Remarks by the
Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
of the National of Islam,
at the Million Family March

West Front of the US Capitol, Washington, D.C.
October 16, 2000, Monday

MR. FARRAKHAN: (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, we give him praise and thanks for his mercy and his goodness to the human family. The greatest of God's mercies comes to us in the form of divine revelation sent down through the mouth of God's prophets and messengers. We thank Allah for Moses and the Torah. We thank Him for Jesus and the Gospel. We thank him for Mohammed and the Koran. Peace be upon these worthy servants of Allah.

I am a student of the Most Honorable Elijah Mohammed, and I could never thank Allah enough for His intervention in our affairs, raising up among us one to lead, teach and guide us to the straight path of God, none other than the Honorable Elijah Mohammed. I greet all of you, my dear and wonderful brothers and sisters, with the greeting words of peace -- Assalamu alaikum.

AUDIENCE: (Inaudible response.)

MR. FARRAKHAN: Before I say anything of what God may have put on my heart to say, I want to thank all of those who helped to make this day possible.

I thank the local organizing committees, the national organizing committees, the hard-working brothers and sisters of the FOI and the MGT. I'd like to thank the program committee who worked so hard to put this together. And I would like to thank all of the speakers that have spoken to us and shared with us the wealth of their knowledge and the depth of their spirit.

I want to thank Allah for those who helped to make this day possible in terms of the help that they gave in financial support: Mr. Levan Hawkins (sp), Mr. Barry Hankerson (sp), Prince Carl Kenai (sp), Steve Harvey, and brothers and sisters, Russell Simmons, -- (cheers) -- and all of the hip-hop artists and the great entertainers that used their image to promote this magnificent event.

But I would also like to thank Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon and the International and Inter-religious Federation for World Peace, for they were committed and worked very hard to make this day possible. So on behalf of all of us, we say to Reverend and Mrs. Moon, and to all of the members of the International and Inter-religious Federation for World Peace, our sincere thanks and deep sense of personal gratitude for your effort to make this day possible. (Applause.)

I want to thank Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown -- (cheers) -- where's my Whitney and Bobby? Where? Ah, there's my precious sister and brother. Oh now -- now my day is getting better. Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. (Cheers, applause.) Puffy Combs, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith -- (cheers) -- did I say Puffy Combs? -- all of the national and international young people, our hip-hop artists.

I want to thank the members of the street organizations that are called gangs, I thank you from the depth of my heart for your coming and for your support; the international ambassadors, representatives of government, former heads of state and government, and a moment of silence for Prime Minister Rosey Douglas, who would have been here today, but the evil accident of time, which will take us all away, took our brother away suddenly.

If I missed anyone -- oh, let me say the Capitol Police and the fine work that the Capitol Police have done securing this great venue. (Applause.) I want to thank the mayor's office and all the city workers and planners who helped us, all of the doctors, the nurses, the health stations that are here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And also we have with us Mrs. Jesse Jackson and Stephanie Mills, Tynetta Muhammad. (Applause.)

And I would like to thank all the members of my family. Without their help and their support, I wouldn't be able to stand today. Thank you, my family. Thank you.

And Dudley Thompson, from Jamaica -- I see his beautiful face in the audience -- thank you, Dudley and Mrs. Thompson, for coming.

And now, with your permission, I'd like to get down to business. (Cheers, applause.)

Today I have written no notes. I thought that I should like to come today and stand before you and let Almighty God have His way with me and guide the words of my mouth and my heart, that I might speak to your minds and your heart, that we may have come in as many, but I pray that God will allow us to go out as one.

Now, my brothers and sisters, the ground on which we stand is hallowed ground, hallowed not only because it is the Capitol of the greatest nation on the Earth, but this ground is hallowed because this Capitol building that is one of the most beautiful seats of government anywhere in the world was built by a little over 400 slaves, black slaves, who built this building. So I don't want anybody to think that we, as black people, don't have a place here.

The sweat and the blood and the tears of our fathers who died in the Revolutionary War for America's independence; who died in the Civil War and then worked to produce a union; who died in the Spanish American War; in the First World War; in the Second World War; in the Korean Conflict; in the Vietnam War; and some of our children, along with yours, died just a few nights ago on the destroyer, the USS Cole. We have played a significant role in this nation and now we have an even greater role to play.

You might ask yourself, If God is just, why did God allow us, through our fathers, to come into slavery and suffer the worst form of slavery ever in the history of the world? For there never has been a people that have lost their names, their language, their culture, their religion, cut off from their history and the knowledge of their God and their religion, then sold as chattel slaves for 300 years. And for the last 150 years, near, we have suffered under the injustice of a power that seeks to keep us in a place that some have said is an inferior position.

But I respectfully say to you that it is written in the Bible that God would choose a foolish people to be his own people. And I know most of you would not want to claim that you are a foolish people, but I'll claim it on behalf of my own people, who last year spent $550 billion -- $545 billion of which went into the hands of other people. That's foolish. He said He would choose a people who were despised and rejected, and though there are many on this Earth who are despised and rejected, none fits that description of the despised and the rejected, none fits the description of the lost sheep or the lost people or the lost brother more than the black man and woman of America and the Western Hemisphere.

But all human beings seem lost to me today. As I look at humanity, it is as though no prophet of God has ever appeared among us because, as human beings, we are filled with hatred for one another. We are destroying each other, and at this very moment in Egypt, the Palestinians and the Israelis are sitting down with President Clinton and King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mubarak of Egypt to try and work out a peace in that troubled area.

