Farrakhan: 'You can't bend me. You can't buy me'
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed an audience Sunday, Oct. 14, at Charlotte's Bojangle's Coliseum. (Photo: Glenn H. Burkins for Qcitymetro.com)
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said President Obama must fight to save his presidency, and he chided conservative Republicans for what he called their unwillingness to accept black leadership.
In a Charlotte speech Sunday that lasted more than two hours, the 79-year-old Farrakahn told a nearly packed crowd at Bojangle’s Coliseum that many whites in the United States have never accepted the idea of a black president.
“Their whole idea has been to get this man out of the White House and nullify any policy or position that he might come up with that might bring success to his presidency and might possibly give him a second term,” Farrakhan said. “It started like an undercurrent, but now it is so overtly hateful and racist in nature that it is polarizing America on the basis of race."
Farrakhan was in Charlotte to mark the 17th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, D.C. While here, he met with students at Johnson C. Smith University and spoke at an invitation-only leadership conference hosted by Little Rock AME Zion Church.
Farrakhan had kind words for Charlotte, telling the crowd that he has been treated well by police, hotel staff and others from the moment his plane landed.
“Charlotte could be our second home,” he said to applause.
An estimated 6,000 people turned out to hear what Nation of Islam officials had said would be a speech on “Muhammad’s economic blueprint to combat poverty and want,” but Farrakhan told the crowd that God had given him a new message days earlier. He said he would deliver a speech offering solutions next week in Chicago.
Farrakhan was joined on stage by comedian Tone-X and rapper Big Daddy Kane, as well as Little Rock Pastor Dwayne Walker, Charlotte NAACP President Kojo Nantambu and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Vilma Leake.
At one point during his speech, Farrakhan asked for a show of hands from those who were disappointed in Obama’s debate performance. Several hundred indicated their disappointment.
Farrakhan suggested that maybe the president had gotten some bad advice or that maybe he was worried about a briefing he had received prior to the debate. Whatever the problem was, he said, Obama should make an adjustment for the second debate and not worry about being perceived as “an angry black man.”
“You are not going to win any more white votes by being kind and gracious,” he said. “You’re already kind; you’re already gracious… You’re fighting for the vision you have for the Democratic party and for the country.”
Here are some of the many topics Farrakhan discussed:
The U.S. budget deficit
“If radical thought is not put before the American electorate, this nation will fail. America is at a point where radical solutions must be applied, and the key word that has been missing from the standard bearers of both parties is a word called ‘sacrifice.’ If the problems of America are to be solved, sacrifices are going to have to be made, from the rich all the way down to the poorest of the poor. The question is, what is America willing to sacrifice? …What are you, black America, willing to sacrifice, because we have to sacrifice?”
“We deserve the right to vote. We deserve to fight against any abridgement of that right by any scheme or machination by our former slave masters and their children. We deserve to elect people of our race to help lead. We deserve that our elected officials should be respected and not plotted against by a racist system that wants to keep America white. Look, America, you are drowning in your whiteness…The future of America is that we are here now. It’s not the place of just white people. The whole human family lives in the borders of America. So if America really cannot open the heart and the mind to receive what God has sent into these shores, then you will die, but you won’t take us down with you.”
What have we done? I soon will be 80 years old, and I’ve never been arrested, not for chewing gum or spitting on the sidewalk… What have I done that you hate me so? I’ve raped nobody. I’ve robbed nobody. I don’t have sex with little boys. I don’t smoke reefer (I used to). I don’t smoke crack. I don’t drink liquor. I don’t eat hog. What have I done that you hate me so? …It’s because you can’t bend me. You can’t buy me. And you can’t make me into your ni----.”
GOP opposition to Obama
What kind of self-interest is this? If the majority of the America people voted for this man, if the Electoral College agreed with the popular vote, why would you want to go against the American people, electoral college and against a man who is trying to fight for the good, not of some, but the whole? Why would you say you want him to fail, and if he fails, what is the result for you? What is it that has blinded you, Republicans? Is it race and your hatred of a black man rising after you thought you had destroyed us totally? Now we are rising, and no power in the heavens above or in the earth beneath can stop the rise of the black man and woman of America… We are on the rise and there is no turning back.”
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