EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story contains a racial slur.
CHICAGO (Christian Examiner) – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has a word of advice for his followers – they can love white people, but only if they really want to.
"You say, 'Shouldn't we love white people?' You can if you want to," Farrakhan said in a video posted his Facebook page Dec. 16. "But I would rather you turn your love toward yourself. We have loved white people to death – to our death."
"Martin Luther King thought that if we accepted their evil and didn't respond, they would change. Fifty years later, Laquan [McDonald] is dead. Sandra Bland is dead. Trayvon Martin is dead. How many more are dead from a killer?"
Farrakhan also reminded his small audience that nine black parishioners were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in June.
"Nine of our brothers and sisters are dead, and a white boy just went in – you couldn't do that ... go and pray with a mind, 'I'm gonna kill that preacher and everybody in this Bible class.' He did it and walked out and guess what? His brothers, the police, when they arrested him they took him to Wendy's or Burger King. Oh, poor fellow, he must be ... less energy killing all them nig----. Give that boy a burger," Farrakhan said.
Nine of our brothers and sisters are dead, and a white boy just went in – you couldn't do that ... go and pray with a mind, 'I'm gonna kill that preacher and everybody in this Bible class.' He did it and walked out and guess what? His brothers, the police, when they arrested him they took him to Wendy's or Burger King. Oh, poor fellow, he must be ... less energy killing all them nig----. Give that boy a burger.
The Nation of Islam leader, identified as an anti-Semitic hate preacher and black separatist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, then voiced an oft-repeated but categorically false story about a defense fund created for Dylann Storm Roof, the teenager charged with the murders of the church members in Charleston.
"They raised in less than two weeks $4 million to hire the best defense attorney they could find, to free him when he had killed nine human beings. You got to see these people for what they are. And don't close your eyes," Farrakhan said.
Farrakhan, who claimed he was speaking "scholastically" and "intellectually," then told his audience that Jesus had asked a blind man how he saw men.
"He said, "We see them as trees.' Jesus took some spittle, rubbed it on his eyes, [and] said, 'How do you see men now?' 'We see them as they are.' You have looked at white folk as if they are as invincible as a tree, and now I'm speaking scholastically, intellectually. You feel that when you engage them, 'Oh, boy, I've got to really study hard.'"
But Farrakhan said he had visited Harvard and shamed white people with the message given to him by his messiah, Elijah Muhammad. He said he didn't understand how whites could have ruled over blacks for hundreds of years.
Farrakhan was, of course, misquoting both Jesus and the man born blind in Mark 8:24-25. In the passage, Jesus encounters a man born blind and heals him in a two-stage miracle. Scholars generally agree that the miracle, in which the man is allowed to see through blurry eyes first, is an indictment on the Pharisees who, though seeing, were spiritually blind. Jesus then healed the man's eyes, giving him perfect vision.
Farrakhan is in the midst of a campaign to "redistribute the pain" felt by blacks by encouraging the black community to abandon Christmas shopping. The campaign is called "Up with Jesus, Down with Santa."