Monday, March 12, 2018

Calls to denounce Farrakhan are yesterday's news in Chicago

Jews in a Synagogue, by Rembrandt (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

      You must always check the date on news stories popping up on Facebook. It’s embarrassing to register shock — James Garner dead? Oh no! — only to be informed that he passed away in 2014.
     So a week ago, when I noticed a CNN report headlined “Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan delivers anti-Semitic speech,” the first thing I did was see whether he delivered the speech in 2012 or 2002. I mean, talk about an evergreen headline, right?
     Feb. 25, 2018. Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day. In Chicago. Prompting me to then wonder if the local papers covered it. Nope. Which makes sense. A big city, this, statewide elections looming, plus the continual drip-drip-drip of corrosive national news, like acid leaking out of a car battery. Where on the list of priorities would you put an 84-year-old cult leader saying what he always says?
     Not that any reporter worth his salt wouldn’t leap to attend a Farrakhan rally. I highly recommend the experience, having drawn that short straw years ago. I’m glad I did. Louis Farrakhan is a powerful speaker, in the classic Fidel Castro model: carrying on for hours and hours, puffing and preening. He holds his audience rapt, with occasional trips to the sales tables to fortify themselves with bean cakes.
     It’s quite a show. You can say a lot in three hours, and Farrakhan does: about dignity and self-reliance and power, heavily spiced with a farrago of conspiracy theories. Eventually, he reaches for the Jews like a man scratching a rash. The latest instance classic third-person Farrakhan:

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  1. One has to wonder whether anti-semitism is so much a part of Farrakhan's philosophy that he can't abandon it without his house of cards falling apart. Which leads me to question whether Hitler's public hatred of Jews was so integral to his political effectiveness that it too could not have been abandoned. Certainly, the Germans wasted a lot of money and energy killing Jews that could have been better employed killing Russians and Americans. The logic of pure blood Arianism perhaps dictated Hitler's course, but does Farrakhan have a similar racial/ethnic foundation in which anti-semitism is an irreplaceable cornerstone?


    1. In 1943-44, with the Russian Front collapsing after the massive defeat at Stalingrad, Goebbels get making his massive & insane movie, "Kohlberg" which required several hundred thousand feet of color film, occupying a large part of the German chemical industry, huge numbers of early 19th Century military clothing was made, while the actual troops were freezing to death on the Russian Front & thousands of rifles from the same period along with blank ammunition for them while the actual troops were out of ammo, plus hundreds of horses.
      All because Goebbels had his own personal copy of "Gone With The Wind" & was determined to make an even bigger epic!
      On top of that, the trains headed to the death camps had priority over all other trains, including those carrying supplies to the troops.

      Nazi Germany was a society that had gone totally insane & only its destruction could & did end that insanity!

    2. How WW II might have turned out had Germany not turned on some of its most gifted citizens is frightening to contemplate. During the 1930's German universities like Gottingen lost eminent Jewish scientists who ended up in Cambridge, Princeton and Chicago, where they contributed to the science that was crucial in winning the war. And it was not only Jews. A German physician got in big trouble by pointing out to Himmler that there were many clever homosexuals who might be cured of their affliction and be put to good use in the war effort. While many of their kind in Germany were earning a one way ticket to the camps Alan Turing was busy at work in Hut 4 at Bletchley Park with code breaking estimated to have shortened the War by months if not years.


  2. Movements rooted in racial hatred are always insidious and corrosive, no matter who hates whom.

  3. Farrakhan publicly hates Jews, but the doctors who saved his life several years ago were mostly Jews.
    Go figure?


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