by Toure Muhammad
Recently, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, while on WVON radio station in Chicago being interviewed by Cliff Kelly, announced that he would lead the men into the streets of Chicago to reach out to Black people to share love, concern and to help curb violence that has made national headlines.
So, last night, on July 16, the Minister made his word bond and this man who has traveled all over the world, who has been treated like a head of state throughout Africa, walked through one of the toughest areas in Chicago. This is the same neighborhood where NBA star Dwyane Wade's relative was shot.
Below, Min. Farrakhan talks about the experience last night. Follow him @LouisFarrakhan on Twitter
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talked to many of the residents as he walked through areas of Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood today. Many young men, like this one, heard a strong and encouraging word from the Minister. They felt Minister Farrakhan's genuine love. Photo: Ashahed Muhammad
According to Ashahed Muhammad who was with Min. Farrakhan, "People waved out of their apartment windows, cars honked and gave the thumbs up sign as they drove by. Even the teenage girls stopped Tweeting and FaceBooking for a minute to take a photo with The Minister on their iPhones."
I witnesses as men, women and children came out their houses and greeting us with cheers as we knocked on doors throughout the neighborhood.
Photo: Toure Muhammad
Photo: Toure Muhammad
Additionally, an elder in the community told the FOI that she had a vision of this day coming.
Click here to watch her testimony.
Farrakhan leads 300 + FOI into streets
calling for peace
Asked youth to take Million Man March pledge
By Chinta Strausberg
Making good a promise he made on WVON’s Cliff Kelley show to lead his Fruit of Islam (FOI), men of the Nation of Islam (NOI), into the community, Minister Louis Farrakhan late Monday night led 300 men into the streets urging youth to stop the violence and the killing and to take the 1995 Million Man March pledge that advocated unity, atonement, reconciliation and responsibility.
Anti-violence marches were simultaneously held last Monday by the FOI in 130 cities across America beginning at 7 p.m. and there will be more “street heat” applied in an effort to stem the violence.
On October 16, 2012, it will be 17-years since Farrakhan held his historic Million Man March in Washington, D.C. where 2 million mostly men pledged to become better men and to improve their communities and their relationships.
Today, there have been a number of killings in the Auburn-Gresham community that prompted Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger to hold weekly Friday 6:30 p.m. marches throughout the community including stores that are selling loose and packages of cigarettes to minors and selling out-dated food. However, while Pfleger has been trying to secure a peace treaty and unity among the gangs, he said the gangs have threatened to kill him.
Asked his opinion about the three gangs that have reportedly put a hit out on Pfleger, Leonard Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan’s representative, said, “Father Pfleger is a servant of all mighty God as is Minister Louis Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan and Father Pfleger have been under threats from very different orders of evil people throughout their careers.
“When God is with you, it’s more than the whole world against you, and I believe God is with Father Pfleger and of course we are, too,” said Muhammad.
“I don’t think any harm will come to my brother, but every day that we go out, according to what Minister Farrakhan told us the other day when we were concerned about his leading us into the community, he said when I do something like this I go out prepared to die. I go out prepared that harm will come to me even though I don’t believe that God would permit it and I think that Father Mike is the same.”
Muhammad said to those wanting to harm Pfleger for his consistent marches against violence, “Anybody who would be so foolish to try and harm a servant like this, that that you intend for evil…will come on you. This is history and prophecy and I believe it is true from the past and I think the same thing is true today.”
But, Muhammad said Minister Farrakhan is worried about the level of violence that is gripping not just the Auburn-Gresham community but also the entire city of Chicago. Minister Farrakhan is worried about creating an atmosphere “that ultimately will increase the number of our young people who will not live to become adults.”
Muhammad added, “because of the community, the law enforcement and other forces are now fed up with us, our young men in particular, they are now willing to take any measure to stop them from their anti-social and violent behavior that they are engaging in.”
Referring to those who are shooting, killing and maiming people including innocent children, Muhammad said, “It’s a warning to them that if they want a future and if they want to live, then they have to do what we asked them to do during the Million Man March—to become productive and serious people dedicated to” keeping peace and order in their own community.
Asked if the answer to reducing violence is the resurrection of the spirit of the 1995 Million Man March, Muhammad referred to the flyer they passed out late Monday night that included the pledge taken at the Million Man March.
