10 Things You Need To Know About The Nation Of Islam’s Position On Reparations

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Written by Ann Brown

Love it or hate it, there is no denying the Nation of Islam at its core is about the empowerment of and economic independence for Black people. As such, reparations for America’s slave descendants has long been on its agenda. 

Here are the 10 things you should know about the Nation of Isla’s stance on reparations

Malcolm and Muhammad

Back in the 1960s, Malcolm X put forth Elijah Muhammad and the Nation’s of Islam’s call for reparations.

Since the U.S. didn’t want to let Black take full part in the “American Dream” and the government didn’t want to go back to move back to the Motherland, the Nation of Islam said there was another other solution.

“Give us part of this country and let us live in that part…[Muhammad] says that in this section that will be set aside for Black people, that the government should give us everything we need to start our own civilization. They should give us everything we need to exist for the next 25 years,” explained Malcolm X.

Revolution Will Be Televised

In 2004, the Nation of Islam made a televised case for slave reparations. During a speech on reparations broadcast worldwide from Chicago, Minister Louis Farrakhan recounted the horrors of slavery. The event was held at Norfolk State University’s L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center.

Farrakhan pointed out the economic damage that has happened to Black people due to slavery and its after-effects is just one of the reasons reparations is due to Blacks in America. “The riches from the crops those Africans raised – cotton, sugar, tobacco, indigo — sparked capitalism and the industrial revolution, and funded banks that still control much of the world’s finances. That slave trade offered many white people the wealth and influence they enjoy today in politics and education, Farrakhan said,” the North Fork Piolet reported.

Beyond America

The Nation of Islam feels that not only does America owe Blacks reparations but Europe also does.

During his speech, Farrakhan insisted that White people today must talk about reparations even though the crimes against Black people were done generations ago.”Are you, the present generation of whites any better than your fathers?” he asked. “You didn’t do it, but the responsibility to correct it is on your shoulders.”

Reparations Possible

According to The Nation of Islam, reparations have been given to other groups so it can work for Black Americans. Congress declared the encampment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was wrong and approved several billions of dollars to be paid to the Japanese in the form of reparations.

“The Germans 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 reparations,” Final Call reported.

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How Much?

One of the major questions about reparations is how much is due to African Americans. “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…Well, if a hundred million of us lost our lives in the Middle Passage, add it up. What is one Black life worth? Three hundred years working from “can’t see morning to can’t see night,” for no pay. Three hundred years working millions of slaves for nothing. Add it up! Add it up! Add it up!” Farrakhan wrote in the Final Call. He went on to list the various things Black have done to help America succeed, including fighting in war.

Not Asking, Demanding

According to Farrakhan, the push for reparations isn’t in the form of a request. It is a demand.

“We’re not asking white people [for reparations],” said Farrakhan said at the 2008 Millions for Reparations Mass Rally in Washington, DC. “We are demanding what is justly ours.”

The 40 Acres

The Nation of Islam believes there should be land given to Blacks in America. “As a nation within a nation, we need land as a basis of economic and political independence,” Farrakhan said at the 2008 DC rally. “We cannot settle for some little jive token — we need millions of acres of land that black people can build and use for ourselves.”

He added that his “just demand” for creating a Black nation on American soil would reward Blacks for their service in the United States military. 

Reparations Unity

Earlier this year, Farrakhan endorsed National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America’s 2019 Convention theme “400 Years of Terror: A Debt Still Owed.” Farrakhan also agreed with N’COBRA’s position that  Reparations Means Full Repair by stating that “our reparations must be complete and total,” according to the N’COBRA website.

No More Taxes

According to the Nation of Islam’s “What Muslims Want,” Blacks should be subject to taxation. “We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land,” states the NOI website.

Separate But Equal

The Nation of Isalm wants Blacks to have access to the same education that whites have. According to the NOI website, “We want equal education – but separate schools up to 16 for boys and 18 for girls on the condition that the girls be sent to women’s colleges and universities. We want all Black children educated, taught and trained by their own teachers…The United States government should provide, free, all necessary text books and equipment, schools and college buildings.”