Farrakhan urges Caribbean to unite for progress; calls for end to political disunity for good of the regionBy Richard B. Muhammad Editor | Last updated: Dec 20, 2011 - 7:03:09 PM
Welcome Home! Minister Farrakhan delivers messages of unity, self-determination to Caribbean
(FinalCall.com) - In an historic and important trip to the Caribbean, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was warmly received by political leaders, religious leaders, media and the masses as was his message of self-determination and unity.
“When someone is coming of age they are coming into a maturity of thinking. When we are children we think only for ourselves, we think very limited—it’s my, me and mine. But when we really grow up and really come of age, the language of I goes away and the language of we and you plural and us becomes the language
“And the bigger picture is not just St. Kitts and Nevis, the bigger picture is every island in the Caribbean, including Cuba, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Spanish-speaking, the French-speaking, the Dutch-speaking and the English-speaking islands coming together as one nation,” the Minister said.
When Europeans conquered the Caribbean and imported Africans torn away from the continent, the oppressors gave names, religion and language to their slaves, while European-hatred one of another was bred into “those who they subjected to their rule,” Min. Farrakhan noted. So West Indians speaking different languages, based on different oppressors, have differences with one another, he noted.But, Min. Farrakhan said, rising above those outside-inflicted differences and uniting will make the Caribbean a world power.
The Minister’s message in St. Kitts and Nevis reflected some of the same wisdom dispensed during earlier stops in Haiti and Jamaica. Each nation was urged to take control of its land and heritage and to cooperate with one another. Jamaica, a source of bauxite that is turned into aluminum, should ship the mineral to other islands for processing and manufacturing into aluminum, instead of shipping bauxite to America and other nations and reimporting aluminum—the finished product, he said.
Taking control of agriculture and feeding themselves was another common message from the Minister. Haiti, once a rice producing nation and poultry center, is serviced from former President Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas with rice dumped into Haiti along with chicken.
Young people, especially young men with an aggressive and competitive nature with nothing to do, are manipulated by the influence of television and movies, he noted, responding to a question about the problem of youth violence in St. Kitts, a problem similar to challenges found in other Caribbean nations and the United States.
Crime and violence seen every day in the movies and television is celebrated and no child grows up without seeing murder, and debauchery of all kinds, he said. Girls are eating hormone-filled food, physically developing at young ages and lusted after instead of appreciated as serious creations of God, he said.
Even young people who get an education have no jobs, then drug dealing and gangs come in and wars of territory over drugs and gang affiliations erupt, the Minister said.
“It’s not the fault of the youth. It is not our youth, it is the failure of us as adults to prepare a future for our children,” he said. Youth are shunted into dead-end service industry jobs, but the unity of the Caribbean will mean agriculture and construction industries that hire young men and women at wages that can provide for a decent life, he said. With youth engaged and building for their own future, hopelessness will diminish and the nation will become strong, said Min. Farrakhan.
Visiting St. Kitts, the birthplace of his mother, and nearby Nevis, the birthplace of his grandmother and grandfather, the Minister was well at home and received as a returning son. Likewise, he was heartily embraced by the people and leaders of Jamaica, the home of his father, and a special spiritual bond with the people of Haiti was apparent with his spirited reception and passionate words spoken in the world’s first Black republic.
“I don’t come just as a citizen of this great federation but my whole hope and my whole heart is to see the whole of the Caribbean rise as a great nation unto itself,” he said over the airwaves of Freedom FM radio, which was aired across the island nation as well the U.S., Canada and other nations via the Internet.
The Minister was met at the airport by journalists covering his homecoming and on the evening of Dec. 19 he addressed a rally in St. Kitts especially targeted at youth, with young people bussed to the event. Earlier in the day, he met with Prime Minister Denzil Douglas and his cabinet.
The visit to St. Kitts came at the end of a five-day visit to Haiti, where he was embraced by Haitian President Martelly and accompanied by Wyclef Jean, the popular musician and advocate for Haiti and its people. Prior to Haiti, the Minister went to Jamaica for several days.
Radio Caribe featured the Minister and Wyclef in a Dec. 14 radio and television interview. In Haiti and in all the interactions with the media, the Minister was shown great respect for his work and dedication.
“Today the message I bring to all the Haitian people is unity produces power,” said Wyclef, saying it was a lesson that came of out of meeting that the Minister had with him. Jay Z, Sean Puffy Combs, Suge Knight and others in the hip hop industry. “A lot of time when I am speaking, people don’t know that I am speaking from the knowledge of my father, but the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been my teacher for a very long time,” he said. Wyclef added that seven or eight years ago, the Minister told him he would run for president and he had no idea what he was talking about. But last year Wyclef ran for president of Haiti.
The world has collected and sent billions of dollars for Haiti but it appears that thieves and robbers have come between what people have received, said the Minister, sitting next to Wyclef in the radio and TV studio.
President Michel Martelly received the Minister and security forces protected him, just as government security protected him in Jamaica. Before the Minister departed he had met with government officials, religious leaders and sat with a leader of the voodoo practices in Haiti, Max Beauvoir. Min. Farrakhan said he came to learn more about the practice and promised to send two additional water purification systems to Haiti.
