[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address at the 20th Anniversary of The Million Man March in Washington, D.C. at The National Mall on October 10, 2015. To order this message now available in its entirety on DVD/DVD, MP3 Audio and Video Download, please visit store.finalcall.com or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200. We encourage our readers to get this vital message in its entirety.]
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
We give Him praise and thanks for all of His prophets and the scriptures which they brought. We thank Him for Moses and the Israelite prophets that gave us the Torah and The Old Testament. We thank Him for Jesus who gave us the Injil (or “The Gospel”), and the Apostles that gave us what is called The New Testament. We thank Him for Muhammad ibn Abdullah through whom came the last revelation to humanity before the judgment of this present world; that book is called The Holy Qur’an.
I am a student of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and I could never thank Allah enough for His merciful intervention in our affairs in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, The Great Mahdi—Who is in the world, and is championing the liberation struggle of our people, particularly in the United States of America. I greet all of you my dear and wonderful brothers and sisters with the greeting words of peace; we say it in the Arabic language: As-Salaam Alaikum.
First, I am honored beyond words to be here standing on this rostrum in front of this hallowed building in front of I don’t know how many (I’m not going to guess); but I thank Almighty God Allah for every single one of you that decided to answer the call to demand “Justice … Or Else!”
I watched the program in my hotel room, and I want to say how happy I am to be a part of such a great showing of unity of the Aboriginal people of our planet. The Native American people who came in their native dress: This is not like going to a football game with the Redskins; they are not here as some “mascot.”
They are here because they are the original owners of this part of the Earth, and we honor them with the honor that they are justly due! Their suffering in their land is very great. So all of those who cry for justice: No cry is greater than those who have suffered the most.
And those who have suffered the most are the Indigenous people not only of America, but of the Western Hemisphere; and those of us who were brought into America not as “Pilgrims,” not as “Puritans,” not seeking another way of worship, but in the holds of ships to be made the burden bearers of the real citizens of America.
It’s hypocritical for us to say that we are “citizens” and we are still trying to get civil rights, while at the same time we are denied the human right of self-determination. I’m honored to be here in front of this great, great house that was built by Black slaves. So I don’t think I’m encroaching on any American by standing on the ground that was paid for with the sweat and the blood of our ancestors.
I’m honored to be here and am grateful to Congressman Danny Davis for having shepherded through both Houses a joint resolution that allows us to be on The Capitol steps.
I was so touched by our Native brothers and sisters, and our Hispanic brothers and sisters. And some who are Black may say: “Farrakhan, why are you talking to all of these different ethnicities?” I loved my sister and those standing with her who championed the call that “Black Lives Matter.”
I felt so happy to see her, and to hear her, and to know, and for her to know, that she and “Black Lives Matter” are welcome and have a cherished spot, because they represent the future leadership. These are not just young people who happened to wake up one morning—Ferguson ignited it all. So all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson, all the brothers and sisters that laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters that challenged the tanks: We are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demand.
There can be no freedom, no justice, no equity without the willingness of some to sacrifice for the rest. What good is life if we are not free? What good is it to be alive and every day that you live you see your people suffering? What good is it to be—to continue in life under tyranny? So there must come a time when we say, “Enough is enough. It must change—and I am willing to do whatever it takes to bring about that change.”
Leaders who fear can’t properly lead flock
“How could Farrakhan tell the FBI and the CIA and the IRS to go to hell, when others tremble at their name?” They don’t have a name big enough to make a man who has been shown the arm of God to be afraid of a man who can never do to me nothing more than what God would have them to do—and if He permits it, I am for it, even if it’s my death. Our problem is there’s too much fear among us. And fear is what takes a man and makes him a punk.
Women are showing more strength, as Sister Ava Muhammad said: The woman is the natural protector of what her womb produces. And sisters, you should never love any man more than the love you have for what your womb produced if that man becomes a violator of your child.
Knowing God—not “talking God,” but knowing God is what takes fear from your heart! A fearful people can’t be free; a fearful people will bow down when it appears that the enemy is so strong, and we are so weak! As I was preparing this morning to come, I was thinking about us who are preachers, who can quote The Psalms: “The Lord is my strength and he is my salvation, of whom then shall I fear? Of whom then shall I be made afraid?”
But then when the enemy comes, and challenges his words, we find him weakening; running away, leaving the sheep to be eaten by the wolves. That’s why Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will lay down his life for the sheep.” Any man in leadership that is not willing to give his life for the flock that supports him and feeds him and clothes him is not worthy of being a leader.
Many in leadership today are willing to take a little money. … It grieves me to see how many of us will sell out the future of our people for a little money that allows us to get an upgrade in our automobile, or an upgrade in our suit, or shoes. And I asked myself the question: “When will corruptible put on incorruptible?” Because all corruption is an enemy of the progress of man. All corruption; all deviation from honesty and integrity!
You say, “Well Farrakhan, I mean, my God! What are you saying?” I am saying that if you loved God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and loved your brother as yourself, nobody could give you enough money to make you betray yourself, as well as your brother or sister. When I first started rebuilding The Nation of Islam, in Chicago, a man came to me and said: “Farrakhan, everybody got a price.” I wondered who he had met, that everybody that he knew had a price. I said, “Well, this man don’t have a friend nowhere,” because a friend will never betray his friend.
