a torchlight for america black community issues

Using Our Minds, Talents And Skills To Save Ourselves

Monday, August 20, 2012Mustafaa Abdul Muhammad

[The following contains excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address on November 9, 2011 at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas]

Brothers and sisters, since the 1940s A. Phillip Randolph was involved in organizing a “March on Washington.” And do you know what A. Phillip Randolph was going to march on Washington for? “Jobs.” Then, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement in 1963 had the great March on Washington. And what was it that they were asking for? “Jobs” and “Justice.” And 20 years later, in 1983, they had the 20th Anniversary of the March on Washington where I just happened to be present, and guess what they were asking for? “Jobs” and “Justice.” Just this past October 15th on The National Mall, the Reverend Al Sharpton led a march to encourage the people to get behind President Barack Obama and his “Jobs Bill.”

Now we’re in 2011, and what is your cry? “Jobs” and “Justice.” Shouldn’t it dawn on you that something is wrong with that picture?

Our president is trying to get some jobs when there are nearly 20 million Americans that don’t have jobs. Nearly 20 million! And you’re about to graduate: What do you want to find after school? Jobs! Now, if you’re a student of history, consider if millions of White folk don’t have jobs, and they create jobs, who do you think is going to get the jobs first? I’m sure it’s going to be you, right? Come on, brothers and sisters! White folk are going to look out for themselves first! And if there’s anything left, maybe you might find something.

But what creature do you know that looks to another creature to provide for it? Just name me one! There’s no “worm welfare lines”: Worms looking for a handout to get something to eat. God already provided it for them, isn’t that something? The Bible teaches, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head.” Something wrong with that Son of Man, because if a bird can build a nest and a fox can dig a hole, but we as Sons of Men have no place to lay our head, then something has happened to us! And what has happened to us does not allow us to earn the respect of others, or even self-respect; so as young people you’re angry as hell!

Why are you angry? Because your parents did not prepare a future for you! While we’ve been integrating and “laying-in” and “crawling-in” and “crying-in” and “begging-in” and “sleeping-in,” enjoying the fruit of the Civil Rights Movement, our children have been growing up where all we have to give them at the time of our death is a car or a house with some “notes”! We have nothing to give you... So there’s something wrong with the way we’ve been taught and trained, because we have not been made a productive people.

We have a great opportunity to make a future for ourselves and our people. But it would be tragic for us to look to our Brother President and put it all on him to make jobs for us and we sit down and do nothing to create a job for ourselves.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “As long as we are consumers and employees, our future is in the hand of somebody else.” But if we are going to be producers, you cannot become a producer of what you need to extend your life without land.

Land is the basis of all wars! They don’t fight “just to fight”—they fight for access to land and the raw materials that are under or in that land! And the more access they have to land where there’s oil, gold and uranium, where there are raw materials and they know how to bring those raw materials out of the Earth and make a product; and put that product on the market to bring back revenue, that’s how nations grow!

You’re too big now to be looking for somebody else to do these things for you! We’ve got to now do it for ourselves. But land is the basis. We have to own land. Elijah Muhammad said we need at least 100 million acres to make a start. Now, we built this country: The sweat and the blood of our fathers made most of these people rich while we stayed in poverty.

The government of the United States has about 700 million acres in federal land. For what we’ve done for America, we could say to the government: “We worked for you. We built your country. We fought in all your wars; we died for your freedom while we were yet deprived. As a form of payment, reparations, give us a start: 100 million acres; and give us the equipment to be on that land, and we’ll show you in a short while we’ll produce enough jobs to put all of our people to work. And once we produce what we need, we’ll sell the surplus, and that will give us trade and commerce with the nations of the Earth.”

The whole world is out there waiting for us! It’s we that have to get busy and start becoming a productive people!

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