The following text is from a speech delivered during the youth study group at The Final Call Administration Building in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 2017.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, I bear witness that there is no god, but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. I am a student of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the guidance of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. And I greet my beautiful Sisters and Brothers in the Arabic language of peace, As-Salaam Alaikum!
I first want to thank The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, His National Assistant, Brother Ishmael Muhammad and Brother Fontaine Muhammad for allowing me this opportunity to come before the people of God.
It is a great honor to be able to step foot in this building. I want to share a quote from The Honorable Minister:
“This is home for me and I don’t care how high we get or how far we go in life. It’s always good to come back to the place of your humble beginning, to show you how far, not that you have come, but how far Allah (God) has brought us from our humble beginnings.”
-Louis Farrakhan, Speaks On The Attack On Black Youth
This is a great building with rich history. So I am always thankful to be here and pray that what I share as a student of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is received well.
I have a question for you to reflect on: When’s the last time you’ve been in a judgement free zone?
From my perspective, this is hard to come across, not just because of the government and the media, but we as a people are constantly judging one another. While we praise everyone else.
When I found out that Hugh Hefner passed away, it bothered me that my connections on Facebook were acknowledging his passing, but not acknowledging the transition of our Brother Dick Gregory. This same group are those who mock R. Kelly, who fix their lips to speak on Bill Cosby, and who literally laughs at Kevin Hart’s pain, but leaves the room when it’s time to unpack the problems in the Black family. Why is this and what’s one good thing that we have to say about each of these men?
First, I want everyone to know that these men do not compare to Hugh Hefner. I only grouped them together because they’re some of the recent men who have been in the media. And there’s no way that I’m going to compare my Brothers to a sick man. Why? I honestly don’t care about what the white man is doing. I care about my brothers and sisters and rather highlight and focus on what we have going on as a people. When we can take care of ourselves at home, then maybe we can start caring about others.
Tired of hearing about Black and white? Well, today, I want you to look at it from the perspective of family and strangers. Every last one of you are a part of my family and I am a part of yours. Together, we are in a strange land living amongst a strange people.
Is it because we don’t see them or one another as our family? And if this is true, why can’t we see one another as family, but we can share positive reflections of our former slave master? Reflecting on the history of what they have done and are currently doing today, the mathematics does not make sense.
I asked around to see if anyone had any good things to say about our Brothers. I was told specifics by multiple people regarding R. Kelly’s music, Bill Cosby for bringing us a great representation of a productive Black family, and Kevin Hart for his sense of humor. And then there was finally two people who said, “I don’t know these folks other than their talent.” Exactly. We spend so much time criticizing celebrities who we personally don’t know. Why? Why is it so easy for us to share the negative circumstances that are happening? Why is it easy to laugh at the pain? But when the ‘why’ question is asked, most people want to change the topic. Instead of laughing at the pain, let’s unpack it. Let’s get to the root.
I’m not specifically talking about our celebrity Brothers. I’m talking about us. The same way we talk about people we don’t know, is exactly what we do towards one another. We judge one another, when we have our own dirt that needs to be cleaned up. Instead of making jokes, let’s unpack our individual pain.
I want to read a few words from the best newspaper that every one of us should support. Before I share instructions, I want to share meaning behind the trumpet on The Final Call newspaper.
“One day, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to The Minister, “Brother, if there were any sign or symbol that I would choose to represent my work, it would be the trumpet … for the trumpet is the sign of the resurrection of the dead.”
That alone should be a sign for us to take heed to what’s in this weekly paper. It’s not any paper filled with any news. It’s more than a newspaper. It provides guidance and brings life to every man and woman, if we study it.
One more thing, looking at the title of both Final Call’s, the first edition and the current edition (Black Survival). ADD TITLES & PICS. When you have truth, you have infinite knowledge and that’s what you’ll find in The Final Call, no matter what date you see on the paper, all of the content will be relevant.
