Muhammad Ali, the Nation of Islam, and our national concussion

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

The major news media serve as our country’s collective memory. Too often, they function in that role as if they had suffered a few too many blows to the head.

Case in point: the hagiographic treatment, the almost-unbroken chain of praise, that Muhammad Ali has received since his death over the weekend. Ali was certainly one of the most interesting Americans of the past half-century—a great athlete who, with wit and wile, marketed himself as “The Greatest” and was accepted by millions as just that. He was not a saint or nearly a saint.

He is supposed to be a hero for standing up for his religious principles. Yet the religious group that he embraced—the faction of the Nation of Islam associated with Louis Farrakhan—was one grounded in racism and in hatred for Jews, “white devils,” and America.  How bad was the NOI? It negotiated with the Ku Klux Klan in an effort to achieve the two sides’ mutual goal of racial separatism. [See my blog post on the NOI, at https://capitalresearch.org/2015/04/hell-breaks-out-in-baltimore-plus-what-farrakhan-believes/ , conveniently reposted below.]

Back then, when he was under the influence of the NOI, Ali was so ignorant that he renounced his birth name, Cassius Clay Jr., as a “slave name,” when in fact the Cassius Clay for whom Ali’s father was named, the historical figure, was an abolitionist hero. Clay survived a murder plot by supporters of slavery (he killed the would-be assassin with a Bowie knife), was a founder of the Republican Party, pushed Lincoln to issue what became the Emancipation Proclamation, and, as ambassador to Russia, helped win the Civil War by keeping Russia on the Union side.

During his time in the Nation of Islam, Ali spoke out against “race mixing.” See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVpfcq4pV5U

Ali was a draft dodger. In our country’s history, Conscientious Objectors have taken roles ranging from hospital worker to vaccine experimentee, to retain their honor while living consistently with their pacifistic principles. Ali didn’t do that. He pulled a Clinton, putting himself above the rules by which others had to live.

When he wiggled out of the Vietnam draft, someone presumably took his place.

Ali said he had no problem with the monstrous Viet Cong, the Quislings who betrayed their people, siding with the Communist invaders of South Vietnam.  “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” he said. “. . . They never called me [the N-word].”

Yes, Ali later became a philanthropist and, it seems, a good man. After roughly a decade among the Farrakhanites, he joined a mainstream branch of Islam, the Sunnis, and spoke out against Islamofascism and Islam-inspired violence. (As I noted at https://capitalresearch.org/2015/12/the-rising-threat-of-islamophobiaphobia , only a small percentage of the world’s Muslims have the desire and the courage to take that stand.) But the media’s posthumous praise of Ali is centered on the earlier period in which his views were somewhere on the continuum between hateful ignorance and pure evil.

The news media conveniently forget, or willfully blind themselves to, anything that conflicts with their left-wing ideology.

For information on what the Farrakhanites believe, read this article from last year.

=====================

Hell breaks out in Baltimore, plus: What Farrakhan believes

In the wake of the death in police custody of a man named Freddie Gray, all hell’s breaking out in Baltimore.

On Sunday, police announced some 35 arrests on Sunday after incidents in which six police officers were injured. By Monday, the number of injured officers was updated to 15, and much of the city was in flames.

Monday, the Baltimore Police Department said it had received a “credible threat” that police have been targeted—that “members of various gangs including the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods and Crips have entered into a partnership to ‘take out’ law enforcement officers.”

The announcement about the threat came in the wake of a peace treaty between the two gangs, an agreement negotiated by the Nation of Islam (often called the “Black Muslims”), the religious group led by Louis Farrakhan. [For the story of Farrakhan and NOI, see below.]

The Black Guerilla Army is a communist, prison-based group that was a sister organization to the Black Panthers, the black counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan. In the 1960s and ’70s, BGA worked alongside the Symbionese Liberation Army (the terrorist group most famous for kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst) and the Weather Underground (the terrorist group whose co-founders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, waged war on the United States and, after escaping justice on a technicality, helped launch the political career of a state legislative candidate named Barack Obama).

