Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Farrakhan's Message Is Not Unique, Religious Leaders Say

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Farrakhan's Message Is Not Unique, Religious Leaders Say

Article excerpt

Few people disagreed with the stated objectives of the Million Man March of black men on Washington. Given the deplorable state of the black family, not many could oppose black men "repenting and atoning for sin," as organizers put it.

If it was nothing else - and it was much else - the sight of so many black males making vows to God, to themselves and to each other (if that's what they did), was encouraging.

But those who said it was not significant that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was organizing the march might be asked whether they would think a march of white people led by a current or former member of the Ku Klux Klan, such as David Duke, would not matter, so long as the objectives were noble. It would matter a great deal, because people would rightly suspect there was a hidden motive behind such a march.

God knows there is a vacuum of leadership in the African-American community. There is no dearth of self-appointed spokesmen who frequently run their mouths for the television cameras but who personally do little to improve the lot of black Americans and who think true redemption is to be found in Washington and its supposed "power" structures.

But Farrakhan is not the way. He is certainly not the truth. And his is not the life African-Americans should emulate. Any person who would say what he has said about Jews, about whites and even about blacks who disagree with him is not fit to lead a movement that claims transcendent authority for its existence.

How different this march was from two other mass events to which some have compared it. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. led a march on Washington with three specific legislative goals: the opening of public accommodations to all, the passage of a voting rights act and equal employment opportunity. More recently, a movement called "Promise Keepers" has brought hundreds of thousands of men to sports stadiums across America, encouraging them to reconnect with God and recommit to their families. …

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