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Detroit — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, in Detroit on Sunday, talked about themes of atonement, reconciliation and responsibility, with a nod to more timely events of the past months.

The speech by the controversial minister, which offered familiar Nation of Islam positions on race and reparations, and calling on black men to lead and protect women and families, began with a reference to God as “the God of climate and climate change” and ended with a warning that if America does not offer black people reparations, climate calamities and extreme weather would continue. 

Atonement, Farrakhan said at Chene Park, which the city will rename the Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheatre, has “everything to do with us repairing the damage we’ve done to each other,” which he broke down into two categories: indignities done by white people to black America, and those committed by men against women. 

White America, Farrakhan said, owes atonement, reparations, to not only blacks, but Native Americans.

On reconciliation, Farrakhan drew on the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation battle for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose appointment was delayed and whose nomination created controversy after a former classmate from his teenage years, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, came forward with allegations Kavanaugh had attempted to assault her as a teen.

Farrakhan said he cried as he watched Ford’s testimony.

“That lady was a victim of something,” Farrakhan said. “No man should take from a woman what that woman does not want to give.”

Farrakhan argued that if Kavanaugh had apologized for his alleged conduct, Ford likely would have forgiven him. Kavanaugh has denied all allegations against him.

Farrakhan offered two approaches to the responsibility topic: responsibility to treat each other right, particularly women, and responsibility to demand that they themselves are treated properly.

“Your sacredness has got to be respected by yourself,” Farrakhan said to the women in attendance. “Every prophet of God was born from your womb. Women are sacred. If you don’t see that, Satan has robbed you of the knowledge of who you are.”

To the men, Farrakhan said: “We are busy destroying the virtue of our women." He called on men to be the protectors of women.

Farrakhan cautioned men and women to avoid thinking that fast sex is the path to true intimacy. 

“As fast as sex is over, that’s how fast marriage ends, because it was never love, it was always lust,” Farrakhan said. “After the lust is competed, then what? Have you ever wondered if there’s more to life than this?”

Before Farrakhan spoke, Ralph Godbee, chief of police of Detroit Public Schools Community District, gave brief remarks, calling himself “a black man who happens to be a police officer,” and said that he couldn’t do his job, securing roughly 50,000 schoolchildren, without the Nation of Islam. Godbee was joined on the stage by Detroit Councilwoman Mary Sheffield and later City Council President Brenda Jones, who later was singled out for praise by Farrakhan and applause from the audience.

Nation of Islam history has it that Fard Muhammad traveled to Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood from Pakistan “undetected by authorities,” as Farrakhan described it. He came for two purposes, Farrakhan said: to judge those who “afflicted” black Americans, and to lead the afflicted.  

Fard Muhammad was told to leave Detroit after creating in independent Muslim school and being jailed for it. In 1934, he left America altogether. Elijah Muhammad then took over the movement and in 1975, Farrakhan took the helm.

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