The Columbus Free Press

No Compromise with Racism: Farrakhan, Chavis and Lyndon La Rouche - Part Two of a Two Part Series

Along the Color Line by Dr. Manning Marable, Jan. 24, 1997

More than a decade ago, fascist leader Lyndon La Rouche and his National Democratic Policy Committee (NDPC) were widely recognized by many African-American leaders and civil rights organizations as a dangerous anti-black cult. In the Atlanta Voice (April 17, 1986), the A. Philip Randolph Institute declared that "La Rouche appeals to fear, hatred and ignorance. He seeks to exploit and exacerbate the anxieties and frustrations of Americans by offering an array of scapegoats and enemies -- Jews, Zionists, international bankers, Blacks, labor unions -- much the way Hitler did in Germany." African-American leader Julian Bond accused La Rouche in 1985 with "using the elderly and the politically unsophisticated to promote his brand of right-wing totalitarianism, his alliance with Nazis and the Klan, his support for the white supremacists in South Africa, and for President Reagan's 'Star Wars' Program." The young African-American activist then heading the United Church of Christ's Commission of Racial Justice, the Reverend Benjamin Chavis, declared that "the La Rouche organization is clearly racist."

It was during the Reagan administration, however, that the La Rouchites decided to shift their rhetoric and political strategy regarding African-Americans. Perhaps La Rouche took careful notes from Reagan's cultivation of a coterie of black apologists for political reaction, such as economist Thomas Sowell, television journalist Tony Brown, Civil Rights Commission chairman Clarence Pendleton, and Equal Opportunity Commission Clarence Thomas. In any case, in 1984-85 La Rouche concluded that an anti-black, fascist current could be cultivated inside the black community. In January 1995, one of La Rouche's front organizations held a march in Washington, dedicated in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. The NDPC began to recruit black candidates for local public office. Meanwhile, La Rouche continued to raise millions of dollars and expand his influence among disaffected whites. In the 1984 presidential campaign, La Rouche himself spent $6 million and won 79,000 votes running as an "independent" Democrat.

La Rouche also observed the powerful support generated by the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign, as well as the widespread popularity among young black people of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. As late as March, 1985, La Rouche's New Solidarity newspaper was bitterly denouncing Farrakhan for "building a Nazi-communist terrorist movement closely linked to the Greens and their backers in the United States."

But in subsequent years, the La Rouche organization began to reach out to the Nation of Islam. According to the La Rouche publication New Federalist of September 28, 1990, Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, an NOI spokesman, told a meeting of La Rouchites: "To Mr. Lyndon La Rouche and his wife, and to those members of his organization, especially those of his organization ... who put out the New Federalist newspaper and the Executive Intelligence Review, I want to say on behalf of Minister Louis Farrakhan and the entire Nation of Islam, how much we admire you and respect you for the great work that you are doing." The NOI publication The Final Call (Dec. 24, 1990) reported that Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad spoke in Paris at a La Rouche-sponsored conference.

What are the black community's interests as related to Lyndon La Rouche? For twenty years, La Rouche and his fascist cult have not changed one bit. They resort to any kind of attacks, verbal and even physical, to silence their critics. Their goals are white supremacy, racial segregation and an authoritarian corporate state. That some misguided African-American ministers, community leaders and activists have been duped into supporting this reactionary agenda is regrettable. But I challenge Chavis and Farrakhan to have a full disclosure on their full political relationship with La Rouche. We all want black unity, but not at any price. When a national black political meeting has a notorious white racist on its public platform, even when he is booed off the stage, African- Americans must demand an explanation. There can be no compromise with Lyndon La Rouche or any of his friends and associates, black or white.

Dr. Manning Marable is Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University, New York City. "Along the Color Line" appears in over 300 publications throughout the US and internationally.

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