“During the Million Man March and after in 1995 there was a decrease in anti-social, negative and violent behavior within our community,” recalled Muhammad. “Unfortunately, the society, the government, parents and people who are responsible to develop the young did not seize the opportunity to keep the ball rolling.
“The Nation of Islam is a national and international organization. The problem that we have in the black community cannot be solved by us alone, should not be solved by us alone but should and can be solved with the coming together by the total of our community,” Muhammad said.
Asked if he believes that could ever happen, Muhammad said, “I believe that it can happen because the need is so great.” In passing out the flyers, Muhammad said as they walked throughout the community he noticed people were taking those flyers “to heart” and did not discard the flyers, which had a message to them from Minister Farrakhan.
“The demand is going to come for unity to solve this problem. I believe the people are already making that demand and in a very short while the leaders will get that message and I think there will be a major coming together without the regard for religion and for race,” he said.
“As this violence continues, the reputation of the city of Chicago and the tourism and the revenue that they expect will all suffer because of this violence that people are afraid to visit here for fear they may be harmed. It’s in everybody’s interested, all the citizens of the city in particular the black citizens those of us who want to see our people with a future. It’s incumbent upon us to work together to solve this problem,” said Muhammad.
Farrakhan said the NOI would continue these anti-violence marches that will be also held on the West Side and other hot spot areas. “There will be efforts made in the very different communities in the weeks to come,” Muhammad said. “We’re asking for the prayers and the support for Minister Farrakhan and their encouragement of him because he truly is a very respected and trusted individual within our community.
“When you see adult people crying at the sight of him coming into the community to show concern for them, this is something very unusual for adult people today. That is what Minister Farrakhan experienced” last Monday.
Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), who joined Farrakhan on the march late Monday night, said she asked him to take a more pro-active role the night Farrakhan reopened the Salaam Restaurant. “This is the first of many marches that he’ll be doing throughout the city and he wanted to kick it off with me. I am honored that he would do that and elated that he would support the community….”
When asked what is the problem in the Auburn-Gresham community given all of the shootings and killings that are going on, Thomas explained that: “There is one gang but three facets of the gang and they are at war for territory. It’s our community. It shouldn’t be anybody else’s,” she said.
Asked if the Nation of Islam’s presence will stem the violence, Thomas said, “I think what it does is to support the community and give them health and courage to get out there. They will be back. The Nation of Islam didn’t just do that one march. They’re coming back to have a presence in the community.”
When contacted, Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger said he was pleased with Farrakhan’s taking more than 300 Fruit of Islam (Nation of Islam men) out into the street to call for peace. ““I think it’s great. It excites me. It encourages me. I think that the Nation can be the turning factor in the community” with their involvement.
“I think that this is exactly what we need. Saint Sabina has been doing it, the Nation’s doing it; churches and mosques go back out into the street. I think that is the missing ingredient that will stop the violence. I just can’t express enough my gratitude to the minister for making this decisions to that the Nation of Islam out into the street.
“We are in a very serious time and needs the serious commitment that the Nation brings to help us,” said Pfleger.
Minister Farrakhan is asking the youth in the community to honor the 1995 Million Man March pledge:
The Million Man March Pledge
(Text of the pledge that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan led over two million Black men in taking at the historic Million Man March in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1995.)
I PLEDGE that from this day forward I will strive to love my brother as I love myself. I, from this day forward, will strive to improve myself spiritually, morally, mentally, socially, politically and economically for the benefit of myself, my family and my people.
I PLEDGE that I will strive to build businesses, build houses, build hospitals, build factories and enter into international trade for the good of myself, my family and my people.
I PLEDGE that from this day forward I will never raise my hand with a knife or a gun to beat, cut, or shoot any member of my family or any human being except in self-defense.
I PLEDGE from this day forward I will never abuse my wife by striking her, disrespecting her, for she is the mother of my children and the producer of my future.
I PLEDGE that from this day forward I will never engage in the abuse of children, little boys or little girls for sexual gratification. For I will let them grow in peace to be strong men and women for the future of our people.
I WILL NEVER again use the ‘B word' to describe any female. But particularly my own Black sister.
I PLEDGE from this day forward that I will not poison my body with drugs or that which is destructive to my health and my well-being.
I PLEDGE from this day forward I will support Black newspapers, Black radio, Black television. I will support Black artists who clean up their acts to show respect for themselves and respect for their people and respect for the ears of the human family.
I will do all of this so help me God.