Mary Mitchell, in her Chicago Sun-Times column, writes that organizers should select a new date for the rescheduled dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial because it falls on the same date as the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March. It is problematic, she argues, because President Barack Obama, a slated speaker at the dedication, dares not speak the name of Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.
Last March, in a fiery speech supporting Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, Farrakhan cautioned Obama that he was being used by whites to oppress his own people in Africa.
And during Obama’s quest for the Democratic nomination, he was forced to denounce Farrakhan because the controversial leader is considered to be an “anti-Semite” by Jewish organizations.
But Farrakhan’s popularity among young black men is credited in part with drawing more black people to the National Mall for the Million Man March than those who attended the historic civil rights march in 1963.
If Obama neglects to mention this seminal event — and Farrakhan’s contribution to it — in his remarks about King, it would likely be seen by some blacks as a slight.
Read Mary Mitchell’s entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.