“Brothers and sisters, if we deal effectively with ourselves, we have already dealt with them. There is no way that they can come against us except through the weakness of self. So if we make the effort to clean up and correct our internal weaknesses, then our enemies have no door through which to come to weaken our effort to survive.”
Godfrey Patterson wrote, “Ten Black Commandments, Principles for Survival” based on his perception of The Minister’s address. I want to share two of the ten.
5) We MUST by our everyday examples challenge our friends, relatives, and associates to cultivate a wholesome race pride which will generate warmth, love, and a spirit of community among us as a people.
8) We MUST stop lying and gossiping on each other, as well as check our roguish activities, for these actions stunt the growth and development of both perpetrator and victim, thus undermining the faith and trust so desperately needed among us.
I read that to say, we cannot survive, if we continue to kill one another with our tongue. If you raise your thoughts, words of power and life will flow through you.
Let’s speak highly of our Brothers who are already targets in America and let’s elevate the Black woman, who is the most disrespected after giving life to all. As The Minister asked us to say in our heart and mind in November 1978, let’s say it now. I need your participation to accept the challenge. May you repeat the words of The Minister with me?
“I am going to try… to be a real brother to my brother and to my sister.”
Thank you. Sisters, brother here is universal.
Without a call and response, I will share the remaining words:
“And to those of you who say we must be a brother to the whole world, I say, yes, we must. But don’t try to be a brother to the whole world before you have been successful at being a brother to yourself.”
One more thing, before I close:
The annual hell-of-day shopping is approaching next month. Which honestly, we should be participating in the boycott that is actually 365 days. However, for those who can’t commit to 24/7 days of shopping Black. Prepare yourselves. Let’s set our mind to have zero excuses.
I oftentimes hear and sometimes, I say some of this:
“The prices are too high. I can only order online? Or they’re so unprofessional.”
Who are they? Again we’re talking about family, so we’re talking about ourselves. Let’s find something positive to say about one another and our businesses. They’re our businesses, even if we are not working there. Our contribution, helps our greater good.
The prices will always be high, if we don’t support the business, so that they can lower their prices. Or the items, will only be available online, until the company grows to a place where they can have distributors in respective cities. And if you feel as if the employees or even the manager of the Black business is being unprofessional, give them feedback in the most respectful way or change the direction of the conversation. When you put a clean glass next to a dirty one, it makes it easy for the dirty glass to see it’s own condition.
We shop everywhere else and still complain, but continue to be a part of their loyalty program. With our own, we will complain, tell others not to go there and then we’re done without any second or third chances. We’ve got to do better and be loyal to one another.
I notice a lot of us say we can’t do something because of factors. Well, the truth is, we all have circumstances and odds against us, especially when we’re working together for the good.
If we channel our energy on the factors, then we have lost. But if we channel our energy on productivity, we will learn that our factor is small. We have to stop giving excuses.
There are some areas in life where we never allow an excuse to interfere. That same resilience has to be put towards everything that’s worthy. Well, why don’t we see the worth in everything? Do you feel as if your contribution won’t be worthy?
Surround yourself with people who confront challenges.
The fight for unity is not going to be easy, just like it’s not easy to become one with God and self.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan tweeted this on Monday:
“When there is a lack of faith, the works are minimized. You can do more, and we can do more than what we are doing if we increase our faith.”
There are plenty of areas where we must increase our faith. Let’s start with God, self, and others. If you have faith in the business or anything else in life, your factors will be moved.
Jay-Z said, “nobody wins when the family feuds, we all screwed ‘cause we never had the tools.” Today, we have all of the tools in The Nation of Islam, we just need to actively put them to use.
I trust that we will be the judgment free zone because the best religion is doing unto others as you would have done unto you. We can break all barriers, to accept “The Ultimate Challenge: The Survival of The Black Nation”. As The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches, “Accept Your Own And Be Yourself.”