Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Special Address to
National Organizing Committee
Million Family March

September 21, 2000
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington, D.C.

(Text transcribed from tape for the National Organizing Committee of the Million Family March)

Those who are here that are not from the Nation of Islam, I thank all of you for your patience. And I think those who have followed the Honorable Elijah Mohammed under my leadership are trying to grow beyond yourselves. That is a great challenge. I would not be a good Muslim or a good leader if I allowed us to continue down an incestuous path that kept us only to ourselves and not intermingling with others of like mind and spirit who desire to see substantive change in the reality of their lives, as we desire to see the same in our lives. People with different methods of approaching the same truth or the same reality, and because we may differ in methodology or even differ in philosophy or ideology none of us can disagree that we want the best for our families. None of us can disagree that we want to pass on to a future generation the best that we can pass on in terms of the struggle for justice, for freedom, and for equality that we all in some way or another are engaged in.

I want to say to the Muslims, who have grown up on a teaching of blackness that that was and is a method to cure a reality that white supremacy in America produced, a feeling of black-hate. That is a reality and emotion that must be confronted in order for us to make a better people. Elijah Mohammed chose a path that to others may have looked like hate. But he understood that he had to give black people in particular a base in the knowledge of themselves that we would outdistance the hatred of ourselves and replace it with a profound love for ourselves and for our family members first. Then the love that we have for others could be said to be real. It is very difficult for you to love somebody else more than you love yourself.

So when we study the words of Jesus when he gave the two great commandments, he said, "love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." Then he said "love your neighbor or your brother as yourself." The love of neighbor is predicated upon the love of yourself. And the love of self is only there when we have a profound knowledge of self, knowledge of God, and knowledge of how we connect with the source of life and ultimately existence.

If we look at the work of Jesus and the work of Mohammed, they both started narrowly, focusing on a specific problem of a specific people. Yet their message was universal in its scope. Jesus told his disciples, "go ye not the way of the Gentile, nor even in the way of the Samaritans, but go ye unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Very specific focus because the children of Israel had a very specific problem. But at a certain point in his ministry he said, "go ye into all the world and take this doctrine to every nation, every people, and every tongue."

Prophet Mohammed was similarly focused on the Arabs and their terrible plight, but the message was a universal message that had importance beyond the Arabs. Elijah Mohammed recognized a need of black people for the specific kind of medicine to heal our specific illness, which the whole human family suffers from in varying degrees. But we were like in triage. We were worse off, so we needed help immediately and we needed focus. So we became known as the black Muslims. That's not our name, but because everything we talked was, the black woman, the black child, the black man, it seemed that our religion was black. And to a degree it was.

But any medicine taken beyond a time that can produce a healing in one instance can produce death in another. What we have to understand about messages from God is that they have time value, and when the time of one message has fulfilled its purpose, it is abrogated for the message of greater import and greater significance. This is why we have a succession of prophets like we have school. Some prophets were kindergarten teachers, some were grammar school level, high school teachers. By the time you get to Jesus, and Mohammed as well, you get your graduate degree.

With this I wanted to set a spiritual context for the Million Family March. My dear brothers and sisters, and to the followers of Elijah Mohammed in particular, if you look at Mohammed Speaks at the back page of the Final Call newspaper, it states the Muslim program, what the Muslims believe. It ends with a sentence that goes like this: "And lastly, we believe that there is no God but Allah, and He will set up a universal government of peace wherein we all can live in peace together."

Now when we talk about a universal doctrine, that has to be a government whose laws, rules and regulations are applicable to each and every human being that exists on our planet, nearly 6 billion, as we speak. Isaiah the prophet said, "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father, and of the increase of his government of peace there shall be no end."

Now as Christians and Muslims, we should want to know when such a government will come into existence because we are suffering under the present governmental structures and systems that are in the world. Well, America has made a gallant attempt at a universal government. Unfortunately, it was founded by people whose vision was for white people only. They didn't see what is in America today. According to last week s Newsweek magazine, on the question of race, this is the first time in the history of America that whites are now becoming minority, and the black and the brown and the red and the mixtures in between are beginning to now outnumber those that are purely white, if there's any such thing any more.

