[Editor’s note: The following words were delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan regarding the recent controversy surrounding the false charges of anti-Semitism against hip-hop artist, producer and businessman Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and NBA star Kyrie Irving, which aired via NOI.org on Thursday, November 10, 2022. To view this message in its entirety, visit noi.org/ye-kyrie/ ].
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Greetings to you. I am Brother Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I am speaking this morning to you on behalf of my teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And I am sure that my teacher, who is presently on The Wheel—these “unidentified by others flying objects” that are present in this world to bring about the Judgment of God:
I am sure my teacher is deeply concerned about what is happening in Black America today, that has put two of our young men, one, a great basketball player, Kyrie Irving, and another brother who is called a rapper, but he is so much more than that, Brother Ye, and the controversy that is swirling around these two men that is causing, unfortunately, division among a people that can least afford to be broken more apart because of misunderstanding.
And unfortunately, parts of ignorance; that we don’t see the enemy, who is working 100 percent to bring bloodshed about among us because of the serious nature of what is happening that is causing them, the enemy, to use his influence on those of us who are on his payroll.
Those of us who have been blessed to be connected to them: It could be a blessing, but it also can be a cursing, because once the enemy puts his talons into you, he is reaching for your mind. But more than that, he is reaching for your soul, to empty us, and make us weak when we could be strong, and doing his bidding rather than manifesting the great love that God wants us to show toward one another.
The Search for Knowledge of Self should be revered, not reviled
I’d like to start with Brother Kyrie. What did he do wrong? What did he do? He is searching for the knowledge of himself; he is searching to know who he is, who he belongs to, what is his root in this world. And some of you that are persecuting him are the very ones that took away from him and from us the knowledge of self! You took our language! You took our culture! You took our history! You took our minds, and inserted your mind into our mind through your systems, and now God has come to lift us from this terrible condition that you have placed us in.
So, Brother Kyrie saw a movie. He didn’t write the movie! He wasn’t the producer of the movie! He wasn’t the director of the movie! Somebody told him that there was a movie titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” That’s an interesting title, because many of our people don’t know anything about being a Hebrew. We know that we passed through something called “Negro,” and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us that means someone dead, lifeless, hard, neutral. We didn’t name ourself a “Negro,” they named us that because they put us in the condition that that name represents.
Kyrie and Ye, and all of you now that are involved in the conversation: Could you just step back a moment, and let’s reason together? Brother Kyrie saw the movie because of all of the anger and dislike, and breaking apart [within the Black community]. I said, “Let me see this movie,” and I and my wife, and my family, we watched the movie the other night.
Hebrews to Negroes was well researched; the people that did it, they had a purpose. The purpose of those people was to show us how we got from “Hebrew” to “Negro.” As I watched that, I could see my brother: He is not thinking about hating somebody, he is thinking about learning more about himself—because we are tired of being what others have made us; we must become ourselves again!
And Kyrie was interested in that journey; I can listen to him, and I can see him, and I can see that’s the journey that he is on. He’s not trying to hurt the Nets, he’s not trying to hurt the brothers that are playing ball with him—but he is trying to be true to himself.
The greatest teaching of The God Who came to find us and save us, Master Fard Muhammad: He said, “Accept Your Own and Be Yourself.” That is what Kyrie is trying to do—find his own, accept his own, and be himself. I heard an intelligent brother. Not a foolish man, but a man that has found something that is more valuable for him than being loved as a great, fantastic ball player.
The Knowledge of Self results in revealing the enemy to self and kind
So many of you, my brothers, who are former players (and you have been so good at it): You know who your managers have been, you know who your accountants have been, and are; you know who your agents have been, and are. You know who are the owners of the teams that you play on, whether it’s basketball, football; whatever it is, you know who they are, and because of your greatness, they have decided that you should become rich. For hundreds of years, they didn’t decide like that. For hundreds of years, they loved that you were poor, and talented, so they could be your managers, they could be your agents, so they could give you knowledge, and give you favor.
