Springs, Utah are lying and hiding evidence in the September shooting of Darrien Hunt, who was just 22-years-old. In St. Paul, Minn., the police department’s internal affairs division declared officers did nothing wrong when Chris Lollie, 28, was hit with a stun gun by officers in the city skyway system. The Black man was waiting to pick up his children. He ended up screaming in agony because he dared ask officers why he was approached by them. The episode was captured on video and caused a sensation on YouTube. In Hartford, Conn., a federal oversight over a police department for violating the rights Blacks and Latinos initiated in 1969 was extended for two additional years. Forty-one years after the initial injustices surfaced, the police department has still not lived up to a federal consent decree.
The apologists may want to forgive. The apologists may want to forget. But the question is does God forget and can God forgive evildoers who persist in their evil and torment a suffering people? He cannot. And anyone who wishes to impact young Black lives needs to be on God’s side, not on the side of the enemy of self and God.