"I don't battle anymore! I uplift motherfuckers!" - GZA
Saturday, September 17, 2005,12:51 PM
Minister Farrakhan Speaks !!!
Honorable Minister Farrakhan: It Takes a Nation...
By Amanda Diva

The Million Man March - Monday, October 16, 1995 - Washington, DC.

Nearly 10 years ago, leader of the Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan assembled one of the largest demonstrations on Washington history in a grandiose “day of atonement.” The event overflowed with brotherhood, love and an irrepressible notion that the masses African American men could finally seize control of their communities, themselves, their lives and their destinies. With the help of other leaders in community, the men traveled by bus, car, van and plane from across the country in a multitude that has never truly been duplicated.

In his 1995 closing remarks, Farrakhan stated, “Turn to your brother and hug your brother and tell your brother you love him and let's carry this love all the way back to our cities and towns and never let it die, brothers. Never let it die.”

Fast forward to 2005. Now, Minister Farrakhan wants to reignite the love in Washington on October 15. However, this time, the leader seeks to include the previously excluded African American women, the Latino community, Native Americans and others. AllHipHop.com spoke with the Honorable Minister Farrakhan in an open, frank exchange that produced many questions and solutions about the state of Black America, the new bumrush on Washington and where the Hip-Hop Nation fits inside the big puzzle.

AllHipHop.com: If you could just tell me what you feel has and/or hasn’t changed since the Million Man March?

Minister Farrakhan: After the Million Man March was over, the crime rate went down, the murder rate went down, 1.7 million Black men voted, 25,000 orphans that had no home were adopted, prisoners were adopted. People went from that march created businesses mentorship programs and a lot of good came. But what most of the critics of the march don’t understand we are at war.

We’re still segregated; we’re still in substandard education, inferior schools, teachers that are fed up because the discipline problem in the schools is horrific. Now when I look at ten years after the Million Man March look at how many factories have been closed in the last ten years. Black men, Brown men are out of jobs. Look at the amount of drugs and guns that have come into our communities. ‘Cause if we’re not going to join the army and be all that we could never be then what is the alternative left for us, so we got more drug salespersons in the Black community than Amway and all these sales organizations put together. So now we’re ready to be sent into the criminal justice system. Ten years later, young Black men and women now are filling the prisons. And some of the wardens and Black penologists are saying that young Black people are committing crimes that are so horrific that even their elders have never committed crimes like that. We have gone on a degenerative slide.

AllHipHop.com: So would you say that we’re in a State of Emergency?

Minister Farrakhan: Absolutely. You know, it’s like when you rush a case of gunshot wounds into the emergency room in the hospital and you see everybody rushing to do what they can to save that life. Black leaders have never been in a common room together to agree to agree to work together to lift the masses of our people. But we’re in the emergency room now and we are dying in the streets of America in unprecedented numbers so we have come together to try to create a movement that puts together the best and the brightest minds to create a programmatic thrust and plans that the learned of our people can use their skills to lift the masses of our people out of the horrific conditions that we’re in.

AllHipHop.com: How we define leaders in the community has changed in the last ten years with Hip-Hop taking over the main stream. What would you say is Hip-Hop’s role? Do you feel that just being an artist you are a leader by default?

Minister Farrakhan: I like that. I like that. Yes, they are leaders by default because they’re the generational divide. And there’s a gap between the “leaders” and the mass poor of the nation. With the spoken word called Rap, in the beginning the word was with God and word got force and power. So these young men and women standing up in the gap now are talking to young people who don’t listen to their families, who don’t want to go school, who won’t listen to no preachers, don’t care nothing about politics - so, gimme 50 Cent. Give me the rapper. Now that’s the leader of today and tomorrow and what I’m trying to get our brothers and sisters in Hip-Hop to see is you have the ear of young people all over the world. And if you would become the leader that you are already with the wisdom to teach and guide then they will supplant the old garb leaders and the new leaders will be born out of the Hip-Hop community.

AllHipHop.com: New generation of leaders, new generation of people attending the Millions More Movement on October 15th. What do you want the young people to go there with and what would you like them to come home with?