You don’t see as God would love for you to see… Because there are Forces among us that they are afraid of! They are afraid that you will discover the truth of yourself and them. They don’t want you to find who you are; because once you know yourself, the next step is you’ve got to rise up from where you are to be yourself—and yourself is a noble person, a righteous person, a person that can be labeled the “Son of God.”
The Bible teaches of us, “Ye are all gods, children of the Most High God.” So Ye must have discovered something! Ye said, “I am God.” People that were interviewing him, they said, “Don’t… Don’t talk like that!” Why? Because you don’t want us to identify with God. It’s alright for us to call each other “Yo, dog! How things going, dog?” but each of us: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “When you see a Black man, you are looking at God.”
So, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wanted to give us that kind of knowledge, and he made us to stop using the term “nigga,” and call each other “brother,” call each other “sister,” and learn to love for your brother what you love for yourself.
There are many Black people in America, and around the world, that are digging at the knowledge of self. Many in America are digging at the knowledge of self, and sharing what they know. So, Kyrie saw the movie, and he wanted to share it with those that follow him [on social media].
You know how we’ve been: You find a reefer, and it’s good to you, so you call your friends and you share your reefer? They’re not mad with that. “Yo dog, come on, let’s smoke this blunt!” You [Jewish owners] don’t say anything about that! But when they [Black athletes and entertainers] get knowledge, and want to share knowledge, they’re not talking against you! They work to make you richer as you work to make them some money, too. These people aren’t anti-Semitic.
Every one of them, they have never done anything against you as a Jewish person. They don’t do that; not one of those do things to purposely harm a Jewish person. The man went to a movie, he saw something that taught him more about himself and he wanted to share it. You looked at his passing on what he thought was knowledge—that would sink his roots back in the soil of himself and The God—and you felt threatened by that.
Why? Why, owners of the Nets: Why did you feel threatened? Kyrie didn’t call you out by name; he just said he saw something, and he put it up [on social media]. You called it what? An “anti-Semitic trope.” The movie is a little over two hours; I’m sure there are things in there that you didn’t like, but there are many things that you all have written about us that we don’t like—
- You have been the one making us hate who we are, and hate our origin in the world!
- You are the one that made Tarzan, and told us that that’s a part of us!
- You’ve done all of this to us, and we couldn’t say anything?
- You were the one that made a “darkie,” a little “Black Sambo,” and you made us to see that as who we are!
Can’t you see that we are tired of that? So I, and others of knowledge, are spreading Knowledge of God, Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of The Time—and also knowledge of an enemy—because we couldn’t be in a condition like this if all of you were our “friends.”
We have enemies! And those enemies have dropped us down in the barrel of waste! We’re not around here hating you, but we tell the truth of what we know of what some of you have done to put us in the condition that we’re in.
The ‘Buck-Breaking’ of Black Men: The ADL’s aim to publicly crucify Black Truth-Tellers
Kyrie found something. [But those who feel threatened by what he found, demanded:] “I want you to say that you are sorry for saying something that is anti-Semitic.” He kept telling you, “I can’t be anti-Myself!” You didn’t want to hear that. You know you came from us! You know that you are not the father of humanity! We know our history—and we know yours! We don’t like what you’re doing to Kyrie, or to Ye! And when we see how you want to break him, destroy him, to keep him from saying anything that might enlighten our people…
Do you know that when you mess up his mind like that, he can’t play? I saw the man playing ball the other day, and he missed every shot, almost. He can’t play with his mind in that state. When his brother, Kevin Durant, said, “I don’t like any of this!” he’s not saying he doesn’t like the movie, he’s not liking what you’re doing to a man who wasn’t doing anything against you but searching for greater knowledge, and you decided to break him. You decided to put fear into men like Charles Barkley, and LeBron James, and other Black men who have become rich and powerful. You were saying to them, as you were lynching Kyrie: “You all better get the point! You all better get the message!”
Brothers: They don’t want you rising up into that knowledge that will make you a real man, and not a glorified punk.