We have witnessed, in the last 16 days, unparalleled brutality. We have witnessed, in the last 16 days, the destruction of religious houses, holy places belonging to the Jews as well as the Muslims.

Whenever we are so embittered that we would destroy places that are set up for the remembrance of God, this is a sign of madness. And the madness that we see in the Middle East has a basis.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that the stars in the heaven justify our belief in God, and therefore the star has always been used to represent justice. So the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that where there is no justice, human beings begin to act savagely or have a sense of insanity because of the deprivation of this vital principle of life, the principle of justice.

There can be no peace in that troubled area that is a lasting peace unless that peace is structured on the principle of justice -- justice for the Palestinians, justice for those who suffer in the world, justice for the poor and the weak, justice for the sick and the imprisoned, justice for those who have been locked out of society. Unless justice comes, there can be no peace. Even in this great nation, we will be at each other's throats as long as the principle of justice and equity are denied.

So today, as I look at the children of Abraham -- Muslims, Christians, and Jews -- Abraham would be totally upset that we would recognize him as a father and God as a father, and then turn around and slaughter each other, as is going on even as we speak. God would be displeased.

In the holy Koran, it teaches us, Abraham was not a Jew or a Christian; he was an upright man. So we cannot claim Abraham by blood lineage alone. We can only claim Abraham as a father if we live uprightly, as Abraham did, and worship nothing or no one but the one true God. (Applause.)

Now why are you saying this, Farrakhan? Because just across the river in Virginia, there is a place dedicated to George Washington, and George Washington -- it is not known by many that George Washington was a 33rd Degree Shriner -- he was very high in the Masonic Order. I want you to please hear me.

If you look at a horizontal line, and you take your protractor and go up 33 degrees from the horizontal plane, you will be in this position, which means you have not yet reached uprightness. It takes 90 degrees of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for the human being to stand upright.

It is the nature of the human being to come into the world lying on a horizontal or dead level.

But as fast as the child begins to get strength, it finds something to pull up on into uprightness, and then it grows in uprightness on the physical level.

But what about the spiritual and the moral plane of existence? Brothers and sisters, I respectfully say to the human family, 33 degrees of knowledge that rules this world means that the rulers have just begun to thaw out, for water freezes at 32 degrees. And anything that is under 32 degrees is frozen. Now, why am I saying this?

If you look at the human family -- now, I'm talking about black, brown, red, yellow and white -- we all seem to be frozen on a subhuman level of existence. I want you -- I'm going to say it again, because I want you to think with me. I said, humanity seems to be frozen on a subhuman level. In Islam and, I believe, in Christian theology and Jewish theology as well, there are three stages of human development.

The first stage is called the animalistic stage of development, and all of us have animal passions. But when we submit to animal passions, then we can do evil things to one another in that animalistic stage of development. But when moral consciousness comes and we have a self-accusing spirit, it is then that we become human beings. Right now, we have the potential for humanity, but we have not reached that potential, because we are functioning on the animalistic plane of existence. Allah says in the Koran, We created you into tribes and families that you may know one another and, parenthetically, not despise one another.

But look at us; the hatred that exists between black and white, between brown and white, between red and white, between yellow and white; the hatred that exists between black and black, between brown and brown, between red and red, between yellow and yellow, between white and white. Within our own racial families, there is division, there is hatred, there is bloodshed.

But God created us into tribes and families that we may know one another. My question to you today is, what do we know of each other but the worst of each other? We have not yet seen man and woman as man and woman were created to be. We are a caricature of what God intended. If in Genesis he created the man and the woman in his own image and after his own likeness, he created us, then, to be reflections of himself, and David, the psalmist, said, Ye are all God's children of the Most High God. But look at our behavior. Satan has turned us completely around where we can say Ye are all God's children of the most low Satan. Whose children are we?

A lady the other day said, Brother Farrakhan, we are all the children of God. And I said, yes, we have that potential. I said, but Satan has a lot of children too.

So my question to us as human beings is, whose children are we, and how will we know that we are children of God, except that our actions and our speech is a godly action and a godly speech, otherwise we have to say we have been devoured by Satan. (Cheers, applause.)

In the Bible, Job was a righteous man, and God told Job that he was going to turn Job into the hands of Satan to be tried. And in the Book of Job we read where the sons of God came to present themselves before God, and the Devil came along with them. Which means that the children of God were hanging out with the Devil and didn't know it. So when they got in front of God, God said, Whence comest thou, Satan? And Satan answered saying, I'm coming from up and down, to and fro, seeking whom I may devour.

So, as a Christian, you are supposed to be the body of Christ. But who has consumed us that we now reflect more Satan than God? Who are we walking with that we are not aware that we are walking satanically or with Satan? Satan does not have to be a spirit, though it is in each and every one of us presenting us a challenge. A righteous disciple, Peter, was talking to Jesus, and Jesus said to him, Whence comest thou? or Get away from me Satan. Called his own disciple Satan.

So each one of us at some time, no matter how much righteousness we profess, can be satanic in our thought, satanic in our words. And though we have on holy garments, it does not stop us from being captivated by a spirit that is alien to God.

Now, let's see where we are. Farrakhan, you have been preaching blackness for 46 years of your ministry. And I have to say to my beautiful black brothers and sisters, I had to preach blackness to you, and I know it sounds strange, but if we were not living in a world that made black something ugly, that caused us as a dark people to feel ashamed of ourselves and filled with self-hatred, Elijah Mohammed would not have had to talk to you about the beauty of being black. But he had to talk to us about the beauty of being black because someone was teaching us that black was ugly and that white was beautiful. And therefore, white people have been made sick on one end, black people have been made sick on another end, and the disease of white supremacy and black inferiority is what has poisoned the blood stream of religion.

