Ironically, his supporters always call him "the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan," though he is anything but honorable. Farrakhan is back, with a "Millions More" march on Washington to commemorate the so-called Million Man March of a decade ago.
The whole notion that marches on Washington should be covered respectfully and even reverentially is outdated -- a throwback to the civil rights era, when marches led by true civil rights leaders really merited such attention. But the 1960s are ancient history. Today if we want to hear from African-American leaders, we can consult the State Department daily briefing, the "Oprah" show, the Fortune 500, the nightly news on television, our neighbor or our child's teacher. We can look to any realm of American life, because blacks are well-represented pretty much everywhere.
Still, it is true, as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina underlined, that parts of the black community remain poor and dysfunctional. Yet what can a march do for them? In his message (er, ranting) posted on the Internet, Farrakhan demanded "freedom for all political prisoners held in U.S. prisons and detention facilities, both foreign and domestic. We demand an end to police brutality, mob attacks, racial profiling, the herding of our young men and women into prisons, and the biological and chemical warfare perpetrated against our people." Elsewhere, Farrakhan renews his demand for reparations to the descendants of slaves and calls for "the establishment of peace in the world. We demand an end to wars of foreign aggression waged by the United States government against other sovereign nations and peoples. We demand an end to senseless violence and advocate peace amongst street organizations (gangs) and youth."