BGA has been in the news in recent years in connection with a scandal in the Maryland prison system. As the Washington Post reported two years ago:

More than a dozen Maryland state prison guards helped a dangerous national gang operate a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme from behind bars that involved cash payments, sex and access to fancy cars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.

The indictment described a jailhouse seemingly out of control. Four corrections officers became pregnant by one inmate. Two of them got tattoos of the inmate’s first name, Tavon — one on her neck, the other on a wrist.

The guards allegedly helped leaders of the Black Guerilla Family run their criminal enterprise in jail by smuggling cellphones, prescription pills and other contraband in their underwear, shoes and hair. One gang leader allegedly used proceeds to buy luxury cars, including a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW, which he allowed some of the officers to drive.

“The inmates literally took over ‘the asylum,’ and the detention centers became safe havens for BGF,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt, using shorthand for the prison gang’s name.

In custody

Freddie Gray died a week after being injured under circumstances that have not been explained. The British newspaper The Guardian described what happened:

Gray, 25, suffered a broken neck that left his spine “80% severed” and his voice box crushed, according to his family. Gray’s injuries were sustained at some point during his arrest on the morning of [April 12] after which he was transported in a police wagon.

He was chased and arrested after “catching the eye” of a lieutenant and running away. A knife was found in his pocket. A criminal inquiry by city authorities is due to be completed by Friday [May 1].

The local police are conducting an investigation that, they say, involves more than 30 people searching for evidence. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Gray’s civil rights were violated by police officers, who reportedly have denied using undue force.

Groups that sent buses to the weekend protests included the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church Network, the NAACP, the New Black Panther Party, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and the National of Islam.

A leading organizer of the protests was Malik Zulu Shabazz, a former leader of the Nation of Islam who became national chairman of the New Black Panther Party and now is head of the group Black Lawyers for Justice. Shabazz first came to public attention in 1994 when he was fired from the staff of Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for his remarks introducing the chairman of the New Black Panther Party at an event at Howard University.  Referring to Nat Turner, who led an 1831 rebellion against slavery, Shabazz led a call-and-response with the audience:

“Who is it that caught and killed Nat Turner?”

“The Jews!”

“Who is it that controls the Federal Reserve?”

“The Jews!”

“Who is it that controls the media and Hollywood which has black entertainers and athletes in a vise grip?”

“The Jews!”

Newhouse News Service reported, during the call-and-response, Shabazz “had to admonish his otherwise attentive audience for insufficient enthusiasm in their shouted reply of ‘Jews!’” Four years after that incident, Shabazz was named Young Lawyer of the Year by the country’s top organization for African-American lawyers, the National Bar Association.

In 2007, addressing the National Black Power Summit in Atlanta, he declared that “Our rise is co-dependent on the white man’s demise.”

The New York Times reported that, during the Baltimore protests, Shabazz “told the crowd that he would release them in an hour, adding: ‘Shut it down if you want to! Shut it down!’”

The Nation of Islam played a major role in the protests, not least by bringing rival gangs the Bloods and the Crips together to march side-by-side. The NOI brokered a peace treaty between the two criminal organizations, with one NOI minister, Carlos Muhammad, proclaiming that “I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good.” DeRay Mckesson [sic], a community organizer who is well known for his work during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, told the Daily Beast that “The fight against police brutality has united people in many ways that we have not seen regularly, and that’s really powerful.” (The alleged incident of police brutality that sparked the Ferguson protests turned out to be a hoax, as even the Obama administration has admitted.)

At last weekend’s protests in Baltimore, the truce was the basis for an unusual public display: Crips, wearing blue, and Bloods, wearing red, photographed together, along with Nation of Islam members wearing the standard NOI uniform, suits with bow ties.

