In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Emotions and tensions are high in the country and among us as the 2020 National Election nears. We are choosing sides based on the evil we see that President Trump has done, the racial animus he has stoked, and the insulting things he has said. Our anger toward him is legitimate and there is a great cry for Black people to come together and defeat him at all costs. Many see a serious threat in his policies, such as the appointment of conservative judges at the federal level and his effort to push the Senate confirmation of conservative Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court Justice and replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Others, however, are pointing to the role that Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden played in devastating our communities through the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill, which contributed mightily to the mass incarceration of Black men, widespread prison construction and tougher federal sentences followed by tougher state sentences. While Mr. Biden has since admitted the Crime Bill was a mistake, there are questions about what he can do and will do to repair that serious damage.
Mr. Biden has cited some reforms in sentencing, commutations of some sentences and other steps taken under President Obama to undo the harm. But the damage done will require more than small changes and Mr. Biden seems reluctant to push for major change. He has pledged to “build back better,” not institute radical change many in the Democratic Party desire. Many are concerned and want more concrete commitments from Mr. Biden in exchange for the Black vote. Some question whether his plan for Black America goes far enough and whether legislative elements of the plan can actually pass both Houses of Congress, if the Democrats don’t win back the Senate.
The former vice president has also made it clear that he will not stand for disorder amid social protests. Speaking in August in Pittsburgh, Mr. Biden condemned President Trump for fanning the flames of racism and violence in the United States and for pitching a vision of future American anarchy, while violence played out with the Trump administration in charge. Mr. Biden asked: “Do I look like a national socialist with a soft spot for rioters?”
Mr. Biden selected an intelligent and capable Black woman, Sen. Kamala Harris, as his vice president and that is historic. But questions and high levels of emotion have sparked division among us as a people and, in some cases, pitted Black men and Black women against one another. It appears as if anyone who has questioned Mr. Biden or called for holding the Democratic Party accountable is quickly labeled an agent or apologist for Mr. Trump, who purposely sowed division by falsely stating our brother Ice Cube was working with his administration as opposed to advocating for Black interests with the man in the White House and the Democratic Party through the Contract With Black America.
We should be wise today. Whoever wins the presidential election will only deliver as much as our community is able to demand and place power behind that demand.
We must not lose any friendship with one another over White people that want to continue to rule us.
Many of the words that follow are taken from my message delivered at Mosque Maryam on October 30, 2016, titled “If Satan Cast Out Satan, He Is Divided Against Himself: How Then Will His Kingdom Stand?”
Some of the words are paraphrased and others are direct quotes but they have great value today.
Prior to the 2016 election, I said, “You have been hearing me for many years, and I don’t talk about myself—my job is to represent the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad; and He said if I made His Great Commission known, He would represent me to the people. But I am sitting in His seat, by Allah’s and His permission. He told me one day, ‘Allah has made me to take His place among the people, and I am making you to take mine.’ ”
“Am making” is the present progressive tense. But that “making” probably has been complete now, I said in my address at Mosque Maryam in 2016. So I am not talking to you as a man “guessing”—I am not a Negro leader; nor am I some person trying to be what I am not, so I don’t speak to you like somebody who is trying to curry the favor of any of you. I love your favor; I want your favor, but not if I displease Allah by hiding the truth that you need to know to make wise decisions for your life. So I am not one that is afraid of being censured by Negroes, members of the press, the Government, the Jewish community, or some of the murmurers that walk with me. The Holy Qur’an says: “O Messenger, deliver the message that has been revealed to you; and if you do it not, you have not delivered My Message. Surely I will protect you from men.”
Now it is clear that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke bold uncompromising truths for 40 years: Evidently he was protected by a Power bigger than himself.
In 2017, it was 40 years that I have been among you absent my Teacher; so I have come this far by faith, and I can’t at this time act like I don’t know what I know, or hide the truth of what I know to win the favor of friends or to avoid the wrath of foes.
God has gifted me with a rare gift. Not just the gift of speech, but the gift of a characteristic of humility. I have always, by God’s Grace, been able to see “the bigger picture.”