How many in this audience have been called by the government authorities and told to lie; because they wanted a certain person, and if you lied they would make it easier for you in your sentence? How many of us have sold out to get a lighter sentence, and made your brother whom was innocent a victim of the justice system that is unjust by telling lies?
I’m talking to you like this because this is not (just) a day, “10.10.15”—no! If this is a “day,” and we come out and go back to doing what we were doing before we got here, then this is all vanity. But vanity is the work of someone who is wrapped up in himself; we have no time for vain expression. … Those whom the world honors are those who live for others, and in their death they are never “dead”: There is always someone coming up to refer to their greatness because they lived for others, and their living was not in vain.
Well why am I saying that at this point? We’re facing another election. The Republicans have, I don’t know how many … is it 17 candidates? Well it was … and they are really like the pretty girl who is well-formed, showing her wares so that some man with money will buy her. Who wants to be a whore? No, listen to me: Do you think people with money put their money behind you if they don’t expect something from you?
That’s what makes this [what goes on in government] a farce. Three point three billion dollars [$3.3 billion] in the last few years has been paid by lobbyists to this House. What are they lobbying for? Laws that may not be in the best interest of the people—how, then, could you look in the mirror at yourself when you are a bought-and-paid for whore? And then what do you get for being a whore?
John Fitzgerald Kennedy lies across the water in a beautiful grave with an eternal flame … And John Fitzgerald Kennedy had a beautiful home, he had boats, he had so much material wealth; but “the end” is the same: A spot in a little coffin, and six feet of dirt. So the Bible says it right:“Naked came I in the world, and naked go I out.” So what are you lying, cheating and stealing for?
To give something to your children; who, if you lied and cheated and stole to get what you got, you couldn’t teach them “value”—so all that you left is squandered by ignorant children. Don’t you think it would be better to be like Dr. Martin Luther King? No, I’m very serious now! He didn’t have a lot of money. He could have, if he were a sellout. Malcolm didn’t have a lot of money! …
Great ones don’t amass wealth to leave to children. Great ones amass wealth to leave to institutions that live after they are dead and gone. The grave is waiting for every one of us who are gathered here today.
“Well, why are you saying this, Farrakhan?” Because this is not a moment, as my sister said. This is a “movement.” I’m going to say it again: This is not a moment. This is a movement. When the brothers and sisters arose in Ferguson: You didn’t have any money. You had a principle—a principle that you were willing to suffer for—that you felt was bigger than yourself and your life, and the withstanding of pain.
But all of a sudden the enemy comes with money: “If we give you this, will you come out of the street?” We’re all poor, but some of us see that as an opportunity; so the movement begins to die the moment those who lead the movement take money as a bribe to stop hurting a force that you’re coming against.
The demand for Justice demands integrity! The demand for Justice demands selflessness! The demand for Justice is bigger than all our lives. So the demand for justice must give us the will to wish to sacrifice our life, because “the many” are greater than “the one.” And so we are here today. … I have some hard truths to say.There is no government on this Earth—not one—that can give the people what the people desire of freedom, of justice, and equity.
‘We are seeds”: The unlimited possibilities in becoming The Glory of God
Look around you, brothers and sisters—look at the trees, look at the flowers, look at the bushes: All of it starts with a seed, a simple seed. Seeds come in colors; different colors and shapes and sizes. But a seed hides what God has put within it until and unless the seed is placed in the proper environment.
So all these lovely living things around us, all of them start with a seed, and that seed is planted in the earth. It is nurtured by water and that magnificent sun, and then the seed swells and bursts, sending a root down and then a shoot comes up, and then what was within manifests itself, and it is then a glory of God—its Creator.
But you are a seed, I am a seed: We have not yet been placed in the proper spiritual or physical environment that would cause the seed to swell and burst, and let what is within come out, that we could say, “I am a part of the glory of God”!
So Elijah Muhammad wanted The Muslim Program to be brought before this House. I don’t know anybody in the House that I could trust to bring his Program, so I came to bring it myself, as his student. …
This Program has been appearing on the back page of Muhammad Speaks and The Final Call since 1961—“The Muslim Program.” You say, “Well I don’t want to hear that! I ain’t no Moozlum!” Okay. What are you? If I ask you to tell me your nationality, you’ll point to some little spot on the Earth that you think defines who you are.
That’s limited. … That doesn’t define you. You are defined by The Nature in which you were created. And if your nature is the same as The Nature of God, no land mass can define you. So The Qur’an says: “Set your face for religion being upright, the nature made by Allah in which he has created man, and there is no altering Allah’s creation.” …
If you understand your nature, then you will understand the unlimited possibilities of the human being. God created no human being without depositing in that human being a gift that can be expressed to an excellent degree. That’s The Nature of God. That’s not an un-excellent tree; it’s excellent. It’s not an un-excellent bird, it’s a bird. It’s a worm. It’s a flea.