The point is, there has to be an undoing of an old philosophy based on white supremacy, and that philosophy must be overcome by that which will produce a universal government of peace. Now as for the Million Family March, in my own mind, I want it to give the world a seminal view of what the Kingdom of God shall look like. Now I want you to hear this because this is the critical part. God said in the last days he would choose a people, but they would be a foolish people, and some in this audience would never say that their people were foolish. But there are others of us in this room that know that our people have been and in most instances today are still foolish. There's no way that we could be considered wise, with $550 billion coming through our hands and we're spending it with everybody else except ourselves. That's not a wise people. That would be considered foolish.

He said he would choose a people that are lost. He would choose a people that are despised and rejected. He would choose a people that are lost, so lost that they appear to be irredeemable, irretrievable, irreconcilable. Now that's a description I don't know who fits. But most people who look at us as a people I'm speaking now of us as a black people wonder if we could we ever be reconciled, could we ever be redeemed, could we ever be brought back to the original position that we once occupied as the fathers of civilization, as the fathers of mathematics. Could we be brought back to such a time-honored position? And even though in the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, when it's talking about those dry bones. But the bones were talking and they said, "our bones are dry, our hope is lost. We are cut off from our heart." If you talk directly, as I have done, through 46 years of my life, we say among ourselves, we will never be together. It's impossible. Forget it.

But yet the question was asked by the Lord, can these bones live? And Ezekiel said, "Lord, only if you say so." The prophet wouldn't dare hazard an answer, so God said to Ezekiel, "go and prophecy to these bones because these bones will live." My brothers and sisters, America is full of dry bones, but if we bring the word of God to her America will live.

What I am suggesting to you in the final few minutes of my talk to you is that black people have a very special calling today. You can run from it if you try, but your hearts are made ready for a mission from God. You are a unique people and have suffered what no people in history have ever suffered. Yet you show a heart of compassion and love and a willingness to forgive. This is a unusual trait in the human experience. We should be bitter. We should be angry. We should be hateful because of what we have suffered and what we continue to suffer, but we are the opposite of that. We still feel that anger, we still feel that pain and that bitterness. And some of us feel the hatred.

But Jesus asked us not to be downcast because the natural man cannot redeem a people or a world that is lost. The natural human will fail because if I beat you, you'll beat me back. If I curse you, you'll curse me back. If I spit on you, you spit back on me. That's the natural man's reaction. However, Jesus was demanding a supernatural behavior based on the "spiritual man" in order for those who believed in him to be a force for redemption. We must become a force for redemption of America.

Martin Luther King tried this. He taught us that we should suffer and bleed and even die to redeem the souls of white folk who hated our very shadow, much less us. He was not successful in changing the way many white folk lived, but he was successful in causing a change to take place in law, and beginning of a change to take place in attitude. Now we as a people need such a nonviolent philosophy preached among ourselves. We need to recognize that we are destructive of our own families, and we have to come together as a family to address our family problems, while at the same time the universal message touches all the members of the family as well.

I say to the Muslims that are present that I am grateful for the help of the Family Federation for World Peace under the leadership of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and I don't want us to get bent out of shape because a folk of another race desires to help make the Million Family March successful. The Honorable Elijah Mohammed told us that people would come from the East, that they would teach us everything that we need to know in order to be the people that God meant for us to be. This is a spiritual house we are building, a unique temple, the like of which has never been built before on the capital mall.

I want you to think about the construction and design of the mall. This whole thing was set up by those who are very high in the masonic order, this mall, the capital. Suffice it to say in closing, in the history of Prophet Mohammed there was a stone that belonged to sacred mosque of the Muslims that was out of place. It was a black stone, not light black or reddish brown, but it's called the black stone. They were arguing over who would help to put the stone in its proper place at the corner of the house. And as they argued, they asked Mohammed to settle their argument. He said, let the four chiefs get on the four corners of the cloth. They put the stone on the cloth and all the four chiefs lifted the stone and Mohammed guided the stone into its proper place.

