Dr. Martin Luther King recruiting “Poor” for march on Washington D.C., at Batesville, Miss., March, 19, 1968. (AP Photo/Jack Thornell))

by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts from the message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on June 15, 2013 as Part 23 of his 52-week Lecture Series “The Time and What Must Be Done” titled “We Must Unite To Save Our Youth.” Order this message in its entirety on MP3 Download or CD/DVD at store.finalcall.com.]

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Greetings to you.  I am Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that Great Preacher of Freedom, Justice and Equality to the Black man and woman of America and the Western Hemisphere, and the Aboriginal People of the Earth—the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, and a Warner to the government and people of the United States of America, and the nations of the Earth. Once again it is my great privilege, honor and pleasure to bring to you another installment of this subject given to us by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad titled:  “The Time and What Must Be Done.”  


This subject is taken from the 103rd Chapter of the Holy Qur’an, which reads:  “In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.  By the time!—Surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin one another to Truth, and enjoin one another to patience.” 

“Time” is “the yardstick” of the measurement of our actions, and if our actions are not in accord with “The Time,” then we will suffer “loss.”  So it is proper, it is right, it is meed and it is just, that the Knowledge of The Time be given to the whole Human Family; that we may measure our actions to see whether we are in accord with The Time!  Because right now, surely man is suffering great loss, and it’s because we either don’t know

“The Time” and refuse to believe in The Knowledge of The Time—and act according to that belief.  Or, we just don’t care to believe that this is “The Time” of “The End of The World of The Wicked,” and it is “The Time” that the Black Man and Woman of America, who have been in a state of bondage for 450 years in America, and in the Western Hemisphere should go free from their tormentors, and live according to the Way of God in a land of our own.

It is not a “time of integration into that which is doomed.”  So the scriptures clearly state in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 18, verses 4-5:  “Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins and her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven.”  This is “The Time and What Must Be Done,” and this segment of this subject is titled “We Must Unite To Save Our Youth.”

It is an imperative that all of us who are in positions of leadership over organizations or churches:  We have to come together as intelligent human beings to save a generation that will be lost unless we take the proper steps to save our youth.  Our youth are suffering.  And in truth, it is not their fault.

‘From school to a pipeline to prison’: Our youth, the future of this nation, are in trouble.

Brothers and sisters, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement opened a way for us to go into business establishments that we were denied entry into, or to sleep in motels or hotels, or dine in restaurants that we were not permitted to sleep in or dine in before, we took our money away from spending with our own, and building a future for our own—and we began to spend our wealth with those who had denied us entry, for hundreds of years, into their establishments. 

And so the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in “The Muslim Program” that he put on the back page of the Muhammad Speaks newspaper and now on the back page of The Final Call newspaper, stated in “Point No. 9 of What The Muslims Believe”:  “WE BELIEVE that the offer of integration is hypocritical and is made by those who are trying to deceive the Black peoples into believing that their 400-year-old open enemies of freedom, justice and equality are, all of a sudden, their ‘friends.’  Furthermore, we believe that such deception is intended to prevent Black people from realizing that the time in history has arrived for the separation from the Whites of this nation. …” 

As our subject a few broadcasts ago was “What Must Be Done”:  America, you must let God’s People go!  We have served you faithfully for 450 years as a slave, then as a free slave.  We have fought in all of your wars, for your freedom and your independence—but we are still singing “We Shall Overcome.”  You have denied us everything that it takes to make a people free, justified and equal. 

We pay taxes like every other citizen, but our taxes support a school system that does not feed us, does not educate us, and does not qualify us!  We support a political system that has been against us from the very beginning.  We fight for a government that has been an open enemy to The Liberation Struggle of our people.  It is not that we have been your “enemy,” but a government has been ours. 

Every step that we have made to better ourselves, we had to fight for “little things.”  Just a drink of water on a fountain that says “Whites Only,” to relieve ourselves in a toilet that said “For Whites Only,” to be buried in a cemetery that said “For Whites Only” and for every “advancement” that we have made, we have had to suffer for that advancement. 

In April 2013, a movie was released called 42; it’s about that great brother of ours, baseball player Jackie Robinson.  The movie didn’t tell the half of that man’s suffering.  Yes, he opened the door for Black and Brown to become players in the American and National Leagues of baseball; but as he opened the way for Blacks to enter the major leagues, the Negro League closed down. 

And now our Hispanic brothers are coming out of Central America, and South America, and playing ball, and we don’t have the jobs that we used to have in baseball because we are mature enough to know that money should be paid to us for our abilities.  But, our Latin brothers who are so happy to be in the major leagues:  They are taken advantage of with weaker salaries—although all the salaries that sports people get put serious disciplines to shame.

Teachers have to have “moonlight jobs” because they can’t get a decent wage; yet, they are shaping the minds of the future.  No wonder there’s no real teaching going on in the public school system.  Here in Chicago, 49 schools were closed [by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Board of Education].   Here in Chicago, and in the cities of America:  Our children are going from “school” into “a pipeline to prison.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A man of growing consciousness.

