Minister Louis Farrakhan sat down with the Breakfast Club team at New York City's Power 105.1 to talk about the state of justice in America, the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, President Obama and the future of today's generation.
The Nation of Islam leader, who is 82, was very fiery and passionate throughout the conversation and didn't miss a beat. He also reveals that he has just finished an album that he says is "the minister's life in music." Take a look at a few excerpts from the interview.
On today’s generation:
For me to be on your show is a great honor to me. Because the audience that I’m really interested in is our young people. Our young people represent the strongest and the best generation that we’ve ever had. They’re not the wisest, but they are the best because they are fearless. When you see fearless young men and women, that’s the generation that God’s hand is on. Because that’s the generation that will fulfill the promise of our ancestors who died struggling for true freedom and justice. We got some serious decisions to make as a people. What are we going to do to prepare a future for our children and our grandchildren?
On protests and riots after police shootings:
The only thing they want to know is when they kill us, are y’all going to be peaceful? Well should we be? That’s a question we have to keep asking ourselves. How can peace be there, if there’s no justice there and the government is weak to stand up for us and we pay the taxes of these people that shoot us down? We pay the taxes for an education that does not educate us properly that we can come out of school and do something for ourselves. We’ve got to go back and beg them for what we could unite and do for ourselves. We’ve got some serious decisions to make.
On marching for justice at the Million Man March:
I never thought it would get better just by marching. But the enemy is so frightened. We called for 1 million and nearly 2 million men showed up. That’s an army. I didn’t rile the army up and say let’s go fight. This was the most peaceful demonstration and the largest gathering of Black men anywhere in the world. They went back home to their families, wives, children. We took 25,000 orphans and gave them homes. Brothers and sisters registered to vote.
We helped our brother get in office, and we were so excited and proud to have our first Black president. But then when our brothers in Baltimore – that’s a city where Black folks have been catching hell for a long time -- when they rise up, our president refers to them as thugs and criminals. I want to say to Brother Barack: When the highest office in the land can look at our children and call them thugs and criminals, unwittingly he’s sentencing them to death by the forces that deal with thugs and criminals. They are not thugs. They are not criminals.
On rappers being the new leaders:
I was with Brother Snoop, and I was telling my brother how you rappers are the new leaders. You’re the real leaders of the people. The rapper doesn’t think he’s a leader, but he’s got followers all over the world. The biggest preachers don’t have as many followers as one rapper. How can we get you to rap where intelligence is coming through the lyrics with a beat that begins to open the minds of people. Our people want better and they’ll do better if they are shown better.
On his musical past:
When [Elijah Muhammad] asked me to give up music, I made a song that was inspired by Malcolm X. He used to write for the Amsterdam News, and his column was The Angry Black Man. And this week he wrote a column, "A White Man’s Heaven Is the Black Man’s Hell." So I took that title and made a song. In the 60s, it was an underground hit. It’s what converted Muhammad Ali. It was really rap in 1956.
Charlemagne: You and Kanye gonna remix it?
Awwwww, we got a surprise coming.
Watch the full interview here.
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(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)