9 quotes from Nation of Islam’s Farrakhan speech that won’t offend white people

Louis FarrakhanNation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan does not back away from controversy. The minister’s fiery speeches often offend Jews, gays and lesbians and white people.

But Farrakhan’s other messages often are as powerful, eloquent and compassionate as anyone’s today. Here are a few examples from today’s speech at Detroit’s city hall today:

“Don’t rule in stupidity, rule in corruption, rule in wickedness, rule in weakness, rule in vanity, rule in righteousness … Then the city will live again.”

“The elderly will be able to come out of their houses and walk their streets. The young will be able to go to school and get a good education. Gang warfare can stop if we put our hands to work. That’s a vision. It can be done.”

“A thief cannot be trusted and those of you who like money, and you would rob yourself and the future of your people for a few dollars should be ashamed of yourself.”

“I charge the leadership with not being enemies of division, following ego and self-gratification – thinkin’ there’s something bigger in the world than yourself. And those who love graft and corruption, who would rob from the treasury to enrich yourself, you can’t take it with you. A heart attack in your office and the undertaker will put you 6 feet in the ground. You can’t take the mansion that you were stealin’ for to get. You can’t take the riches that you lied and stole for. All you get is a little piece of land! And Solomon said all of this is vanity.”

“But we come back at a time of intense darkness. We come back at a time when there’s great despair among the inhabitants of the city of Detroit. We come back at a time when the footprints of black people and white people in Detroit is shrinking.”

“Filth and degeneration becomes a way of life for you. Aren’t those enough winds to make the bones realize that we can do better than this?”

“Take the young people off the street and make them apprentices. Buy the buildings. Fix up the buildings.”

“You got to have a fighting spirit for life. You can’t just lay down and die.”

“We gotta come home and help this city. We gotta come home. We can help the police force because once these young black men are trained in the building arts and science, they become partners, not gang-bangers where you’re afraid to walk your streets.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.