Update – June 17, 2012: During his remarks in front of the Alabama State Capitol, Farrakhan reportedly stated that white people, “don’t have the will to allow you to vote uncontested.” Farrakhan also reportedly told the crowd that Jews “know the value of money” and “misuse their power.” Speakers at the rally had no shortage of praise for Farrakhan. Sen. Hank Sanders’ wife, Faya Toure, a Selma lawyer who helped organize the event, called Farrakhan “one of the greatest leaders of our generation. I don’t care what the SPLC says, I don’t care what the Jews say.”
Update – June 14, 2012: In a letter to the Birmingham Jewish Federation, State Senator Hank Sanders reiterated his unabashed support for Louis Farrakhan speaking at the Alabama rallies. In the letter, Sanders stated, “I applaud him [Farrakhan] for the good things he has done,” turning a blind eye to Farrakhan’s decades of hateful words against Jews, white people, and the LGBT community.
Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan was invited by a group of Alabama elected officials to participate in multiple June 14 rallies to support the extension of the federal Voting Rights Act. The rallies will take place in Birmingham, Selma, the Shelby County Courthouse, and the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery.
The invitation to Farrakhan comes at a time when Farrakhan has made numerous egregiously anti-Semitic statements, claiming that “Satanic Jews” and the “Synagogue of Satan” control America’s government, economy, media, and other sectors.
Despite his recent hateful statements in Detroit as well as his racist and anti-Semitic remarks over a three-decade career, Farrakhan was publicly endorsed by Alabama State Senators Hank Sanders (D-Selma) and Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford.
During a speech in front of the seal of the Alabama State House last week, Senator Sanders said, “We’re really proud that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has agreed [to speak].”
Mayor Ford added, “We reached out to Minister Farrakhan because we know that he has the power to mobilize Black people as well as some whites who believe in progress in working for freedom and justice.” He also called Farrakhan’s participation “historic.” Ford previously publicly showered Farrakhan with praise in March. While introducing Farrakhan before his speech to students at Tuskegee University, Ford gave him a key to the city and proclaimed him “honorary mayor of Tuskegee for life.”
On June 5, ADL called the invitation “a terrible mistake” and urged the public officials who invited Farrakhan to Alabama to “withdraw their invitation and reject his hateful rhetoric.”
In addition to the elected officials, others participating include the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Farrakhan’s demonization of Jews expands beyond his public speeches. He also spreads his hateful conspiratorial worldview through social media, the NOI’s traditional media arm, and his 52-week online lecture series, launched in January 2013.