Agam's Gecko
Sunday, February 26, 2006
* updated *


've been half watching C-SPAN while writing this morning -- a live broadcast of the annual "Tavis Smiley presents the State of the Black Union." Louis Farrakhan is there, Al Sharpton, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Harry Belafonte, Cornel West and others are on stage discussing a new Black Agenda. A new document has been cited as the foundation for this agenda, referred to as "The Covenant." Some of the panelists wanted to talk about these basic principles, or at least keep the discussion true to these principles, while others were more interested in displaying how angry they are. When the floor passed from Belafonte, to Sharpton, and then Farrakhan, it seemed like each was trying to outdo the previous, in anger and vitriol. And no doubt about it, Harry had set the bar high.

He raised the issue of his recent controversial statemtents, and reiterated even more strongly that President Bush is the worst terrorist on the planet. He took it even farther today, saying that the most important question for African-American people is, "Are you prepared to die for the cause?" (The cause being the removal of the terrorist Republican regime...) "If the answer is yes, then get out there and fight them!" This is the stuff that gets the church most excited, and Rev. Sharpton picked up that ball and ran with it. The idea of being present at the ignition of a people's revolution is a powerful temptation. Sharpton thundered for a while, pumped up the anger some more, and then Minister Farrakhan took over.

The Nation of Islam leader basically said that as of now, he doesn't care what anybody thinks of his statements. He has been restraining himself before today I guess, but now that Harry has called for volunteers to die for the cause, there must be no more need of that. He told part of a story about Martin Luther King, in which Dr. King had told Mr. Belafonte that he was worried about the movement. He worried that they were integrating Black America into a burning house. Farrakhan took this metaphor around the block a few times, ending up in a rough part of town. "America must be burned! ... America is no good at all." This received the most ecstatic response of the day. Minister Farrakhan had a flight to catch, and left immediately after this speech.

Later in the event, Belafonte completed the story about Martin Luther King. Dr. King had actually answered his own question of the burning house. "If the house really is on fire, then we will become firemen." Exactly the opposite position from, "the house must burn." Well, Harry didn't say that part, because he loves Minister Farrakhan. He said that he expressed this love, and deep respect, because "Minister Farrakhan makes me think." Wherever each of their journeys would take them, they would always be together -- or something to that effect. But here's the next quote, directly. "We will meet somewhere along the journey, in a way that's truly Godlike."

UPDATE: More Farrakhan quotes were noted by MooreThoughts:
“We’ve made a covenant with a government that is death itself.”

“Bush rules the darkness and wickedness of this world.”

“The leaders at the top are on their way to Hell. And, if I can, I want to help push them there. Peace.”
The Bush / Devil connection is old hat for Louis, there's nothing new in that rhetoric. But trying to push him into Hell, along with the rest of "the leaders at the top," might be a new twist. To get to Hell, they'll have to die first, right? And Harry, who looks just overwhelmed with the bitters, wants people to fight and die for... Harry wasn't quite precise on that point. To remove the terrorist George W. "Hitler" and his terrorist regime from power, for one. To push them all into Hell? Peace!

What would MLK feel, watching this stuff? In fairness though, he might not be too disappointed, since the majority of the panel, as well as moderator Tavis Smiley, were more interested in constructive talk. Several of them are, like Tavis, Christian ministers. As was Dr. King, of course. The influence of those ethics probably kept this event from going right off the rails.

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