Blog Nation of Islam baltimore-bloods-crips-and-noi 150427

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake acknowledged the NOI’s role in the détente between the gangs. “I want to thank the Nation of Islam, who have been very present in our efforts to keep calm and peace in our city,” she said.

===========================

Paranoia?

As I’ve noted previously, the relationship between many African-American communities and the police seems to illustrate the old joke that “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

There isn’t evidence that, as a general rule, police target African-Americans. Consider: African-Americans commit roughly half the murders in the U.S. and constitute roughly half the murder victims, yet they account for only about 30 percent of cases in which people are killed by police. In addition, it appears that “white” officers are no more likely to shoot and kill African-Americans than are African-American officers. There may be cases in which police are too quick on the trigger—that’s a question for another time—but there’s no evidence that abuses, if and when they occur, are based to any measurable degree on racial animus.

On the other hand, history provides a lot of reasons for African-Americans to be suspicious about police. For decades, in a sort of neo-slavery, African-American men were often framed for crimes, sent to prison or local jails, and rented out as manual workers. Egged on by the so-called scientific community, which promoted white supremacy and Prohibitionism, and by the media—the New York Times warned of “Negro Cocaine Fiends”—legislators wrote drug laws so as to target African-Americans and other groups, such as Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. African-American men were often falsely accused of rape—then, as now, a crime so monstrous that mere allegations can cause people to form lynch mobs. To prevent African-Americans from defending themselves from the Ku Klux Klan, “gun control” laws were created.  Law enforcement officials enforced racial segregation and, in some cases, worked with the Klan to terrorize civil rights workers.

Widely-held conspiracy theories often have some basis in truth.

In surveys in the 1990s, nearly one-third of African-Americans identified AIDS as part of a plot against blacks. This myth had roots in a true story (the Tuskegee experiments in which black men were deliberately left untreated for syphilis) and a lie (the Soviet propaganda campaign claiming that the U.S. was using chemical and biological weapons on Third World peoples).

In some surveys during that decade, a majority of African-Americans identified the spread of crack cocaine as another white conspiracy against blacks. This myth was rooted in the fact that differing punishments connected to crack cocaine versus powder cocaine and to marijuana versus alcohol were based in part on cultural and ethnic factors.

Fear of “The Plan,” the conspiracy of whites to take power away from blacks, kept Marion Barry in office as mayor of Washington, D.C. years after his exposure as a racist, drug-abusing kleptocrat hellbent on bankrupting his city (eventually doing just that). The belief against all evidence that O.J. Simpson was innocent, or that the “white b**ch” deserved what she got, led a large group of African-American law students in Washington—law students!—to erupt in cheers when Simpson was acquitted. Then-Vice President Al Gore sought to exploit this belief system, ranting at an NAACP convention that “they [Republicans] don’t even want to count you in the Census!”

It was in that atmosphere in which Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan led that “Million Man March” that brought hundreds of thousands to Washington in 1995. It was, in essence, an attempt by Farrakhan to crown himself the leader of black America. The March was depicted in the media as an effort at self-help and building up the African-American community, particularly African-American males. Yet it attracted a lot of extremists; a Washington Post survey indicated that 40 percent of participants held anti-“white” and 60 percent anti-Jewish views. Present in the crowd: Barack Obama, who at the time attended the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the infamous hate-church run by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. (Wright was Farrakhan’s closest Christian ally, even accompanying Farrakhan to Libya to work with that country’s dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.)

The media served as cheerleaders for Farrakhan, with the major TV networks devoting hours to coverage of the march. As usually happens in such cases, the media made little or no effort to explain the views of the man and the movement they were promoting.

What Farrakhan believes

Nation of Islam theology was apparently cobbled together from various sources—the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses), mainstream Islam, so-called scientific racism (reversing the Darwinists’ positioning of the white and black “races,” of course), Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association (“the first fascists,” Garvey bragged), and black Freemasonry and Moorish Science.

