As the summer months have passed and the winds of fall are upon us, we are 16 days away from the 20th anniversary of the historic Million Man March. The theme of this year’s anniversary is “Justice or Else!” Twenty years ago, on Oct. 16, 1995, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with the United States Capitol as the backdrop, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered one of his greatest messages on atonement, reconciliation and responsibility to Black men in particular and all men in general.
Nearly 2 million men attended the Million Man March in 1995, and on that day there was nothing but peace and more peace. There was no fighting, no profanity, no guns or knives, no smoking, no drinking—just a sea of Black men as far as the eye could see in every direction. Farrakhan commissioned the song “To God Be the Glory” to be sung at the end of his most inspiring, motivational and encouraging message. Indeed, it was the glory of the Almighty God on that day that was displayed before the entire world that captured the attention of world leaders on every continent.
The accomplishments that were an outcome of the Million Man March were many: the adoption of 25,000 Black children in the foster care system, voter registration rolls increased by more than 1.5 million, men’s ministries began to grow and increase exponentially. Black entrepreneurship increased in the country, and faith and community-based work for the poor increased as a result of the Million Man March.
We must say boldly that it was not the efforts of mayors or police commissioners around the country that brought crime down; it was the Million Man March that decreased crime statistics all over the country. As we asked Black women to support our gathering for men, more women spoke on the platform of the Million Man March than at all marches before or after. Women were also present on the mall. Some of them just had to be there to witness the making of history, and there was nothing but respect and honor for the women, no matter where they were on the mall.
Five years later, in 2000, Farrakhan led us to the Million Family March. And five years after that great gathering of nearly 1.4 million on the mall, in 2005, Farrakhan led us into the Millions More Movement March, which nearly 1.2 million attended to systematically and structurally organize us as a people toward our own independence and to become better prepared for any natural disasters. Farrakhan introduced the nine ministries at that time: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Arts and Culture, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Ministry of Health and Human Services and Ministry of Justice. The 10th ministry is your spiritual center, or house of worship.
Twenty years later, after another generation has emerged, we are now fighting a war on two fronts: fratricide that we commit as a people on one another and rampant police brutality and mob attacks. Neither of these realities can remain, and neither of them can co-exist. The platform of the “Justice.or Else!” movement is based on the principle of justice, which is fair dealing, the law that distinguishes right from wrong, and the weapon that God uses on the Day of Judgment. Under this banner of “Justice or Else!”, “We want justice. Equal justice under the law. We want justice applied equally to all, regardless of creed, class, or color.” Some have been concerned with the “or Else” statement. Most don’t mind us seeking justice, but why this “or Else?”
Whenever Allah (God) sends a prophet into the world, within the revelation that he carries to the rulers of that day and also the people, there is a warning and a threat. So Farrakhan says, “If we are denied what rightfully belongs to us, then there has to be unified action that we take that will force the justice that we seek.” We stand in solidarity with the Honorable Minster Louis Farrakhan and this statement, because we have received no true, real and purposeful justice for the killing of unarmed, innocent Black men women and children in America. Money can’t stand in the place of justice, apologies that come with no repentance can’t stand in the place of justice, forums on justice that don’t uproot the rogue elements within law-enforcement agencies can’t stand in the place of justice and leaders who are apologists for the powers that be can’t stand in the place of justice or even represent the aspirations of a people yearning for real justice.
Farrakhan teaches that “Peace is the fruit of justice.” Therefore, where there is no justice, there can be no lasting peace. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in the last two years of his life, “We must redistribute the pain,” and, “We must withdraw our economic support.” He also said we don’t need Molotov cocktails. We don’t need to talk bad. We just need the power of our unity.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Our unity is a weapon more powerful than a nuclear or hydrogen bomb.” Farrakan teaches us that “our unity will propel us to victory.”
As a people, we can’t be hypocrites and demand that the federal government intercede in matters of justice where law enforcement officials kill us unprovoked in the streets of America, then lie on us and cover up the truth while they know about and do not deal with the rampant killing we do to one another. In 2010, we killed more of our own people by our own hands than in the nine years of the two unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan put together. We have killed more than 250,000 of our own people since 1978.
Think about this fact and reflect that although this generation of our youth is not the wisest, they are the most fearless generation we have produced. Having this understanding, we must develop conflict resolution centers in our communities to begin to clean them up and make where we live a safer community. Farrakhan has called for 10,000 fearless Black men to stand up with him and be trained by the Nation of Islam under the guidance of the men of the Fruit of Islam under his spiritual direction. We are most successful in the past and present in going in among our people and settling the beefs.
Will you be in that number as the saints go marching into our communities to stop the killing?
Get on the bus. Call 347-903-5132 and go to www.justiceorelse.com to donate and support and download our new app onto your Android device or iPhone. Just type in your App Store “Justice or Else”.
Abdul Hafeez Muhammad serves as the New York Representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Student Minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 7 New York City.