By Minister Louis Farrakhan
[Editor’s note: The following text is taken from a message delivered by Minister Louis Farrakhan to the Blacks In Government (BIG) convention on Aug. 23, 1997 in Washington, D.C.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
In the Declaration of Independence, there is a statement that reads, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."
It is a shame that, with the skill and wisdom of the Founding Fathers, it was not evident to them that we (Blacks) were entitled to the same unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that they designed for themselves. If the perception of the Founding Fathers of this great nation was, in fact, that all men are created equal, then you would not be Blacks in Government, you would be (simply) in government. The fact that you are Blacks in Government, hassled by government, oppressed in the workplace with a hostile environment, means you are trying to serve government and the people while you are catching hell trying to do your jobs.
The Creator endowed us with these unalienable rights—man didn’t give them to us—and among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. We never gave the slave masters consent to govern us, nor, since Emancipation, have we been even asked whether we wanted to be a part of this government that had enslaved us. They took it for granted, since they robbed us of the knowledge of self, the knowledge of home, the knowledge of history, and the knowledge of our culture, that we had no place to turn but to our former slave masters and their children to accept whatever place they deemed fit for us, regardless to what the Creator said about our unalienable rights.
To this very moment, you must fit in the place where you can serve the best interest of those who govern, regardless of your gifts, skills and talents and where those gifts, skills and talents might take you. So you are struggling in government to serve and yet fighting to get these rights.
Every human need is a human right. Human beings are creatures—physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and moral. We are born into this world with human rights. Food is one. Clothing is another. Shelter is a human right because it is a human need. Since you are not an animal, the brain must be cultivated, so home and family is a human right. The protection of family, the strengthening of marriage, the building of home life is a part of guaranteeing unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Education is not a privilege. Education is a human right. It is knowledge that separates the human from the beast; therefore, the best possible education should be given by government and guaranteed by government. Otherwise, the government is not guaranteeing the unalienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The American people’s human rights are being violated by the very government that has been established to secure these rights. You can’t say that the government of the United States believes in securing these rights for all of her citizens. If government really were doing the job of government, there would not be so much dissatisfaction in America with government.
In the last election, less than 50 percent of those eligible to vote even went to the polls to cast a vote. The president was not elected by a majority of the American people. About 30 percent out of 70 percent elected this man to run this government. Serious thought should be given to the level of dissatisfaction that has created a militia that hates the U.S. government.
I started with the U.S. Constitution, but I really want to go to the real constitution. The real constitution, out of which the U.S. Constitution came, was the Founding Fathers’ so-called love of Jesus Christ and the love of scripture. They didn’t love it enough to see you and me as a part of this, but they did love the Book. Let’s go to the scriptures and see how government should function. I want to talk about the role of government before I get to the role of Blacks in Government. If you are just going to be in it for a paycheck and carry on the business of messing up the American people’s lives in the name of government, then I tell you, dear fellow "citizens," you will be the victim of many more Timothy McVeighs as time emerges and the people grow more and more dissatisfied with their leaders and the policies of government, both domestic and foreign.
Jesus, one day, was talking to his disciples and the disciples asked him, "Master, when were you hungry and we fed you not? When were you naked and we clothed you not? When were you out of doors and we gave you not shelter? When were you sick and imprisoned and we ministered not unto you?" And Jesus said, "In as much as you have not done these things to the least of these, my brethren, you have not done it also unto me."
Good government doesn’t just work for the big shot. Good government does not work just for the rich and the powerful. Good government is not good government unless it works for the least member of that society.
If you believe that Almighty God created all human beings in His own image and after His own likeness, then each part of the American fabric is created in the image of God and each part of this American fabric, or the human fabric, is endowed with gifts, skills, talents, that government should help to extract, develop, encourage the evolution of, so that the whole may be better served. It is interesting to me that when God created man, according to the Bible, the first thing He gave him was power. The first thing that was taken from us that we are still trying to get back is what? Power. If you had power, then you would change the realities under which you live. You have a job, but no power. So what good is it for you to just be on a plantation doing a service, but you have no power to change the reality under which you live.
The first thing God gave was power. The second thing He gave was dominion, the ability to rule. The power and the ability to rule what? Rule first self, then rule and master environment. God does this. So government is really that which is authorized to stand in the place of God. exercising authority over people that government did not create—but government has the power to tax; government has the power to send you to war; government has the power of life and death. So government must be rooted in God, in order for government to be right.
Government must serve the needs, rights, and interests of the least, not just the needs, rights and interests of the most. The disciples asked Jesus, "When were you hungry and we fed you not?" How many Americans go to bed hungry while food is dumped to keep prices high? "When were you naked, Father, and we clothed you not?" How many American citizens don’t have adequate clothing? How many Americans who fought for this country, who paid taxes, are living under bridges and in cardboard boxes and nobody seems to care? "When were you homeless, Father, and we gave you not shelter?" Today, if you don’t have insurance, you are sick and you die. But, "When were you sick, Master, and imprisoned and we ministered not unto you?" And the Master said, "In as much as you have not done it unto these, the least of my brethren, you have not done it also unto me."
Jesus made this the standard by which governments would be separated and judged on His return. In what shape would the government of the United States be on the return of Jesus Christ? I want you to think, because you say you are Christians, Muslims and Hebrews. Government is way off base and government needs to be brought back, for the Declaration of Independence says, "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
My comment: When I made the Taman Health Plan to cover all Americans for health and long term care I had particualrly the Afro-American people in my min. They had a lot of injustices and I think this plan will reconcile to them the governement and the misgivings of the past. Minister Louis Farrakhan is a great man and I like him to reach more to the Jewish and the Christian leaders particularly the like-minded. He has a conference named the Saviors in Feb 2007. I do not beleive in a single savior. It takes a lot of committed persons with strong conviction to change the world.