Richard B. Muhammad, Final Call, December 7, 2016
Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison is seeking to lead the Democratic National Committee as the party seeks someone to bring Democrats into the political Promised Land. There is nothing wrong with Rep. Ellison’s desire to move his party forward or his desire to help make America progress.
But he must be condemned and lambasted for trying to make his political bones by smearing the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The Minnesota congressman has been attacked for a connection with the Nation of Islam years ago, while in college and for support of the Million Man March.
Mr. Ellison, who was captured in at least one photo distributing The Final Call while in college, condemned the Minister as he sought his new place. But his cowardly and baseless repudiation is nothing new. While running for Congress a decade ago, his “I’m not with Farrakhan and he’s a hater” narrative started.
But let’s go back and examine words published in the Nov. 6, 1995 edition of Insight News, a Black weekly in Minneapolis: “Third, Minister Farrakhan is a role model for Black youth; however he is not an anti-Semite. He is a sincere, tireless and uncompromising advocate of the Black community and other oppressed peoples in America and around the world. Despite some of the most relentless negative propaganda anyone has ever faced, most Black people regard him as a role model for youth and increasingly, a central voice for our collective aspirations.
“The White community, however, must come to the realization that there are too many Black people who have been cleaned-up, taught and uplifted by Minister Farrakhan for us to let anyone gratuitously insult him anymore.”
If Mr. Ellison once believed those things about the Minister and changed his mind, that’s his business. We will leave Allah (God) to judge and handle the hypocrites. But what cannot be tolerated are the lies, the slander and false narrative against Min. Farrakhan. These lies cannot be proven, nor can these false charges be sustained. The Minister has been a strong voice for Black self-determination, a warrior against Jewish paternalism and control of Black people and a sledge hammer against the wall of White supremacy and neo-colonialism. None of that work would make him the favorite of a system or wicked people whose demonic rule he is working to destroy.
But Mr. Ellison knows better. Years ago sitting in my Chicago office here at The Final Call, when I was managing editor, there was no question about Min. Farrakhan and who he was. There was no question when Mr. Ellison, aka Keith X Ellison, aka Keith Ellison-Muhammad, came to Chicago for an urban peace summit in October 1993 that featured Min. Farrakhan, or a vital summit in Kansas City that included Min. Farrakhan as the major speaker and one who helped legitimize the anti-violence movement in April 1993.
The problem comes from a simple place: “All of you that want national and state prominence: Sometimes I am the ‘litmus test’ to see if White folk can do anything good for you. And some of you are so weak and so cowardly, that your desires mean more than the integrity of your being. But every time I forgave my brothers, and kept moving forward,” observed Min. Farrakhan in a message delivered Oct. 30.
Mr. Ellison and those who would misuse the Minister’s name for their personal advancement must be confronted and their hypocrisy and cowardice must be condemned. How can Rep. Ellison speak of justice for the poor, a just U.S. foreign policy, social change that improves the lives of people and respect for all and denigrate a man who has worked to achieve those goals for longer than the congressman has been alive?
Shame on you Mr. Ellison for your pandering and shame on us if we don’t call you out for it.