“My dear brothers and sisters of Haiti I am very, very happy and honored to set my foot on the soil, the sacred soil of Haiti. Black people all over the world owe Haiti a debt of gratitude for you produced the first free Black republic in the world. The reason you suffer is because the enemy knows that what you did in 1804 can be done again. So from France from England from America, no matter what they say, they do not want to see Haiti rise again. The reason that we are here is because as the Bible says, my people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. It is not because of the Blackness of our skin, but it is because we lack the knowledge of self that will free our minds from the domination of the enemy,” he said in a Dec. 14 public address to Haitians.
His words stirred the crowd standing in the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince in the shadow of the National Palace, the home and office of the president destroyed by an earthquake nearly two years ago. A huge tent city where displaced Haitians continue to live and suffer was near where he spoke.
“Our fathers were brought here in the holds of ships to be made slaves of western powers, they never did intend for us to ever come out from under their domination, so when the French had the slaves, they took away our African names, they took away our African language, they took away our African culture and they imposed on us, their language, their culture, their religion, to make us worship them as though they were God,” said the Minister, with his words translated into kreyol by Joseph Champage, a member of the Nation of Islam of Haitian descent and mayor of a suburban town in New Jersey. He was part of the delegation that accompanied the Minister on the trip.
“The anger that is in the masses of the people is directed at those in authority but what we don’t see is that Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad all of the islands of the Caribbean have borrowed money from the International Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. So when we borrow their money to help develop our land, they put conditions on the loan that is destined to rob the people of their wealth, so Haiti is in debt. Jamaica is in debt. Trinidad is in debt. Africa is in debt and debt is another form of slavery. So we have to break the chains that keep us from enjoying the good life. My brothers were angry because it is wrong that a few of us can enjoy a good life while the masses of our people are suffering. But here’s what I saw when my feet touched the soil of Haiti, I saw a strong and resilient Black people. I saw you by the side of road with your businesses, trying to sell products so you could feed yourself and your family. I saw strong Black women and I say to you Haiti, no nation can rise any higher than its women, if your woman is down, you and I are down, if you woman is up, we are up,” he said.
Min. Farrakhan paid tribute to the strength and power of voodoo culture in Haiti and its role in forging freedom for the country yesterday and today. “It is your time now to rule where you live. It is your time now to rise up Haiti and come into unity among yourselves for that is the power that will free you from foreign aggression and oppression,” he said.
“In America they want us to believe that voodoo is evil, that voodoo is satanic and they want you to believe the same, but if it were not for voodoo there would not be a free Black republic in the world. It was voodoo and Boukman, a Muslim, that started the revolution that gave us Toussaint that gave us Dessalines that gave us Christophe that gave us liberty. Where is Toussaint now? Where is Dessalines now? Where is Christophe now? Where is Boukman now? I am looking at Toussaint, I am looking a Christophe I am looking at Makhandal I am looking at Dessalines, and he’s in you. So rise up Haiti take back your land, take back your heritage and protect your woman.”
“But most importantly you are the people that can hold leadership accountable for their promises,” said the Minister. “So I leave you although my heart and my spirit will never leave you. This is your land, everything on it is yours. Everything under it is yours, when your mind is free from the chains of ignorance and self-hatred, then we will free the land. We will feed ourselves again, we will grow the cotton and turn it into lint and clothe ourselves again. We will take the wood from the trees and remove the tents and build houses for the people of Haiti live in. This is not going to come from outside, it’s going to come from you and those who love you that will help you to rise to your destiny.
“So to the leaders, Jesus said, I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd will lay down his life for the sheep. We need leaders who are willing to live for people and when we can’t help it, die on behalf of the people. Do not foreigners tempt you with money to betray your people and this nation. Soon the money is worthless in fact America is printing dollars that have no backing, so if we will betray one another for dollars or francs, or euros, we have sold our soul to the devil. I want to thank Wyclef Jean who is my friend and a fellow musician that he came to Haiti to be with his brother and I thank him for what he wants to do in his heart for the Haitian people but he needs the unity of Haiti that his voice may speak to the forces that want to crush Haiti. We can’t do by ourselves, but we can do it together,” said the Minister.
A wide cross section of Jamaicans came out on to hear Minister Farrakhan deliver a Dec. 10 message at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston. He encouraged Jamaicans to become self-reliant and to look to regional integration for collective survival. Jamaica is being bought out and if this continues, the country will soon become the playground of the super-rich, and the masses of the people will once again be relegated to the role of servants, he warned.
Political, social, religious and class division is sentencing Jamaicans to death, the Minister said. Visiting the island before Dec. 29 general elections recently announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Min. Farrakhan urged unity and rising above political party for the good of the nation. Each party must build on the good done by its predecessor, he said. And, the Minister said, all hope should not be placed in politicians, who may be influenced by forces that do not have the interest of the masses at heart.
Min. Farrakhan met with P.J. Patterson and Edward Seaga, former prime ministers of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), respectively.
Minister Farrakhan warned the Caribbean is becoming marginalized, and the system cannot absorb those who have been educated at college and university level, thus, the problem of “brain drain” has led to the weakening of each territory. Brain drain accounts for a 50 percent loss in the labor force from the university level and approximately 30 percent loss of those who have completed high school in the country. Similarly, Guyana suffers an 89 percent loss in her labor force due to immigration, while Haiti experiences the lowest loss at 10 percent. The Minister pointed out the link between unemployment and the drug trade that perpetuates a cycle of criminality.
(Haneefah Seid contributed to this report from Jamaica and Starla Muhammad contributed to this report from Chicago.)