When my brother, Reverend Jesse Jackson, asked me in 1983 at the 20th anniversary of the March on Washington if I would help him, because he was about to announce his running for the nomination of the Democratic Party for the presidency of the United States, I said, “Well, Rev. Jackson, I would have to think about it.” So I went back to The Final Call building, which was our headquarters at that time, and I asked laborers in the Nation, male and female, who had been around the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for a long time: “Should we do something like that?” I wouldn’t tell them what my thought was because this is not a “cult.” I really believe in freedom, justice and equality; so I never order people, I just tell you what the truth and what the facts are, and leave it to you. And if I give an order, I try to give it with a smile—that’s the way my Teacher taught me. After asking them, they agreed that we should help Rev. Jackson. And that’s what I wanted to do; because if he wanted to run for the presidency of the United States, that’s big. And so “the bigger picture” was “submit yourself to help your brother,” and that I did. …
Members of the Jewish community: When we were saying “Run, Jesse, Run!” they were saying, “Ruin Jesse, Ruin!” Then some members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) wanted to attack Rev. Jackson and his family, so the F.O.I. stood up to protect Rev. Jackson before the Secret Service had that responsibility. But when I spoke up against members of the Jewish community, not knowing that I was turning over a hornet’s nest … the hornets came out to sting me.
That’s when I learned that I had hornet’s nest protection. And they found out that they were not dealing with the average Negro; that when White folk come against you, you lay down. There’s no “lay down” in Farrakhan—and they found that out.
There came a time when the Jewish newspapers said, “Farrakhan called Judaism a ‘gutter religion’.” And poor Jesse, he had to “right the ship.” But I never said “gutter” religion; I said they were practicing a “dirty” religion, “dirty” meaning not Judaism but the practice of lying, cheating, and stealing in the name of God. There are Christians who do dirt. There are Muslims who do dirt. But dirt should never be done in the Name of Jesus or Moses or Muhammad, or God, because God is not a promoter of filth. So there came a time when Rev. Jackson had to let me go as his surrogate speaker; and he said some words that I said—which I didn’t say. But, it’s okay; it was convenient. The bigger picture was Rev. Jackson.
Barack Obama: We supported him when he was a community organizer. I had never met him, but my chief of staff at that time, Brother Leonard F. Muhammad, knew Barack Obama, and we backed him with money and with the help of the F.O.I. to get him elected. Barack Obama became a U.S. senator. … This part of the story I will leave for another time: But he visited me—that’s all I will say. Later on, he threw his hat in the ring to be president of the United States; and I, at our Saviours’ Day convention in 2008, spoke kind words about my brother. But Hillary Clinton had already said she wanted to be president. So she and Barack were locked in a battle when there was a debate on Meet The Press with NBC’s star reporter Tim Russert. My name came up.
All of you that want national and state prominence: Sometimes I am the “litmus test” to see if White folk can do anything good for you. And some of you are so weak and so cowardly, that your desires mean more than the integrity of your being. But every time I forgave my brothers, and kept moving forward. Barack did not want to denounce me, but Hillary forced him, and he gave in and said, “All right, all right. I renounce Farrakhan; I don’t want his support.” I supported him anyway. And some of the followers were a little angry with me, because he had dissed me. But it’s not “personal.” What’s “the bigger picture”? What’s in the best interest of our people? I told all of those with me, “Don’t you say anything negative about Barack Obama,” and they followed my lead and instruction. Barack got elected—and me and my wife: 5 o’clock in the morning around the corner from The National House, we went out and voted for our brother. I was very proud of him.
“The bigger picture” is that I have a photograph of myself and Barack together. You never saw it, because I would never put it out to give his enemies what they were looking for to hurt him. But he told me straight up: “Farrakhan, the Black vote in Chicago made me win Chicago, but it was the down state vote that made me a U.S. senator. And I will never do anything that will cause me to lose the down state vote.” And I said to him, “My brother, your reality is not mine. And we need you where you are, so I will never ask you to do anything that will cause you to lose the downstate vote”—and I never have. He was “the bigger picture.” …
Now if, in your small mind and heart, you are envious because God allowed Barack Obama to be, right now, the most popular Black human being that has ever walked among us in America: No leader—no leader—has outshined Barack Obama in the hearts of the people.
I know who I am … and I know that that was his time. It’s mine now.
So the “bigger picture” is not Mr. Biden; the “bigger picture” is not Mr. Trump. The “bigger picture” is the Black masses of America and the American people whose lives are at stake.
