Support Your Freedom to Speak:
The Proper Use of Language, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Published 4 years ago
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks at the Phyillis Wheatley YMCA in Washington, DC, on November 7, 1981.

Partial Transcript (from 2:45):

...[T]he Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to me one day: "You know brother, to speak English correctly you must have verb and subject agreement." And we certainly can agree with that, right?

If the subject is in the present, the verb or the action word must be in the present tense. If the subject is dealing with the past, then the verb or action would tell us that it's the past tense. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said Black people do not communicate well. We are suffering loss today because of communication problems.

We have communication problems in the home. We’re not communicating well with our mates. We’re not communicating well as a community. We're not communicating well as a people. We're certainly not communicating our feelings or aspirations to the people who make public policy. Is that true? (Audience responds: "Yes sir.")

So the lack of communication is increasing the tension. And the increase of the tension is increasing the possibility and probability of racial conflict. Are we correct? (Audience responds: "Yes sir.")

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that if we are in the present—1981—and our actions can be determined to belong to the past, then we are not speaking correctly, therefore we will not be successful.

We are in the present, 1981, but our actions belong to the slave past. Our actions depict a slave mentality, though we say we are free. Well, if we are free in the present but our actions are a slave action that belongs to the past then we are in verb and subject disagreement. And we are not speaking grammatically correct therefore our tense is off, our action is off. Therefore the action being behind the subject in time— it increases the lack of coordination between the subject and time. And it increases tension.

So now because we are not in the right tense, we have increased tension. And since we have increased the tension because our actions belong to the past, then this tension sets up stress. And this high stress increases hyper-tension which leads to high blood pressure and stroke—high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Now dear brothers and sisters, you are being continually stroked. And every stroke that you get is such a shock to the system that it leaves something paralyzed—unable to use the hands.

'I don’t understand what went on a few weeks ago.' We seem to get a stroke. When Reagan moved in [to the presidency]—stroke. Yes, a shock after you did all you could to get Carter in. And the man that you didn’t vote for became your president; that was a shock; that was a stroke. And it paralyzed some of us. We became paralyzed with fear. We became paralyzed with mass hysteria. This is true.

Black folk today, when Reagan followed a course he has to follow [and] cut back. Y'all didn’t vote for him. He’s the president of all the people, but since you're not considered people, [he] cut back on anything that benefits you in order to benefit the country.

This again—another stroke, increasing what, tension, increasing what, stress. Stress on who? The Black community. Why? Because you don’t speak well. Why? Because grammatically you're not proper. Grammatically your language is off because you’re trying to communicate in the present with an action that is out of date.

It is out of date that Black people should depend on white people for all of our necessities of life. It's just out of date.

it is out of date for you to look to them to provide you with jobs after they’ve provided you with education that should have permitted you to provide these things for yourself. It is out of date. It is a slave mind.

Listen to me good: It is a slave mind that is going to look to Reagan, look to the government to give you education, to give you jobs, to build homes for you. To do things for you that you and I have neglected to do for ourselves. Because we claim to be a man, but our actions are that of a child. So when you have a grown man that acts like a child he’s ether a moron or a imbecile or a functional illiterate. He’s in that category.

I have a job today to speak to 30 million morons. [You say,] "Oh my God, I didn’t come here to this dinner to be insulted." But you are a grown man and a grown women, but you function on the level of a child. You have never grown up psychologically, you have never grown up emotionally and you're still hanging back in the childhood days of irresponsibility looking for mom and dad—I mean white mom and white dad, Uncle Sam—to do for you what you are big enough and Black enough to do for yourself.

Out of time.
racismblacksnation of islamfarrakhangrammarelijah muhammaddo for self

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