According to NOI doctrine, the black race—the Tribe of Shabazz—was created 66 trillion years ago when a great explosion separated the earth and the moon. Led by 24 gods, called “scientists,” the black race ruled the world. The gods wrote the Bible and the Koran.

Then, 6800 years ago, a mad scientist known as Yacub (or Yakub, Yaquwb, Yakulj, or Jacob) was exiled along with 59,999 of his followers to Patmos, an island in the Aegean. NOI leader Elijah Muhammad wrote that Yacub used selective breeding and infanticide —“He ordered the nurses to kill all black babies . . . by pricking the brains with a sharp needle as soon as the black child’s head is out of the mother” —to create new races of people.

From the black race he created the brown race, from the brown race he created the red race, then from the red race he created the yellow race. It took him hundreds of years. Finally, from the yellow race he created the white race, the distillation of evil characteristics that were recessive among the members of the black race. The whites, Elijah Muhammad taught, were “blue-eyed devils.”

Six thousand years ago, the whites were shipped off to “West Asia” (Europe) where they were guarded by men carrying rifles. Two thousand years later, Moses used dynamite to kill 300 whites. Nevertheless, the white “beasts” came to dominate the world.

White rule continued until 1914 (the year once predicted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses for Armageddon). After 1914, an indeterminate “grace period” began; it will end in a final battle of spaceships and bombs, and the black race will return to power.

The Nation of Islam’s roots go back to a fellow named B. Timothy Drew, born of ex-slaves in North Carolina in 1886 (or, at least, that’s the legend). Drew supposedly was adopted by Cherokees, ran away with gypsies, became a circus magician, and ended up in Egypt (or perhaps it was Mecca or Morocco). He became the student of a priest, the last practitioner of a “High Magic that had been practiced for centuries in the pyramid of Cheops” (in the words of a church document). Subsequently, Drew was commissioned by the king of Morocco to convert African-Americans to Islam, or, in one version of the story, he was in Newark, New Jersey when he had a dream in which he was told to found a new religion. His beliefs appeared to have developed in part from black Masonic lore.

In 1913, as Noble Drew Ali, he founded the Moorish Science Temple in Newark and began to teach that African-Americans were descended from Ham and that they once ruled an empire stretching from Morocco to Atlantis to ancient America. “Through sin and disobedience,” Drew wrote, they were stripped of their nationality by the Europeans with their Christianity. “But one day soon will come the day of the Asiatics [non-whites and Celts] and the destruction of the Europeans.” Later he moved to Chicago, apparently run out of Newark because his followers refused to fight in World War I.

In 1929, the Moorish Science Temple split, Drew’s rival was killed, he was charged in the murder, and, while out on bond, he died from injuries inflicted upon him by the police, or he was murdered by his rival’s followers, or he died of natural causes. (The Moorish Orthodox Church of America, which was associated with left-wing politics in the ’60s and with Timothy Leary’s psychedelic movement, traces itself back to “some white poets and jazz musicians” in the Baltimore/Washington area who, in the 1950s, became posthumous followers of Noble Drew Ali.)

Enter a mysterious man who went by many names, most notably Wallace D. Fard and Wali Fard Muhammad. Fard, a door-to-door salesman whose background is in dispute (he was said to be of Arab origin), regaled his customers with tales of black history and culture. People would gather in homes to hear his stories. Over time, his talks became more radical, more racist, and more cosmic. He even claimed to be the reincarnation of Noble Drew Ali. His following grew, and the Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit a year after Drew’s death.

In 1934, during the investigation of a murder by one of his followers, Fard disappeared, and the NOI was left in the hands of a former auto worker named Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole in Georgia in 1898). Muhammad claimed that Fard was God and that he was Fard’s prophet. Muhammad was jailed for his support of the Japanese in World War II.