So what I know, I have to tell; and it is a Warning to Mr. Biden, to Mr. Trump, to the Democrat and Republican leaders: I want to share with you something from my Teacher.
And I am so proud to lift up my Teacher. … So I am saying this to The Government and I think you already know it: You are not dealing with “Louis.” You are dealing with Elijah in me, and The God and The Mahdi that back me! Take it or leave it.
Study the platforms of each Party to see if either truly benefits Black Lives
In his book The Fall of America, study what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said about “this election.” Pay attention to these words spoken over 50 years ago in the chapter “The National Election”: “The Black man of America has been privileged by the slavemasters’ children for the last century to vote for Whites for the offices to judge and rule. This freedom to vote has made the Black man in America feel very dignified and proud of himself. He goes to the polls very happy to vote for a White ruler. Today, he is gradually changing to a desire to vote for his own kind for such offices of authority. [Now] We must remember that our vote is strong and powerful only when and where the White man can use it to get in the office over his White opponent. [But] After the election and the victory there are very few favors that come from his office to the Black voters who helped and aided him in getting in the office.” He continues: “Why [is he like this]? Because he does not [feel he owes] the Black voter anything as long as he has to feed, clothe, and shelter him.”
Mr. Muhammad said: “The Black vote could be cast or not cast. The White citizens of the government are going to win and continue to rule [over you] anyway. … The talk that’s out there now, right among you: “Lord, who’s gonna get in? Who’s gonna get in, honey?” But Elijah Muhammad asked a very good question. He said, “How much good have the two parties (Republican and Democrat) done for us for the last century in the way of freedom, justice, and equality? Regardless of what party wins, the die is always set against us (the Black people in America). Injustice, crooked politics, and the breeding of corruption under crooked politics have been practiced ever since Adam to the present day rulers. Adam was the first crook.”
He writes, “There has not been justice for the Black man in this race of people, and this is why [their] race suffers from the effect of chaos today.” He wrote those words 56 years ago for today. Now, what is “chaos”? It’s “a state of utter confusion or disorder, a total lack of organization or order, any confused disorderly mass.” Isn’t that what we are seeing and hearing every day concerning this national election? He says, “There are Black politicians who would like to use their Black people for selfish greed and will throw them behind any crook with money. Black politicians of this type have sold their Black brothers to suffering and shame for self-elevation with the crook.”
Now, the scripture is being fulfilled wherein it prophesies that “in these days,” meaning the end of the wicked world of Satan: Rulers are against rulers, kings against kings, nations against nations. In the days of the prophets, there were no heads of government who were given the name “president”; rulers were referred to as “rulers” and as “kings” of the people. The prediction of the prophets who wrote our future before we lived is now coming to pass.
The slaves, or “a foolish people” as we are referred to by Moses, are vexing the slave master. He is very upset with you! “How dare you: How dare you come in my gymnasium that I built for you to show off your prowess in the world of sport and play, and then you’re going to take a knee? And sing my national anthem? How dare you pull back your shirt and show that ‘Black Lives Matter’! How dare you …” But brother and sister, the truth is he hates the fact that you are coming to realize how much Black lives matter; and so he will send out Negroes to say, “All Lives Matter.” We have always known that White lives matter—because they killed us just for not getting off the sidewalk, or not tipping our hat, or not saying “Yassa,” or not obeying them or challenging them on the bottom line of what we worked and earned money for. All lives matter. … But it’s Black life that is being torn asunder under a genocidal plot. We must say that our lives matter, and we must mean it to the point now that when people want our vote, we look at them.
I am not talking about how they matter to you if they give you a position. I am not talking about how it matters to you if they offer you money, and you sacrifice your integrity on the altar of profit to lead your people into their clutches. They have never given us what they promised us. And if you study the platform of the Democratic Party: How much of it is real in what they plan to do for the masses of our people? They say: “Well, listen, we’re going to fix the educational system.” How are you going to fix it? How can you “fix” an educational system rooted in White Supremacy that has been bad for us, and now, bad for you? Or they say, “Well, we’re gonna try to get reform in the Justice Department.” That’s like saying we can reform The Devil. How many of you would like to try to reform Satan? How great is your skill at reformation? … If I put you in a room with Satan with all that he taught you, do you think you can reform Satan?
