Home  |   Jihad Watch  |   Horowitz  |   Archive  |   Columnists  |     DHFC  |  Store  |   Contact  |   Links  |   Search Saturday, May 26, 2018
FrontPageMag Article
Write Comment View Comments Printable Article Email Article
Endless Poison By: Bob Herbert
FrontPageMagazine.com | Sunday, August 29, 1999

New York Times | August 29, 1999

IN OCTOBER 1985, Louis Farrakhan brought his message of hate to Madison Square Garden, where he spent a couple of hours ranting about white people in general and Jews in particular before an audience of 25,000.

It was a nauseating performance, filled with taunts and threats and pathetic extremes of self-absorption.

"I seem to have become quite a controversial fellow," Mr. Farrakhan would say, smiling. "Everywhere Farrakhan goes, there's controversy around this fellow. There has not been a black man in the history of America that has been as repudiated as Brother Farrakhan." And so on.

Later he would say of himself: "You can't say the brother's not articulate. You can't say he's an ugly dude. God makes me pleasant to look at."

Thousands cheered. It was very weird.

Among his many ugly outbursts that night was the question Mr. Farrakhan raised about whether black leaders who opposed him should be allowed to live. He mentioned David Dinkins by name. Mr. Dinkins was the City Clerk and had issued a public statement that said: "In light of Minister Farrakhan's visit to New York, I must say that I find his blatantly anti-Semitic remarks offensive and I condemn them."

Mr. Farrakhan wondered if the death penalty might not be appropriate for such an offense. He told the crowd:

"The reason David Dinkins would do that is because they [black leaders] don't fear us. They fear white people. What I'm suggesting to black people is that the leaders have to begin to fear the people that they say they represent. Because when the leader sells out the people, he should pay a price for that. Don't you think so?

"Do you think the leader should sell you out and then live? We should make examples of the leaders."

Now, nearly a decade and a half later, comes Khallid Abdul Muhammad with his act—a low-budget, street-corner version of the Farrakhan road show. Mr. Muhammad despises—you guessed it—white people in general and Jews in particular, and his supporters recently took it upon themselves to punish a black leader who had the temerity to object to their rot.

Councilman Bill Perkins, a consistent critic of Mr. Muhammad's so-called Million Youth March, was surrounded and harassed by a group of Mr. Muhammad's followers on Monday night. Mr. Perkins said they were pulling on his arm and yelling: "We are going to kill Uncle Toms like you. You are supposed to be supporting us."

Are we tired of this yet? Have we had our fill? The reason this sort of thing continues to erupt in places like Harlem is that so many black leaders have refused for so long to unequivocally oppose the racists, the anti-Semites, and the perpetrators of violence within the black community.

Almost always there were excuses and rationalizations. Denunciations of anti-Semitic outbursts by Mr. Farrakhan and Mr. Muhammad, for example, were frequently accompanied by expressions of support for the "positive" aspects of their message.

There is no positive aspect. Those who think a hateful approach might somehow be good for children should check with Mr. Perkins's ten-year-old nephew, Kiare, who is being raised by the Councilman. "He was frightened by what he saw on TV," said Mr. Perkins, "and expressed some concern about whether they knew where we lived."

In New York last week there was some evidence that this misguided tolerance might be eroding. After the attack on Mr. Perkins, several elected black officials stepped forward to denounce Mr. Muhammad, his message, and his march.

Charles Rangel, the Congressman, said: "We hoped last year if there was an increase in kids coming, the good would overcome the hatred of the organizers. But after the events of last year, we could not encourage anyone to get involved in the event."

Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright declared, "Enough is enough."

This should never have been a tough call. I don't remember too many black people looking for the constructive side of George Wallace or David Duke.

Given our tragic history, the purveyors of hatred and violence should be pariahs in the black community as nowhere else. We're making some progress. Mr. Muhammad is having a more difficult time than he ever expected. But we're not there yet.


Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company

Bob Herbert writes for the New York Times.

We have implemented a new commenting system. To use it you must login/register with disqus. Registering is simple and can be done while posting this comment itself. Please contact gzenone [at] horowitzfreedomcenter.org if you have any difficulties.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Home | Blog | Horowitz | Archives | Columnists | Search | Store | Links | CSPC | Contact | Advertise with Us | Privacy Policy

Copyright©2007 FrontPageMagazine.com