One of Elijah Muhammad’s followers was the first NOI leader to become known to most Americans. Born Malcolm Little in Nebraska in 1925, he was the son of an organizer for Marcus Garvey’s back-to-Africa movement. His father, it is said, was killed by an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan. A professional criminal, he joined the Nation of Islam while in prison, from which he was released in 1952. Malcolm X (later known also as Al Hajj Malik al-Shabazz) rose quickly, becoming the head of the temple in Boston, then of the temple in New York. Soon, he was Elijah Muhammad’s right-hand man and chief spokesman for the NOI.

The Nation of Islam wasn’t the only group that believed in separation of the black and white “races.” In 1961, Malcolm X and NOI’s Atlanta leader Jeremiah X met with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. At a meeting that was secretly taped by the FBI, Malcolm attributed the civil rights struggle of the day to “a Jewish conspiracy carried out by unsuspecting blacks.” NOI would oppose race mixing, and the Klan would help NOI obtain 20,000 acres in Georgia or South Carolina for a homeland. “From that day onward,” Malcolm noted later, “the Klan never interfered with the Black Muslim movement in the South.” When some NOI members got into trouble with the police in Monroe, Louisiana, a Klan lawyer represented them. A similar peace pact was worked out with the American Nazi Party.

Over the years, a split developed between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm declared, following the assassination of President Kennedy, that it was a case of “the chickens coming home to roost” (the comment that, decades later, Farrakhan’s ally Jeremiah Wright would make about the 9/11 attacks). NOI officials publicly reprimanded Malcolm for the “roost” comment and barred for six months from speaking publicly. In turn, Malcolm was galled by Elijah Muhammad’s greed (using his followers’ money to become a real estate tycoon) and by his adulterous womanizing, which violated NOI teachings; Muhammad admitted to getting his secretaries pregnant. In 1964, Malcolm X broke away from NOI and formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

After a visit to nations where mainstream Islam was practiced, Malcolm began to reject the theology of Fard and Elijah Muhammad. He wanted to move closer to the mainstream Islamic religion. “In two weeks in the Holy Land I saw what I had never seen in 39 years here in America,” he said, “all colors, blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans in true brotherhood. In unity. In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I never will be guilty of that again as I now know that some whites are truly sincere and are capable of being brotherly towards a black man.” Nevertheless, Malcolm continued to see America as an oppressor and to back the Soviet side in the Cold War.

A year after the split from Elijah Muhammad—in the midst of a denunciation campaign by Louis X, now Louis Farrakhan—Malcolm X was gunned down by three black men while speaking at a ballroom in New York City. “Such a man is worthy of death,” Farrakhan had written.

Music and UFOs

Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Walcott in the Bronx in 1933) was a successful musician and calypso singer who had been known as “The Charmer” or “Calypso Gene.” His career path followed Malcolm X’s, as head of the Boston and then the Harlem temple, as chief spokesman for NOI and top aide to Elijah Muhammad.

In 1975, Elijah Muhammad died, and his son Warith Dean Muhammad became leader of the NOI, to the great disappointment of Farrakhan’s followers. W.D. Mohammed took his group in the direction suggested by Malcolm X—even allowing whites to join—and today it is known as the American Muslim Mission.

In 1978, Farrakhan resurrected the old, racist Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad, Farrakhan declared, was the messiah.

Farrakhan first gained notoriety in the major media when his militia, the Fruit of Islam, provided security for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign. Jackson was forced to distance himself from Farrakhan after the NOI leader called Hitler “a great man” and Judaism a “gutter religion.” (Farrakhan’s militia later contracted with several public housing projects to serve as security, and was said to have been effective in reducing overt violence and the drug trade.)