The lives that hang in the balance are the lives that matter to Allah (God)
America is now being torn to pieces politically as Pharaoh’s political party was in the days when Jehovah went after the freedom of The Children of Israel. Egypt was plagued with drought, great hailstorms, rain and fire; according to the Psalms of David, “running side-by-side, fire and water,” these plagues now are visiting America from Almighty God Allah. That’s why I have to show you the “Bigger Picture,” so that when you make your decision, you make it wisely. …
In the closing paragraphs of “The National Election,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said: “This election”—now, he said this in 1964—“is one of the most serious in the history of American government, because either party that seeks the office of presidency is faced with the problem of saving the lives of the people of America.”
You do not know that your life is now hanging in the balance—and who you vote for is critical to saving our life, and the lives of your people. Let’s prove the point. Elijah Muhammad continues with: “If the present party (Democratic) remains in office, you know the answer. If the Republican party takes over, you should know the answer.” Then he gives you a hint (because most of us don’t know the answer): “There will be a lull before the storm. The storm can be delayed and every hour and day that it can be delayed is to your benefit.” But you can’t put the storm off forever; that’s the point: it’s coming. So one of these candidates will delay it—but nobody can put the storm off because there is nothing in their political platforms that will stop the storm from coming.
Now what should be in their platform to stop the storm? And then, what is “the storm”? Understand that God is in the picture now: America is under Divine Judgment. And this is going to increase, now, because I’m standing in the place of The Messenger/Messiah—and my job is to warn you, and then get out of the way.
Biden vs. Trump: I know some of you that have a real close relationship with Mr. Biden, but do you really challenge him when it comes to the lives and interests of Black people? Or are you so committed to removing Mr. Trump that you don’t want to upset or anger the Democratic Party candidate for president?
If you were thinking about your suffering people, you would be asking the right questions and forcing the right answers.
Now look at Mr. Trump: He is giving the common White people hope that they can be superior again. Donald Trump is causing White people to say, “I’m sick and tired of turning on my television, seeing our former slaves talking to us like they are our boss!” Once we put our brother in office, we had to suffer eight years of his being in the White House because White folks thought we were getting “uppity” now, and at every turn they were trying to put you, the Black man and woman, “back in your place.” That’s what “stop and frisk” was all about; that’s what shooting you down for nothing is all about. That’s what lead in drinking water is all about—that’s what a rushed, unsafe Covid-19 vaccine and inferior health care is all about!
As far back as 2016, they found Mr. Trump to be so much of a liar that they set up websites just to track his lies. He lied about the loan his father gave him. He lied about his bankruptcies, about his federal financial disclosure forms, about his endorsements, about President Obama’s birth certificate, about seeing thousands of Arabs in New Jersey celebrating the tragedy of 9/11; about paying his taxes, about Mexicans, about Muslims, about his casinos, about taking money from donors, about his wonderful university. … The news magazine Politico tracked him over five hours of remarks and found that he averaged about one lie every three minutes and fifteen seconds in 2016. So in five days he lied 87 times, according to Politico. His track record for telling the truth has not improved since 2016, it has gotten worse.
Crooked politics lead to corruption, so what is Our Demand in this election?
Mrs. Clinton, her husband and Joe Biden were the authors of the Crime Bill that put tens of thousands of Black brothers and sisters in prison. So while we were organizing for the Million Man March, they were organizing to put Black men and women in jail. Mrs. Clinton backed the Crime Bill—and then called our young people “super predators.” Mr. Biden was a main author and proponent of the bill.
Reparations was demanded for the evil of Adolf Hitler to the Jewish people—what will we demand for the evil that has been done to us as a people for 461 years? President Clinton, a Democrat, took the safety net out from under welfare recipients. Some welfare mothers were taking advantage of the system—and of course, [just] like White people, such as Mr. Trump, who took advantage of every loop hole in the tax structure.
Now they have to admit that the “war on drugs” was a war on Black youth and Black people. …
Some may not want me to say anything as the time nears to choose from these two candidates. But if I didn’t say what I know, and allowed you to stumble blindly, what kind of brother would I be? If I lose your friendship, it will hurt me, but in the end: I know you don’t have any place else to go. … I’m just going to keep on pushing, and waiting on you to come back home to Elijah Muhammad and his Minister.