letters on the Nation of Islam, one from
The New York Times,
February 23, 1994 . . .
What about the Nation of Islam's Historical Ties to
To the Editor:
It was widely reported
when Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, suspended Khalid Abdul
Muhammad, who told an audience at
that Jews are bloodsuckers, gays are sissies, and the Pope is a cracker.
Mr. Farrakhan rebuked
the manner in which Mr. Muhammad delivered his message, but Mr. Farrakhan
reaffirmed the “truths” of that message! Reporters speculate if this is a
repudiation of bigotry or not. But they are silent about the history of
the Nation of Islam on these subjects.
In the early 1960's, at
a large gathering of the Nation of Islam, the featured speaker was Elijah
Muhammad, its leader. But the speaker just before him, addressing Elijah
Muhammad's followers, was George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American
In the early 1960's
Malcolm X, as a Nation of Islam spokesman, mocked the Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. At the height of civil
rights protest Malcolm traveled to the South, not to partake in civil
rights protest, but to negotiate with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan on how
to thwart the struggle for civil rights. This scene is omitted from Spike
Lee's film and from the recent PBS documentary on Malcolm X.
And in the 1920's, even
before the founding of the Nation of Islam, Marcus Garvey led the
Universal Negro Improvement Association, which became
America's largest black nationalist organization. The association created the
Black Cross Nurses, the African Legion, the Knights of the
established the Black Star Steamship Line. Though black liberals and
socialists like A. Philip Randolph and W. E. B. Du Bois bitterly opposed
Garvey, Garvey found other associates—the
leaders of the Ku Klux Klan.
Garvey and Klansmen met
and shook hands in the 1920's. Eventually, Garvey was deported and lived
in Britain, where he supported the Conservative Party and hoped
Britain would transfer some of its African colonies to him. Garvey also
admired some European leaders, like Mussolini. Garvey even reminded his
followers, “We were the first Fascists.”2
Thus, the problem is not a single speech by Khalid Muhammad. Behind
much of black nationalism and the Nation of Islam lurks the idea of
fascism. And black fascism, like white fascism, is still fascism.
When Jesse Jackson and
the Congressional Black Caucus attempt to embrace Louis Farrakhan, they
are seeking an alliance with a tradition of fascism.
Feb. 16, 1994
The writer is the author of articles on black history.
When George Lincoln
Rockwell, Elijah Muhammad, and Malcolm X Shared the Same Stage
and Rockwell's own
elsewhere on this site.—A.F.
2 For the source of this quote, see the
third reference note to Hugh Murray,
“From the Communist Party to Affirmative Action,”
elsewhere on this site.—A.F.
Posted July 4, 2007
[Updated August 1, 2007]
Examining the Million Man March
To the Editor:
Leroy Davis's account of his experiences
at the Million Man March misses the main point (
"Memories of the 'Million Man March,'" Opinion, November 10).
One needs to recall some of the history of black nationalism in this
country to comprehend the larger meaning of that march.
In the 1920s, when the young National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People sought to extend civil
rights to blacks, the black nationalists were in opposition. The
leading black-nationalist organization of that era, the Universal Negro
Improvement Association, was headed by Marcus Garvey. Not only did
Garvey revile the N.A.A.C.P.'s W. E. B. Du Bois as a mulatto, and
insufficiently black, but Garvey colluded with the Ku Klux Klan! And
why not? Garvey later contended that he and the members of the
U.N.I.A. were the first fascists.
Today's leading black-nationalist
organization, the Nation of Islam, views whites as devils. The N.O.I.
opposed the civil-rights movement and the civil-rights march on Washington
of 1963, at which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous
speech. Malcolm X traveled to Washington that day not to speak of
unity, not to march, but to denounce the “farce on Washington.” And
in the early 1960s, when Malcolm was still a member of the N.O.I., when he
traveled to the South, it was not to partake in civil-rights protest, but
to make secret deals with the Klan. Furthermore, at a major N.O.I.
gathering in Chicago's International Amphitheater in 1962, Elijah Muhammad
had George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party, address
12,000 of his followers at this Black Muslim conclave.
Sociology, black-studies, and other
academic departments have covered up and distorted much recent history,
and the media have repeated their distortions. They often assert
that blacks cannot be racists. How absurd! Not only can blacks
be racists, they can be—and
There is a long tradition of black fascism in this country, one that the
politically correct refuse to see.
Some endorsed the Million Man March
because of its message, its noble aims, its unifying symbolism. How
foolish! A march whose chief sponsor is America's leading fascist
and racist is a march that must be condemned.
The march was a watershed event. Hundreds
of thousands of black men have voted with their feet to endorse as their
leader America's leading fascist. There were few American flags at
the rally, for basically Black Muslims reject this country. They
prefer the black, red, and green, and the black duce, Minister Farrakhan.
It is a sad day for all Americans.
Posted July 5, 2007