In 1985, he accepted a grant (styled as a loan) of $5 million from Libya’s terrorist dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

During a 1985 trip on a UFO—Farrakhan told the Washington Post five years later—he talked with the late Elijah Muhammad by speaker box. As the story was later explained in the NOI newspaper, the UFO is the Great Wheel, a Mother Plane (or Mother of Planes), a “human-built planet” that orbits 40 miles above earth and carries 1500 smaller planes loaded with bombs for the destruction of the world. It was from the Mother Plane that the original “scientists” dropped the bombs that raised the mountain ranges. Farrakhan was beamed there from a Mexican pyramid. During his trip, Elijah Muhammad’s voice warned him of President Reagan’s plan to bomb Libya. (The NOI later claimed that the earth-versus-UFO movie Independence Day was a ripoff of Farrakhan’s experience.)

It was from the Mother Plane that the original “scientists” dropped the bombs that raised the mountain ranges, and it is from the Mother Plane that the cities of the world will be bombed, the white race purged.

During the Bush Administration, Farrakhan traveled to Libya to meet with Gaddafi, and warn him: “The vision that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad gave me from the Wheel in 1985, is now manifested fully in that President Bush has met with his Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chairman of which is a Black man, General Colin Powell, and again, they too have planned a war . . . most importantly, against the rise of Black youth and Black people in America.”

The Final Call, NOI’s newspaper, reported in 1992 that the U.S. government, in cooperation with international bankers, was testing UFOs (made by humans, possibly under alien instruction) in order to stage an incident (perhaps around 1995) that would suggest an extraterrestrial threat and thus serve as a pretext for the imposition of a New World Order.

In 1993, Representative Kweisi Mfume (D-Maryland), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, forged a “Sacred Covenant” between the caucus and the Nation of Islam. Later, Mfume became president of the NAACP, with President Clinton and Vice President Gore attending his swearing-in.

Whites evil, especially Jews

Jews, Farrakhan said on “This Week with David Brinkley” in 1995, paid Hitler to “turn poor Jews into soap.” Not every Jew is a “bloodsucker,” Farrakhan proclaimed later, but the bad ones meet alternately in Hollywood and New York City to plot against African-Americans. One NOI-produced work, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, downplayed the Holocaust as it blamed Jews for a “Black African Holocaust.”

Of course, many blacks were killed in the slave trade, perhaps 5 million to 20 million. But NOI put the number at 100 million or more, with some NOI-backed writings put it at 200 million or 600 million or six billion. So many slaves were thrown overboard, according to NOI lore, that sharks’ feeding territory was changed. (Whatever the number of slaves killed in that manner, historians say that few Jews were involved in the slave trade.)

Jews, according to the NOI Web site, control the news by their control of advertising and of the supply of paper and ink, and “all presidents since 1932 are controlled by Jews.” Jews, The Final Call declares, are “our enemies,” and America is the “number one enemy of freedom-loving peoples on the earth.” Whites are “crackers” who smell funny and have a “flat glutemus [sic] maximus.”

Speaking of whites, Farrakhan said, “Muhammad and any Muslim will murder the devil.”

In 1996, Farrakhan announced that Gaddafi had pledged $1 billion to Farrakhan’s cause to “mobilize ‘oppressed’ minorities to influence this year’s U.S. elections,” as the Washington Post reported.

 

The Million Man March

The stated purpose of the Million Man March in 1995 was to bring a million black men together, to have them take responsibility for their families and their communities.

The story dominated the news. For example, according to Brent Baker of the Media Research Center, almost the entire October 16, 1995 edition of ABC’s “World News Tonight” was devoted to the march. Anchorman Peter Jennings downplayed Farrakhan: “We begin here in Washington today with a massive demonstration of black togetherness that was much more, and perhaps much different, than its original speakers had intended . . . the hugely popular entertainer Stevie Wonder may have got this crowd’s mood right when he said that this was bigger than any one leader. . . .

“For most of the hundreds of thousands who came here today, the event far overshadowed the man who organized it,” Jennings noted, adding that Farrakhan “made an enormous impression.”

