“We’ve got to go back to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s teaching to do for self,” Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister Tony Muhammad told the Sentinel in a recent interview.
Muhammad talked about his beginning ministry with NOI here in Los Angeles, about relating to the young street soldiers, but most importantly he talked about “Justice or Else” the 20th anniversary of The Million Man March. Ten, ten, fifteen he said, is more than just about going to make demands on the government but rather, “it’s about making demands on ourselves.”
“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wants to finish what Dr. King started,” Muhammad explained.
“He has asked the clergy and he has asked the intellectuals to go back and study Dr. King in his last years. Study all of those lectures. [King] said the night before he was assassinated, that we must now redistribute the pain back on America what she has put on us. He said you don’t need a Molotov cocktail, you don’t need a gun. He said all we need is our unity.
“He said we, at that time, we are the ninth richest country in terms of our purchasing power. So, he said why don’t we redistribute the pain by boycotting. So, he called for a boycott on Coca Cola, a boycott on Wonder Bread but the next day he was murdered. So, Farrakhan said we’re going to pick that up.”
“Picking it up”, is going to involve wielding the current spending power that African Americans have in the United States. That power involves about 1.2 to 1.7 trillion dollars, Muhammad said. And those dollars are sorely needed in Black communities across the country.
“We are the consumer that makes this country run,” said Muhammad.
“But we don’t hold on to our money. Our money doesn’t even circulate a half a time in our community. The Jewish community, their dollar may circulate 12 times before it goes out. Our dollars don’t even go in, they go right out. We have to change that reality…”
One way would be to boycott Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when American consumers collectively part with more money than any other day throughout the year.
“We’re calling for a true Black Friday and we’re going to stop supporting a government that doesn’t support us,” Muhammad said.
“Our unity will be more powerful than an atom bomb. And then [Farrakhan] is saying, ‘we’re going to knock Santa out of the seat that Jesus should be sitting in, since it’s his birthday.’”
“So, that Friday, we want to be absent. We don’t want to spend any money until way after Christmas. Now, [retailers] will have so much stuff left you can get it for practically nothing. And we’ll also ask our people why don’t we redirect our spending. Let’s make our black business owners powerful but our black business owners have to make a deal with us, meaning they’ve got to go into manufacturing so that they can create jobs for the black community…”
While economic justice will be a major theme of the march, other demands will fall under “Justice or Else”.
“In this twenty years later, we’re 50 years from the march on Washington D.C.,” Muhammad explained.
“Back then it was for jobs. And now, we still don’t have jobs and nor do we have justice.
“Now, the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is putting a demand on two fronts. One, we’re going to demand justice from this government that we have not had since our sojourn in this country. When the justice system sees a black man, they should see us as equal to our white counterparts. There should be justice from police brutality and mob attacks.
“We’re also demanding justice for the Native Americans who still live in squalor on reservations where alcoholism and drug use is running so rampant they are almost decimated as a people.
“There’s a call for justice for women who work the same job as a man but can’t get equal pay. He’s asking for justice for veterans who go off and fight these wars for the rich and for Wall Street. They should come back to a hero’s welcome and shouldn’t want for nothing but they are laying under bridges and when they go to the hospital they can’t even see a doctor. We’re asking for justice for the Palestinians.
“So, this particular march is going to be powerful. We’re going to be demanding justice from the big pharmaceuticals who we now know through one of their senior lead scientists at the Centers for Disease Control that vaccines are giving black boys autism at a rate that makes the Tuskegee experiment look like a Sunday school picnic…”
Twenty years ago Muhammad said, Farrakhan’s call to Black men in the U.S. was for them to atone. October 16, 1995 was a day of absence from the chaos of American life. It was a call for reconciliation and forgiveness.
“The honorable Minister Farrakhan asked us to register the largest block of registered voters ever to happen in the annals of history,” Muhammad recalled.
“At that time there were 25000 black children on the waiting list to be adopted and the whole list was eradicated.
“Every black organization saw an increase in its membership because the honorable Louis Farrakhan asked black men to go back home and get involved in some black organization, whether it was the church or some other social group, helping your community. All of that happened…”
“On 10-10-15 the whole world is going to be looking for a country who condemns other countries for her moral incorrectness,” Muhammad said.
“This country needs to deal with its own hypocrisy. So now, France will see, ‘you ain’t doin’ for your own citizens.’ Syria will see, Libya will see, Mecca will see, the Palestinians will see… the whole world will see nearly… we are expecting anywhere from 1 to 3 million people to be in attendance…”