Minister Farrakhan: I would like the young people to come there with an open heart and an open mind to look, to listen. And should they hear that which will inspire them to action then I want these young people to go back to their community and begin the work of mobilizing the community if we have to go door to door and house to house we have to organize our people into an effective power base for change.

AllHipHop.com: Can you give an example of an effective power base for change?

Minister Farrakhan: Yes, in New York City right now, in many of the boroughs there are local organizing committees. These committees are comprised of activists, people in the civil rights organizations, revolutionaries, civic and fraternity leaders, they’re comprised of young people, and all of them are working on the problems of their city and their state. I believe that new leadership will come out of the young. They have new fresh minds and they will look at the same problem that their elders look at and see it differently. And I believe that’s why the Bible says “Old men for council, young men for war” and what the enemy sees is that young people are ready to bring about the change. Now you said that you wanted the men and women, but mainly the men to stand up accept responsibility. Women are already accepting it. We are behind our women and frightened to stand up. And so the young Black men, 50 Cent represents, to me, the young Black man, strong, ready to be where he is and lead, where he is. Where he is mentally, spiritually, on the level where he is, he’s ready. But now we want to take him up to another level. See he’s not afraid. See what he’s been through in life-if you’ve been shot nine times, or you know, then God must have a plan for you why you’re still here. He may not know what that plan is, but once he’s clear I believe the brotha will step up to the plate. When I met Ja Rule, I saw it in him. I see it in Jay-Z. I see it in Puffy. Look these are great, young, powerful minds. I would love to see them step up and replace the leadership because they have freshness. They’re wealthy and their hearts are with the little man that has nothing. They are natural leaders all they need is to step out on faith with knowledge at their back and knowledge surrounding them and they will be the new leaders of our people and young people all over the world.

AllHipHop.com: Have you signed on anybody from the Hip-Hop community to speak at the Millions More Movement?

Minister Farrakhan: Well, we haven’t sent out the program yet but of course some of these brothas need to have something to say. They’ll have their part.

AllHipHop.com: How do you determine who from the Hip-Hop community should speak on behalf of it?

Minister Farrakhan: I think the Hip-Hop community should determine that. Now you could choose Russell [Simmons]. You could choose Jay-Z. You could choose Kanye. You could choose whoever you want to choose, but whoever you choose we will respect.

AllHipHop.com: Well that’s gotta go down. Cause I think you are very connected to the community but their may be stuff you miss out on from being inside and that goes for elders and the generation gap in general and I think sometimes their might be a discrepancy on who the elders feel should speak for us and who we feel should.

Minister Farrakhan: And that’s why we shouldn’t choose, because we don’t know. I was on the radio this morning listening to young people. And that was an education for me. Hearing young people talk saying, “We don’t know you. We see you on TV but it looks like every time you come around you promoting something.” And I had to listen. And I’m like, “This brotha don’t know me. He don’t know what I represent.” I said, “When you see the soldiers in the street from The Nation, you’re looking at me.” That brotha don’t know that I don’t live in this city. They don’t know what I do but that’s alright but what he was speaking to me honestly. See we have got to bridge the gap between us and that young brotha in the street because once he knows we don’t have to worry about him no more. He’ll get up and do what it is his responsibility to do.

This movement has to include the Latino family. This movement has to include the Native American family. Because we are family. The brothers and sister who speak Spanish, should never be disconnected from the brother and sista who speak English because we are not Englishman and they are not Spaniards. And our brothers and sistas that speak French from Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, they’re not Frenchmen. They were colonized and enslaved by a French slave master. So, they grew up under a French culture. Our Latino family grew up under a Spanish culture. We grew up under an English culture and if you look at French and Spain and England and Germany all of them were fighting and killing each other over possessions in the Western Hemisphere. So if you grow up in a Spanish culture you don’t like the one who speaks English because the English and the Spanish didn’t get along. And the English and the French didn’t get along so we’re carrying their fight. So all of that has to be broken down and that is why the Millions More Movement must appeal to the Latino, the Mexican, the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere, the Native American that will all be together as a family and that way we in unity can change the political realities that put us all against each and deprived all of us of the blessing of a civilized life.

