Louis Farrakhan (Paul Beaty/AP Photo)

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan wants White America to “repent.” To be precise, he said at the Watergate Hotel on Nov. 16, he wants white folks to “repent for all of the evils that America has done to us, to the peoples of the world.”

It was the Muslim Minister’s first major message to President Donald J. Trump.

“Mr. President, you won’t make America great again, not in our time,” Farrakhan said. “She became great killing Native Americans. She became great enslaving us, bringing us from Africa into America to work the cotton fields. You’re not going to get that opportunity back anymore.”

Now, all that may very well be true, but the standard playbook for winning influence with The Donald is to lavish praise and pageantry on him — in the words of Al Johnson, an old friend in Chicago, you have to “grease him down” in order to get the best results.

The Minister would have none of that: “America needs to reflect on her sins! And who is bold enough, strong enough to say to America: ‘You have been wrong for a long, long time and it is time now for you to actually see yourself as God sees you!’

“This is a final warning to the government and the people of the United States of America,” he said. “It’s written in the Bible, and I say this to our president: It is written that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess.”

The Trump presidency is indeed part of the Divine Order, he continued.

“God has him here!” the Nation of Islam leader said, referring to Trump. “What did you say, Farrakhan? Do you think God is not interested in who is president of the United States of America?! Especially when it’s the time of evil?”

There is a very compelling argument to be made that the greatness of the United States of America was built in wickedness: by the forced labor of millions of enslaved Africans, and that even the rich land itself was stolen from the indigenous First Nations people, who were slaughtered, their survivors then penned up on reservations.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever,” said Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and author of the Declaration of Independence.

As far as U.S. presidents go, Trump doesn’t fit the image of past leaders. He’s an anomaly. You can’t make him what you desire him to be so you can say, “That’s my president.” He wasn’t made that way. He most certainly was not. Trump is literally, a reflection of the American people.

In my view it is highly unlikely that White America — neither following Trump’s lead, nor in rebellion against him — will voluntarily do justice by Black People in America. For example, today there are hospitals throughout this country where desperately sick white patients recently have refused medical treatment from anyone but a white physician. In the rural South, poor, elderly whites starve to death every single winter when they refuse to accept relief aid, coming from a black person.

“I am here from my teacher, not out of hate but out of hope that maybe what I say to this 45th president of the United States of America might have an effect to get him off the course that he is on,” Farrakhan said, referring to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who led the Nation of Islam until 1975.

“America is a great nation but America needs to reflect on her sins,” Farrakhan said. But Americans, led by Trump seem to want to wallow in self-deception, tempered with contempt for others, not to mention an overriding sense of greed and entitlement.

Can America repent for her sins? I suppose anything is possible.

Or will the United States have to be brought to its knees by plagues and chastisements of biblical proportions in order to convince these recalcitrant people that they owe anything beside the back of their hand, to black people, to any of the world’s dispossessed whom they robbed in order to get their wealth?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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