Farrakhan's words shouldn't cost appointee

"I'm not a follower of Minister Louis Farrakhan. I did not attend the Millions More March. And the last time I went to Saviours' Day was when my editor made me go a decade ago. That being said, if Gov. Blagojevich buckles under pressure and kicks Claudette Marie Muhammad, chief of protocol for the Nation of Islam, off the state's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, or requires her to denounce Farrakhan as a condition of staying on that commission, it would be an act of political cowardice." - Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times

1 comment:

Paul Hue said...

I agree with you on this one, Nadir. I like that the woman invited (apparently?) all the commission members (of various "races") to the NOI function. I have been to Farrakkan speaches twice, and talked extensively to current and former members of the NOI; a serious girlfriend at FAMU grew up on an NOI household, and one of my FAMU roomates (a girl) was a practicing member of the local NOI mosque.

I also debated a NOI physician on stage at a packed FAMU auditorium on the subject of AIDS; she was a raging ignoramous who lacked any scientific information and offered zero scientific arguments. Humorously, her debate parter was an African physician. Guess which one wore a glorious traditional African outfit, and which dressed in normal American business attire? Guess which one offered the all-black audience a traditional African greeting, and linked herself and the audience to their African ancestors? Whereas the NOI physician constantly played the race card, the African physician did not; she offered only scientific data and concepts, though they all failed to support the infectious AIDS hypothesis.

My view of the NOI is that it is a cult (with preposterous variations on the already preposterous Islamic variation of the preposterous Christ-Moses story), and something of a currupt, criminal, and violent one. However, as best I can tell it only harms its own members, and politically is completely lame. I believe that Farrakkan makes lots of racist comments, but when it comes down to action, the group has exactly one on-going activity: make money and kick it upstairs. For all of the hot talk of its leaders, the group has never supported a single act of civil disobediance, or staged anything other than speach assemblies (like the 900,000-man march) that boost its profile, status, and checkbook. Its hot-talking leaders have always warmly embraced honkies who come with cash, and there's never been any intimidation of honkies who move into black neighborhoods (my former roomate received no pressure to move out of my town house), etc. Violence only occurs to its own members who violate their rules; Malcom X was the most famous example of this.

I expect that the NOI member of the anti-racist commission would support very mainstream measures, and add credability to the committee's output. If we strictly enforce "hate speach" standards, the NOI would fail. But I think that politically it would be a good idea for the committee members to attend the NOI event, and just let the NOI lady serve her term. I would be shocked if she caused any waves; that is something that NOI officials *never* do, except for its leader making crazy comments.