The spirit of Black unity on social issues is on the rise once again. While this spirit is welcomed by Blacks it has become a source of fear to those who have benefited from White supremacy and enjoy White privilege. This is evident when you listen to the words of conservative news hosts like Bill O’Reilly, who called the Black Lives Matter organization a terrorist, hate mongering group that should be banned. Now as Min. Louis Farrakhan gears up to lead thousands of blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, women, military veterans and poor whites for a march and rally in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 10, the rhetoric against Blacks and Farrakhan has increased.
Three simple words seem to be causing an issue: “Justice or Else,” which is the theme for the 20th commemoration of the Million Man March held in 1995. The problem seems to be the “or else” portion, which has some people claiming Farrakhan is going to incite violence. This perception has been fueled by Farrakhan’s rhetoric. In one speech Farrakhan states, “Let them continue to kill to live and bury our children while white folks give the killer hamburgers… Retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slave. So, if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stop them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling,”
These are hot words that invoke serious anger but speak to the fact that injustice is rampant in the United States and some Black folks are simply tired of it. But Farrakhan did not create this situation and he has every right to speak about it. Recently, the Nation of Islam newspaper The Final Call reported that Farrakhan was scheduled to visit and speak in Charleston, SC this week as part of his city-to-city tour promoting the upcoming march and rally and also to pay homage to those killed at Mother Emanuel AME Church. However, according to the article, individuals behind the scenes worked to block use of public facilities that would be used by Farrakhan to hold his speech. Churches that were approached to hold the event had stipulations. According to Farrakhan, “We went to another church to speak and they rejected me again; we went to three churches … one church was willing to let me come, but said, ‘You got to sign a paper that you not going to say nothing controversial.'”
According to The Final Call, it was Bishop Brian D. Moore of Life Central Cathedral who demanded these requirements because “He did not want to have to explain any so-called inflammatory statements after Min. Farrakhan left the city.” In response to Black pastors such as Bishop Moore, Farrakhan stated, “A scared to death preacher can’t boast in Christ. A preacher that fears the powers that are contemporary, and dismisses the power of him who is eternally in power, is not fit to stand before the people of God…This is the time when all false men and women will be sat down.”
It seems that some Black clergy in Charleston are more willing to offer up forgiveness to unrepentant racist killer Dylann Roof than allow Farrakhan to speak. This twisted mindset evokes the memory of scared Blacks who cower at the site of white robed Klansmen and don’t want to upset the White power structure. This mindset is a one that continues to retard the emancipation of Black thought and Black unity.