Louie "Calypso" Farrakhan, a.k.a. Eugene Walcott, a.k.a. Louis X, gave up his music career in 1955 because Elijah Muhammad, then leader of the Nation of Islam, demanded that all NOI musicians completely and forever give up music within 30 days.
Music's loss. Racism's and UFOlogy's gain. (Check that UFO link, Farrakhan's mental capacity is an issue as we go along here.)
Fifty plus years later, Farrakhan is himself head of the Nation of Islam. He's the black equivalent of David Duke - racist, homophobic, and antisemitic - with that over-the-top dash of Dennis Kucinich. He is also supporting Barack Obama.
CHICAGO — In his first major public address since a cancer crisis, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said that presidential candidate Barack Obama is the “hope of the entire world” that the U.S. will change for the better. The 74-year-old Farrakhan, former leader of the black Muslim group, never endorsed Obama outright, but spent much of his nearly two-hour speech Sunday to an estimated crowd of 20,000 people praising the Illinois senator.Obama is not quite trying to have none of it, however, telling Hillary (eventually) in last night's debate, that he both "rejects and denounces" Farrakhan's support.
...Farrakhan has drawn attention for calling Judaism a “gutter religion” and suggesting crack cocaine might have been a CIA plot to enslave blacks.
Well, not exactly. Obama did not, in fact, reject Farrakhan's support and neither have his spinpeople.
"Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.Some rejection. Some denouncement.
OK, so what? Obama says he completely disagrees with what Farrakhan says. Why not just accept that? Obama's a uniter, right? Well, maybe. We just don't know. For me it smells too much like Huey Long crossed with a sensitive George Wallace.
As a uniter, there are aspects of Farrakhan's associations that Obama should take head-on. Obama has not done that, even though Farrakhan's endorsement makes it an urgent requirement - because the endorsement is not Obama's only connection to Farrakhan.
Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the pastor of Obama's own Trinity United Church of Christ, carries some Farrakhan baggage, too. We'll get to that. First, here's the top item on TUCC's website:
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.This is a mission statement which you can look at at least two ways. One, if you substitute the word "white" for the word "black," and "Aryan" for "African," you'd maybe be featured in a New York Times story on Internet bigotry. In Canada you'd surely be looking at a hate crime charge before some Human "Rights" Commission.
Two, you could substitute "Catholic" and "Western." Then it seems pretty reasonable, except perhaps to a bedraggled contingent of feminists, a handful of atheists and an postmodern multi-culturalist or two.
I'll even acknowledge a problem with my substitution algorithm. Skin blackness, except to Farrakhan and Wright, et. al., isn't a religious system. I, however, am not the one who said it was. I'm merely observing their taxonomy.
I'm not the one confusing race and religion. I think you can be black and be a Protestant, a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Buddhist, a Wiccan, a Satanist, a Shintoist, a Confucian, a Jain, or a Jew (objectors need to deal with Sammy Davis Jr.). If you're any of those religions, however, there's nothing you can believe that can make you black if you're white, brown, pink or yellow. One is about your mind. The other is about your melanin content. This is why Bill Clinton wasn't really the first black President, and why Michael Jackson, even if his nose falls off entirely, will still not be white.
Notwithstanding, you're thinking, this is pretty small potatoes. Hyberbole-wise, where's the beef?
There isn't any. We have only this tofu-burger: in the '80s Pastor Wright travelled to Libya with Minister Farrakhan to visit terrorist Colonel Gadaffi, and this paean: in 2007, Trumpet Magazine (published and edited by Wright's daughter) selected Farrakhan as the recipient of the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeteer Award, saying Farrakhan "truly epitomized greatness." Wright went on to call Farrakhan "one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience" and praised Farrakhan's "integrity and honesty." There's a video tribute from Reverend Wright here. Note they forgot to edit out all the blackshirts. No motherships are evident, however.
So, here's the point. Barack Obama has not rejected or denounced the support of mental basket-case Louis Farrakhan, and Obama's pastor is an avid supporter of this racist homophobe who, by the way, is also antisemitic.
Not choosing to call Louis Farrakhan what he is, and not leaving the church run by Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. is a choice Barack Obama has made. In that spirit I have modified a short poem I heard many years ago. My apologies to the author, whose identity I cannot determine:
'Twas an evening in Feb.,
As I very well rememb.
I was swooning at the rally - f**kin' fried.
My knees were all aflutter,
So I landed in the gutter,
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.
I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a donkey passing by did softly say,
"You can tell who's anti-Jewses
By the company he chooses."
And the pig got up and slowly walked away!