COME AS MANY, LEAVE AS ONE
TO BECOMING REAL FAMILY
MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN
[Editor’s note: The following text
is excerpted from the historic message delivered by the Honorable
Minister Louis Farrakhan at the Oct. 16, 2000 Million Family March.]
In the Name of
Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
I, 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…
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 Qur’an, 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.
Not yet human
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 Qur'an, We
created you into tribes and families that you may know one another
and, parenthetically, not despise 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 dogs children
of the most low Satan."
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,
The poison of ‘I am better’
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 Qur'an, 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. 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. …
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? I think it's ignorant. Don't you?
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. …
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.
Symbols limit human potential
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.
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.
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.
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. …
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. The family is the basic unit of
civilization; therefore, everything must be done to care for the
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. 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 (U.S.)
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. 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.
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. …
When Jesus was on the cross, most all of the male disciples had
run away. Only one was there. That was John. But there were three
women at that cross, and one of them was His mother. … 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. I ask you a question. Do you
think any pulpit made by man is better or more important than a
female created by God?
And if you love Jesus 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.
Gain knowledge and fly
We (the people) can make a difference. So I want to ask you,
in the words of (singer) R. Kelly, I really believe we're going to
have to fly. And when I say fly, the Bible say one day we're going
to take on wings. 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
If you have the wings of knowledge---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 Qur'an is a
book; a healing for the nation. Open the book and take on your
wings and fly away.
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
God bless you all. As-Salaam Alaikum.