Beloved black people, you are chosen to be the cornerstone of a new reality, and whenever you've got something that you put in the corners of the building to uphold the weight of the building, it has to be something that has to have a tremendous amount of strength so it can hold the weight of the building. You have undergone what no people has ever undergone, but with a purpose. It was the purpose of God that you be purified, cleansed, and fit into the corner of that which is called the Kingdom of God.

What I want on that mall on that day is to give the world a taste of what the kingdom of God looks like when people of all races, hues, and colors, under the universal government of peace can relate to each other as God intended. On that thought, if you look in this room, look at the Synergy Group and National Events that laid out the sound and the video. This is a highly intelligent group but they never had an undertaking this big. Many of our people will be working with them.

Now some of our people have had between 24 and 27 and 28 years of experience. Since we've never done anything quite this big, if we work together to work out the bugs and the problems, we all grow. You've been shown the stage already. Have you ever seen anything like that on the mall? Never. There will be a choir. There will be a symphony orchestra along with the greatest jazz musicians you've ever heard. The cultures of us will come together just like we have done. There is a whole world on that day will see human beings acting as human beings.

The success of the Million Man March was the attitude that we brought to that march. Now if you have the black family and interracial family meeting on that mall, that's a new experience for a lot of them. The attitude that we bring is what will cause every little problem or big problem, to be easily solved on the spot. So what I'm saying to them is that we who are the leaders of this must come with the attitude that we will make it a day of peace and joy, a day of unity of each family, and then causing the families to transcend the symbols and the artificial barriers that divide us. If on that day God blesses us to produce that, the world will notice, will say, something magnificent is going on in the only remaining superpower. And if we can produce that with the largest gathering of human beings from 2-5 millions, if you can produce that kind of teaching with 5 million, you can produce it with 5 billion.

I thank all of you for your presence and participation, and I want you to see what is in my heart and what is in my mind, and what is my hope that we could produce because the day after the march the real work begins. I don't want you that are present to think in terms of the march. We've got to get through the march. We've got to make the march successful, but if we don't do the work after the march then the march will vanish and we have no time to be involved in vain exercises.

God brought me back from death. I believe he brought me back to make a difference in the richest nation on this earth, for my people particularly, and for all people. So I appeal to you for the day after you can say, Million Family March, but it's really a million family organization.

In conclusion, I talked to members of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday, and I told them that no matter who is is voting, if they're not making a difference in the community, then Gore-Lieberman, which will probably be the ticket that most of our people will vote for, will not be any better than than Bush and Cheney. Many conclude that it will be. This is not necessarily so because the signs that I see, already see, are signs that black people will vote the Democratic ticket, but we are taken for granted. Nothing has been said that would ease racial profiling, where police brutality is concerned, where the death penalty is concerned, where the things that concern us as a people are concerned. They will not put prayer in school or remove the immorality that is on our televisions that is polluting our young people.

I would never lie to the people or deceive the people about the business of voting. It is very important that we register people to vote, but it is also good that we educate people, and then use people power to change reality. I don't care who they put on the bench. It won't change the face of America until there is a popular movement of the people, and that is the day after the march. We must produce a popular force that is spiritual, that is moral, that is politically mature and economically mature so that every one of us can become a tangible factor of power that can no longer be denied by those who are in power.

The real power is not the people that we vote in. The real power are those that manipulate the people that we vote in. So unless we can deal with the manipulative forces in this country, we can forget about justice rolling down the mountain like a mighty stream and all that kind of talk. That will always be talk. You can forget about the prison doors opening and the captive being set free. That will always be talk until we organize to free the captive then liberty has to come from a force coming up from the people that are wise, that are mobilized and are organized, highly politicized, and that know where our true self-interest lies. That is the goal that your brother has in his heart and in his mind in the Million Family March and beyond. I don't see myself ever coming back to this mall again except to proclaim victory over the forces.

So may God bless each of you.