ADL Urges Prominent African-American Leaders to Reconsider Their Support for the "Millions More Movement"
New York, NY, May 2, 2005 … Saddened and disheartened by their possible involvement in the "Millions More Movement", the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is urging prominent African-American leaders to reconsider their support for the march and its anti-Semitic organizers, Minister Louis Farrakhan and Malik Zulu Shabazz. Organizers have scheduled a news conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to discuss plans for the October 14-16 march, which will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March on Washington.
In a letter to more than 30 prominent Black leaders listed as supporting the march, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Julian Bond, Rev. Floyd Flake and U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, ADL said that the involvement of two longtime anti-Semites – Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and Shabazz, head of the New Black Panther Party – was "especially disturbing."
"While its stated goal of bringing together the African-American community is laudable, the involvement of Minister Louis Farrakhan and Malik Zulu Shabazz as co-conveners of the March taints the proceeding with the baggage of anti-Semitism and hate," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "When will someone in the African-American community stand up and say that the Million Man March had a positive message, but the pied piper is a racist and anti-Semite?"
While insisting that he has changed, Minister Farrakhan has never renounced his long record of anti-Semitism and continues to make outrageous statement about Jews, said ADL's letter. Shabazz likewise has a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric, most recently telling a university audience that Jews bear special responsibility for the slave trade and consider Blacks to be "cursed."
"We cannot understand why good people continue to tolerate this outrage of anti-Semitic views and behavior," said Mr. Foxman. It seems there is a line of denial – indeed a blind spot among many – within the African-American community when it comes to anti-Semitism."
ADL's 2005 Survey of Attitudes Towards Jews in America found that while the number of Americans with anti-Semitic views remains at historic lows, still as much as 36 percent of African-Americans continue to hold strongly anti-Semitic views – a finding consistent with past surveys.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.