Stacey Aviva Flint

Farrakhan… protected demagogue?

As a child, my neighbors were NOI (Nation of Islam) and invited me to attend a meeting. I heard the strangest and most anti human rhetoric, I have ever heard in my life. The last straw was when they gave a scenario of a plane crashing and a “white” Muslim is aboard. According to the speaker the “white” Muslim would go to hell, even if they were the best Muslim ever. Now, I have always had white relatives in my family so if anyone wants to accuse me of loving white people or the enemy…you are right. I love PEOPLE because they are made in G-d’s image and if we are related even more so, no matter your lack of pigment.
Okay, with that out of the way. Why do those in power and of the Left or even the Right, not condemn Farrakhan? We must ask ourselves this…Why is MLK Jr.’s  message of equality relegated to on MLK Day? Why is the change in Malcolm X’s outlook on humanity not a part of history’s message?
BUT Farrakhan, well into his 80s spews hate from a MANSION on the south side of Chicago? And excuse me if I am wrong, but I have never heard of a major investigations by a governing or political body concerning his disturbing rhetoric over the decades.  One of my favorite movie quotes is from The Usual Suspects in which a character is trying to explain why Verbal Kent is getting immunity to which he says,  ” I’m telling you this guy is protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness.”

You see, as long as MLK Jr. and Malcolm X were RACE men, focused on the problems of the “Blacks” (we were not African American during this time) and if they might agree for a few concessions here and there for the Black community,it was felt they could be controlled. Think about this, both MLK Jr. and Malcolm X messages received greater scrutiny and condemnation, AFTER they emerged into condemning injustice for a greater humanity, and linking them to the Black struggle. Malcolm began to shed the racist ideology of the NOI and MLK Jr. started speaking of economic equality and the immorality of the Vietnam War. When these men began to look at the issues of a greater humanity AND the issues of Black Americans, then their messages were condemned as an even greater danger to the status quo, which was unacceptable.

Sadly, Farrakhan is the exact leader those in power (be it the left or the Alt Right) want African Americans to hear. A charismatic demagogue who spews RACE separation, hate, and anti-Semitism, because the end goal of both these extreme ideologies is a formal/legal return to race separation and racial hierarchies. That is why the Alt-Right (which has always been around) has praised Farrakhan and has said publicly that they have the same goals. Farrakhan even met with former KKK leader Thomas Metzger in 1985.
As an African American sharing the same US county less than 20 miles away, I have a few questions as to the efficacy of his plan to lift  African Americans, or women for that matter, for the real burdens of mis-education, racism, inequality, and economic disparity we still face in America.
Have large groups of African Americans or a few individuals attended  college on scholarship because of Farrakhan? Please advise me.
Has an African American neighborhood been transformed by a plan developed and financed by the resources of the NOI and Farrakhan (with a net worth of $ 3 million as of 2017)? Please advise me.
Has legislation been proposed and lobbied for by the NOI/Farrakhan to assist Black people/people of color/ or MUSLIMS? Please advise me.
I submit to you that immigrants, Russian conspirators, women’s marches, and even Black Lives Matters will have more scrutiny and condemnation than Farrakhan will receive; and unlike the messages of MLK Jr. and Malcolm (not saying they were saints) which challenged us all to move beyond separatism, we have to endure Farrakhan’s Golden Years continuing to spread messages of hate, while African Americans and Chicago suffer.
About the Author
Stacey Aviva Flint is a longtime nonprofit and Jewish professional. Stacey has a BA in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters of Urban Planning and Public Policy for UIC (CHICAGO), and Certificates in Jewish Leadership and Jewish Education from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Stacey began her career as the Policy Director for Chicago’s Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), advocating for housing reform, criminal justice, and Jewish/African-American dialogue. Stacey went on to specialize in Economic Development as Senior Director of Real Estate Development for Affordable Housing, Mixed-Use Spaces, Brownfield Redevelopment, and New Market Tax Credit financing. Stacey is passionate about Jewish African American relationship building with current membership Jews of Color initiatives, Alliance4Israel, a board of JFS Colorado, and a member of the Rose Foundation's committee on Jewish Life. In her spare time, she nurtures a college student and a teenager while speaking and writing nationally on Antisemitism and Jews of Color. Most recently, Stacey served as an Executive Director for a synagogue in Colorado and is currently the Director of Education and Community Engagement on the JEDI (Jewish Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) team for Jewish Federations of North America.