Louis Farrakhan's annual Holy Day of Atonement address, which took place on October 18, 2009, in Memphis, Tennessee, included criticism of Israel and conspiratorial ideas about the U.S. government.
Several thousand people attended Farrakhan's speech, which concluded a weekend of events organized by the Nation of Islam (NOI) at the city's Cook Convention Center.
Much of Farrakhan's speech focused on what he described as genocidal plots devised by governing bodies in the U.S. and elsewhere. Repeatedly, Farrakhan referred to the "satanic" minds who through medical vaccines, unhealthy food, and other means implement a conspiracy to kill off African Americans.
"The Earth can't take this 6.5 billion people. We just can't feed that many," he said. "So what are you going to do? Kill as many as you can…we have to develop a science that kills them and makes it look as though they died in a pestilence or they died from some disease…but the object is they must die."
At one point Farrakhan cited the Talmud and Henry Kissinger to support this theory:
"Henry Kissinger talked about the work of the new century was culling billions of people from our planet. In the Talmud, the people are called goyim, who are useless eaters. They eat, but they're useless. Listen in now, culling is another word for getting rid of billions of people because they say things are shrinking in terms of what people need, there are too many people for too few resources so wise people at the top or the most foolish at the top, the satanic mind at the top says, 'Kill them all.'"
Israel, according to Farrakhan, employs the same tactics. Charging that the Israeli government has gone to great lengths, including war, to do away with those who it deems poisonous to their communities, he warned African Americans that "what you saw in Gaza and Lebanon you will soon see in the inner cities of America. You have become toxic waste and the people at the top are planning our destruction as I speak."
Farrakhan again accused authorities of conspiring against African Americans while discussing the NOI's 1995 Million Man March in Washington, D.C. During the rally on the National Mall, he claimed, local authorities ensured that armed members of law enforcement were on hand "waiting for so-called Negroes to go crazy so they could kill us wholesale." The NOI's Holy Day of Atonement event is held annually to commemorate the Million Man March.
Farrakhan also talked at length about Barack Obama's presidency, at one point cautioning Obama not to be "tricked" by Israel and AIPAC into a war with Iran. Should a war ensue, he warned Obama, "within three years your power will be totally broken."
Beyond his discussion of Israel and Jews, Farrakhan accused the FBI of infiltrating Muslim mosques and exploiting Muslims to further the U.S.' purported counterterrorism agenda.
"Look at what they're doing inside Muslim mosques," he said. "They get a few Muslims that have engendered a dislike for Israel, a dislike for what America is doing and this FBI plot feeds them, gets them hyped up, then when the deal is about to go down, the FBI comes out, 'we stopped another terrorist plot from the Muslims." He again cited a government conspiracy, this time targeting Muslims: "It's a game that's being played to set up a predicate for an attack… on all Muslims."
Unlike many of his recent speeches, Farrakhan's address included a homophobic remark. Implying that homosexuality—like drugs and murder—is immoral, Farrakhan questioned, "If you knew [God], why is there so much drunkenness, so much drugs, so much fornication, so much adultery, so much homosexuality, so much lesbianism, so much murder, so much crime?"
Several elected officials were in attendance, some in the front row and, at times, at the podium praising Farrakhan.
Farrakhan acknowledged his age and ailing health multiple times during his speech, at one point even telling the audience that "I want you to hear me today if you never hear me again, and it's getting that way that you never know when it's the last time." He did not, however, provide any indication about the future leadership of the NOI.