Repudiating Farrakhan: The Delusional Notion Of White Supremacy That Black People Are The Ones Who Need To Denounce Bigotry

“While some of the remarks Farrakhan has made about Jews have no doubt been offensive and hurtful, not understanding the reluctance of Black people to kowtow to the expectation of white people that we repudiate the minister on their demand reveals how deep the racial divide in this nation truly is.”
The clear and concise message to Black people from the Jewish community, white liberals and gaslighting white supremacy supporting conservatives: Condemn Minister Louis Farrakhan or we will ruin you.

While they have tolerated, supported or remained silent about anti-Black and non-white bigotry, systemic racism and the extra judicial murders of unarmed Black people for eons, they have the unmitigated gall to muster up outrage at Black people who refuse to capitulate to their mandates on who we are allowed to have as leaders and who we need to unequivocally repudiate to prove to them, the perpetrators, supporters, passive participants and apathetic onlookers of our oppression, that we’re not the racists. How’s that for some serious cognitive dissonance?

Minister Farrakhan, a prominent African-American religious leader, activist and head of the Nation of Islam, has drawn both scorn and been accused of anti-Semitic comments and praise for his advocacy for the Black community throughout his life. For decades, Farrakhan has been active in the fight against drugs and crime, advocating for clean living and Black self-help. He was the visionary of the historic Million Man March in 1995, which drew over one million Black men to the nation’s capital for a message of empowerment. Because of his activism, Farrakhan has gained widespread notoriety and respect in the African American community. His supporters through the years range from grass roots activists and residents to religious leaders, celebrities and elected officials. Without question, Farrakhan is simultaneously one of the most revered and respected and one of most controversial and oft-maligned figures in American social and cultural politics.

Farrakhan has become the proverbial boogeyman for those on the right and a convenient scapegoat for those on the left who want to shift the focus from conservative and liberal white hypocrisy, bigotry and antisemitism. The mind-boggling false equivalence of calling Black people antisemitic for taking a photo with Farrakhan or attend the same event with whites who embrace the politics, philosophy, ideology and practice of white supremacy is insulting. While some of the remarks Farrakhan has made about Jews have no doubt been offensive and hurtful, not understanding the reluctance of Black people to kowtow to the expectation of white people that we repudiate the minister on their demand reveals how deep the racial divide in this nation truly is. The unwillingness to explore why Black people continue to respect Minister Farrakhan while expecting them to understand why white people embrace policies that are detrimental to Black communities is disingenuous at best and at worst, downright hypocritical.

For far too long, white folks have tried to convince us who are the respectable and responsible Blacks that we should embrace and the disreputable and irresponsible ones we should reject. These decisions are always based on what’s in the interests of their agendas and not of the Black community. In essence, Black people are fed up with white folks dictating who our leaders should be and who we are allowed to respect or support. Thus, Black people often rally to protect people who they may not necessarily agree with or even like, but because they have been attacked by a historical enemy that has never acted in the interests of our people. The arrogance of white folks to determine who we must reject will always be met with cynicism and rejected by the masses of Black people. For sure, those in fear of losing status, opportunities or livelihood will buckle under the pressure of losing something. However, those with nothing to lose will always reject the demands of their perceived oppressors.

At one time or another, former president Barack Obama, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, Marc Lamont Hill, Rev. Jesse Jackson, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and a myriad of Black residents, activists, religious leaders and elected officials have been asked to condemn Minister Farrakhan. Most recently, Tamika Mallory, longtime community activist, former executive director of the National Action Network and co-chair of the Women’s March has consistently come under fire for attending the Nation of Islam’s Savior’s Day and posting a photo of herself with the minister and calling him the “GOAT,” an acronym meaning the “greatest of all time.” The refusal of Mallory and other co-chairs to condemn Farrakhan led to widespread criticism of their movement and calls for them to resign their leadership positions. Actress Alyssa Milano joined the crowd of critics and declared that she would not speak at the upcoming march in January if Mallory did not step down.

Mallory was interviewed on ABC’s The View, where she was badgered by Meghan McCain, right wing activist and daughter of the late Senator John McCain, as to why she would not condemn Farrakhan. Articulate and poised, Mallory clapped back at McCain, “I don’t agree with these statements. To be very clear, it’s not my language. It’s not the way that I speak. It is not how I organize. And I think it is very clear, over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record, of who I am, I should never be judged through the lens of a man.” Ironically, McCain tried to hold Mallory accountable for the actions of Farrakhan while never having to answer for the horrendous track record of bigotry of her own father. Perhaps she should be called upon to condemn, posthumously, her father’s life-long opposition to civil rights, voting against the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal holiday, opposing the funding of the MLK Holiday Commission and being a blood thirsty warmonger who supported the murder of thousands of civilians across the globe.

Here’s the reality: America continuously makes demands on Black leaders to denounce and repudiate hate and bigotry to the satisfaction of white folks, who embrace those who practice it daily. When was the last time a white person was called upon to denounce Steve Bannon, the architect of the “alt-right” who became senior advisor of the President of the United States? Who was called upon to repudiate a notorious bigot named Jeff Sessions, whom even the late Corretta Scott King condemned? No, white folks didn’t repudiate him, U.S. Senators confirmed him as the Attorney General of the United States. Heck, white folks even elected the man who couldn’t bring himself to condemn David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, as President of the United States. It is this type of racist hypocrisy that created Minister Farrakhan in the first place. His respect in the Black community is directly tied to his lifelong fight against white supremacy. Denouncing him is an empty gesture to pacify people who maintain the status quo of systemic racism in America and who have their own questionable affiliations, including members of their own families. Furthermore, calling for the renunciation of Farrakhan is posturing that has absolutely nothing to do with combating injustice and is an unavailing demand rooted in false equivalence.