November 10, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am #588570The Big OneParticipant
In a Sunday address celebrating President-elect Barack Obama, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Obama has a God-given capacity to handle any burdens he’ll face as the nation’s leader.
Farrakhan added that Obama will only be able to make positive changes with help from “God and people of good will,” and he urged the Chicago-based movement’s followers to do their part.
“President-elect Obama has energized all segments of the depressed, downtrodden, rejected and despised,” he said in a 90-minute speech at Mosque Maryam on the city’s South Side. “Now it is up to us to take the new energy that he has given us … and channel that energy into making ourselves better.”
Dressed in intricately decorated red and gold robes and matching fez, the once-ailing 75-year-old leader spoke to more than 1,000 followers in an address called “America’s New Beginning: President-elect Barack Obama.”
Farrakhan, who said Obama draws a “oneness of spirit” from all people, admitted he stayed quiet about his support for Obama during the past few months out of fear his words would harm the Illinois senator’s bid for the White House.
In February, Farrakhan praised Obama calling him “the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better” at a Saviours’ Day event in Chicago.
On Sunday, Farrakhan said Obama faced unfair scrutiny for his associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor who was shown making fiery statements about the U.S. government in widely circulated video clips. Obama was also criticized because of the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Chicago priest who mocked Clinton at Wright and Obama’s former church, Trinity United Church of Christ.
“For nine months, I kept quiet because I saw that the good words that I spoke about this beautiful young man at our Saviours’ Day convention and the way they were misused,” Farrakhan said of Obama. “I decided it would be better for me to just be quiet rather than be drawn into the controversy that was swirling around his pastor, Father Pfleger, and others.”
Farrakhan then added with a smile, “I feel freer today to say the things that are in my heart.”
Farrakhan said Obama’s historic win as the nation’s first black president does not make the Nation of Islam — which espouses self-reliance and black supremecy– and civil rights organizations, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, irrelevant.
“All of us have been risen by his rise,” Farrakhan said. “It is not for Mr. Obama to do the job for us. Now we must shoulder the responsibility to raise our people up. We have to double our effort to get our people ready for whatever opportunity can be provided for all Americans to benefit from and not look for special favors.”
He thanked black leaders including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, for laying the foundation for Obama’s victory, which he called Divine.
“Because if God is involved, and He is, then it is God who has laid on this young man this horrible burden at the worst time in the history of America and the world,” he said. “But it was also God that has given this young man, this tremendous capacity to handle what God has put on his shoulders.”
In 2006, a gravely ill Farrakhan ceded leadership of the movement to a board as he recuperated from complications due to prostate cancer. Months later, he quietly retook full responsibility.
This year, appearing healthy but more subdued than his past speeches, he has made several public appearances, including one last month at a rare open-to-the-public event at Mosque Maryam deemed a “new beginning” for the movement.
Farrakhan delivered a message of unity and encouraged followers to get back to the basic tenants of the religion. But he did not lay out specifics for a shift in direction for the movement, which has been marked by divisions since it was founded in the 1930s.
Last week, in a private sermon at the mosque, which was called the second part of the “new beginning” speech, he further clarified his message.
He said Nation of Islam mosques “are committed first and foremost to the resurrection and transformation of the Black people in America and throughout the world,” according to the movement’s newspaper The Final Call.
(In other news regarding Iran, Obama said “I will be reviewing the letter from President Ahmadinejad, and we will respond appropriately,”, leaving open the question about whether he will reply. President Bush chose not to respond to a rambling 18-page letter he received from Ahmadinejad in 2006, but during the campaign Obama indicated he would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders. During the campaign, Obama offered to conduct direct talks with Iran, a statement that unnerved European allies invested in the diplomatic approach.)November 10, 2008 3:17 am at 3:17 am #625669
I’d hate to think what is in store for us with this guy, once he takes over.November 10, 2008 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #625670ujmParticipant
Everyone (or most people) knew Obama associates himself with shady characters.November 10, 2008 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #625671Give Me a BreakMember
Come on. Does this really mean ANYTHING?November 10, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #625672
Gmab, Yes, it does.November 11, 2008 3:50 am at 3:50 am #625673The Big OneParticipant
[This was Sunday morning in Chicago at his mosque, and he was decked out, man. He had the fez on and the flowing red robes.]
FARRAKHAN: This desire for change is a desire that has intensified in America and throughout the world because of the failure of governments to adequately address the needs of the people under their rule.
[He may have a point there, but he doesn’t know it.]
FARRAKHAN: The only politician, to my knowledge, that came close to having this effect on people was Senator Robert Kennedy in his bid to become president of the United States.
[Now, I remember that. I think Kennedy did captivate the country, but not like JFK. These guys are reliving Camelot here. They’re trying to rebirth Camelot is what’s going on here. Here’s one more bite from Calypso Louis Sunday in his mosque.]
FARRAKHAN: He is a masterful organizer, and in his acceptance speech that night, he said, “We gotta organize block by block.”
FARRAKHAN: I believe President-Elect Obama is going to have to get everyone involved, because the job of helping him is not just with his cabinet, or Congress. The job of helping this nation out of its condition is a responsibility that everyone has something to do about.
[Well, here’s a guy who’s hearing Obama’s message that America is bad. There’s something terribly institutionally wrong with America. We gotta fix it. But Calypso Louis, I would ask you to go back and look at the tape. ‘Cause when Obama told everybody in that crowd, the hordes, that it was going to take sacrifice on the part of everybody, the people in that crowd got kind of perplexed. There were looks the puzzlement on their faces, and they said, “What is this ‘we,’ bro? I didn’t think ‘we’ were going to be doing any of the sacrificing.” You could read that on their faces.]November 20, 2008 1:10 am at 1:10 am #625674bigmoParticipant
Beginning of economic collapse, part IINovember 20, 2008 1:47 am at 1:47 am #625675illini07Member
What, exactly, does it mean? Why are you people so quick to jump down Obama’s throat for things that OTHER people are saying? Who cares what Farrakhan says? Was Obama standing on the stage next to him giving his approval? Did Obama say anything at all?
Saying that someone is dangerously connected to people based on the fact that they speak out in favor of them is tenuous at best. Otherwise, John McCain may have been dangerously affiliated with the KKK because you better believe they endorsed him over a black man. There’s a logical disconnect in some of your brains, and it baffles me.November 20, 2008 3:00 am at 3:00 am #625677mw13Participant
What farrakhan says is truly scary, as Will Hill put it, but Obama is in no way connected to farrakhan. Obama’s pastor, wright has awarded farrakhan with some sort of lifetime achievement award, but I have yet to hear of Obama even meeting this man. Like illini07 said, that’s like blaming McCain for what the KKK says. I’d be more worried about wright, but even he was just nuts and, as far as I know, doesn’t have any position on real issues. My only problems with Obama are his policies (although I must admit that his Hamas endorsement scared me, because they obviously hold he’s better for them).November 20, 2008 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #625678squeakParticipant
So what did I say that got my post censored? Was it the part about how the current president should be blamed for the current problems or was it the part about how you should expect to get what you elect?November 21, 2008 5:53 am at 5:53 am #625679
squeak, I’m sorry if no one here values your political opinions. It sounds like you are with the wrong crowd.November 21, 2008 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #625681squeakParticipant
That’s OK, WH. I don’t need to only be with carbon copies of myself.
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