The Evil of Louis Farrakhan vs. the Morality of Frederick Douglass
In W. E. B. Du Bois’ view, every generation of African-Americans has had to contend with “two souls,” or clashing visions. Today, there is no better example of this contrast than Frederick Douglass’ speech in Rochester on July 5, 1852, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” with Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan’s latest July 4th screed.
The 4th of July … to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders,
[Above] your … tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! … If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!”
[B]ut interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? It is neither.
In Jewish tradition, in the Talmud, the way they recognize that you are really from God — they poison you.
My [Jewish] enemies have raised the Talmud above the Torah and then spread the lie against God, that they are stronger than God …
Mr. [Jason] Greenblatt [of the ADL], you are Satan. Those of you who say that you are Jews, I will not even give you the honor of calling you a Jew — you are not a Jew. You are so-called [Jews]. … It is my job now to pull the cover off of Satan, so that every Muslim, when he sees Satan, [will] pick up a stone, as we do in Mecca.
The reason they hate me [is] because they know that I represent the end of their civilization. I represent the uncovering of their wickedness, fulfilling the judgment, that God has come to bring down on America and the world.
You mayors, you governors, stop your police from going to Israel to learn how to kill better. Your days of killing us without consequences are over.
Based partially on Jewish and Biblical history, Douglass affirmed that the Constitution would eventually triumph over racial prejudice. Farrakhan ended his villainous tirade with his prophecy that both the US and Israel are headed for eternal damnation. Who will finally have the courage to condemn this evil man?
Historian Harold Brackman is coauthor with Ephraim Isaac of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Jews, Africans, and African Americans (Africa World Press, 2015).