It’s an ant. It’s the sun. It’s the moon. It’s the stars. This is all an excellent creation from an Excellent Creator—and you are an excellent creation from an Excellent Creator, but you have to know yourself and your relationship to God in order to extract what is within and bring it out to the Glory of God.
The Greatness of God is part of the thing that makes us so dissatisfied with government. You’re yearning for something that the government can’t give you. You are born to be free.
The Muslim Program says: “We want freedom. We want a full and complete freedom.” That’s not just what Muslims want, that’s what every human being wants. But how will you define a “full freedom” and a “complete freedom?” If I am a “seed,” and I’m 50 years old and I’m still a seed—have never been planted in the right environment to develop myself—then I don’t have freedom. But when I am free, and fully developed, then I have attained a full and complete freedom.
Can this House give you that? Come on …Well, you don’t have it! So what are we petitioning this [U.S. Capitol] for? They can’t give you what’s not in their nature to give you. We just making a demand because it’s right to do it; but we know that they can’t do it.
Now this Mall is hallowed ground for us, but it’s also sacred ground for those who love America—and Thomas Jefferson was one of the most brilliant of the Founding Fathers of this country. If you read his words—I’m going to read a few, just to let you see that he was not a Christian. He never said he was, but he certainly was what they call a “Deist”: Hebelieved in “One God.” On the wall [of The Jefferson Memorial], he was talking about “justice”; and he was talking about “slavery.”
I want to give you a little study assignment: There were some things, when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, that they took out; because he was dealing with King George as a vile man because he trafficked in Black bodies, bringing them to America—I want you to go read his words.
Because Thomas Jefferson knew that if the slaves were not set free, one day what King George did by bringing us into slavery would cause the slave to rise and fight against those who were holding us in slavery. We have really come to that point now.
Did you hear me? See, this thing has reached the point of explosion. Black people that are here—even those in high places are saying, “We can’t take this much longer.” There’s like a volcanic eruption that’s coming now. You know they say volcanoes are birthed out of magma:
Thatis molten rock, with gases; and this molten rock and the gases, at the bottom—then you have an upper crust that begins to come down, and meet the molten rock beneath. I said, “Isn’t that an interesting picture?” Because I hear you that are in the middle class crying out. …
There aren’t too many “middle class” people here; but even if you were, you’re crying, because the “middle class” is becoming the new poor—so that’s the “upper crust” coming down to meet “the magma” below. It’s bubbling now … and “gases” are coming up, and you see “dust” coming up from the sleeping volcano that has been asleep so long, you play around it like it doesn’t have power to kill you.
You play with the lives of poor people, Indigenous people, Black people, women. You play with the lives of soldiers who have given their lives on a foreign battlefield only to come home and be rejected and die while they’re waiting for treatment and service.
“Why are you saying this in front of The Capitol, Brother Farrakhan?” I want to show the world Hypocritical America, that is telling everybody that they are violating human rights while in America there is all this dissatisfaction. …We’re trying to show the world: These are problems here, and these problems demand resolution—and America doesn’t have the heart to do it.
Thomas Jefferson gave some brilliant remarks about “freedom,” and trembling for America when he reflected that God is just, and His justice would not sleep forever.” And then Thomas Jefferson, with others, fashioned The Seal of this nation; and at first, The Seal reflected “The Wrath of God:” In a Light from above, and Pharaoh’s army below—That The Wrath of God, he was saying in The Seal, would come down on America if America would not free the slave.
He knew it should be done. So Thomas Jefferson said: “We need to let the slave go. We need to give them a good sendoff. We need to give them land. We need to give them machinery. We need to give them seeds to plant crops. We need to teach them the science of warfare; that they would be able to defend the land that they would be given.” This is Thomas Jefferson—but he couldn’t force it!
America has entered into Divine Judgment
We were prophesied to be in America 400 years—let’s deal with that! Go home, get your Bible, open to the Book of Genesis, the 15th Chapter, the 14th, 15th and 16th verses. It reads like this: “Know of a surety, Abraham, your seed is going to to be a stranger in a land that is not theirs.
And they shall serve them, and they shall be afflicted 400 years.” Who you think that’s talking about? It’s you! You are the only people that have been under a strange man, in a strange land, for 400 years. Look at what the scripture says: “But after that time”—God talking—“I will come. And I will judge that nation that they shall serve.”
America is under Divine Judgment as we speak. Elijah Muhammad taught us 50/60 years ago of what we’re going to face, and he said there would be Four Great Judgments: Rain (unusual rain), Snow (unusual snow), Earthquakes, Hail; and that He [God] would use The Forces of Nature against America.
What you see going on in Charleston, and in South Carolina, is very serious: They had never seen rain like that at all. How? Why? That’s Divine Judgment. When I leave you today, the calamities are going to get stronger, because God wants America to let us go. Not integrate us—let us go, and give us a good sendoff. Those of you who are scripturally sound: Moses was not an “integrationist,” and neither are we.
Let me be clear: America has no future for you or for me. She can’t make a future for herself, much less a future for us. The scripture says, “Come out of her, My people …”—and we’re going to have to come out. God says He takes the kingdom from whom He pleases, and He gives it to whom He pleases.