Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam (NOI), is presently on a Caribbean tour. On his first visit to Grenada, he described it as “a very beautiful island.” He also gave a public lecture at the Grenada Trade Centre in St George’s, saying that he wants Grenada and other Caribbean countries to pay greater attention to youth, and especially improved education for young people.
In his lecture, he attributed world-wide street protests to restlessness among youth in many countries, for example, including Greece, Spain and Egypt, saying that “Young people are revolting.” Farrakhan called for the establishment of a “new education system.” However, one of his concerns is the relationship between youth and older citizens. “Disconnect is going on right here in Grenada” between the two groups,” Farrakhan said. “You have to build an education system that teaches your children the value of who they are,” he advised. “The black contribution to civilization must be taught in schools.”
[. . .] Farrakhan condemned the mistreatment and abuse of women; championed the need for greater black economic empowerment; and appealed for deeper Caribbean integration. The former colonized countries of the Caribbean and Africa, which are now independent nations, have flags and anthems, which are “symbols without substance,” Farrakhan charged.
Farrakhan also preached the importance of forgiveness, with special reference to the Grenada events of 1983 that resulted in death of former Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and other Grenadians. [. . .] But arriving in Grenada to an airport named after Maurice Bishop is an indication that “a healing is beginning to take place,” said Farrakhan.
He said the NOI also is in a healing process over the 1965 assassination of its former member, Malcolm X. Malcolm’s assassins, Farrakhan said, were black but the hands behind the killing were white. He admitted to a fallout with Malcolm X when disagreement arose with the late NOI founder, Elijah Muhammad. But Farrakhan said Malcolm X, whose mother was Grenadian Louise Norton Little, was his mentor and teacher. “Malcolm X inspired me greatly,” said Farrakhan, who was born 1933 in the United States to Caribbean parents.
While in Grenada, Farrakhan met Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean; Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his deputy Nazim Burke; and opposition leader Dr Keith Mitchell. He also visited a secondary school and several agricultural projects, including the Nutmeg Receiving Station at Gouyave, St John. In the case of Grenada, he urged more investment in nutmeg and other agricultural products.
Giving his opinion about the economy, he also said, “Economic power is not in your hands,” cautioning that indebtedness to the “blood suckers” at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund is “another form of slavery.”
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