Farrakhan inspires crowd at Bowie State

Hamil R. Harris The Washington Post Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, speaking at Bowie State University, on Oct. … Continued

Hamil R. Harris

The Washington Post

Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, speaking at Bowie State University, on Oct. 26, 2012.

Nearly two decades after the Million Man March, Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, is still challenging African Americans to take responsibility for their lives.

“I am the change that I am looking for. Don’t look for someone else to make changes for you,” said Farrakhan during a 90-minute discussion Friday night at Bowie State University where he talked about several topics including the presidential race, gay relationships, colorism and the possible white backlash if President Obama is reelected.

He acknowledged supportive whites, but also noted the rise in racially charged rhetoric and voting suppression tactics.

Hamil R. Harris

The Washington Post

Unlike on Election Night in 2008, when many African Americans took to the streets “like Joe Louis won. … if the brother wins, go in the house,” he said sparking laughter, applause and head nodding in agreement to his sentiment.

Farrakhan’s appearance was part of the university’s “I Am” lecture series, which was developed by Student Government Association leaders. Past speakers have included actor/motivational speaker Hill Harper and poet and activist Nikki Giovanni.

Throughout his speech, Farrakhan urged the audience, comprised mostly students, to think critically and independently.

“Knowing something today that didn’t know yesterday should always make you feel better,” he said.

He also challenged listeners to become entrepreneurs and to reconsider some long-held, but perhaps, unproductive ideologies whether it involved spending habits, clothing choices or diets.

“What do you eat? What are you eating?” he asked before joking about how as college students they do not have a lot of money and have to rely on those “Roman noodles.”

Even though he couldn’t resist walking across a field of land minds at times, the 79-year leader at times laughed at his comments in a room filled with nearly 1,000 people.

While Farrakhan is considered a polarizing figure because of comments he has made about Jews, whites and gays he enjoys hero status among many in the black community. In October 1995, he convened the historic Million Man March where black men from across the country filled the Mall from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument, vowing to take responsibility for their lives, their families and their communities.

Hamil R. Harris

The Washington Post

At Bowie State, Farrakhan tailored his message primarily to students who might struggle in the sciences, math or even history.

“How can you say ‘I don’t like mathematics?’ You are mathematics,” he said before imitating an athlete dribbling a basketball or a director making movies. “That is mathematics.” He emphasized how many young people mistakenly devalue their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

“I am biology, I am anthropology and I am mathematics. … You’ve got to class with the attitude of masters,” he said. “What’s wrong with you is the very thing that you don’t like. … I am created by God to be the master of what He created.”

Farrakhan devoted the second half of his lecture to the state of black America where he talked about how some obstructionists on Capitol Hill have been trying to defeat President Obama since he took the oath of office.

While Farrakhan spoke against the gay lifestyle he quickly said “I am not homophobic,” and “I’m not trying to hurt nobody.” He warned against looking down on gays “just because you don’t agree with their lifestyle.”

“Promiscuity is killing us. Disrespecting our women is killing us. Never use the ‘B’ word to describe any female,” he said, also admonishing women for also using the word.

Kirby Griffin of Baltimore said he’s been listening to Farrakhan since 1989. Griffin said he appreciated Farrakhan’s call for African Americans to reform what’s broken and he though it was “good that he spoke to the college students on issues that they needed to hear.

“I’ve heard him before and he would focus on one subject, but I liked how he touched on different things.”

Valorie Powell, a Bowie alumna from Mitchellville, agreed.

“I thought he was very informative,” she said. “He touched on different areas that were pertinent to students and adults. I liked how the way he tried to get a message to every age group.”

  • dcofer

    He is nothing but a racist being paid to speak with US taxpaayer funds. Someone should ask him what happened to Malcolm X

  • luv2garden2

    It was refreshing to read the article on Minister Farrakhan’s visit to Bowie State University. It’s a crippling thought that at a time when we need representation from leaders such as the minister, he has reached his glory days. It saddens me as I come to the realization that among us are many able to carry the torch, the underlying question is who will be brave enough.

  • aby2

    .” He (Farrakhan) emphasized how many young people mistakenly devalue their problem solving and critical thinking skills….”
    This runs counter to the most fundamental of the pillars of the religion he ministers for. Very popular statement in Islam are “Thinking leads to disbelief”, “Religion is to be accepted by FAITH,” and ” Either you believe or not believe.”

  • charlesmicheaux

    Louis Farrakhan continues to be a bold bright powerful light for millions and millions of Black Americans. It’s no secret he is the strongest Black Voice in America.

  • charlesmicheaux

    Excellent insight and commentary.

    Thank You!

  • shilotoren

    dcofer: you just got a response from a true Farrakhan supporter. The type that thrives on the f-word’s racist hate filled speech.

    I guess MLK would only be regarded in scorn by these types.

  • shilotoren

    how about hate speech and racism are killing us? how about old f-word’s hate speech?

  • Who Is Jesus?

    Everywhere I look I see white people, asians, latinos, arabs, indians, and jews and gays dressing like blacks, listening to hip hop, talking like blacks, watching their superstars, adoring their black president, and working for blacks. I see blacks in the armed forces, I see black generals and judges and politicians. Black doctors, and nurses, and yet you claim racisim. You were never a slave, you never couldnt vote, (maybe 60 years ago if youre that old)and you have affirmative action laws in place to give you positions instead of qualified whites for 30 years now.

    Whats killing blacks is people like you blaming everything on whites and teach the youth so.