So that even when we try to be brothers in Islam, there's a poison that ill-affects brotherhood. When we try to be brothers in Christianity, there's a poison that limits the brotherhood that we produce, even though we claim Jesus Christ. In Judaism, there's a poison that separates the black Jew from the Semitic Jew; from the Ashkenazi Jew. Poison exists in democracy. Poison exists in capitalism. Poison exists in communism; in socialism. And it is this poison that has to be identified and it has to be uprooted in the human family in order for us to relate to each other as Almighty God wanted us to relate to one another. (Applause.)

I created you into tribes and families, that you may know one another, all right? Let's look at that a little further.

If you look in Africa today, what is it that caused the Tutsi and the Hutu to destroy each other or the Tutsi to destroy the Hutu?

What is it that has caused ethnic cleansing in Kosovo? What is it that has caused one people to destroy or seek the destruction of another? What is it that caused the Turkish to destroy the Armenians? What is it in us that makes us act the way we act?

I respectfully say to you, my beloved brothers and sisters and members of the potential human family, that a poison exists and it starts with the thought that I am better than you because I'm black; or, I am better than you because I am white; or, I am better than you because I'm rich; or I am better than you because I am more highly educated; I am better than you because I have something that you don't have. These are false yardsticks used by human beings to justify their ill treatment of one another.

In the Holy Koran, Iblis, which is another name or characteristic of Shatan, was told to bow down to a man that was made of dust. And Iblis refused to bow down. And God asked him, Why didn't you bow down when I commanded you? And Iblis said, Because I am better than he. I am made of fire, while he is made of dust. Whenever you start thinking you are better because of some characteristic that you have that sets you apart from somebody else, this is the beginning of a satanic mind. (Applause, affirmations.)

I want you to hear me, because there is a yardstick that we can say one is better than the other; but it's not your race, it's not your color, it's not your creed. The thing that makes one human being better than another is our duty to God and our righteous conduct.

Now, saying that, I know that this country, founded by the Founding Fathers, never saw the demographics that we see today -- black people multiplying, brown people multiplying, Asians coming in. Now, we say this is a multicultural, multiracial society, and you say, Farrakhan, the way you speak, you have no place in such a multiracial, multicultural society. And I say to you, your talk of multicultural, multiracial can be charged to be hypocritical unless you revamp the whole educational system that really enslaves the minds of our young -- (applause) -- and poisons the minds of our elderly.

It is wonderful to say that Greeks started Western civilization, but that's only partly true.

Why can't we be honest enough to put in the history book that civilization started in Africa, with people of dark skin? (Applause.) Why can't you say that? That doesn't diminish a Caucasian by saying that civilization began in Egypt or in Africa. We are only diminished when we try to hide the truth to exalt ourselves because of our color. Then you are putting yourself down.

White supremacy, as a philosophy, has denied white human beings the growth into humanity and growth into divinity. I'm going to say it again. May I? White supremacy, as a philosophy, has denied Caucasian people from growth into humanity and into their own divinity.

Black inferiority has denied our growth into humanity and into our divinity.

So these mind-sets that have affected the Asians, that has affected the Indians from the subcontinent, that in India we are divided by color, and the lighter-skinned Indians are better, and the dark-skinned Indians are worse -- we have allowed what makes us different to become a badge of honor or a badge of shame.

Look at these beautiful flowers. (To staff.) Hand it to me, please. Now look at this. What is more beautiful than a bouquet of flowers, different colors, but growing out of a common earth, needing a common water, growing into a common atmosphere? Who would be stupid enough to say the rose is better than the orchid? You just won't talk like that. Nature won't let you say the rose is better than the orchid. The rose might be your preference, but who said it's better? That's stupid.

Excuse me. (Laughter.) I think it's ignorant. Don't you? (Applause.)

Now look at the earth out of which we grow. There's black earth. There's brown earth. There's red earth. Yes, there's sand that is white, sand that is pink. And we who live on the Earth rejoice because we grow our food in the black earth, we make our bricks from the red clay, we put our foot in the sand when we go to the beach, and we're not thinking of sand supremacy -- (laughter) -- or black earth supremacy; we're just enjoying what God has given us, and we give Him the praise.

Look on your finger, what kind of stone do you have that represents your birth? Some of us have yellow stones, some of us have a blue stone, some of us are blessed to have a diamond. And what makes the diamond so pretty is in the light it shows up many different colors, and we are so fascinated by the many different colors. We love diamonds, and diamonds are a girl's best friend -- (laughter) -- a man's too -- (laughter). And that's why they're killing each other in Central Africa and in West Africa and in Southern Africa -- over diamonds.

But imagine that you would exalt one stone over the other because of its color. If you like rubies, they're red. If you like emeralds, they're green. But you don't make color distinctions with the stones, you don't make color distinctions necessarily with the Earth. If you look at the planets, this planet shows up blue; Mars shows up red. God is the author of color. Why are you going crazy because you see color in the flowers, color in the rocks, color in the Earth, color everywhere you look, and color in the human family, and now we can accept the differences in rocks, in stones, in earth, but we cannot accept the differences of color and characteristics in one another. That says that the human being is sick. (Applause.)

Are we sick?


MR. FARRAKHAN: Do we need a doctor?


