Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Million Man March Reloaded

posted by Rob at 8:11 PM

There was a large gathering of black men and women this past weekend in Washington, D.C. It was called the Millions More Movement. It celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. The headline speaker was, of course, Louis Farrakhan.

I glanced around the net to find a transcript of his hour-long speech. I never found it. I did find several articles on the event, most in the so-called black media. What struck me as odd is the sentiment by more than one writer that the Million Man March was a failure. Just ask Morris O’Kelly:
Most of us remember the show of solidarity on the mall in Washington back in 1995. ... It was our house that wasn’t in order and it needed to be addressed first and foremost.

Ten years later, not much has changed, disappointingly I might add. If anything, we’ve moved further down that dubious path of self-destruction. Minister Louis Farrakhan has asked for not only African-American men, but women, children of all races and religious affiliations to also join in this movement.
It also seems that Farrakhan agrees. In an interview with AllHipHop.com he brags on several statistical improvements in the black community, and does a pretty good impersonation of Bill Bennet by saying, "the crime rate went down, the murder rate went down."

He then adds:
We’re still segregated; we’re still in substandard education, inferior schools, teachers that are fed up because the discipline problem in the schools is horrific. Now when I look at ten years after the Million Man March look at how many factories have been closed in the last ten years. Black men, Brown men are out of jobs. Look at the amount of drugs and guns that have come into our communities. ... Ten years later, young Black men and women now are filling the prisons. And some of the wardens and Black penologists are saying that young Black people are committing crimes that are so horrific that even their elders have never committed crimes like that. We have gone on a degenerative slide.
It thus appears we know have the answer to a question poised by CNN 10 years ago - "What happens back home will determine whether this massive event had a lasting effect, or was just an emotional celebration that lasted no more than one day."

I'm sure the same question is being asked now regarding MMM II - will it have a lasting effect? I, sadly, doubt it.

Here's why. The following are direct quotes from Farrakhan. Guess which ones are from MMM I in 1995, and which are from MMM II.

No. 1 -
I must hasten to tell you, Mr. President, that I'm not a malicious person, and I'm not filled with malice. But, I must tell you that I come in the tradition of the doctor who has to point out, with truth, what's wrong. And the pain is that power has made America arrogant. Power and wealth has made America spiritually blind and the power and the arrogance of America makes you refuse to hear a child of your slaves pointing out the wrong in your society.
No. 2 -
In the last ten years America has experienced more calamities than at any other time period in American history. Why America? God is angry. He's not angry because you're right. He's angry because you're wrong and you want to stone and kill the people who want to make you see you're wrong.
No. 3 -
You've got Arabs here. You've got Hispanics here. I know you call them illegal aliens, but hell, you took Texas from them by flooding Texas with people that got your mind. And now they're coming back across the border to what is Northern Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. They don't see themselves as illegal aliens. I think they might see you as an illegal alien. You have to be careful how you talk to people.
No. 4 -
Go back, join the NAACP if you want to, join the Urban league, join the All African People's Revolutionary Party, join us, join the Nation of Islam, join PUSH, join the Congress of Racial Equality, join SCLC - the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, but we must become a totally organized people and the only way we can do that is to become a part of some organization that is working for the uplift of our people.
No. 5 -
This is the beginning of a new movement where all of our brothers and sisters, black, brown, red and white, will work collectively to address the many issues that affect our people and the poor in this country.
No. 6 -
The government will never do for the poor of this nation until and unless we organize effectively to make government respond to the needs of the poor ... We must go back home and organize as never before.
No. 7 -
The Democrats have used us and abused us. They look at the black and the brown and the poor like this is a plantation, and our Democratic leaders are like the house Negro on the plantation of Democratic politics.
The first four quotes are from his two-hour speech in 1995. The last three are from an 80-minute speech in 2005. You could easily exchange those lines from one speech to the other and not change their meaning or intent. In essense, Farrakhan said nothing new. Why should we expect any different results?


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