    I have traveled the world and everyhwere except America the attitude of blacks is great. Only in and especially in the east coast of the USA are blacks so beat up mentally about their past.

    All races have suffered in this long history of the world. Its time to stop living in the past when there is a great future for you if you smile, be civil, and polite, and have a positve mental outlook. Just like everyone else.

    The time is right now. Put away your hate, and focus on making the world a better place. Blacks are just as sickening and condescending as whites and Martin Luther King instructed you to judge the individual man not by the color of his skin but of the content of his character. If you really think whites are the problem stay in your ghetto and shut your door. The world can be a great place if you can get off your block and see it. Travel, do something. Volunteer with some nice people helping the needy in your community. Im sure you will find some nice whites.

  • Who Is Jesus?

    Also 360,222 Union soldiers were KILLED freeing blacks from slavery.

    Does that not count for anything. Wow maybe they wouldnt have fought if they knew you still hated whites to this day. 151 years later.

  • mohammadakhan

    Work hard and live smart.

    Compassion,discipline,civic involvement is smart living.

  • dargregmag

    He is one of the few people who speaks truth to power; while a “certain segment” may not like him( and that is putting it mildly) The brother minister is smart well educated and almost always has a strong message for the african-american community.

  • DRJJJ

    Smart but not wise! Yes, this guy makes most folks lean a little racist!

  • DRJJJ

    Thank you Repub Pres Lincoln!

  • SODDI

    “Also 360,222 Union soldiers were KILLED freeing blacks from slavery. ”

    They didn’t free them very good if blacks only legally gained their full civil rights in the 1970s.

  • lake62trout

    Nothing but a two bit racist. Cimbined with Sharpton and Jackson, these three are terrible people for blacks to look up to.

  • dan110

    Who are you to tell black people who they should look up to?

  • ONLYTRUTH

    @who is Jesus, yes there are good white folks, however, if you look @ the history of bloodshed and the destruction of an entire people, you would think differently. I KNOW you would NEVER tell a Jew “oh forget about the pain of the Holocaust” Since you follow Jesus, maybe you need to look in the scriptures at the conversation He had with the so-called Jews of his day.. “I know you, you are of your Father………….” you fill in the rest

  • ONLYTRUTH

    You sound sooooo STUPID!!! and what have you done for Black People? And The Minister always turns down honorariums. SMDH

  • ONLYTRUTH

    @shilotoren, its painfully obvious that you haven’t listened to MLK’s speeches towards the end of his life before he was MURDERED

  • DRJJJ

    Most folks being about 80% of the country-we’ve seen what militant muslims can do to our country this last 20 years-the facts speak for themselves-turn on the news!

  • dargregmag

    Exactly!! One of MLK ‘S greatest speeches was a year to the day he was brutally murdered; King spoke to an overflow crowd at the Riverside Church where he delivered his Beyond Vietnam speech which challenged the military industrial complex, racism toward the poor, and minority’s in this country. He was murdered one year later to the exact day of that speech. Dr. King was anything but a negro apologist whites like to remember King as the go along to get along Negro he was hardly that, He tried to make whites realize the error of their ways, institutionalized racism,police brutality, and other forms of terror and discrimination. At the end of the day he was assassinated because he dared to make trouble among the masses change the “status quo” if you will.

  • bstanton1

    Even when Farrakhan says something that is right or good, thinking people know that he has no credibility and deserves little respect. He’s a racist, plain and simple. Fortunately, this type of leader, desperately clinging to the Civil Rights movement of the 60s in an effort to stay relevant, is dying out. The Farrakhans, Jacksons and Sharptons of this world will be replaced by more credible people. Obama, at the very least, was the first major step. Walk away, Farrakhan, no one needs you.

  • Relativity

    Farrakhan is a real life vampire slayer…

  • Relativity

    A perfect example of a purposeless vampire. Obama being the first step… are you an insane vampire too? What about W.E.B Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King. You walk away and try not trip over stupidity.

  • Lazarus2010

    wasted

  • jcbcmb68

    Shilotoren, if you and much of the rest of Americans didn’t freeze MLK’s oratory at the March on Washington, you might have a point. MIGHT.

    Read what MLK said after 1963 — especially the part after he broke with LBJ on Vietnam — and get back, okay?

  • skylights

    Supportive white here. Supportive of blacks, I mean, but of mixed opinion on Farrakhan. On the one hand he’s definitely brilliant. I listened to his Million Man March speech and was amazed what a rhetorician he is. I approve of many of his stands. On the other hand, there’s his views on Jews and gays which are repellent. It’s too bad, because he could be so much more.

  • jshepherd5ecrrcom

    You have a good attitude and speak well…..as time moves on and things improve some under our great President you will have opportunities to do great things for our country….don’t give in to the negative thoughts of too many of our citizens, be they black or white…we all need to pull together for the good of the whole world….we should all remember that Jesus is watching everything we do and He is one who never forgets.

  • Avatar666

    Farrakhan and the Black Panthers are an inspiration to all Americans and great supporters of Obama. To show they’re undying support they are issuing new billy clubs for the panthers to use at the voting booths.

  • Avatar666

    I guess debra told skylights to keep out of black business?

  • tieege

    Not even a masterful rhetorician can hide the fact that he is a racist. But we tip-toe around this because he is black, and black racists are given a free pass because they have been victims of racism. He has no credibility outside the black community, and those few white people who, while sincere in their beliefs, really don’t understand just how hateful this man is.

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