MR. FARRAKHAN: Now look at this -- and I'll put this down for a minute. Now look at this. You say I got Jesus. Others say I got Muhammed. Others say I got Moses. Others say I don't believe in God. Fine. But Jesus would be upset today because, I respectfully say to my Christian family -- this may sound harsh, and I don't want you to fall out with me, but I want you to think about what I'm saying -- you have not yet risen into true Christianity as we speak. (Applause.) Why do I say that, Christians? I think it's one of the apostles that said, In Christ there is no Jew or nor Greek; there is no bond or no free; there is no male or no female. All are one in Christ.

We have not gotten there yet because sexism has put the woman down.

Materialism has exalted things over the value of human life. Nationalism has exalted my flag over your flag. That is why at 9:00 this morning, on the Jumbotrons, I had all of the symbols of religion to come up on the screen. And when you saw your symbol, you said, Ah, there's the cross. That's me. Aha! There's the crescent. Ah, that's me. Oh, look. There's the Star of David. That's me. You have allowed symbols to define that which no symbol can define.

I showed you all the flags of all the nations and you can wave your flag, and this is beautiful, but that flag cannot describe you. That flag cannot define you. The flag limits you. The symbols limit you, and the only way that humanity can become what God intended, we must rise above symbols into the substance of the oneness of God. (Applause.)

Now, every organization that's here is represented by some symbol. As an Omega, you have your symbol. As a Delta, as a Kappa, as an AKA, you have your symbol. As an Elk, as a Moose, as a Lion, you have your symbol. As a Crip and a Blood you have your color. None of these things define you. All of these things limit you because your symbol and mine create divisions among us.

I am a Christian, you say, but you are a Muslim. You wear your cross, I wear my crescent, so I'll be over here and you'll be over there. Wrong, wrong, wrong! (Applause.) That is wrong.

I am a Christian. Did you hear me? Farrakhan said, I am a Christian. I am a Jew. I am a Muslim. I am Pentecostal. I am of the Church of God in Christ. I am a Jehovah's Witness. I am a Mason. I am a Shriner. I'm all of that and then some, because I refuse to let things limit me as to who I really am, and you should not allow that, either. (Applause, cheers.)

And now, when I say I am a Christian, I delight in the cross.

It means a lot to me. The cross is not a symbol of wood with a horizontal and a vertical bar; the cross is a symbol of the dual nature of the human being. He has a horizontal nature, which is animalistic. He has an upright nature, which is vertical. The cross represents our struggle to overcome the horizontal and grow into the vertical.

So at Easter time in church you sing -- (singing) -- The strife is o'er, the battle done, the victory of life is won. All glory to that risen Son, hallelujah! What are you saying? The strife is o'er. Jesus won the struggle between the horizontal and the vertical. He mastered the flesh by the spiritual growth of His mind into the oneness of God. The strife is over. The battle is done. The victory of life is won.

Life and love are the same words. If you don't love, you don't have life. And if you have life, you have love. And wherever there is hatred, there is death. Wherever there is hatred, there is the destruction of that which is the nature of God. And that's why we say God is love. That's not a tender emotion; that is the creative force out of which the whole universe was created. And when human beings are imbued with the spirit of God, then there is nothing that we wish to accomplish that cannot be accomplished.

The Star of David is two equilateral triangles, one pointing up, one pointing down. Six sides, six angles.

The Bible says, Count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. But the man is God's man, and the beast is also under the same number, because the beast is a man that has fallen down, and the God-man is a man that is looking up and gets instructions from above. And the fallen man is he who gets his guidance from the lower extremities. We follow our sexual appetite. We follow our lust for material things, for power.

Beautiful symbol. The crescent represents equality. The star represents justice. The sun represents freedom. That flag is up above our heads, and the God who created that -- He doesn't let the sun shine on white people and miss black people. Does He? He doesn't let the rain fall on the Native American and not fall on other members of the human family.

God is just, and he's no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter what your color is, what your race is, with God it is righteousness that He is after.

And so, my family, these symbols must give way to that which God will bring and make new among us. I say to all of these symbols, they make us symbols, and we don't have the substance of a human being created in the image of God. It's really sad that I could have a flag -- and it's the Jamaican flag -- and I say, My father was from Jamaica, man -- and that flag, I love that flag. But Jamaica, a little small island in the Caribbean. Saint Kitts even smaller. Trinidad, small. Dominica, small. Antigua, Saint Lucia, small. I have a Ghanaian flag, I am from Ghana. Good. You are from Nigeria. Good. I'm from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Good. Does that describe you?

Then die, die and see will not the Earth in China accept you. The Earth in China doesn't just belong to Chinese, the Earth belongs to all of us who live on the Earth.

And once we outgrow boundaries, once we outgrow borders, once we outgrow symbols, then we grow up into God, then the Earth becomes the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and there will never be poverty in the Earth when the rich don't control the wealth of the Earth. The rich should never have the wealth of the Earth; the wealth of the Earth belongs to God and it must be shared by every one of us who live on God's Earth. (Applause.) That's the kind of government that we need, a government that has the poor in mind.

The riches of America belong to all of those who call themselves Americans, and the richness of Africa belongs to all of those who call themselves Africans. But better yet, the riches of the Earth belong to all of those who live on the Earth. And that is why Isaiah, the prophet, said, For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given, and a government shall be upon his shoulders, and he shall be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end.

Look at the Star Spangled Banner. I loved seeing the athletes, when they won their races you would see the flag go up, and the Star Spangled Banner played. But listen to the lyrics: (Sings) -- And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.

