NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has again back peddled from comments he made in a Miami church in July, in which he said he wanted to raise 10,000 volunteers to "stalk" and "kill" those who kill black people.
He also blasted Israel for retaliating disproportionately against Palestinians and said Israel's land claims are a "story" Jews have told to the world.
Speaking at a "Justice or Else" rally in Memphis, Tenn., Farrakhan said reports that he called for whites to be killed come from "a lying devil." He said – 54 minutes into a two-and-a-half hour address – Aug. 21:
"I said in Miami, 'If the federal government refuses to intercede on our behalf when we are slain, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. I never said, 'Kill all white people.' Those are not my words. Those are the words of the mischief maker. So the holy Quran answers that, 'And mix not up truth with falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know.' If you're going to quote me, then quote me. But when you add your evil mischief making to my words to make white people think that I'm calling on black people to kill white people to start a race war, then you're nothing but a lying devil."
"They're saying these things to frighten white people and silly black people. They don't want you and I to meet in Washington to demand justice," Farrakhan said.
In addition to laying responsibility for his comments at the feet of journalists, Farrakhan said "white America" is responsible for radicalizing the black population.
"The more injustice imbalances the mind, the persons who are aggrieved become silly or savage. They lose the knowledge of self and they begin to live the life of a beast," Farrakhan said. He pointed to the Palestinians as evidence of his claim about the human condition and also asked why blacks could not retaliate while Jews in Israel retaliate every time rockets are fired into their country – which he regarded as illegitimate in the first place.
"Palestinians are human beings who are suffering apartheid in their own country. They have taken it for so long, it is easy for them now to strap a bomb on themselves and go into a restaurant and kill people who don't even know why they are dying. They just want to redistribute the pain," Farrakhan said.
He accused the Israelis of practicing the law of retaliation to the extreme, or "exceeding the limits" of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life."
At one hour, 20 minutes in the video of the Memphis address, Farrakhan claims:
"My Palestinian brothers shot some rockets into Israel. Rockets. They must have gotten them at Sears or Walmart. I don't know where they got them. [crowd laughs] But wait. The rockets killed a few people and got a few thousand dollars of damage done by hundreds of rockets that evidently didn't know where the hell they were going. But Israel responded. She always retaliates."
"It's never a life for a life, because if a Jew is killed, then they want a hundred Palestinians because they have devalued the life of a Palestinian. When God said 'a life for life,' he's putting all life on an equal status, but they kill thousands of men women and children. They bomb schools, and mosques and hospitals. And they make no apology. And guess what. Our president said, our secretary of state said, our congress said -- they have the right to defend themselves."
Farrakhan said the United Nations wanted to indict Israel for crimes against humanity for its "lopsided slaughter," but they have never been indicted.
"Of course, they've been in Palestine since 1948, and before that they came by the one and the two and the three. It's their pattern. From Europe. And then war comes and they take the land from the Palestinians and they give it a divine backing, 'We are the children of Israel, we are the people of God.' And they sell you the story that if you are kind to the children of Israel God will be kind to you."
"My dear brothers and sisters, 60 years America has been supporting Israel. Congress, you send billions of dollars each and every year, but you have not been just to us," Farrakhan said.
Farrakhan, who claimed white Americans were privileged because of the "foundation" laid by black slaves in America, concluded his address by claiming Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated just before he was going to go to Washington, D.C., to demand $10 billion and land that had been "promised" to black people. It is unclear at this point if Farrakhan will ask for the same. He said in the address that blacks in America would one day have their own flag in their own land.
Farrakhan is regarded by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "black separatist" and a purveyor of "anti-white" theology.
Several news agencies, including Christian Examiner, reported the comments Farrakhan made in Miami in July. Christian Examiner also drew the conclusion that the "them" to whom Farrakhan referred were white Americans in the government and on police forces, based on his comments that white people run the federal government and white police are the oppressors of the black community.
In past addresses, Farrakhan has said "white devils" cannot receive salvation and "it is time for the white man's mind to be put to eternal rest."
Farrakhan's call for 10,000 volunteers to kill was later verified by the Internet site Snopes.com. And in an online report on the address at Farrakhan's website, Final Call, he also was quoted as saying in Miami that "retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling."
"And the police, when they kill us, they put the lie out first and then back up the lie with the institutions of government of White Supremacy. And so even though we march and even though we fight against this injustice, it continues unabated."
Farrakhan also said whites, "like serpents," are deceptive.
"They would like to charge us with radicalizing our people by telling the truth, but every time they kill a black man or beat up a black woman or unjustly stop us for traffic violations and then kill us, we are being radicalized. They are the ones who are radicalizing us. All we are doing is telling the truth of what they are doing," Farrakhan said in Miami, according to his own website.
Christian Examiner did not make the claim that Farrakhan called for the death of all whites.