(Editor’s Note: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a powerful message Nov.18 at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, the headquarters of the Nation of Islam. He gave marching orders for how to approach this holiday season without spending any money by acting more like Christ.)
“Now, the last thing I want to say: This week coming up is Thanksgiving. Such a phony holiday. Ask the Indians is it a nice holiday for them The next day is Black Friday. I’d like to give us some marching orders.See, Martin Luther King in his last speech in Memphis, April 3, the day before he was killed. Listen to Dr. King’s words.
He said, “We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores and to these massive industries in our country and say, ‘God sent us by here to say to you that you are not treating his people right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”
Now I hope you haven’t gone shopping yet. Listen, this Christmas, let’s make it a real mass for Christ. Listen to what I’m saying: Christ is not interested in you going into the stores making the already rich, rich; putting yourself in debt for another year to give out gifts. Jesus didn’t ask you to do that. When you go home, take your Bible, look at the 10th chapter of Jeremiah. Going out in the forest, cutting down a tree, bringing it home, decking it with silver and gold: That’s what the heathens do. You don’t need no Christmas tree in your house. That’s pagan practice. Leave the tree. ‘Now, come on, Farrakhan.’ Leave the tree. Leave the lights. Because you’re in the end of the month, Santa ain’t paying your electric bill. Leave the mythical Santa at the North Pole or wherever the hell he is. You leave Santa and don’t you ever again spend money on your children and give the credit to a mythical Caucasian and make your children think that they got to continue to look at White people to get things you give them with your hard sweat and blood.
Now, I’d like to celebrate this Christmas with you. Now, we know that Jesus was not born on the 25th. But here’s what I want you and I to do. There’s a 107th Surah in the Qur’an. It’s titled Ma’un, Acts of Kindness. It doesn’t cost money to be kind. You know what, if you came out of your house, met your neighbor and spoke a kind word, that would be the best gift that you gave your neighbor. ‘Well, my neighbor, they ain’tright. They don’t treat me right.’ I know. But you don’t have to act ugly because they act ugly. You turn it around and you speak a kind word. If you see an elderly person, now they’re going to get suspicious because you usually will knock them over and take their gifts. You know how you do.
But this Christmas, let love break out in the ghetto. They won’t even know what happened the next day when they see a measure of peace. Now, we know that can happen because we did it at the Million Man March. We saw peace and joy just being kind to each other. And if you got money that you want to spend, find a Black business in your neighborhood or wherever you can get to it and spend your money with your own. Keep the money kind of circulating with us. And this Christmas you really will have started a revolution with us. Don’t argue over a parking space. If they say, ‘I got here first,’ and you know you were first, ‘Oh really. Well, gee, I didn’t know. Okay, brother. Have a great day. Have a wonderful day.’ Be kind. Be loving to one another. Have a good word to say.
Sisters, don’t go up to no brother with a big smile, ‘I’m trying to be kind.’ You go to another sister and you be as kind and loving as you want to be to your sister. See, if you give too much teeth to a man, and you ain’t biting him, he takes that serious. ‘Hey, baby, hey you know what I’m saying. You know what I’m saying.’ Be kind. Be loving and when you see this Christmas pass and you come back, and you get the knowledge of where that all started. Then you won’t feel bad not participating. But this year as you’re gaining greater knowledge, it’s expected that you act wiser.