What are you talking about? What are you talking about? Your anthem says that America was built on war -- bravery in war; war with the Native Americans to take away the land; war in terms of bringing the African into slavery in America; war to take New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas from the people of what is called Mexico; war to justify taking the islands -- some of the islands in the Caribbean. War. When will we have an anthem that says peace? (Applause.) And that is why I wanted my sister to sing: Lift every voice and sing 'til earth and heaven ring; ring with the harmony of liberty. Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies. Let it resound; loud as the rolling sea. That's not a song of war, that is a song glorifying a struggle of human beings to become more and more like God.

I am encouraging us, in this diversity that is before me, if America will be the leading power on this earth, the doctrine of racism and white supremacy has to be eliminated by a better quality of education. The doctrine of white supremacy that limits white growth into divinity and limits black growth into divinity, and hurts those in between in their quest for divinity, all of these extremes must be done away with with a better system of education. And this is why I'm asking everybody that is listening here today, and by television and by website; listen. There is a purposeful dumbing down of the American people. It is not an accident that corporate America is buying up radio stations, television stations, newspapers. They want to make you like sheep -- easily led in the wrong direction; hard to lead in the right direction.

But somebody made an error; they developed a computer. Somebody made an error because now, if you can get up on that computer and access the Information Highway, you can bring into your homes every bit of knowledge that you would need to grow into a human being and then continue to grow into a divine reflection of your Creator.

So I would ask everybody in this audience, everybody listening, get a computer in your home. Every home must have a computer so that we can learn how to use it to escape the purposeful dumbing-down of the American people.

Now, as I come to a conclusion, I want to address three problems. Family life: Any policy, rule, regulation or program that does not promote the growth of the male and female, the sanctity of marriage and family, is a rule, a regulation or policy that is not a good rule, regulation or policy. (Applause.) The family is the basic unit of civilization; therefore, everything must be done to care for the family unit. One.

Two. None of us can become human beings and divine beings without knowledge. Therefore, the access to knowledge should be what government is spending money on, not more weapons. (Applause.) There is no nation on this Earth that can defeat America militarily. There is no sense of saying to the American people, We need Star Wars because somebody is going to shoot a rocket at us. They're not insane; they know if they shot one rocket, you could shoot a hundred. So war and the threat of war is a pretext to take the taxpayer's dollar and make more and more weapons, while the American people have insufficient education, insufficient teachers, insufficient qualifications to come into a modern society. This thing needs to be reversed. Education is not a privilege. Education is a human right. (Applause.)

In your education, you must exalt the woman. (Applause.) Any system of education that does not give us a healthy respect for the female is a failed educational system. Any system on this Earth that says that a woman is only for pleasure and procreation is a backward system, and any system that says the female are our natural partners in every act of the building of home, school, systems, and institutions of government, then we are properly educated.

The woman is the cornerstone of the family.

And I respectfully say, to everyone that's here, all of our religious institutions need reform. (Applause.) I'm going to say it again. All of our religious institutions need reform. It is not God that has relegated females to this inferior position; it is our misunderstanding of the word of God.

Now, to my Christian family, who say they love Jesus -- I'm talking now to pastors -- because I was in a church, and I asked the pastor -- it was a Baptist church; please, Baptists, don't be angry. And I asked my brother -- I said, Brother, if Mary came into the house, would you tell Mary she couldn't come up on the rostrum here and speak to us about her son? And I said, Reverend, would you deny your mother the privilege of coming up here? And he said, She can't come up here.

And we respectfully disagreed, but I went away thinking about that. And I want to share this with you. When Jesus was on the cross, most all of the male disciples had run away. Only one was there. That was John. (Applause.) But there were three women at that cross, and one of them was His mother.

You say, as a Christian, He died for me. That's why I love Him so. He was nailed to the cross -- and look at your words -- His hands were bleeding. His feet were bleeding. And every hour that He hung there, He was in agony. And He died for me. That's why I love Him so.

When He was resurrected, according to Christian theology, the men were somewhere in the upper room, talking. But it was women that discovered that He had been raised.

Now I ask you a question. Do you think any pulpit made by man is better or more important than a female created by God? (Applause, shouts.) Just think -- and if you love Jesus, and you all do -- who in here loves Jesus? Raise your hand. Come on. Raise them high. Every Muslim in here will raise our hands, too, because we love Him. All right. Put your hands down.

If you love Him because, you say, He died for you, then look at the female that has given birth to your son or your daughter. Do you know that when she lays down to give life to us, she experiences the same pain of death as the pain of giving birth?

Look at the hours sometimes that she is in labor -- one hour, two hours, four hours, 10 hours, 14 hours, 18 hours -- and then she gives us life.

Well, if you can love Jesus because he died for you and me, then you better grab your wife and the woman that gave birth to your children and hold her tight because she died for you and me, and she suffered in labor for you and me, that the human family could continue to grow and flourish. (Applause.)

Now, my dear sisters, I want to say something specifically to you -- all the women that are here. Sisters, your womb is sacred. Your womb is the workshop of the Creator. I want you to hear me clearly. Every human being that we love and admire came from the womb of a female.

How do your prayers get answered? Every one of us say a prayer, and those of us who saw loved ones die from cancer, have not you prayed that somebody would find a cure? Look at the children suffering from muscular dystrophy, from sickle-cell anemia, from multiple sclerosis; those suffering from prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer -- but there are some medicines, but not cures. Wouldn't you like to find a cure for all these diseases? Where do you think the cure is going to come from? It's going to come from the womb of some woman, maybe some sister that is in this audience today.

My dear sisters, I understand why you fight for pro-choice, because you are tired of men using you for procreation and pleasure, and you want the right to say, I don't want this life. I understand that. But don't let the extreme ignorance of the male cause you to react in a way that is not good for yourself or the future of humanity. You have the right to choose -- choose well the man that you're going to give yourself to. (Cheers, applause.)

