Speaking to thousands gathered in Detroit on Sunday, Minister Louis Farrakhan said African-Americans shouldn’t place their faith in Democrats or Republicans, criticizing both parties for neglecting the black community.
“Most of you are so hurt because Queen Hillary lost,” Farrakhan said at Joe Louis Arena during the final day of the annual convention of the Nation of Islam. “And some of you have cussed me out because I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote for Trump. I knew both of them is the same. You ain’t going to get nothing from either one, but more deceit from Hillary, but more straight talk from Trump.
“He told you, you didn’t have nothing to lose. You’ve been a Democrat all your life and don’t have a damn thing to show for it.”
The crowd cheered in approval at his remarks.
Farrakhan also criticized Trump, but added that African Americans should not stress too much about who’s in power.
“I’m here to talk to all of you who are shaking in your boots” over Trump being president, Farrakhan said. Imitating a person who’s worried about Trump, Farrakhan said: “What are we going to do, the president is bad. He’s the president and he don’t like black people. He don’t like Mexicans. He don’t like Muslims.”
Farrakhan then said: “Maybe so. Who cares? We don’t give a damn what he likes or what he doesn’t like.
“Have no fear … the future is ours. Time for the liberation of our people.”
Founded in Detroit in 1930 by Master Fard Muhammad, the Nation of Islam’s annual convention is called Saviours’ Day and marks Muhammad’s birthday. The Nation of Islam later moved to Chicago, where it is now based. The annual convention has been held in Detroit three times over the past four years.
His talk on Sunday echoed Farrakhan’s views over the years, being highly critical of mainstream political parties, the U.S. government, and what he sees as the shortcomings of the African-American community.
Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have drawn criticism from groups over the years such as the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, and the Southern Poverty Law Center for comments some see as inflammatory and anti-Semitic.
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The address by Farrakhan was intended to give guidance to Nation of Islam members over the upcoming year. In his talk Sunday, which lasted three hours, Farrakhan reiterated the Nation of Islam’s message of self-reliance and to eventually establish a separate black nation, though he acknowledged many aren’t ready for that.
In his remarks Sunday, Farrakhan said his remarks are not anti-Semitic. The address was intended to give guidance to Nation of Islam members over the upcoming year. In his talk Sunday, Farrakhan reiterated the Nation of Islam’s message of self-reliance and to eventually establish a separate black nation, though he acknowledged many aren’t ready for that.
“God wants you to separate … and give you a nation of your own, but you don’t want that,” he said.
Talking about what he said was the rise of racism and white supremacist groups, Farrakhan said that racial integration has not worked because whites “don’t want to be with you. Can’t you get the message? They don’t want you.”
Farrakhan, who led the Million Man March in 1995, strongly praised the Women’s March on Washington held in late January.
“That was one of the greatest demonstrations I have seen in the history of protests,” Farrakhan said of the Women’s March. “It was a protest against men … who have mistreated women, and put women down.”
Farrakhan criticized men for abusing women, and being immature and irresponsible.
“We have nothing to offer women,” he said.
Farrakhan also talked about the issue of crime in Chicago. Farrakhan called upon the community to address the violence, but also warned Trump against sending in the military. Trump had said in a tweet this year he would bring in “the feds” to stop the city’s crime.
“We don’t have no guns equal to yours, but we got God,” Farrakhan said.
Farrakhan also directed remarks to former President Barack Obama: “Let’s have coffee” to talk about ways to help Chicago and avoid having to bring in troops.
While Farrakhan was critical of Trump, he also showed some sympathy toward some of his positions, saying that “Trump is justified in being suspicious of intelligence” agencies.
At the same time, he mocked Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
“America will never be made great again,” Farrakhan said. “Her days of greatness are over. The God of justice has come. And America now has to pay for what she has done.”
On stage with Farrakhan during his speech were some local religious and political leaders, including Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, and state Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park.
An assistant to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also spoke, reading a city proclamation for Saviours’ Day.
Speaking at the event, Jones praised members of the Nation of Islam, urging them to help rebuild Detroit, which Farrakhan has called for in recent years.
“We need your help,” Jones said to the crowd. “Come home. Build your house here.
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