You know, you may think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a “dreamer.”  I beg to differ with you.  “The Dream” that Martin Luther King had in 1963 that he spoke of at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, the man wasn’t “dreaming” when he made a speech—“The Crisis in America’s Cities: An Analysis of Social Disorder and a Plan of Action Against Poverty, Discrimination and Racism in Urban America.”  This plan was presented by Dr. King to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 15, 1967.  [This speech is available on The King Center Archives website.] Look at what Dr. King wrote:  

“[A million words will be written and spoken to dissect the ghetto outbreaks, but for a perceptive and vivid expression of culpability I would like to submit two sentences written a century ago by Victor Hugo:]  ‘If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.’  The policymakers of the White society have caused the darkness; they created discrimination; they created slums; they perpetuate unemployment, ignorance and poverty.  It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes”—he used that term then, but we’ll say “The Black man of America”—“have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. …” 

What did he mean “derivative”?  Dr. King goes on to say:  “[These crimes] are born of the greater crimes of the White society.  [So] when we ask Negroes—or Black men and women—to abide by the law, let us also declare that the White man does not abide by law in the ghettos.  Day in and day out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments. He flagrantly violates building codes and regulations.

His police make a mockery of law. He violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions for civil services.  The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the White society; Negroes live in them but do not make them any more than a prisoner makes a prison.”  That’s not the talk of a “dreamer.”  That’s the talk of a bold preacher who confronted the reality of White racism.

He went on to say:  “Let us say boldly that if the total sum violations of law by the White man over the years were calculated and were compared with the law breaking of a few days of riots, the hardened criminal would be the White man.”  Dr. King then went on to quote “five reasons why” we are in the condition that we’re in:  1.) “The White backlash”; 2.) “Unemployment”; 3.) “General discriminatory practices”; 4.) “War”; and 5.) “Features peculiar to big cities: crime, family problems, and intensive migration”).  

Now mind you, brothers and sisters, Dr. King said this approximately 47 years ago; he talked about the White backlash,” and then he talked about “unemployment.” 

I would like to deal with unemployment, because unemployment is the basis for the criminal activity that abounds in the Black community! 

Dr. King said: “The second major cause is unemployment because it furnishes the bulk of the shock troops.”

What did he mean by this?  The things that our young people are doing are “shocking” to those of us who are their elders, but it is unemployment, mis-education, lack of proper education that is creating the “shock troops” that are now giving us and society a “shock.”  Dr. King went on to say: “Government figures reveal that the rate of unemployment for [Black people] runs as high as 15 percent in some cities—and for youth up to 30-40 percent! 

It is not accidental that the major actors in all the outbreaks were”—and are—“the youth. …”  Now, look at the figures used by Dr. King 47 years ago:  The Black man’s unemployment rate in the cities, 15 percent; and it’s at that same percent right now, 47 years later.  Also, for Black youth the “30-40 percent unemployment” rate 47 years ago is the same as today!

Beloved brothers and sisters, for our leaders to say “Oh, we live in a post-racial America because we have put a Black man in the White House, and America has really changed. …”—that beautiful image of Dr. King now on the Washington Mall looking out at us, in stone: That expression on his face will not “change” because the condition of Black people in America has not changed.  And for us to think and to say that Dr. King would be proud of the strides that America has made, when these statistics have not changed, in fact they have gotten worse; so, I don’t think that any American has the right to use Dr. King to put a “good face” on an ugly situation that is getting more ugly by the moment.

Dr. King saw our young people running amuck.  Have you noticed every revolution that is taking place on the Earth?  Look in the faces of those who are rising against their governments—that’s right: It is disenfranchised young, jobless people.  Not only are young Black people in America unemployed, young people are unemployed all over the world.  When you look at the austerity measures going on in Greece, in Spain, in Italy, in France, look at who is rising up:  It is the youth!  If you look at Libya, if you look at Syria, if you look at Egypt, if you look at Tunisia, if you look in Bahrain—wherever there’s revolution or strife against a constituted authority, it is the young who are rising up!

In America today, “Occupy Wall Street” was young people that are fed up with the government’s misuse of young people; not preparing for young people, not having a future for young people!  Over 280,000 college graduates are now working on jobs that they are overly-educated for!  And many who have Master and Doctorate degrees are working in soup kitchens.  Is this “the promise” of America?  And if this “promise” is failing for middle and upper class White people, it never worked for Black people. 

Go on back to the 1940s with the proposed “March on Washington” by A. Phillip Randolph; the cry was “Jobs!” and “Justice!”  In 1963, in The March on Washington, the cry was “Jobs!” and “Justice!”—and 20 years later, in 1983, the cry was “Jobs!” and “Justice!”  And what is the cry today?  “Jobs” and “Justice.” 

