Saturday, March 01, 2008

In Friday’s Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Deborah Douglas wrote an article titled, “Farrakhan's not running for president”. Upon reading it, I was moved to write the following letter to the editors of the newspaper:

Dear Editors,

This letter is in regard to Deborah Douglas’ commentary,“Farrakhan's not running for president” (February 29th). Upon reading it I felt the need to illuminate to Ms. Douglas as to why your rationale is faulty in this case.

First of all, no one is accusing “Black folks” of being stupid and furthermore, just because Harry Farrell is a “white guy” , it doesn’t make him an expert.

So for you and others like you who claim that Senator Obama has been treated unfairly due to his color, let me point out exactly why the “Farrakhan Test” was so important and telling of Obama’s candidacy.

Louis Farrakhan is racist. Plain and simple. He has been quoted many times saying derogatory and disgusting things about Jews and whites. By even addressing him as “Minister Farrakhan”, the Senator immediately lifts him up to an honorable status. Furthermore, there is a very good reason why there are questions regarding his feelings (and his influences of) Farrakhan. The “Reverend” was recently honored by the church that Senator Obama belongs to and has called his place of worship. In addition, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the Pastor of Obama’s church which honored Farrakhan, has been credited by the Senator as a major influence in his life, as well as in his political ambitions.

You are absolutely wrong on comparing questions about Farrakhan’s influence and a game of “gotcha” politics. No one has questioned Senator Obama’s connection to other demagogues who have been exposed as such. No, your excuse for Senator Obama is that because Tom Bradley and David Dinkins were “caught up in this”, we should excuse Obama.

In this case, however, there is a real question. And it doesn’t matter whether Obama is white or black. I would have the same issue if David Duke were an influence on him or on any other candidate. The truth is, who Obama’s influences and advisors and heroes are is very important. Unfortunately, perhaps due to your own bias for the Senator, YOU chose the race card.

Obama’s answer, or really, lack thereof, was very telling. He could have simply said, “Louis Farrakhan has opinions that I abhor and I reject any and all support from him.” Instead, he tried to nuance his way out of the question. That tells me something about him, and it isn’t very good.

Ms. Douglas, no one is telling you who your leaders should be. However, if you want to be led by one of the worst hate-mongers in America today, don’t expect us to bow down and accept it. I have no doubt that Farrakhan and his people have done great things for the black community. Does that make him any less vile?

In fact, let me ask you a question. If David Duke were to build the black community a new school, would you forgive him?

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