NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – A technical college in Charleston, S.C., has decided it will not host Louis Farrakhan's "Justice or Else" rally on its campus, days after several Charleston-area churches also refused to host speaking engagements for the leader of the racially charged Nation of Islam (NOI).
Last week, Trident Technical College posted an announcement to its Facebook page that said "the agreement to rent space to the MMM20 [Million Man March 20th Anniversary] for its event on Sept. 15 with speaker Louis Farrakhan has been cancelled. This event was not planned, sponsored, or endorsed by Trident Technical College."
Charleston is a city still healing following the attack on its historic Emanuel African Methodist Church, in which nine parishioners – including the church's pastor – were killed by gunman Dylann Storm Roof June 17. Roof was white. All nine of the church members killed were black.
I was supposed to speak at Mother Emanuel, but they rejected me. And then we went to another church to speak and they rejected me as well. Went to three churches and then one church was willing to let me come, but they said, 'You got to sign a paper that you not gonna say nothing controversial. I wonder, the poor bishop, who he had to bring the paper to. See, if God calls you, what do you gotta go to the white man and get a license for?
In the wake of the shootings, Charleston's Christian community focused on unity, though the New Black Panthers staged two rallies calling for the overthrow of white power. Farrakhan has also alleged white people have donated millions of dollars for Roof's defense.
That charge is baseless, as federal authorities – who have charged Roof in a 33-count indictment – appointed a public defender for the gunman. That lawyer, David Bruck, is also an outspoken advocate for racial justice for blacks.
In a speech at a Cleveland church Sept. 3, Farrakhan also claimed (at 1 hour, 27 minutes into the video linked here) he was "supposed to speak at Mother Emanuel, but they rejected me. And then we went to another church to speak and they rejected me as well. Went to three churches and then one church was willing to let me come, but they said, 'You got to sign a paper that you not gonna say nothing controversial. I wonder, the poor bishop, who he had to bring the paper to. See, if God calls you, what do you gotta go to the white man and get a license for?"
Farrakhan said the black ministers who canceled his appearances were "tied to the ungodly" – or white people, who are not part of God's original creation. Farrakhan teaches white people were created by an evil black scientist named "Yakub," who produced genetically inferior, white skinned babies on the isle of Patmos 6,600 years ago.
None of the churches in the Charleston area who refused to allow Farrakhan a platform have spoken publicly about him, but the NOI's own website reported the churches' shunning of Farrakhan.
The Final Call reports DeAndre Muhammad, who attempted to organize the NOI event in Charleston, said "it seems like it was an unseen group of people for this that was behind the scenes threatening people in the schools, churches and other areas in reference to the minister coming down."
Muhammad reportedly told the paper that schools and churches usually rent their facilities to religious and civic organizations, but "it was a different story" when the potential hosts found out Farrakhan would be speaking there.
He also said Trident Technical College initially agreed to host the "Justice or Else" rally, even though it tried to "outprice" the NOI. When the NOI agreed to pay their fee to rent the facility, the college reportedly said they would not agree to a "security search procedure" demanded by Farrakhan. Why Farrakhan would need security remains unclear – except that he is regarded by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate preacher, an anti-Semite, and the leader of a black separatist organization.
The strongest criticism for the cancelation of the events was leveled at Bishop Brian D. Moore, who leads the Life Central Cathedral in Charleston. According to Muhammad, the bishop "placed conditions and requirements" on the NOI in order to use its facilities. He said the bishop did not want to have to explain "so-called inflammatory statements" made by Farrakhan after he left the city.
Farrakhan's supporters lashed out via Facebook at both the technical college's administration and the black ministers in Charleston for refusing to host their leader.
"Interesting," one supporter wrote as he all alleged racism was the reason the event was canceled. "The venue chosen for Farrakhan's visit was Trident Technical College that has an administration of 4 white males, 5 white females to include the president and vice president and 3 black females and no black males, yet South Carolina has several HCBUs [Historical Black Colleges and Universities]."
Others, however, wrote that the black pastors who reportedly rejected Farrakhan's overtures were in league with their enemy (whites) and the devil.
"I knew this would happen because within 24 hours of the slaughter of those 9 they issue [sic] a public forgiveness statement because they're in love with the very enemy that keep [sic] killing them! They are brainwashed into thinking it's a Christian thing to do[;] it may be but it's not a God thing to do! Keep showing love to your open enemy ... think you will win then [sic] over with love and they will continue to hate and kill you. Why would you even want to offer love to an enemy, a devil?"
Most of the comments on Farrakhan's Facebook page cannot be printed by Christian Examiner.
In July, Farrakhan said at a Miami church that "retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them know the pain that we are feeling."
After the video of the statement was reported by Christian Examiner and other media outlets, Farrakhan claimed he was strictly non-violent and did not advocate the killing of police officers and white people (who make up, he said, most of the federal government and police forces). The NOI recently took down the video which featured the statement about killing white people "if" the government doesn't comply with his demands.
Farrakhan has repeatedly denied his call for killing, as he did during an interview with black journalist Roland Martin Sept. 10.
"I'm passionate, but I'm not stupid," Farrakhan said. "To call for 10,000 Black men to go out and kill White people — what would that bring on us? Can we stand that kind of heat? Where are the weapons? Who has the weapons? This is a well-armed country; 315 million guns among the American people. How many Black people are allowed to have guns legally? And most of the guns in the inner city are illegal.
No, I'm not calling for that."
He then said:
"You know and I know and Black people know that White policemen kill us. The prosecutors are liars, the judges are liars, the forensic specialists all are conspiratorial in getting a white person off. They have killed us, but they have never had to pay the price. The law of retaliation that's in the Bible and in the Koran says it is a prescription," Farrakhan said.
"A prescription for us — is those who kill us and seem to get away with it, we cannot allow it to continue. We must rise up and kill those who kill us outside of the law of justice and when they feel death like we feel death, when they feel pain at the burying of their dead like we feel it, then maybe we can sit down to a table and act like civilized people."