CommunityPam's House Blend

Lame damage control attempt by Farrakhan on March

This development is strictly Willie Wilson mop up and it rings hollow. There’s no response to the National Black Justice Coalition’s request to let black gays and lesbians speak or any plan to address black homophobia at the march. What this boils down to is Farrakhan wants to keep the numbers up for this event, and if this schism grows wider as the event nears, he knows he will look bad.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has invited the nation’s largest African-American gay civil rights organization to become one of about 100 co-conveners of the Millions More Movement rally, which is expected draw thousands of blacks to Washington, D.C. on Oct. 15.

In a letter dated Aug. 15, Farrakhan invited the National Black Justice Coalition to take on the duties of a co-convener, which includes recruiting participants for the rally and helping organize the event on the local and national levels. The group said it received the letter Aug. 23. H. Alexander Robinson, executive director of the NBJC, said he sent Farrakhan an immediate letter of response accepting the invitation. Robinson said his letter called on Farrakhan to arrange for a lesbian and gay man to speak at a rally on the National Mall, which will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March.

Robinson and other black gay leaders said Farrakhan’s action will not change their plans to hold their own rally in D.C.’s Freedom Plaza at 8 a.m. on Oct. 15, on the morning of the Millions More Movement rally.

Farrakhan did not mention the word “gay” or “lesbian” in his letter and did not agree to longstanding requests by the NBJC that the Millions More Movement address the issue of homophobia and arrange for a gay man and a lesbian speaker to address the Oct. 15 rally.

“While I would not count this as a victory, it is not a defeat,” Robinson said in an e-mail message to black gay activists informing them of Farrakhan’s invitation.

Since the beginning of the year, Robinson has been lobbying the Millions More Movement leaders to include his group and other black gay leaders in the event’s planning process. Up until this week, Robinson said, Farrakhan and his top aides have ignored Robinson’s overtures.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding