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Farrakhan, Jackson Call for Unity, Action

October 17, 1995|From Times Wire and Staff Reports

Following are excerpts from speeches by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson .

Louis Farrakhan

. . . Now, where are we gathered? We're standing at the steps of the United States Capitol. I'm looking at the Washington Monument and beyond it to the Lincoln Memorial. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of these United States, and he was the man who allegedly freed us.

Abraham Lincoln saw in his day what President Clinton sees in this day. He saw the great divide between black and white. Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton see what the Kerner Commission saw 30 years ago when they said that this nation was moving toward two Americas: one black, one white, separate and unequal. And the Kerner Commission revisited their findings 25 years later and saw that America was worse today than it was in the time of Martin Luther King Jr. There's still two Americas: one black, one white, separate and unequal. . . .

Now, the President spoke today and he wanted to heal the great divide. But I respectfully suggest to the President: You did not dig deep enough at the malady that divides black and white in order to affect a solution to the problem.

And so, today, we have to deal with the root so that perhaps a healing can take place. . . .

You came not at the call of Louis Farrakhan, but you have gathered here at the call of God. For it is only the call of almighty God, no matter through whom that call came, that could generate this kind of outpouring. God called us here to this place, at this time, for a very specific reason.

This is a very pregnant moment, pregnant with the possibility of tremendous change in our status in America and in the world. And although the call was made through me, many have tried to distance the beauty of this idea from the person through whom the idea and the call was made.

Some have done it mistakenly. And others have done it in a malicious and vicious manner. Brothers and sisters, there is no human being through whom God brings an idea that history doesn't marry the idea with that human being no matter what defect was that human being's character.

You can't separate Newton from the law that Newton discovered, nor can you separate Einstein from the theory of relativity. It would be silly to try to separate Moses from the Torah or Jesus from the Gospel or Muhammad from the Koran.

When you say Farrakhan, you ain't no Moses, you ain't no Jesus and you're not no Muhammad; you have a defect in your character.

Well, that certainly may be so. However, according to the way the Bible reads, there is no prophet of God written of in the Bible that did not have a defect in his character. But I have never heard any member of the faith of Judaism separate David from the Psalms because of what happened in David's life, and you've never separated Solomon from the building of the Temple because they say he had a thousand concubines, and you never separated any of the great servants of God.

So today, whether you like it or not, God brought the idea through me, and he didn't bring it through me because my heart was dark. . . . If my heart were that dark, how is the message so bright, the message so clear, the response so magnificent?

And why did we come? We came because we want to move toward a more perfect union. And if you notice, the press triggered every one of those divisions. You shouldn't come; you're a Christian. That's a Muslim thing. You shouldn't come; you're too intelligent to follow hate! You shouldn't come; look at what they did. They excluded women, you see? They played all the cards. They pulled all the strings.

Oh, but you better look again. . . . There's a new black man. . . .

We are a wounded people, but we're being healed. But President Clinton, America is also wounded. And there's hostility now in the great divide between the people. Socially the fabric of America is being torn apart. It's black against black, black against white, white against white, white against black, yellow against brown, brown against yellow. We are being torn apart. And we can't gloss it over with nice speeches, Mr. President.

Sir, with all due respect, that was a great speech you made today. And you praised the marchers, and they're worthy of praise. You honored the marchers, and they are worthy of honor. But of course, you spoke ill indirectly of me, as a purveyor of malice and hatred.

I must hasten to tell you, Mr. President, that I'm not a malicious person, and I'm not filled with malice. But, I must tell you that I come in the tradition of the doctor who has to point out, with truth, what's wrong. And the pain is that power has made America arrogant. Power and wealth has made America spiritually blind, and the power and the arrogance of America makes you refuse to hear a child of your slaves pointing out the wrong in your society.

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