3.08.2011

The Records of Minister Farrakhan and Bev Smith speak for themselves

by Jasiri X

For over 56 years the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has given his life for the upliftment of fallen humanity, specifically working to mentally and spiritually resurrect black people in the United States, who after 400 years of chattel slavery, including some of the worst treatment human beings have ever experienced, still suffer due to lack of knowledge.

Every time we've faced dilemma or tragedy Minister Farrakhan has been there to offer us guidance and direction from All Mighty God. There is no issue, problem or circumstance that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has not taught on providing the much-needed solutions that we need to repair our lives. Minister Farrakhan criss-crossed the country going from city to city on Stop the Killing tours in the 1980s. In 1995 he called for 1 million men, and 2 million showed up, to atone and take responsibility for our communities. It was Minister Farrakhan who stepped in to put an end to the East Coast/West Coast feud in Hip-Hop. It was Farrakhan who in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina brought Millions More to Washington DC to establish a movement of self reliance so we would never see our people stranded with no help again. It was the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who refused to be used by political forces against President Obama remaining silent despite vicious attacks against his character by the media. His entire life has been a demonstration of love.

For 40 years Bev Smith has been one of the strongest and most consistent voices speaking to the pain, passion and perseverance of our community. Nationally known and internationally respected as one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America, "The Queen of Late Night Talk" has always kept her pulse on the happenings in her hometown Pittsburgh. Whether she is interviewing the latest newsmakers or leading the Women's Walk for Peace she always has firm yet loving words for our people. As the only African American woman radio talk show host who has a nationally syndicated show in the country she represents an intelligent role model for all genders and ethnicities. While many people lament over the current condition of our community, Bev decided to bring the best and brightest minds to Pittsburgh to begin a dialogue designed to repair our broken neighborhoods. She should be supported and commended by all in her continued commitment to put God's work first.

To be honest in my time living and working in Pittsburgh since the late 1980s I had never heard of the Jewish Chronicle, until I was sent an article a week ago titled, "Two people, same dreams" which expressed disappointment with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's upcoming visit to the city of Pittsburgh and even attempted to label Malcolm X an Anti-Semite. Although the article is unclear as to what "dream" we share, the fact is in Pittsburgh it's very clear we don't share the same reality.

In 2007 a few weeks after Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" the University of Pittsburgh released a study that painted a much bleaker picture for the city's black residents. According to the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Race and Social Policy blacks in Pittsburgh live in mostly segregated communities, 75% of which are headed by black women, black men are unemployed at more than twice the rate of white men, and the median household income is $10,000 less than white residents.

According to the study's authors Larry E. Davis and Ralph Bangs, "African Americans in our region remain at the bottom of every measure of the quality of life, which include indicators of economic status, educational achievement, family stability and violence. Add to that dismaying information a new, more startling discovery: African Americans who have called Pittsburgh home for generations are living lives more impoverished and desperate than even the most recent immigrants to Pittsburgh."

Not surprisingly, I couldn't find any articles in the Jewish Chronicle detailing the plight of African-Americans in Pittsburgh nor any offering to share some solutions. So why now all of a sudden are they concerned about a Town Hall Meeting titled, "The Disappearing Black Community. Where and How Do We Begin to Rebuild?"

If they had researched the record of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, they would have known that their charges of anti-Semitism are laughable. Minister Farrakhan has welcomed into his home many Rabbis and members of the Jewish community and has met face to face to dialogue with Jewish people on several occasions, and has always expressed a desire to do so, offering time and time again to apologize for any statements he has made that are proved to be false. Jude Wanniski, former editor of the Wall Street Journal and adviser to President Ronald Regan personally defended Minister Farrakhan, Wanniski wrote, "I've concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that there is not an ounce of anti-Semitism or bigotry in Farrakhan."

Had the Jewish Chronicle researched the record of Bev Smith they would have known she is a woman of great strength and moral character who would never bow down or be pressured into canceling an event so needed by our community in this hour. The fact that the August Wilson Center is out of tickets a week prior to this historic Town Hall Meeting is proof of our community's support and love for Bev Smith and Minister Farrakhan.

(Jasiri X is the NOI Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 22 in Pittsburgh and a hip hop artist. Visit his website at http://jasirix.com and follow him on Twitter @Jasiri_X)


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