ABC’s Ron Claiborne reported: “The entire day was spiced with lavish praise for the Black Muslim leader, from the podium . . . praise from many in the crowd. . . . But others insisted the occasion was more important than Farrakhan or any individual.” Claiborne said that in a “sometimes rambling speech, Farrakhan urged black men to change their destructive behavior, behavior responsible for crime, drug abuse and broken families.” Then he showed a clip of Farrakhan calling for atonement and urging the audience to “join some church, synagogue, temple, or mosque that is teaching spiritual and moral uplift.”

Jennings concluded: “It would be astonishing if this public performance by Farrakhan were to end or even minimize the controversy which he inspires in the country as a whole, but it would be a terrible mistake not to recognize that here today he inspired many people, and in a broader sense, as one participant here after another has reaffirmed, this day, at this time and at this place, really did mean unity over division.”

“World News Tonight” ran nine stories that night on the march. But the only criticism that ABC aired consisted of some mild comments by President Clinton.

ABC had to bend over backwards to make Farrakhan look good. Many of his more interesting comments somehow never made it onto ABC’s newscast.

In his sermon, Farrakhan noted that “In the middle of the mall is the Washington Monument, 555 feet high. But if we put a one in front of that 555 feet we get 1555, the year that our first fathers landed on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia as slaves.” Captain John Hawkins brought the slaves on his flagship Jesus, Farrakhan said.

As noted by Harold Brackman in Skeptic magazine, Hawkins’s first slave trip was actually in 1562, the ship Jesus did not become his flagship until two years later, Hawkins landed in Florida without slaves around that time, and the first slaves came to Jamestown in 1619. But the 1555 date has significance. To the Farrakhanites, it means that the period of black enslavement in the U.S. has already exceeded the supposed length of the Jews’ bondage in Egypt (430 years). And it lines up with the prophecy of Nostradamus that puts 1555 at the beginning of a “final cycle” ending in a cataclysm around the year 2000.

“In the background is the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials,” Farrakhan said at the Million Man March. “Each of these monuments is 19 feet high. Abraham Lincoln is the 16th President. Thomas Jefferson is the 3rd President. And 16 and 3 makes 19 again.” Actually, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials are much higher than 19 feet. Farrakhan also noted that 19 was the number of rays emanating from Pharaoh Akhenaton’s sun disk, which is true in one depiction of the ancient Egyptian ruler, according to Brackman.

The NOI newspaper, Final Call, had carried a column, “Unveiling the Number 19,” by Elijah Muhammad’s widow. Numerology, the belief in the mystical significance of numbers, is a key element (“Supreme Mathematics”) of Farrakhanite belief.

At the Million Man March, the Nation of Islam leader went on to accuse Napoleon of “blow[ing] off the nose of the Sphinx because it reminded too much of the black man’s nose.” Actually, Napoleon was an Egyptophile who was personally responsible for preserving much of the record we have today of ancient Egypt. His men found the key that made possible the translation of ancient Egyptian writings, and they dug the Sphinx out of the sand. Its nose had been destroyed centuries earlier by Muslims.

Farrakhan went on to connect former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman (who worked the O.J. Simpson case), Senator Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), and the racist Senator Theodore Bilbo (D-Mississippi) to the three assassins of Hiram, the great pyramid builder of Masonic lore.

Farrakhan said that God told him to organize the march: “There is no prophet of God written of in the Bible that did not have a defect in its character. But I have never heard any member of the faith of Judaism separate David from the Psalms because of what happened in David’s life, and you never separated Solomon from the building of the temple because they say he had a thousand concubines, and you never separated any of the great servants of God, so today, whether you like it or not, God brought the idea through me.”

When a Louis Farrakhan can dominate the national stage, even for a day, without facing the kind of blistering criticism he deserves, the country’s leaders in politics and the media have failed us. And when, today, some 20 years after the Million Man March, the followers of Farrakhan play a key role in events like the protests in Baltimore, it is African-Americans who pay most of all.

Share this post!