Farrakhan's Take on the Breaching of the New Orleans Levees

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," October 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: Well, it's been 10 years since Louis Farrakhan organized the Million Man March (search), which urged black men to work to improve their families and their communities. This weekend he is marking the anniversary with another event, the Millions More Movement. Joining me to talk about it is Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan. Minister, thanks for coming in.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISLAM: Thank you for having me.

ASMAN: How did you first conceive of the Million Man March?

FARRAKHAN: When I saw the movie "Colors," "Boyz in the Hood," "Menace to Society," and read Newsweek and Time magazine, depicting young black men, particularly in California, with bandanas and guns in their hand, these images were being flashed around the world. It said that young black men were savage and bestial. I wanted to do something to change that image. So I went around the country preaching to stop the killing, and when I was at the Javits Center in New York City, 20,000 persons were there. I asked the black men in the audience if they would return to if I came to New York to speak specifically to them. And at the 369th Armory, on 142 Street and Fifth Avenue, 14,000 black men showed up. And that's when it came out of my mouth that I wanted to bring a million men to Washington, D.C., not so much to demand something of the government, but to demand something of ourselves, that we would be better men, better husbands, better fathers, to our wives and children.

ASMAN: Right. Well, let me just ask you, I was reading a transcript of a speech you gave at the National Press Club, where you say the idea for this came about from a vision, in which you said the desire of President Reagan concerning the planning of a war involving young black men here on the soil of America, this is what inspired me to tour the country and this is what eventually led to the Million Man March on October 16, 1995. What was that vision all about?

FARRAKHAN: Well, I was in a tiny village in Mexico on the 17th of September, 1985. And I had a vision-like experience climbing a mountain there, on the top of which is a temple to the Mexo-American Christ figure, Ketso Quato. And one of these little UFOs came over that mountain and I was signaled from a group of persons to come. And I was beamed up into that small vehicle and carried to a larger vehicle, where I heard the voice of my leader and teacher, the Honorable Elijah Mohamed (search), saying these words to me, in early September, the president met with his joint chiefs of staff to plan a war. He didn't tell me who the war was against or what not. But early in the next year, it came to me while I was in Ghana that this war was against Libya and Libya's leader Muammar Qaddafi. So I went there and warned him of what was about to take place. And it did take place. And the following year, sir, I was sitting on an airplane, I happened to pick up the The New York Times magazine section, and it said America planned war against Libya, and down in the writing it said ...

ASMAN: So you think the vision came true?

FARRAKHAN: Oh, yeah, it definitely did come true.

ASMAN: But let me just ask if I could, you mentioned the Honorable Elijah Mohammed, who founded the Nation of Islam. He also claimed that white men were created by an evil scientist many centuries ago. Do you agree with that?

FARRAKHAN: Well, I tell you, white people have done a lot of good, but they have also done a lot of evil. And all of us have done good and evil, so I would like to discuss the birth of the white race, as you know, anthropologists say all life began in Africa. The origin of man began in Africa, so the red, the brown, the yellow and the white are really children of the original ...

ASMAN: But 6,000 years ago, an evil scientist named Yacob, a black scientist, created the white man, is that what you believe?

FARRAKHAN: I believe, sir, that all of us come from the originator of the heavens and the earth, that white people are the newest people on our planet. And have been created by God to rule for a certain period of time. And you have ruled and you have done great things and awful things in the time of your rule, but a new world is coming in and white supremacy and black inferiority will have no place in that new world. We have to relate as human beings.

ASMAN: One of the parts of the old world that you suggest, what happened in 1927, that levees were purposefully blown up to decimate the black population in New Orleans. You said the same thing might have happened again. We just had on one of the engineers who, in fact, the man who you quoted, who says that, in fact — John Barry — who says nothing like that, in fact, happened. First of all, in 1927, the levees weren't destroyed in black populations, they were in white populations, so you got the 1927 story wrong, but also there is no sign of levees having been blown up during Katrina.

FARRAKHAN: Mr. Barry said that those levees were purposefully blown up.

ASMAN: Yes, but we just had John Barry on.

FARRAKHAN: Wait just a minute. Just a minute, he said it was not race, it was class.

ASMAN: Right.

FARRAKHAN: Now, here we are in 2005. Many, many people in the Ninth Ward, black and white, believe that what happened in 1927 happened again, but this time, race and class were used. Now, I don't know whether it did or did not happen, but when people believe something like that, it is the duty of those who can search out a rumor and prove it's truth or its falsehood should do that to either dispel the rumor or prove it's truth. So those who are culpable may be brought to justice.

ASMAN: Reverend Farrakhan, we have so many rumor mills at work in the world, partly because of the Internet, but we're always getting wild rumors. Why dignify a crazy hate-filled rumor like this with your word and with your suggestion that it might be true, when all of the evidence says nothing like that ever happened?

FARRAKHAN: No. All of the evidence is not in, sir, unless an investigation is carried out to prove that is only a rumor.

And whether it is or is not, look at the talk that's going on today that they don't even feel that the Ninth Ward should be rebuilt, that it should be made into a wetland. What will happen to the tens of thousands of persons who lived there and won't be able to come back and are not being called back to clean their neighborhood up and rebuild, as they were asked to rebuild in 1927?

ASMAN: All right. Well, John Barry, again, the man who wrote the book you quote says it did not happen, absolutely. You can bank on it, so please don't spread these rumors anymore.

FARRAKHAN: He did not say that, sir.

ASMAN: We just had him on. We just had him on.

FARRAKHAN: Yes. But you should read his book. I did.

ASMAN: We just had him on and we asked him point blank.

FARRAKHAN: He does say it.

ASMAN: Minister Farrakhan, look, we wish you the best of luck with what you're doing with the Million Man March and we do appreciate you coming on FOX today.

FARRAKHAN: Thank you for having me.

ASMAN: Appreciate it.

Click in the video box at the top of the page to watch John Barry's interview.

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