A Beautiful Heart and A Coat Of Many Colors
I have often wondered how long it would take before the "mainstream media" would be forced to show a picture of the beautiful heart of Minister Farrakhan and how that heart and the message that he teaches has touched millions and generated broad-based support and affection for the Muslim leader over the last 23 years. I honestly do not know of another leader who has worked so hard to break through the artificial barriers - whether religious, class, political philosophy or geographical - that divide Black People in this country and people of all colors throughout the world.
I have never seen a human being of any color, work so hard to get Communists, Nationalists, Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, Blacks in the Western Hemisphere, Blacks In Africa, Whites, Mexicans and others to move beyond their allegiance to symbols, rituals and superficial understanding and to connect with one another on the basis of human dignity and mutual respect.
Yesterday, at the Million Family March, that heart was on public display for all to see, whether for the first time or the 100th such time. Many people could not deny, after what they saw, yesterday, that the Minister is not and could not have been anything like what they had been led to believe through their acceptance of the prism of the "mainstream media"
What is it that makes the Minister so special?
We can always measure a human being by the kind of people that they attract.
For years, I have felt that this was one of the most unique things about the Minister - his demonstrated ability to attract the loyalty, love and friendship of people of various stations, perspectives, classes, and ages - many of whom do not like one another.
I once made a list of all of the different people that I knew were friends of the Minister or who were publicly or privately following him. The list was staggering and would have been and probably would still be a shock to those who have only gotten to know the Minister through news reports or simply what "they have heard about him".
In and of itself, it would destroy the argument that the Minister is an anti-Semite or hater of people.
And by the way, haven't you notice that when statements are attributed to the Minister in reference to the Minister's comments on Judaism and Hitler, they are never done so with audio and videotape but only as written quotes?
I would be ashamed of myself for accepting on face value written quotes about what a man has been alleged to have said, especially when we live in a modern era where tape recorders and video cameras witness almost everything that takes place of major import.
Over the years, I have been saddened to learn of the gross ignorance, stereotypes, assumptions and misinformation that abound about the Minister, from people who cling to their particular ideologies and who remain uninformed about the Minister.
I have met communists and socialists that don't like the Minister because he is a Muslim but who are totally ignorant of his opinions on Karl Marx, communism and socialism and, for example, who are ignorant of his relationship with Fidel Castro and other communists/socialists in the Western Hemisphere (I am sure that a few people nearly passed out when it was reveled that Daniel Ortega has been working with the Minister on peace-making efforts in Africa and across the world, Ortega spoke at the March yesterday).
In 1996 after a visit and meeting with Minister Farrakhan, Fidel Castro referred to him as a "prophet". How do you handle that if you are a Castro supporter or socialist who believes that "religion is the opiate of the masses"? What does Castro see in Minister Farrakhan that superficial socialists and communists don't?
And what about Winnie Mandela and Nelson Mandela's friendship and deep affection for Minister Farrakhan? Why is that rarely, if ever discussed? And for those pan-Africanists who don't care to follow the Minister's moves because he is a nationalist leader, it may come as a shock to learn of what the Minister is doing to resolve conflicts throughout the African continent. Not to mention the fact that Minister Farrakhan almost brokered a peace in the Sudan as early as 1994. Unlike others, he does much of his work in Africa without fanfare and behind closed doors.
We can turn and look at a whole generation of rappers who refer to Minister Farrakhan as their father and the only leader that they trust. Recently in New York City, a group of rappers approached the Minister and simply asked the question "What would you like us to do? They come to him for guidance. Would they come to a man for such guidance if he were the man that the "mainstream media" says he is?
Who else has enough credibility, trust and respect for and from millionaire rappers to get them to pledge to not use the words "bitch" and "whore" to describe all women, not just Black woman (a point lost on many who dis the Minister).
And what about the beautiful relationship between the Minister and Stevie Wonder where Stevie Wonder once told the Minister to give him ideas and words and that he (Stevie Wonder) would put them into songs?
And what about all of those in America, in particular, that say Farrakhan's belief in Allah is "unorthodox"? Why doesn't the president of over 20 million Muslims in Russia feel that way about Minister Farrakhan? Why doesn't the Grand Mufti of Syria feel that way about Minister Farrakhan? What about the Imam who is over Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (where all the fighting is going on)? Why in 1996 did he guarantee that 1 million "orthodox" Muslims would greet the Minister for prayer right in Jerusalem? Could such an event take place if the Minister was the phony Muslim that many of his superficial and envious and jealous critics claim? And what about the meeting that the Minister had right in Mecca with some of the top scholars in Islam in reference to the Nation of Islam's theology and the fact that for three days, these renown scholars, could not overcome the Minister's exegesis and the theological arguments that he presented to them? They simply told the Minister that they would have to "study' what he showed them.
Why haven't people in this country displayed a similar willingness to reason with the Minister over differences of opinion?
And what about those sincere Black Christians who for years have been told by their White counterparts and black pastors that Minister Farrakhan is tricking Black men into believing a false religion? Yet these same White Christians and Black pastors haven't had anywhere near the success that the Minister has had in transforming human life.
As the Minister has said to Black Pastors who question his view of Christ, " If I didn't know Jesus how could I be doing His work?"
Interestingly, I wonder what these Black and White pastors would think of the whispered words, warm greeting and hug and kiss that the Rev. Billy Graham gave Minister Farrakhan in 1998 when they saw one another in New York City in 1998.
And then there is the subject of the female and the work that Minister Farrakhan has spent in confronting sexism and disrespect of women in religion. He spoke about this at the Million Family March. What other leader, black or white, would have taken the opportunity to defend women, in the manner that the Minister has, over the years, not to mention, in front of a world-wide audience of millions? How many other religious leaders are as honest about how women are mistreated in society and in religion?
Yet, I continue to hear from so-called feminists, that the Minister is sexist.
Then there are the so-called progressives that I have met that accuse the Minister of not being down for the cause but who are totally ignorant of his stances on reparations, the plight of the Native Americans, the death penalty, corporate greed and his blistering critiques on the IMF and World Bank not to mention his public work on issue that progressives hardly ever address: the private status of the Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. monetary policy.
What so-called progressives have actually put their physical body on the line to stop the eviction of Native Americans from their land as the Minister has done?
If people needed the Minister to have had a near-death experience and the Million Family March to come to know of the beauty of his heart and how it has touched the entire human family, that is fine.
But such a story has been written for years.
Hopefully now, we can begin to overcome the lies about a good man, lies that many have swallowed wholesale.
Tuesday, October 17, 2000