Farrakhan Calls for Blacks to Separate from Mainstream U.S. Culture
Posted: October 30, 2007
Louis Farrakhan, longtime Nation of Islam (NOI) leader, did not espouse anti-Semitic messages, which have marked many of his previous speeches, during his annual “Holy Day of Atonement” address to nearly 5,000 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta.
Farrakhan’s October 16, 2007, address, which was broadcast via satellite, radio and Web cast, covered a wide range of issues, including the NOI’s long held nationalist belief that the African-American community would be better off establishing its own separate state or territory in the U.S. or elsewhere.
Farrakhan cited slavery and U.S. support for Israel to argue that such a territory should receive federal funding from the U.S.: “Don’t tell us you can’t do that for us. We built your country. We fought, bled, and died in every war to keep you free. You’ve been taking care of Israel for nearly 60 years and they have never done for you what we have done.”
Farrakhan also discussed African-American suffering at the hands of law enforcement and the justice system: “This peaceful coexistence with the murder of our people has to stop…The time may soon come, or maybe has come, for us to retaliate for injustice.” Farrakhan condemned the Justice Department for what he described as a failure to protect the legal rights of Blacks, asking, “What are you trying to force us to do?”
Other speakers included Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and civil rights activist Reverend Joseph Lowery. Ishmael Muhammad, the NOI’s national assistant minister and one of Farrakhan’s potential successors, spoke at the event as well.
In September 2006, Farrakhan ceded his leadership role with the NOI due to illness after nearly 30 years, handing over responsibilities to an executive board.
The NOI’s Holy Day of Atonement commemorates the anniversary of the organization’s 1995 Million Man March (MMM) in Washington, DC. The NOI held its largest MMM anniversary event, the Millions More Movement rally, in October 2005 in Washington, DC.