I’m saying to the ADL: Sir, we know you. And we know that we know you—and you know that we know you. Don’t talk to Kyrie by himself. He can go and look at the horror of the Holocaust… Why don’t you come and look at the horror of what your parents have done to Black people in America and throughout the world? Why don’t you come and study, and repent of your evil to us, that maybe we can sit down and have a talk like civilized human beings?
Ye is not a hater. Ye is a lover. Kyrie is the same, but he wants to stand on a principle. You see him standing, how intelligent he is, and the media keeps running at him with: “Why don’t you say you apologize for this anti-Semitism?”
You did the same thing to me. I have tried to have meetings with you (“Let’s dialogue about this”). You don’t want a dialogue with me, you want a dialogue with somebody that you know you can put down because of the power you have over them by giving them a contract and money that you can take from them if they say or do anything that you don’t like.
This is the Day of Judgment and Justice. These men don’t want to be against you, these men are grateful! You brought them out of college and high school, and gave them a contract. You gave them a contract because you saw their talent. Haven’t they made money for you all? So now you sign them up, and then Adidas comes by, and Nike comes by, and gives them a lot of money that they don’t see. You have them on a leash… And whenever somebody like Kyrie or Ye rise up, and you don’t like it, you “pull the chain.” So, we run out and dog our own brother, because he did something for a principle. (You will, too.)
Life is bigger than paper with a White man’s image on it. Life is bigger than a nice house, and a nice car, and a lot of bling-bling. Life is bigger than an Oscar. Life is bigger than a belt. Life is bigger than something that says “I am the best at what I do,” “I’m the most valuable player,” or “My team won.” But as a people, we are losing.
We cannot afford to lose any of you! You are our kith and our kin, our flesh and our blood. And so, I wanted to say something to help us to come together rather than break apart; because it’s Ye and Kyrie today, but what they are doing to them is to make you, who are in the “good graces” of them (so you think), [fear their so-called power and influence]: “You see what we just did?”
Brother Ye lost $2 billion in a few days. You might wonder, “Did he really have it? He lost that much, that soon?” You know when you signed the contract with him. I don’t know what was in the contract, but you do; evidently, Adidas, and all the companies that Brother Kanye is signed to, or was signed to until Mr. Ari Emanuel told everybody “Just drop him.”
Beloved brothers, and sisters, look, your day is soon coming. I’m asking you: Stop beating each other up in the public. Stop doing that! But of course, that’s what the master wants us to do. “There is a slave here that is getting out of place,” and, “Teach him a lesson. Beat him up!” I am saying to you: Don’t do that. Call your brother! (“Come and sit down with us. Tell us about this movie.”) I understand that Brother Shaquille O’Neal put it up in his theater. Go see it!
‘The Secret Relationship’ the enemy to your self-discovery refuses to acknowledge
Jewish people: You don’t want to read The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, that we, The Nation of Islam, financed, we researched. [In 1993], when we had dinner together in the home of the Jewish rabbi: I went, others went; I brought some of my people, and there were two rabbis; also, there was Irv Kupcinet, a great reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Near the end of a beautiful dinner together, [“this love fest”], where we looked like we were going to be on a page together, where the controversy could stop, the rabbi then reached in his pocket and pulled out an envelope, and said to me: “But this is tough love. We want something from you.” And they said, “Minister, we have to watch you over a protracted time, to make sure that you’ve changed.”
The Nation of Islam had just put out the first volume of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, and you all told me: “We want you to renounce this book, because it’s a great calumny against the Jewish people.” You said that to me. You said to me: “Nobody that is deemed ‘an enemy to Jewish people’ is ever written of well in history.”
You know you control much of the publishing industry! So if you write the books, your people are heavily placed in the media; so when you all get ready to dog us out, you call those in that you pay! Then, you told me that if I did all the things that you all asked me to do, you would “clean up my image.”