Make a good choice, sister. Don't give yourself to a man just because he asks for you. Make sure he's the right man. That's pro-choice. (Chuckles.) (Laughter, applause.)

Now, listen. In the Bible it says, I set before you this day two signs; one of life, one of death. Choose life, that you and your seed may live. Beloved sisters who are listening to me this afternoon, if you are now expecting a new life, I'm begging you, on behalf of Almighty God, do not abort that life; for that life that you are carrying, I promise you in the name of Allah, that life will be a blessing to you and a blessing to this nation and a blessing to the world.

Every woman that is pregnant, put your hands on that life and hear me. I am telling you, in the name of Almighty God, Allah, that what you are carrying in your womb is an answer to the prayer for peace. Because peace cannot come unless there is a peacemaker, and all peacemakers have come from the womb of a woman. Keep your hand on your womb and say, I vow what is in my womb to Almighty God, to serve Him and to serve my people and humanity. And if you will let that life live, your seed will be blessed from now into the future.

To all those white people listening who love your race and don't want to see your race diminished by mixing, you have a right to want to keep your race pure. Since God made all the families or allowed all the families to be here, if you want to keep your race white, that's a decision that you make. But you don't have to destroy others simply because you want to keep your race white. I like my black people, too. (Cheers, applause.)

So to the Citizens Council, the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, if you want your race to be pure, good. But then don't try to break into my family -- (cheers, applause) -- because there are some of us that feel the same way. (Applause.)

No matter how much Islam is in the world -- we have Pakistani Muslims, they're not marrying Chinese Muslims. You have all of the families in Islam, but they don't always intermarry. Intermarriage is an exception to a rule. But we can't outlaw it because love is bigger than my color or my race. So if two people in love want to marry -- make sure it's in love and not in lust -- then you do that, but remember there are other people who want to keep their race as God made it. God is not going to punish you for keeping your race as He made it, but it's the mutual respect between people, and the mutual love between people that will save humanity.

Now, the last thing I want to say: There are problems in Africa that America can help to solve. I don't think that America should sell arms to the brothers and sisters in Africa who then use those arms to destroy each other. Our government sold weapons to Ethiopia -- in fact, gave weapons to Ethiopia and Eritrea in hopes that they would use those weapons against the government of the Sudan. The Ethiopians and the Eritreans turned those guns on each other. America, you should not be involved in criminal activity that takes the lives of members of our family.

I say to the government of America, I believe that this government can do better by the peoples of the world. You do not need to blockade Cuba and make the Cuban people suffer simply because you don't agree with Fidel Castro. (Applause.) That is wrong. If you are a truly Christian nation, then let your light so shine before men, but you don't have to make the people of Cuba suffer simply because you don't like their way of governance. That is wrong.

I've been to Cuba; 65 to 70 percent of the people there are our people. Whether they are black or brown or red or yellow or white, they do not deserve to suffer from an embargo that has been on Cuba for 40 years.

Cuba can help us. Fidel Castro has offered 6,000 doctors to those of us in America, the blacks and the Native Americans, who only have one doctor for every 2,000 persons.

We need doctors.

Fidel Castro has offered to educate 500 doctors or students to become doctors this year and 250 every year after -- free. And all he wants us to do is come back home and serve our community.

Farrakhan, are you a communist? No. But you know what? There were two sons in the Bible, and the father said, Which one of you will do the will of God? And one son said he would, and he didn't, and one son said he wouldn't, but he did. And the question was asked, Which one of these did the will of God?

This is a Christian nation, but nearly 5 million human beings are homeless, 2 million in prison, many sick and mentally disturbed. When the disciples asked Jesus, When were You sick and I ministered not unto You, when were You hungry and I fed You not, when were You naked and out of doors, and I gave You not shelter, when? and Jesus said, Inasmuch as you have not done these things to the least of these, you have not done it also unto Me.

If this is a Christian nation, shelter the homeless. If this is a Christian nation, feed the hungry. If this is a Christian nation, give health care to every citizen, since you call on us to fight your wars and to pay taxes. (Applause, murmurs of affirmation from the audience.)

If this is a Christian nation, truly work to reform the prisoners. And if this is a Christian nation, we must destroy the death penalty and let those on death row go free. (Applause.)

I believe that I can help in the reform of every inmate in prison. And once the inmate is reformed, don't talk about giving him life in -- once he's reformed, let him go, and let him be redeemed and do that which is in the best interests of the society. Don't take away his right to vote after he has paid for his crime.

Now, as I leave you, I called this a march, but I'm not into marching.

Marching only means the organized pitter-patter of feet that are moving at the command of a commander, in strict obedience to his call. I'm not into marching. And if all this is, is a march for feeling good, then this is vanity. And we don't have time for vanity.

I say, to all of you that are listening, this was supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but it is a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich, and the masses of the people -- black, brown, red, yellow, and white -- are like the Bible's Lazarus, existing from the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table.

I don't want to leave my future in the hands of a government that corporate greed is taking over, robbing the people of the right of their own vote. Listen to me. Campaign finance reform only means that corporate America is buying your political leaders. Nearly a billion dollars in the last few years have been spent every year getting legislation passed that may not be in the people's best interest.

How do you rein in corporate America? She's not bad of herself; she's just pushed by the bottom line. She needs to be balanced. Who will balance the greed of corporate America? I think it's only when the people are awake, it's only when the people know what their self-interest is, it's only when the people are organized and politicized that we can leverage that unity and get from a government that will not yield to us what we need and what we want.

