I do not fancy Louis Farrakhan. I detest him for his admitted role in the assassination of Malcolm X.
I find his views on womenan emphasis that they stay “covered,” put their husbands and children before their careers and denunciation of autonomy over their own bodiesto be reductive, and subsequently, repulsive. His anti-Semitism, including a past claim that “Hitler was a great man” is equally despicable. As are his views on queer and trans people.
Those views have become a major focus in recent days due to controversy over the ties three Women’s March co-chairsLinda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Malloryhave with the Nation of Islam leader.
In response to the growing chorus of critics, the organization released a statement, part of which declared “Anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism and white supremacy are and always will be indefensible.”
This is a chaos of their own creation. If Women’s March wanted to be a centralized organization with designated and visible leadership, they needed to each act accordingly. It should not be difficult to grasp that an embracement of Louis Farrakhan is not a good ideanotably for any member of an organization that claims to advocate for marginalized women.
Still, it has been frustrating to watch the pile on because it reeks of hypocrisy. As Splinter politics editor Alex Pareene noted on Twitter, Senator Rand Paul, appeared on conspiracy theory spewing, racist jerk-off Alex Jones’ show regularly for years and only one journalistDave Weigel, who now works at the Washington Postasked him about it in 2015. Consider how long his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, managed to skirt by for much of his political career never having to answer for his own racist ties. Actually, take into account all of the many, many other affiliations to bigotry by many members of the Republican Party even before the current sweet and sour colored squash white supremacist and his band of racists stormed the White House.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan makes it clear that he does not hate the LGBTQ community.
— The Final Call News (@TheFinalCall) March 6, 2018
And when I saw this clip of Farrakhan claiming that he doesn’t hate gay people because LGBTQ people suffer from “a psychological, chemical imbalance,” I nearly chuckled at the irony.
I once watched Farrakhan speak when he appeared at Howard University. I was intrigued then as I am in this clip at his ability to mimic ultra conservative Christian talking points and delivery when talking gender and sexuality. He is singing the same song as the likes of Billy Graham (and a few Black gospel singers and megachurch pastors), albeit in a slightly different key. In fact, Graham has said even harsher things about gay people yet managed to get even President Obama to speak kindly of him when he died.
Speaking of anti-gay, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may have just appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but she also recently endorsed an anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion candidate for congressional reelection.
How are any of these people that different from Sarsour, Perez, and Mallory? All of them are all guilty of the sin of sacrificing the humanities of others for some presumed greater goal. In the case of those individual Women’s March co-chairs, it is presumably because they share the larger sentiment of wanting to dismantle white supremacy and racism. It is not unlike the others including politicians, academics, activists, and so onwho have essentially looked the other way with Farrakhan. Perhaps none of these people were as silly to respond to criticism with whataboutism someone or invoking Jesus Christ when called on it, but it’s hard to see how they differ from the aforementioned.
Again, I am no fan of Farrakhan. Nearly everyday in Harlem I walk by Nation of Islam members, many of whom constantly try to offer me an issue of Final Call. I constantly have to resist the urge to bark back, “Y’all don’t like my gay ass either!” or “Your boy needs to never come for Beyoncé again!” Knowing some respect me as a Black man but don’t think I suffer from some kind of affliction because I am also a gay one is uneasy feeling that never soothes with time.
Even so, it is interesting to see select folks act high and mighty about select Women’s March activists’ dealings with him, but never have that some vigor towards others engaging in the same bad habit. I wonder why that is. I suppose I can stare at my Black hand for a moment and a premonition will soon surface.
Ultimately, this should not that difficult to figure out. If you are for the freedom for all, you should only uplift and associate with those with shared goals. When they deviate from that, delete them from your sphere. If you feel that it is your place to call those with dubious affiliations out, do you, but do so across the board. Don’t do it when it only suits your cause. Don’t pick and choose when to be righteous and just.
If you are incapable of that, you are not sitting at some higher level consciousness than those you are condemning; if anything, you are no better and are equally as useless.