Farrakhan: Trump’s election hardened racial attitudes

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan offered two observations Sunday to the U.S. president: Be careful about sending the National Guard to Chicago and be wary of following the lead of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s president, in wading into the Middle East talks.

Farrakhan, 83, made the warnings in a three-hour speech at Joe Louis Arena that wrapped up Saviours Day 2017, the Nation of Islam’s 87th annual celebration of founder W. Fard Muhammad, who created the Nation, a black separatist religious movement in Detroit in 1930. Muhammad Mosque, on the 14800 block of Wyoming on the city’s west side, is called No. 1 in honor of that history.

“If you slaughter my young brothers, beware what God will do,” Farrakhan, a Chicagoan, said of President Trump’s suggesting the city could use the help of the Guard to quell Chicago’s violence.

On Israel, he said: “If you follow Netanyahu, you’ll be in war in a short time.”

Farrakhan used his speech to touch on familiar Nation of Islam positions, calling Trump’s election a byproduct of white supremacy, which has resulted in a hardening of racial attitudes.

“Have you noticed that white people will call you n----- and not think twice nowadays?” he said.

As for Trump’s controversial leadership style, Farrakhan said: “The forces that killed (President John) Kennedy, the same forces that killed (President Abraham) Lincoln, the people who really run the country, are evaluating Donald Trump right now to see if he can be controlled. He’s not being controlled right now.”

Of Trump, Farrakhan said “in 20 minutes, he might speak 20 lies,” but he credited the president for one thing: his independent wealth.

“When have you ever seen a president fly into Washington on their own jet?” he told the crowd.

The speech also hit on such topics as the failures of black men to lead and protect their families, and the racial climate in America.

“White people have been losing since Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, and been trying to get away from you ever since,” Farrakhan said.

He also said lamenting Hillary Clinton’s election loss was foolish. “Some of you thought,” he said, “if she broke the glass ceiling, you would too.”

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones was among the local officials who spoke before Farrakhan. She read a council proclamation welcoming Saviours Day to Detroit.

Jones also urged the Nation to take an interest again in Chicago, its home since Temple No. 2 was created there in the 1930s. Jones listed jobs, education and faith as areas where the Nation could help.

Saviours Day also offered sessions on physical training and exercise, disaster and emergency management, the “war on Islam” since 9/11, and a military drill competition.

Some national watchdog groups have said after a presidential campaign that emboldened white identity politics, the Nation of Islam was positioning to be newly relevant. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism has found black separatism growing alongside white supremacy, creating a more favorable environment for the Nation’s teachings.

Associated Press contributed.