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Farrakhan, Jackson Call for Unity, Action

October 17, 1995|From Times Wire and Staff Reports

But I think if you could clear the scales from your eyes, sir, and give ear to what we say, perhaps, oh perhaps, what these great speakers who spoke before me said, and my great and wonderful brother, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, and perhaps, just perhaps from the children of slaves might come a solution. . . .

America. America, the beautiful. There's no country like this on the Earth. And certainly if I lived in another country, I might never have had the opportunity to speak as I speak today. I probably would have been shot outright. . . . But because this is America, you allow me to speak even though you don't like what I may say. Because this is America, that provision in the Constitution for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion, that is your saving grace. . . .

Now brothers, sisters, I want to close this lecture with a special message to our President and to the Congress. There is a great divide, but the real evil in America is not white flesh or black flesh. The real evil in America is the idea that undergirds the setup of the Western world. And that idea is called white supremacy.

White supremacy is the enemy of both white people and black people because the idea of white supremacy means you should rule because you're white. That makes you sick. And you've produced a sick society and a sick world. The Founding Fathers meant well, but they said, "toward a more perfect union." Mr. Clinton, we're going to do away with the mind-set of the Founding Fathers. You don't have to repudiate them like you've asked my brothers to do me. You don't have to say they were malicious, hate-filled people. But you must evolve out of their mind-set. . . .

Here's the carcass, the remains of a once-mighty people, dry bones in the valley, a people slain from the foundation of the world. But God hath sent the winds to blow on the bones. One of those winds is named Gingrich, and the companion wind is named Dole. And the other is called Supreme Court decisions. The other is fratricidal conflict, drugs and dope and violence and crime. But we've had enough now. This is why you're in Washington today.

Black man, you don't have to bash white people. All we've got to do is go back home and turn our communities into productive places. . . .

We must become a totally organized people, and the only way we can do that is to become a part of some organization that is working for the uplift of our people. Now, brothers, moral and spiritual renewal is a necessity. Every one of you must go back home and join some church, synagogue, temple, or mosque that is teaching spiritual and moral uplift.

Brothers, when you go home, we've got to register 8 million eligible but unregistered brothers, sisters. So you go home and find eight more like yourself. You register and get them to."

Rev. Jesse Jackson

In the spirit of atonement, we pray to God to forgive us for our sins and the foolishness of our ways as we seek to do better and never to become bitter, and let nothing, nobody stand between us and the love of God.

The idea of a million men has touched a nerve deep in the hearts of people yearning to breathe free. Big meetings were never allowed on the plantation. We've always yearned for a big meeting. Today we've left the plantation. This is a big meeting.

Raw nerves of ancient longing for dignity have been touched. . . . America will benefit and ultimately be grateful for this day. When the rising tide for racial justice and gender equality and family stability lifts the boats stuck at the bottom, all boats benefit.

Why are we here today? Because we're under attack by the courts, legislatures, mass media. We're despised. Racists attack us for sport to win votes. We're attacked for sport to make money. But I tell you today, rabbit hunting ain't fun when the rabbits stop running and start fighting back.

Here we are in 1995 trying to stop 1996 from becoming like 1896, the end of the second Reconstruction. Mr. Muhammad said: "When we come into ourselves and know our truer selves, we'll have our place in the sun." Fannie Lou Hamer said: "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." Sojourner Truth said to the feminist movement as she sought justice between white and black women: "Ain't I a woman?" Martin Luther King Jr. said, when he rescued Rosa Parks: "Better to walk in dignity than ride in shame."

Why are we here today? Because we will not surrender; we will not bow. We choose life. But if we must die, let it be nobly and not like dogs. . . .

Now we have the burden of two Americas: one-half slave and one-half free. Lincoln said it could not exist.

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