You knew you dirtied it—but I am not going to beg and bow to you to clean up my image. God is sufficient for me! And God is sufficient for Kyrie and Ye, and God is sufficient for everyone who has been made a millionaire, a multi-millionaire, a billionaire. You can call your man at Forbes and tell them, “Put it in the book that there’s a new billionaire Black kid on the block.” There is Miss Oprah, one of the most beautiful women you could ever have as a friend; but now, she has something to lose if she is not careful.
“Careful” means you have to guard your mouth. You used to be able to open it [loud, without fear of censure]! Now, when they pull that “chain,” [your voice is muffled, muted, restricted]; now, you can’t find your voice, you’re afraid. When fear grips you because you think you’re going to lose something that is dear to you, you don’t want to venture out, because you’re afraid.
I say this, dear beloved: Resist the devil and he will flee from you. “To resist” means “to withstand the action or the effect of.” Because if you stand and fight with truth and unity, you’ll never lose even what you got. They don’t want to be shown up, they want to put fear into you. and they do have power to hurt us… and God has plenty of power to hurt them.
If you want our brothers to come and sit with your rabbis, and visit the Holocaust museum, why not let one of our scholars come and sit with them. Because we know the Torah, by God’s grace; we know the Talmud—and we know you and your history. Leave our people alone. Leave Kyrie alone; step back and see what you’re unleashing.
Stephen A. Smith, the other day: He didn’t take up with Kyrie and the movie, but he took up that you took it too far. Some others said you’re “buck-breaking,” because you still are an old wicked slave master (“Sing for me, nigga! Don’t talk, dribble! Dribble!”)
Well, we’re tired. We don’t mind dribbling for you, if you respect us for who we are. We haven’t asked you for anything more than a decent paycheck for the work that we do to make you a multi-millionaire and a billionaire. Leave our brothers alone. Don’t try to use what you’re doing to Ye and Kyrie so you can keep a muzzle on our great basketball players that have a big contract with you.
At the dinner, when they reached in their pocket and showed me a white envelope with the things they wanted me to do if I would have their friendship, and they said, “We’ve gotta watch you for a protracted period of time”: See, we need to watch them for a protracted period of time, because we have never done to you and your people what you and your people have done to us! We don’t need to go see the holocaust—we feel your pain, because we’re really human beings. You don’t feel ours, because to you, a thousand Blacks ain’t worth “the fingernail of a Jewish man.”
I have read these things… You want to have a real good dialogue, so we can start afresh and anew, because the old way is not going to work!
When they said to me, “Well, you’ve got your truth and we’ve got ours,” I said: “It’s not about ‘your’ truth or ‘my’ truth, it’s about what is the truth. If we can agree on the truth, we can build a better relationship. Now, I think we should watch you for a protracted period of time before we admit you into our heart as a ‘friend’.”
What about that one? You want my brother to go out and denounce a movie that is teaching knowledge of self? Why don’t you call the producer of that, the writer of that, and make them say that what they did is a lie. It’s still in the movie! Don’t pick on my brother!
If you want a fight, we can entertain you. We are all born to die, and at some point, I don’t give a skip how powerful you are… Like I said to one of your brothers, when I visited him in his penthouse apartment on 5th Avenue [in the late 1990s], and he offered me a drink. I said, “Sir, I don’t drink.” He said, “Well, you drink orange juice?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “That’s me.” “You listen to music?” I said, “Of course.”
He said, “That’s me.” “Do you go to the movies?” “Of course, occasionally.” He said, “That’s me!” I said: “Sir, I know you’re a powerful man, but The God I serve: When it’s your time to get out of here, neither your money or your power can keep you alive on this Earth one fraction of a second after the decree of death is in for you! So Who is really powerful? I’m not bowing to you! I bow to God.”
I think we’re going to get to that point, where our people are not going to bow anymore! We’ll soon get to that point where your money doesn’t mean to us what it means to you—when life doesn’t mean more to us than the principles of truth upon which we stand. You’re going to meet that kind of Black person. You’re meeting them now! And more and more, you are making them, by what you’re trying to do to Ye, what you’ve done to Ye, and what you’re trying to make Kyrie do to get back “friendship” with you that you’ll never give him.
