Sunday, November 2, 2008

Obama-Farrakhan Ties Are Close, Ex-Farrakhan Aide Says

Excerpted from Newsmax:

A former top deputy to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tells Newsmax that Barack Obama’s ties to the black nationalist movement in Chicago run deep, and that for many years the two men have had “an open line between them” to discuss policy and strategy, either directly or through intermediaries...

Dr. Vibert White Jr., who spent most of his adult life as a member and ultimately top officer of the Nation of Islam,... broke with the group in 1995 and is now a professor of African-American history at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

White said Obama was “part of the Chicago scene” where Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and radicals would go to each other’s events and support each other’s causes.

"Even though Chicago is the third-largest city in the country, within the black community, the political and militant nationalist community is very small. So it wouldn’t be uncommon for [Obama and Farrakhan] to show up at events together, or at least be there and communicate with each other,” White told Newsmax...

In 1995, according to a profile of Obama that appeared in the Chicago Reader newspaper, Obama “took time off from attending campaign coffees to attend October’s Million Man March in Washington, D.C.”...

Obama spoke at length with the Chicago Reader upon his return from the Million Man March...

“Historically, African-Americans have turned inward and towards black nationalism whenever they have a sense, as we do now, that the mainstream has rebuffed us, and that white Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing," Obama said.

“Black nationalism” is a current of thought and political action in the African-American community that has been championed by the likes of Farrakhan, Wright, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and Khalid al-Mansour. Obama discussed his attraction to black nationalism at length in his 1995 memoir “Dreams of My Father.”

Obama further parsed his words in a Feb. 25, 2008, presentation to a Jewish community meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, where he insisted that [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright “does not have a close relationship with Louis Farrakhan.”

And yet, just months earlier, Wright’s Trumpet magazine gave Farrakhan its Lifetime Achievement Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award, saying that Farrakhan “truly epitomized greatness.”

That award was the fruit of a long and deep relationship between the two men, White told Newsmax. In 1984, Wright accompanied Farrakhan on his much-criticized trip to meet Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, at a time when Gadhafi was considered an enemy of the United States...

White began in the late 1970s as a foot soldier in the Fruit of Islam, the military branch of Farrakhan’s Black Muslim group, then rose to become a minister of the Nation of Islam and a top deputy to Farrakhan himself... He parted ways with Farrakhan not long after the Million Man March, after nearly 25 years within the organization.

White’s 2002 book “Inside the Nation of Islam” prompted death threats by Farrakhan loyalists, so he left Illinois and moved to Florida to teach at the University of Central Florida.

He told Newsmax that Obama’s remarkable speaking style, even his manner of standing at a podium to appear larger than life, is directly copied from Farrakhan.

“If the Nation of Islam can’t do anything else, it can train people how to speak. And nobody can outspeak a Muslim minister,” he said.