posted by R J Noriega
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Friday, September 02, 2005,12:56 PM
Bias news media , but whats new about that
The Media, Katrina & African Americans
Morenike Efuntade

As journalists, the number one dictum is to be unbiased, objective and accurate. It is with a heavy heart that I watch TV as the nation is in turmoil as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. What is becoming increasingly frustrating and infuriating is the biased coverage that news organizations, including the Associated Presss (AP) are presenting to the world. It is irresponsible and incorrigible to characterize the behavior of people desperately trying to survive in unimaginable circumstances to be labeled as "looters." If you have a photograph or footage of people with TV's on their backs crossing through neck high water, then it is fair to call them looters. But to say that people with bags of food, water or clothes are looters is ridiculous. It seems to me that nuances and word choices are being used to characterize an entire race. Additionally it seems that once again, black people who are the majority of the Americans suffering in New Orleans are automatically being characterized as criminals and thugs. Yes, there are a small percentage of people who are misbehaving. But the majority of people down there stuck with no resources are law-abiding, family-oriented, hard-working Americans in a dire situation--with no help in sight.

Instead of focusing on looting, why not have use some courage and journalistic integrity and focus on your journalistic duty--which is investigating and reporting the real story--the American government has failed it's citizens. Why? Is it because the majority of the people are of low-income and of color? Is there a feeling somewhere deep in the subconcious of the powers that be, that because of this, their lives are worth less? Why after four days hasn't more transportation from all over the country been sent to evacuate these citizens? To feed them? To save them? Why are people only being sent to Houston when there are 49 other states and millions of people willing to physically help? Why won't they let private citizens in to help if they're not going to?

By tomorrow--I fear that thousands of people will be dead of hunger and dehydration. Then America will truly have a riot on their hands. Why not use your power as media to initiate change instead of denigrating a people that are already down? (Think Woodward & Bernstein) You can help change things before it's too late.

I'm tired of this--and so are the American people. We deserve answers, we deserve journalists that fairly cover our community instead of constantly labeling them. In the 1970s, my mother was at the AP as a reporter and was discriminated against and vilified because she was black. She sued the AP and won--opening the door for intern and editorial programs specifically for minorities and women! As a trained journalist I too have experienced bias in the newsroom--the double standard that black journalists can't cover objectively because we are biased, or simply that we're not cut out to be journalists. And most of you guys think you're liberals--but the reality is that even in 2005 the same bias continue to frame your work. It is simply disgusting. Don't pretend to be an objective and unbiased news providing organization if you can't really achieve that.

MSNBC seems to be the only news organization that is covering this from an honest point of view--from a human point of view. This is not about race, except for the human race, and it is heartbreaking, disappointing and utterly disheartening to think that this is how America treats its own citizens. It is not about why people didn't leave--at this point it's about how do we get them out. That should be the number one priority of the government and THEN they can focus on the pipelines and the flooding.

So now I say, if there was anytime to be SUBJECTIVE and emotional as reporters--the time is now. You should be angry as U.S. citizens that our country and our leaders--who have put so much money into the military and into protecting America and the world is behaving like the Keystone cops, unable to properly organize the rescue of thousands of people in their own country. This is the essence of what Homeland security should be--and yet you tip toe around the issues when this comes up. If you don't do your jobs, the American people are going to. We are going to march and protest until somebody saves those people. Even if we have to march in front of the White House or down to New Orleans ourselves.

I implore you to skip the melodrama and the hype, to put aside whatever prejudices you may have--to even acknowledge that you may be slanting stories because of bias you may not even be aware you have-- and report the real story. Take these officials to task, don't let them off the hook in the interviews until you have real answers about a plan of action---make them accountable, and use your power to help evoke immediate change.

This could happen to any of us, put yourselves in the survivor's shoes--you wouldn't want to be in them, and they shouldn't be in that situation now.

Signed sincerely,
Morenike Efuntade
An Activist and concerned & pissed off U.S. citizen
posted by R J Noriega
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