There ain’t no forgiveness in you! It’s never enough. Kyrie said, “I apologize for the hurt that my going to that movie and advising others to check it out may hurt.” That ain’t far enough. You did the same to others: “That’s not far enough. We don’t like your apology.”
The Apology and Reparation for centuries of oppression that Blacks have yet to receive
Tell me something: How many of you would come and sit down and apologize to us for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade? You come, now, bring your wife and your children, and tell us you’re sorry for killing us, raping us, castrating us, and enslaving us, and making us chattel. Will you come and apologize? Our people can be like you, “It ain’t enough.” See, if we tell you when you apologize that “It’s not enough,” [you would say]: “Aw, you’re trying to pimp us, and hustle!”
No, reparation ain’t “pimpin’,” reparation is what we deserve for the pain and anguish that you have caused us to suffer. No, no, no, but you won’t do that! You won’t do justice by us. That’s why judgment is on you, now. That’s why you can’t live a day without another calamity—and [these calamities] are not going to stop! It’s going to get harder and harder, because The God of Justice has claimed us! Kyrie and Ye, and Durant, and Barkley, and Shaq: We belong to God, not you! Don’t try to use us against each other. If they want to talk to any of you, we’ll go with you.
“You bring your rabbis; you bring your scholars”: I told them at that dinner, “When we look at our book that we wrote, we only quoted your scholars, your historians, your rabbis.” So when they asked me to condemn our book, I said, “Oh, if it’s all lies, I certainly will condemn it, but we only quoted your people.
So when you come out and call every one that we quoted a liar and an anti-Semite, alright, then I’ll condemn the book. But you’re not going to do that.” When I told you at the end, “I want to be your friend, that’s why I am sitting in your house, eating your food, and inviting you to my house, and we prepared food for you. I would like to get along with you…”
And so would Ye, and so would Kyrie! But you can’t abuse them because you promised them wealth and nearness to White power. You should be desirous of having, and making peace with us. Don’t try to buckle us under, because of all your power. God can take it away from you in the twinkling of an eye, and He is about to do that.
You can come against me, as I said, with all the force and power of what you have, and I will stand on the truth that I was taught, and stand with God. And as long as I stand on truth and stand with God, I will be the winner—and so will Ye, and so will Kyrie, and so will any of us who want truth in our lives, and will fight for truth.
May Allah bless you that listen. May Allah comfort you. May Allah give you strength to stand for truth and righteousness and unity. I close with this scriptural verse: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” “To resist” means “to withstand.”
For nearly 40 years, I have withstood you. Everything you’ve said and done to hurt me and those with me, I am here! I’ve withstood the action, and the effect, and I remain undamaged, or unaffected by what you do. You know, if I live, I’ll soon be 90. You can’t wait for me to die. But I can’t die until Allah says so, not you!
So as long as I am alive, I am not going to sit by and let you do what you’re trying to do to our people, and we say nothing. “Thank you!” to all the brothers and sisters on social media who are standing up like the soldiers that they are; I just ask that you remember our brothers who are caught in the strange net.
Why not let us release them? Don’t beat them up; let’s release them from the prison of fear and ignorance, and you’ll have all of them standing together. Then we all can pool our resources, and be thankful for what we have been blessed to get by our association with members of the Jewish community. But we’re not going to let you destroy us, we’re not going to let you turn us into what will make us ashamed of ourselves.
Let us unite, brothers and sisters. Let us declare our oneness with God first, and our oneness with each other, as long as we are in the right. And if we drift, and we are not in the right, we are family: Bring our people back to the table, and straighten us out.
May Allah bless you. Thank you for listening. [I] thank Allah for putting that spirit in me, as I greet you in peace, and the love and favor of God. I am your brother, and I love you more than life. I want to see us free. Come on, brothers and sisters, let’s stop “nibbling” at each other to the joy of an enemy, and let us confront, with truth; and then, clasp hands in the unity of the brotherhood and watch God bless us to keep on growing and going up. But never let money be your god.
Thank you for listening. As-Salaam Alaikum.