the real sideshow

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

From "The Souls of Black Folk" W.E.B. DuBois

I am so tired of the news media fronted by white folk and Uncle Tom Negroes, attempting to pick and choose or disparage current, past or future black leadership. This has got to stop! Or, should I say we black people must stop allowing our destiny to be determined by those who are the traditional enemies to African American progress. In the Monday, October 12, 2015 edition of the New York Times, columnist Charles M. Blow again takes aim at Minister Louis Farrakhan, after the culmination of another successful mobilization of African Americans to focus on the pressing issues that affect our communities. See “Million Man March, 20 Years On”.

In his editorial, Blow disingenuously takes shots at Minister Farrakhan by offering subdued praise for both the Million Man and Justice or Else movements while disparaging the “movement makers.” You can’t credibly separate the positivity of the march from the vision of those who conceived it. No matter how artful the language or how skillful your use of propagandistic and false rhetoric, you will not succeed in tarnishing the legacy of the Million Man March or separate the movement from the movement maker. We will no longer fall for the lies, tricks and deception of the enemy. Black columnist Blow invites negative inquiry with respect to both marches by saying, “The question is as it was in 1995: can you separate the march from the messenger?” My emphatic response to Blow is, “Why should we have to?”

We as a people don’t have to apologize for Minister Farrakhan as if he is the enemy; after all, he’s one of us and is on our side. To mischaracterize and vilify him is part of the empire’s plan. Black people must stop feeling the need to justify our allegiance to leaders who may happen to fall outside white America’ view of what’s politically correct, or appropriate for the future of our people. Who are you Charles Blow…and what gives you proper standing to disparage Minister Farrakhan? Is it your national platform alone that gives you apparent authority to speak credibly on issues affecting black leadership? One thing we can say with certainty about the Minister is that he cannot be bought or sold by the racist institutions that run this country and powerful media conglomerates like the NYT. Can you say that Mr. Blow? I’m not sure what you are paid as a columnist, but I’m sure it’s quite handsomely. Whatever the amount, it should not be enough to stifle independent black thought and undermine leadership that falls outside of what is proscribed by white America.

Blow continues his assault by quoting another traditional Farrakhan basher, the American Jewish Congress, in calling him “one of the country’s most prominent and unrepentant public bigots.” Well, here again we have to consider the source of the criticism. All of Farrakhan’s attackers just like Blow have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo: an American system that perpetuates racial and economic inequality through its institutions and leadership. I’d like to suggest that white folk who run this country have long ago adapted the strategy of Pharaoh, from the biblical text Exodus 1:10, when he said “Come we must deal shrewdly with them lest they multiply.” Dealing shrewdly with the Negro by white folks unfortunately has been going on since the first slave ship docked in Virginia and continues to this day, four hundred years later. Blow goes on to quote another New York Times article from 1995 (see “Riders on the Storm”) that “blasted Farrakhan and his fellow organizer Benjamin Chavis, Jr., comparing them to white racists of the previous generation.” This is another absurd analogy and a classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black”—African Americans who have never had the wealth, political power or institutional control to impose their views on the populace which is a necessary component of racism.

Any time black people advocate self-sufficiency and independence from white folk, they are labeled bigots or racists by the established in an attempt to discredit and disparage. Well, enough is enough! It’s time to expose the motivation and the intent of those who would continue to keep us in mental, psychological and economic bondage. America … we will not allow you to pick our leaders and we will expose and reject your handpicked successors as the enemy when they purport to speak on behalf of black people while eating at the trough of wealthy white benefactors and other establishment types.

In his final attempt to discredit, Blow borrows an old page from the playbook of Willie Lynch the “slave maker and slave breaker” who said that “we must turn the female against the male and the male against the female.” By appealing to the fringe interests of feminism and the LGBTQ community, Blow disingenuously tries to make the case that Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are oppressive to women and somehow intolerant of the LGBTQ community. This not so subtle appeal to negatively influence our sisters and black gays and lesbians, is only the latest ploy in the old reliable “divide and conquer” strategy to keep black folk separated and subjugated.

Mr. Blow your motives are clear and your allegiances are even clearer. You are no more than a tool of the wealthy white establishment, artfully used to keep the ranks of African Americans relegated to subservient, second class and unequal status, both politically and economically. Blow ends his article by quoting another Farrakhan critic from 1995 who said, “The discussion of Farrakhan is a side show for us.” Mr. Blow, my question is who is the real side show? I suggest that the real side show is you and those who back you, by providing license and platform to disparage black leaders not chosen and sanctioned by the empire.

Gerald Torrence is a lawyer, educator, writer, social and political activist, and motivational speaker living in Atlanta. You can find more insightful opinions from TheTruthTeller at You can follow Gerald on Twitter @tttspokentruth.

#racism #influencers #louisfarrakhan


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