October 6th 1995
What About The Million Man March?
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave this response to the following question at a Public Address in Decatur, HI., on Sept. 10,1995.)
IWDM: My position, number one, is that this is not in the way or the practice of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. He was very, very strongly against marches on Washington or marches to the White House or marches on the government. He was strongly against it. He condemned the Civil Rights Movement very strongly for that. He said that instead of begging them and organizing to go demonstrate before them to beg for something, that we should organize to do something for ourselves.
Now, I think we need a million men marching on the blight, the neglect, property neglect, personal neglect, family neglect in our own African American communities; we need a million man march on our own neglect, that we are neglecting ourselves, neglecting our families and neglecting our neighborhoods. That we are not putting businesses in our own neighborhoods, just doing nothing and remaining idle as businessmen and business people and letting every other race put businesses there to serve and supply us with our needs, to march on that I am ready. I will join him right now.
If he wants to have a million man march or a one thousand man march or a one hundred man march against that kind of thing in our neighborhoods, something to shock us into more responsibility for our own life and our own circumstances and our own future, if he wants a march like that, then I am ready to join his march.
But if he wants a march just to show President Bill Clinton that he can get one million young Blacks together, then I'm not going to join that. If he wants to demonstrate that we don't have jobs -which he hasn't made that clear — if he wants to demonstrate to the White House and to the country that 'I have a million men here who won't accept that we don't have employment and we demand one million jobs, I won't join him. Why? If we can get one million men to listen to us, then we can create a million jobs. All we need is a million men and we will create a million jobs.
If those million men, instead of marching on Washington, would just agree to buy from us, we will find talent enough in qualified businessmen
- and if they support them and be hired by them, oh man we will have a Black economy, an African American economy that is out of sight in a matter of days with a million men supporting it.
Thank you very much. Again, peace be on you. As-Salaam-Alaikum.