A case for
reparations: Add It Up!
By the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
you owe us something. We donít want you to dole
it out in welfare checks. If you give us what
you owe us, weíll take it from there. But will
America do that? We donít know.
did detain thousands of Japanese-Americans in
concentration camps (during World War II) and
confiscated their property. Now Congress says
America treated the Japanese-Americans wrongly
and have okayed several billions of dollars to
be paid to the Japanese in reparations.
recognize the evil that they did to the Jews,
and right now they are paying reparations to
Israel. East Germany wanted to unite with West
Germany and in order to do so, they repented and
stated their intentions to pay Israel
"We ask the Jews
of the world to forgive us," the East German
parliament said in a formal statement. "We ask
the people of Israel to forgive us for the
hypocrisy and hostility of official East German
policy toward Israel, and for the persecution
and the degradation of Jewish citizens, also
after 1945, in our country.
"We declare our
willingness to contribute as much as possible to
the healing of mental and physical sufferings of
survivors and to provide just compensation for
wonderful thing done by the East Germans. Now
letís rewrite this a little bit and letís put it
in the hands of America. Wouldnít it be
wonderful if America said, "We ask the Blacks of
the world to forgive us? We ask the Black people
of America to forgive us for our hypocrisy and
the hostility of official United States policy
toward Black people, and for the persecution and
degradation of Black people, even after 1863
when we called them citizens and said they were
"And we (the
government of America) declare our willingness
to contribute as much as possible to the healing
of mental and physical suffering of any
survivors and to provide just compensation for
Now, letís add up
what they owe us. Do you have your computers?
Letís start in Africa. According to the late,
great scholar W.E.B. DuBois, a conservative
estimate of Black lives lost in the Middle
Passage was from 50 to 100 million Black lives.
We donít need to minimize the Jewish Holocaust.
Six million lives is a lot of lives, but are you
telling me that six million White lives are more
valuable than 100 million Black lives? You canít
be saying that. For the Bible says "a life for a
Well, if 100
million of us lost our lives in the Middle
Passage, add it up. What is one Black life
worth? Three hundred years working from "canít
see morning to canít see night," for no pay.
Three hundred years working millions of slaves
for nothing. Add it up! Add it up! Add it up!
The killing of
our fathers and mothers after mating them like
animals, then taking the children and naming us
after the slave master, stripping us of our
language, our God, our religion, our minds. Add
it up! Add it up. Think about it. The
destruction of our families.
Black folk fought
in the Revolutionary War that made America free
from England, yet, weíre not free. Add it up. We
fought in the War of 1812. Add it up. We fought
in the Civil Waró400,000 Blacks on the side of
the North and the South, some fighting to
preserve the old South, others fighting to
preserve the Union. After the Union was
preserved, we had no Union, but thousands of
Black lives were lost in that war. Add it up!
You brought us
into religion, not to make us closer to Jesus,
but to turn us inside out in Jesusí name. You
know Jesus was no White man. Look at him. The
Bible says he had hair like lambís wool, and
feet like brass burnt in an oven. But you made
us White-minded and destroyed our love for
ourselves. Add it up!
We fought in the
Spanish-American War. We helped America steal
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California from
the Mexicans. Add it up. World War I came. You
got in trouble. Black soldiers went, you got a
victory over Germany. We got nothing but more
hell. Add it up. World War II came along. Hitler
got started. We joined the Army. You say, "Well,
if you joined, you joined on your own." No, no,
baby ... when you joined the Army and signed
your name "Willis Jackson," "Henry Morgan,"
"Larry Higginbotham," you signed the wrong name.
You were out of your mindódidnít know who you
were. Somebody took advantage of you and sent
you to fight for your enemy. Add it up!
We left our
fathers on Normandy Beach, in Palermo, in Rome,
in Naples, in Sicily. We left our bodies on the
streets of Paris, in Belgium. Add it up. We
joined the war. They used us in Hawaii, in
Bataan, in Corregidor, in the Solomon Islands,
in Iwo Jima. We lost our lives fighting for
America. And after the war was over, America
rebuilt Germany. Now the West German economy is
the strongest in all of Europe. We rebuilt
Japan. Now the Japanese are world leaders, but
Black people who helped you win the war, they
are homeless in Atlanta, homeless in Chicago,
homeless in Detroit, homeless in Boston, in the
streets looking for a job, looking for a
handout. We helped you to win, but you offered
us nothing. I say, add it up. Add it up. Add it
leaders to help us. Marcus Garvey came and
talked to us, but here in Georgia you trumped up
charges against him and you brought him into
court and you lied on him and you sent him to
prison unjustly. Then you deported him and broke
his movement. Only later did we learn that
Garvey was a good man, he had a good movement,
he had a good program, but you destroyed it all.
Add it up. Add it up. Add it up.
In the 1960s,
when Black folk began to move, we had CORE,
SNCC, the NAACP, the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, the Black Panthers, the
Nation of Islam. All of these brothers and
sisters were fighting for the liberation of
Black people, but there in Washington, D.C., the
government of America started plotting against
our leaders, and we lost Whitney Young off the
coast of Africa under suspicious circumstances.
We lost Medgar Evers. They broke up CORE. They
broke up SNCC. They broke up the organization
called US (under Ron Karenga). They jailed the
leaders of the Republic of New Africa. They
murdered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They
weakened the NAACP and the Urban League.
Everything that fought for justice for us, they
tore it up and tore it down. I say, add it up.
America owes the Black man. Add it up.
What is the life
of Martin Luther King worth? What is the life of
Malcolm X worth? What is the life of our leaders
worth? What is the life of Louis Farrakhan
worth? You want me dead, but I say you donít
want that. You donít really want that. If you
know what I know, you donít want that. No, you
donít want that.
The way God looks
at this thing, the present generation of Whites,
they didnít do this to us. The present
generation of Whites are innocent of what their
grandfathers did, but they are in a privileged
position because of what their fathers did; and
weíre in a hell of a condition because of what
their fathers did. So if the present generation
of Whites wants to escape what is justly due,
then theyíve got to do the right thing. Theyíve
got to do justice by the Black man.
What is the right
thing? You (this generation of Whites) have got
to apologize for what you did. Youíve got to
repent for what you did. Youíve got to say,
"weíve been wrong. Now, we know we donít want
you,we donít like you, but weíll give you
Now what does
justice look like? If you add it up … if you add
it up White folks, you are going to have to give
us the whole country. Add it up, White man. The
whole thing belongs to the oppressed, if you add
it up. Weíre not asking for the whole thing, but
we do deserve the whole thing. Just give us some
of it and let us go, to build a nation for
ourselves. Since you donít want us, donít keep
us here and kill us. Let us go and let us build
a new reality in the name of God. Let us build
"And what if we
donít do that?" Itís your thing; do what you
wanna do. You donít have to give us anything,
but God said Heís the Power today, and Heíll
take the Kingdom from whom He pleases, and He
will give it to whom He pleases. When I ask for
reparations, Iím asking you to save your life.
But if you donít want to save your life, then
leave it to God. Heíll settle it.
Let me tell you
how Heíll settle it: An eye for an eye, a tooth
for a tooth and a life for a life. Add it up.
Add it up. Add it up.
million in the Middle Passage and you have 150
million White people in America today. Add it
up. If itís a life for a life, then God is
justified in killing everything that refuses to
submit, as He killed Pharaoh and his people, as
He destroyed Babylon, and Sodom and Gomorrah.
And He warned you that it was water the first
time, but it will be fire next time. Youíd
better add it up.