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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Farewell, Minister Louis Farrakhan

"Although I disagree with Farrakhan on several issues, I applaud his commitment to black self-empowerment. A decade ago I spoke to Booker T. Washington’s great-granddaughter and asked her, 'what leader today is most similar to your great-grandfather?' Her response was Farrakhan. Although Farrakhan harshly criticizes whites, especially Republicans, he recognizes, as did Booker T. Washington, that blacks must come together to solve black problems. He unfortunately believes impeaching President Bush is a moral imperative, a sentiment I do not share, but he has nevertheless exercised leadership in the area of education, starting a private school open to all students. Like Washington, Farrakhan urges blacks to create solutions to problems rather than merely enumerating the problems and hoping whites will solve them."

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Booker T. Washington said:

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs....There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

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