As a black people, there's nothing that we have gained in America that we didn't have to suffer, bleed, and die to get. So there's no sense in thinking that if Mr. Gore wins or Mr. Bush wins, that this will necessarily mean that we will get all that we need.

Now to those of you who are going to vote -- and I would urge you all to vote -- I would say to the voters, to the black and the brown and to the poor, don't let the smiles and the -- (pause) -- (laughter) -- don't let that make you think that's the right person to vote for.

It's almost like a choice between Beelzebub and the Devil. You lose with either one. But you know what? Even the Devil will do good under the gun. I'm not talking about a physical gun; I'm talking about a gun of the people's unity.

We can make this a better government. We can make this a better nation. But if you're going to wait for Congress to do it, they'll do the best they can, and that's very little. Talk to me, now. Let's be real. I say Congress will do good, but it will only be in direct proportion to what they are able to do. But -- but -- but -- if the people are organized, united, and committed, don't worry about the Supreme Court. We are the Supreme Court. Any law that's in this nation can be changed by the mass movement of the people. Martin Luther King didn't sit still when laws were unjust. People moved and people changed laws. We are the court. We are the government. We ought to exercise that kind of power and not leave it into the hands even of those whom we elect.

Now, I'm interested in certain congressional races; that I would like to see some of our brothers get chairmanship of certain committees. They deserve it, and we deserve it. But if Mr. Gore wins, and Mr. Lieberman wins, I say that we still should put a force together to make them do what is in our best interests, or the next time around, punish them at the polls. (Cheers, applause.) You have been too good to those who have lied to you, deceived you, and you never think about punishing those who lie to you. But as long as Farrakhan is alive, I believe that we should punish our elected officials when they don't reflect the will of us, the people. What do you think? (Applause.) Let me see by a show of your hands. All right.

One step further. I notice Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush talking about Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, medication and -- for the elderly, and, I am going to ask for a tax cut that will benefit the middle class. And my opponent, Mr. Bush, what he is proposing will benefit that 1 percent who are the rich.

I like that. I like that. But let me ask you a question, Vice President Gore. I have not heard you say anything about the poor. Your middle-class tax cut is all right, but what about the poor?

I never heard either Bush or Gore speak to the young of this nation, and the youth are the strongest and the largest voting bloc potentially in this nation. And if you don't care about the young people, I will respectfully say, that Louis Farrakhan, I'm going to ask Russell Simmons, the hip-hop guru -- (laughter) -- I want to see every young person in this nation from 18 to 35 that's not registered, I want you to register. I'm not here to play a political game. I didn't enter into this for this to be business as usual. I know it's not a panacea for all our ills, but let me tell you something, the vote and the power of the vote can determine how the pie is cut and who gets what. And I want to be in the city council when the pie is cut, I want to be in the state capital when the pie is cut, and I want to be up here when the pie is cut so that we don't get cut out when the pie is cut. And we can determine how that pie is cut, if we mobilize and unify.

And so to my hip-hop brothers, I'm going after the young, because Mr. Gore don't want 'em, Mr. Bush don't want 'em. Then I'll be your Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired your poor -- (applause) -- your huddled masses yearning to be free; the homeless, tempest tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside a golden door. He said, I am the door. All who enter by me will be saved. You don't have no lamp for the poor, but I've got a lamp for the poor! I'm running on my record, and my record is better than all the candidates. (Cheers, applause.)

Don't be angry with me. But this ain't going to be no free ride for nobody.

I believe that the young of this nation can make a difference. Look at who's throwing the stones in Israel -- it's young people. Look at who were on the streets when Kostunica took power -- it was youth in the streets. C. DeLores Tucker is saying to the hip hop, please brothers, don't call your women B's'; please don't do that. No woman -- no woman -- no woman should be called a bitch. (Applause.) A bitch is a female dog, and every woman was made in the image of God. Let's turn that around. (Applause, cheers.) Don't call your woman a 'ho. Pick up a hoe -- H-O-E -- and let's start cultivating the Earth and cultivating ourselves into better human beings.

I love my rappin' brothers and sisters. I know who you are. I know what you're doing. My dear sister, C. DeLores Tucker, what our young people are doing is they're giving us a mirror of ourselves.

Many up on this stage who are intellectuals and leading lights and pastors and politicians; you use the word bitch when you're angry, and you use the word whore when you're angry. And sometimes you'll even use MF when you're angry -- talk to me -- (audience response) -- but you just don't want all of that in the public. What we as elders do behind closed doors would make us embarrassed if it came out in the public. But your children are out there now with a thong on; their backsides showing. But you may be in church, you may be in the sacred halls of Congress with your backsides showing, but that's all right because it's behind the closed doors. But you are angry with your children. But the fruit don't fall that far from the tree.

I want to see our lyrics come up out of gangster -- gangsterism, but I'd like to clean up the gangsters in this House. (Cheers, applause.) Help me clean up the gangsters in government, the gangsters that want other leaders killed because they don't agree with them, the gangsters that use dirty tricks to upset governments and destroy people because they don't like their way of life. There's gangsterism going on here. Help me clean up that gangster rap. (Applause, cheers.)

And so, I want to run on my record.

And I'm asking all of you, regardless to your race, your creed or your color or your class, I say, like Vice President Gore, not that I want to fight for you, I've been fighting for you, and I'm asking you now to back me.

Everyone that's here, I want you to back me, and I promise you, the next five to 10 years of your life will be better than the whole 440 years before that -- (cheers) -- because what you need is strong, bold, uncompromising leadership that's not bought and paid for, that won't bow down, that won't scratch where they don't itch! I'm asking you, back me and I will get you your freedom, your justice, your equality and your reparations! (Cheers, applause.)

