Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Savior’s Day 2016 address to the Nation of Islam, the larger African American community, and indeed the international black world, was broadcast on KREM Television on Sunday afternoon, February 21, which just happened to be the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in New York City in 1965.
Because of the public rift between the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, the Messenger of the Nation of Islam, and Malcolm, which existed at the time, and the climate of violence surrounding that disagreement, the Nation of Islam was blamed for Malcolm’s murder. As the decades have gone by, however, and as the plots of J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Hoover’s special operations group, Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), have been exposed, with various documents having been declassified, a feeling has grown in the black community that there was federal involvement in Malcolm’s assassination.
Whatever the case, the importance of the Nation of Islam where the cause of black liberation is concerned, was/is never properly recognized by the mainstream media in the United States of America, and the main reason for this was always the fact that the Nation of Islam was the only major black organization which was self-financed and did not depend on donations from white philanthropists and well-wishers. All the major black civil rights organizations – the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and all the black churches and religious groups received white financial assistance. Not so with the NOI.
Because of its financial independence, the Nation of Islam always spoke a different language from the other groups, and that language of militancy and boldness reached its most dramatic expression during the career of Malcolm X, the Minister of Mosque No. 7 in Harlem who became a national spokesman for the Nation before a disagreement between himself and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad began following a Malcolm comment right after U.S. President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in November of 1963.
It is interesting to note that there were four major assassinations by gunfire in the United States between 1963 and 1968. These were the murders of JFK, Malcolm, Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 1968), and JFK’s younger brother, Bobby Kennedy (June 1968). If we include the notable murder of NAACP Mississippi leader, Medgar Evers, in June of 1963, that would make five major assassinations in five years.
There were two historical national phenomena going on in America during that period. One was the black struggle for civil rights and liberation, and the other was America’s growing involvement in the Vietnam War, which ended up costing the lives of 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese.
It so happened that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad died the same year the Vietnam War officially came to an end – 1975. The son of Elijah Muhammad who took over leadership of the NOI, Warith Deen Muhammad, disbanded the Nation of Islam and brought his father’s followers into the international body of orthodox Islam. Minister Farrakhan began a return to Nation of Islam beliefs a couple years later, however, and by 1981 he had revived much of the original NOI.
Minister Farrakhan has visited Belize and given public addresses on three different occasions over the years – 1975, 1986, and 2013. He is always a hit in Belize, because he addresses issues which affect the masses of the Belizean people, and he is not compromised. Therefore, he speaks freely. On Sunday afternoon in Detroit, Minister Farrakhan described himself as “the freest black man in the world.” His audience roared in approval.
At 82, Minister Farrakhan, amazingly enough, is still going strong. He spoke for two and a half hours on Sunday afternoon, and, to repeat, no other black leader can speak as he does, because their leadership power is contingent on white approval. The United States has always been, of course, a white supremacist society. The issue of race has never gone away at the local level, but in the last few years the race issue has again reared its head at the national level. Mr. Farrakhan speaks to the issue in a way, again, no other black leader can.
On Sunday, he was able to reference the defense capabilities of his Fruit of Islam (FOI) paramilitary group and offer to defend the entertainment superstar, Beyoncé, if the American police carry out their threat to withdraw protection from her performances because of her Black Panther-solidarity show at the Super Bowl earlier this month. Minister Farrakhan’s audience, again, roared in approval.
In Detroit on Sunday, the Minister cautioned black Americans against reckless consumerism and urged his audience to think more of savings and investments in their communities. He said that blacks who become wealthy through sports and entertainment success should not become victims of wild hedonism but think of sound, long-term involvement in community businesses and productive farming activities. This was in line with the programs which had made the original Nation of Islam such a powerhouse under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.
Incidentally, Minister Farrakhan unconditionally condemned terrorism inside America. In response to the white racist call for African Americans to return to Africa if they did not like life in America, Minister Farrakhan said, “We ain’t going anywhere. America belongs to us. We paid for it with our sweat and blood.” Needless to say, at these remarks the overflow crowd rose to their feet in thunderous approval.
We have respectfully editorialized today on the Nation of Islam and Minister Farrakhan in recognition of the roots of Kremandala, an organization which was influenced in its foundation as the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) in February of 1969 by the teachings of Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X.
Today, both the United States of America and the nation of Belize are led by black personalities, but Barack Obama and Dean Barrow both paid a price to get where they are today. That price involved satisfying the white power structure that they were and are “safe.” Minister Farrakhan never paid such a price. Neither did Kremandala.
Power to the people. Remember Danny. Fight for Belize.