FACT CHECK:  Did Louis Farrakhan say that “if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us”?

Claim:   Louis Farrakhan said that “if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us.”

   TRUE

Example:     [Collected via e-mail, August 2015]

I received the following text in an email. It seemed odd that it has not been reported in mainstream news. Google searches showed that the story has been retold many times, but only by right-wing opinion sites. Again, seems odd that it only seems to be reverberating in an echo chamber. Is this true? Here is the quote I saw:

“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. Let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.” — Louis Farrakhan speech at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Miami on July 30, 2015

Origins:   In August 2015, a number of political blogs and web sites reproduced the statement cited above and attributed it to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “extremist” and “black separatist”:

Louis Farrakhan heads the Nation of Islam, a group he has led since 1977 and that is based on a somewhat bizarre and fundamentally anti-white theology. Farrakhan is an anti-Semite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power. Farrakhan blames Jews for the slave trade, plantation slavery, Jim Crow, sharecropping and general black oppression. Farrakhan’s tone grew more belligerent in June 2010, when he sent letters to several leaders of the Jewish community as well as the Southern Poverty Law Center demanding that they realize the evils they have perpetrated and that they work to further Farrakhan’s goals. The letter ended with a threat to “ruin and destroy your power and influence here and throughout the world” if his terms were not met.

Many of the sites that reproduced the statement attributed to Farrakhan referenced a date and location but did not include context or documentation for the quotation. Documentation is easy enough to find, however, in a YouTube video uploaded on 30 July 2015 that captures Farrakhan speaking those words:

The context of Farrakhan’s remarks was also easily to locate in an article published on 4 August 2015 to his web site The Final Call. An excerpt from those remarks containing the passage in question (which referenced a popular rumor about Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof) read:

Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children while White folks give the killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Qur’an teaches persecution is worse than slaughter, then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. If the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us, stalk them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.

Last updated:       11 August 2015

Originally published:      11 August 2015