LOUIS FARRAKHAN -- 03/14/96
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been awarded
"Newsmaker of the Year" by the National Newspaper Publishers
Association. He spoke, at a dinner given in his honor by that
association, on March 14, 1996. The speech was broadcast on C-
Span that same day. The following are excerpts from his talk.
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[Farrakhan had recently returned from a trip to Africa and the
But we will not take guidance *or* instruction from those who
bring the money. Our instructions have to come from *our* own
effort and our instruction, our counsel. We do not need *anybody*
outside of America to tell us what to do for our liberation. We
*cannot* be agents of foreign power.
But if the foreign power wants to grant us money, that's fine. I
mean, America didn't mind getting money from the king to finance
debt in Nicaragua. I think -- wasn't it James Baker? Who went to
Iran? Was he "cavorting"? [laughter] Of course not, because he
was sent by an American president. What was he over there for!?
He was over there [laughter], he was over there trading arms for
hostages. I think I remember reading somewhere in the press that
the hostages could have been released during the Carter
administration. But they held those hostages, on a deal that was
made, to be released in the Reagan presidency.
Talk to me, and tell me if I'm wrong. *Somebody* was 'round here
And they were using money to take lives! Now they want us to stop
receiving money to save lives.
Now I'll tell you what I said to Khadaffi. (And if they bring me
before Congress, it'd be *wonderful*! I would love to tell
*everybody* what was said.)
Here's our Dr. Ali, who I sent to Kenya. And he found a man named
David Koych(?) who had a breakthrough in AIDS: Alpha Interferon.
And we took the tablets from Kenya, and developed it into a
liquid, by the grace of God. And what *we* said to Khadaffi is,
"Mr. Khadaffi, guns is not the way. Guns is not the way." I said,
"Brother Khadaffi, you could enhance your image if *you* would
set up a pharmaceutical plant here, and use your oil money to
mass-produce Alpha Interferon, since Africa is dying from the
scourge of AIDS." And I said, "If *you* would develop
innoculations..." (Because we can't trust the people that are
innoculating our babies. We don't know *what* they're putting
into our children. But if we had a source that we could rely
on...) "If you would do that, your image could be cleaned up. And
you would be, in history, as a humanitarian revolutionary rather
than a man with a gun."
Did he agree? He agreed.
I believe -- now listen to this! Every one of these countries
that America says are enemies, they can come in. Because they all
want a relationship with America. But you know what the problem
is? Economic, social, and political justice. If they get that,
they're your friends. These are *not* enemies of the American
When we went to the Sudan -- that's not a country that's a threat
to America. Stop it! If there's slavery there, we have to condemn
it. We're children of slaves. But we're not gonna condemn it
[based] on a newspaper report. Let's go and see.
We need our own fact-finding group of scholars that we can put
money behind. *You* go and see whether there's slavery in
Mauritania. And if it is, *all* of us will condemn it because
slavery should exist nowhere on the earth! Isn't that right? Sure
it is. But let's not be bamboozled (to use Malcolm's words) by
I want to go before the Black Caucus, if I can't go before
Congress. I would rather speak to the members of the Caucus and
give them the inside details of everything that we said and did,
so that we will not allow them to alienate us from each other
when we need each other so *desperately* in this critical time
And the last thing I want to say: I went to Iran. Iran definitely
is against the state of Israel. No question about it. [laughter]
Iran does not like America's government establishment. And I was
there during their celebration and I'll tell you, I felt a little
strange, you know, when I hear people chanting, you know? But I
spoke to them, because I am a Muslim. And although I see myself
coming out of a Christian tradition, and love my Christian
upbringing... I could never be an enemy of Christians because I
have accepted Islam. So I brought Christians with me, to show
Christian-Muslim unity! Because that's the *only* thing that can
save Africa, is the *unity* of Christians and Muslims and not
In Iran, I spoke before 5 million Iranians. I mean, this is the
*audience*. It was the largest gathering I ever spoke before. The
American press said, "Tens of thousands." [laughter] Boy... Yeah
but you should have counted the tens and tens and tens and *tens*
of thousands. And I was the first, and *only* person, in the
history of modern Iran, to be granted the opportunity to speak to
the Iranian people on the occasion of the celebration of their
Now why do they trust me and not you? Because I have a track
record of fighting for and in behalf of the oppressed. I am not a
*slave* to America's foreign policy. And therefore, as a free
man, they invited me to speak.
And in that context, I spoke to the whole nation of 63 *million*
-- under sanctions -- and comforted them. As an American citizen,
I'm speaking to those who are *hurting* because of what America's
foreign policy says. And our words inspired them, comforted them.
And they mobbed Farrakhan, like I was some rock star.
I talked to their theologians. I talked to their students of
theology. I visited their holy cities. The security almost got
destroyed, just trying to keep the people *from* me -- not to
hurt me, they just wanted to touch me.
They wouldn't say this to you.
[Nelson] Mandela, the moral authority of the black world. You
didn't want to show Mandela embracing Farrakhan. You didn't want
to show Mandela welcoming Farrakhan. You *lied* to the American
people, telling them that Mr. Mandela "lectured" me, "chastised"
me. You're a *liar*.
How could a man that'd been in prison for 27 years "lecture" me
on racism, and I'm the product of the suffering of people for 400
years, as he is? He told the press, "I *spoke* with Farrakhan for
45 minutes and there was *no* area in which we disagreed." They
didn't say that to you! They took a picture of me moving a fly or
some mosquito or something that was on my head, so they made me
look "befuddled". [laughter] This is *wicked*, wicked, wicked,
press! Wicked! The man came out of his house with his arms
outstretched and said, "Louie!" And rushed into my arms and I
rushed into his and we just stood there hugging each other in
front of the world press. And the *only* picture that they could
put before the world was me scratching my [forehead].
In Iran, they cried when we left. They took us to the border of
Iraq, because we had to go overland. And here were Iraqis on one
side, Iranians on another, with guns on both sides. And they were
handing us over to the Iraqis. And they, with tears in their
eyes, said "good-bye" to us. And the Iraqis hugged us, and then
put us in buses and cars and took us straight-away to Bagdad.
We were only in Bagdad 27 hours. And we had a private meeting
with Saddam Hussein for one hour, I think it was an hour-and-a-
half. An hour-and-45-minutes. We met with the Ministry of Health.
We met with the Ministry of Information. We spoke to the nation.
But the one thing that touched us most: we went to the children's
hospital. And we saw the babies, who are suffering under
sanctions. The World Health Organization knows this. The United
Nations knows this. Over 560 thousand children have died in Iraq
since the war. (Where are those pictures?)
[Shows enlarged photo] This is a mother holding her baby. This is
a two-year-old child, that weighs 12 pounds. Malnutrition
throughout Iraq. People dying on operating tables. And the people
who are being operated on: they have no anesthesia. The beginning
of the operation and the end are the *most* traumatic. *Pulling*
*teeth* without anesthesia.
[...to be continued...]