Brothers and sisters, I want to put before you some more of what Dr. King said, because most of America does not know Elijah Muhammad, they don’t know Malcolm X, and they don’t know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. was marching toward a goal.  He was evolving toward a goal, and was assassinated before he reached it.  Where would Dr. King be today, if he were alive, to walk among us?  And Malcolm X, like Dr. King, was 39 years old; he had broken from the Nation of Islam, and he was moving toward a goal.  But, he was assassinated before he reached that goal!  Where would Malcolm X be today?  When Malcolm left the Nation of Islam, he spoke in Detroit, and his great speech was:  “Ballots or Bullets: The Right to Vote or Insurrection?”

Martin Luther King, just weeks before he was assassinated, in a meeting with members of his staff, told Harry Belafonte he was melancholy because he feared that he was integrating his people into a “burning house.”  Dr. King, two months before his assassination, sat with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and, like “two brothers,” they got along like two brothers should.  They spoke frankly, honestly to each other; and Dr. King asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, 

“Do you really think that all White people are ‘devils’?” and Elijah Muhammad looked at Dr. King; he said, “Both of us are from the South,” he said: “We know that there are snakes that are poisonous, and there are snakes that are not.  The rattlesnake is poisonous, but the king snake is not.”  He was telling Dr. King, “We both are Georgia boys.  We know that you have some White people that hate you with a passion, and you have some White people that will tolerate you, and even help you.  But, ‘a snake is a snake.’ ”  

I don’t know the final outcome of such a great meeting, but I do know this:  They met in February just before our national Saviours’ Day Convention.  And just a few months later, Dr. King was dead.  What would America have been like if Dr. King and Elijah Muhammad, if the Civil Rights Movement and the Nationalist Movement saw “the common ground”—and each of us worked together for the Common Cause which is the Total Liberation of Our People?

The Enemy’s plans of instituting police measures against youth in street organizations

Dr. King also said of government, quote:  “The demands in Congress and the administration for police measures as the primary solution are a sick echo of the solutions proposed as long ago as 1919 in the Washington riots.  The Herald (Tribune)”—a New York paper—“called for a, ‘larger, better-drilled and more ably commanded police organization.’ [And] The New York Globe anticipated the current Congressional sentiment of, ‘not rewarding the rioters’ in stating on July 23, 1919, ‘There is nothing to be done but to quiet the rioters by force.  We make no pretense nowadays of settling the race question; we simply keep it in abeyance.’”  They have not “settled the race question” to this moment.  And right now, there are two congressmen from the state of Illinois who are showing that the mentality of government is the same today as it was then! 

According to published reports, Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) have come up with the idea to “solve the gang problem in Chicago.” They would like to arrest 18,000 so-called members of the Gangster Disciples and put them in prison.  And they are working feverishly on how to do that.  Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has spoken against it, and so has Father Michael Pfleger (pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church on Chicago’s Southside) …  But today, we want to add our voice, and the Voice of The Nation of Islam, to such an horrendous plan of two senators from Illinois: That you would marshal the forces of the federal government, and come into our community and sweep 18,000 so-called members of the Gangster Disciples—and you’ve already carved out a prison that you could put them in?

How many of you have ever sat down to think of how you can “solve the problem” by creating jobs and employment for the young people in the inner-cities of America, particularly Chicago and Los Angeles?  Your thoughts are the same—‘force’ military force.  When Dr. King wrote what he wrote 48 years ago, police carried “.38s”; but today, they are armed to the teeth like soldiers on a foreign battlefield.  Is this what you plan to do:  Come into our community and take our young people?  Hell no!  We won’t permit it!  We’re calling on all Black leaders, all Black organizations—this is an S.O.S.  We have to rise up now, and come together as a united front to stop the madness!

The Illinois senators are going before the Congress, asking for $30 million.  For what?  To take our young men, and put them in prison?  In Part 21 of “The Time and What Must Be Done” Lecture Series, you heard me talk about “the prison industrial complex”!  You heard me say that in the state of Georgia, 58,000 inmates are working for $.23 cents an hour—working for Corporate America.  People on “The Forbes 500” list are being serviced by young Black people in the prisons of America, training them to do great work inside prison. 

But when they come out on the streets as a “felon,” they can’t even get a job.  Nor do you want to train them to work and get a decent living wage on the outside; but you put them in prison, under schemes, so that you can misuse them, and use them for slave labor!  This is why the calamities are increasing on America!  This is the evil that you plan against a people that God wants to deliver from your hands!

We know what to do for our people.  But you won’t help us!  As I stated in Part 22:  We proved it by going into dope-infested projects and cleaning up the people, and making it safe for the people, without killing our own brothers and sisters who were dealing with drugs.  We know how to deal with our people!  You don’t love them, but we do!  We function from The Guidance of God. 

We want you to let us have them.  And if you want to see what we can do, sit down with us and we’ll show you how this can be done.  And let it be a “cooperative effort,” you and us—the police and us, the government and us, the leaders and us.  It is not “hopeless.”…