So, in leaving you, I want to know one thing: Would you want to fly? (Inaudible chanting, cheers.) Brothers and sisters, I'm very respectful of what you're saying, but I don't want a political office. I would like to help whoever is president to be that. I'm not a politician. I like to be able to speak the truth. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) I believe that we, as men of God and women of God, have a duty by the politicians to tell them, Thus saith the Lord. I don't ever want to be in a position that I got to be all things to all people and nothing to myself and to God. I want to be able to speak the truth, but I believe sincerely that like Joseph was sold in slavery and became a master in the land where he was sold as a slave, I believe that's our destiny. I believe that's what God wants. And before me is a coat of many colors. I went to my tailor and I tried it on. Sure feels good! (Applause.)

We can make a difference. So I want to ask you, in the words of Art Kelly, I really believe we're going to have to fly. (Applause.)

And when I say fly, the Bible say one day we're going to take on wings. And wings doesn't mean that you're going to grow wings out of your back. Wings means that the wisdom and the knowledge of God and the understanding of the Word will give you power to rise out of the gravitational pull of the Earth, out into space, if you have the wings of knowledge.

And if I had a book in front of me, to open the book, it's like wings. When you have a book and you open the book, it looks like wings. The Bible is a book of heavy knowledge. Open it, and take on wings. The Holy Koran is a book; a healing for the nation. Open the book and take on your wings and fly away.

And when you put on your wings -- and it's only when you put on wings that you can rise above blackness, rise above whiteness, rise above color, rise above national origin, rise above ethnicity, rise above sexuality, rise above materials -- when you take on the wings of knowledge, then you can rise above all the things that have kept us divided as a people.

Brothers and sisters, I propose tonight, this afternoon, to set up a Million Family March Economic Development Fund. I'm asking every family that is here and all that are watching by satellite or by television, if every family gave $100 from this October 16 to next October 16th, and those who have ability to give 500 or 1,000, put it in the Economic Development Fund.

And those of our talented performers, take some of what you earn and put it in the Million Family March Economic Development Fund. I promise you on my life, will no foolishness go on with that fund. Congressman Hilliard and I, and a few more respected people that have passed certain tests, will be the signers, and not a dime will be spent except those board members decide, and they won't decide to spend a dime for one year.

And at the end of the year, next year, I want to be able to report to you that in your Economic Development Fund is from $500 million to $1 billion in an Economic Development Fund for us. (Applause.) Listen to me; you start it off, but then I'd like to go to corporate America, with your permission, and say to corporate America: Look, this is how many billion you took out the black community last year. And I know you funded the CBC weekend, and I know you funded SCLC's convention, and the NAACP convention, and you gave endorsements to leading black people. But that's not enough. There's such a thing in Christianity as tithing. You take 10 percent of what you got and give it back to God. I would like to ask corporate America to give back some of what you take, into an Economic Development Fund.

And then I would like to say to the government, why don't you match what we have raised? And then, one year from now, we will ask your permission, because then we can set up an investment bank with investment bankers, and begin to invest in you, so that you can open up businesses in your own community, providing goods and services for your people. We want to do what some of the banking institutions don't do -- help you to get homes. We believe in you.

But also, there's Africa that needs investment. And with that Economic Development Fund and wise investment bankers, we can invest in Africa and get a heavy return, because they want us there.

Then we can say to our politicians, with just the interest on our money, let's back our politicians who are worthy, so that they will speak for us and vote in our best interest, because we are backing them.

We need money, but we got it. So what I've done: I've asked seven people, who I believe have integrity and are honest and have suffered, to fight for us, to be on that board, to make those decisions. Then we'll have a board of advisers, of highly knowledgeable people. I believe that if we do this, we can bring ourselves up out of the condition that we're in, because we can leverage 1 billion and get 9 billion more. We don't have to be poor and raggedy and hungry and naked and out of doors.

And then I would like to go to the Arab community that have set up businesses in our community and say to the Arab community, our Arab brothers, Why don't you put something into the economic development fund?

And many of our Korean brothers and sisters have businesses in the black community and are building Koreatown from what you extract from the black community. I would ask you, respectfully, would you put something in the economic development fund?

And after a while, brothers and sisters, we'll be able to rebuild the wasted cities, not just depending on government, but depending on ourselves and using our unity to make government responsive to our needs.

I hope that on November the 7th you will go to the polls and vote your conscience. I hope that when you vote your conscience, you will also know that it's going to take all of us together to quicken that conscience and make that conscience respond to us.

I thank all of you, from the depth of my heart --

MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE: Thank you, Leader.

MR. FARRAKHAN: -- for allowing me this privilege to talk to you.

And now, with your permission, I'd like to marry all those men and women who have been married -- let's do it again. And to those new couples who would like us to bless your marriage -- we'll have a few on this stage, and we have another stage at the Lincoln Monument and at the Ellipse -- and we'll say some vows to representative couples. And you can take those vows and then we can dismiss.

And we will have James Ingram sing a beautiful song to the wedding couples. And we will have a family pledge, that I'm going to ask us all to take. And then the incomparable Vickie Winans will sing. And then the choir will sing a song -- a song that I believe is the only way to close this event: to God be the glory for a day like this. Oh brothers and sisters, look how beautiful you look.

When you leave here today, on your way back home think about family, act like a family. And when you see other members of the human family on the road, be kind, be courteous, be respectful. And let's see if we can show the world what the kingdom of God looks like when human beings act like we are supposed to act, as those created in the image and likeness of God.