Louis Farrakhan, a Man for All Time

Askia Muhammad | 10/17/2012, 6:38 p.m.

Long live the Spirit of the Million Man March! Long life, good health and continued success to Louis Farrakhan, who led those of us who participated in it to an astronomical achievement Oct. 16, 1995, that day 17 years ago.

Now, I wish I could help people who don't know and admire him, get to know the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, like I know him.

First and foremost, he is not an anti-Semite. He is not a race hater. He does not teach race hatred. He does not teach hatred of Jewish people.

But he is a fearless and uncompromising champion for the upliftment of Black people. Such rigidity as his can easily earn enemies in this world. Just look at the hatred being shown to President Barack Obama, who is a Black man, who is a champion of accommodating, compromising leadership, not just for Black people, but for all Americans - the kind of leadership and strength that is required of anyone who would be a political leader in this country. Louis Farrakhan is not that kind of leader.

Second, his name: his friends and admirers refer to him as "The Honorable Minister." Why shouldn't Louis Farrakhan wear the title "honorable?"

When he was among us, Mr. Elijah Muhammad wore the title, "honorable." Minister Malcolm X first started referring to Mr. Muhammad as "The Honorable Elijah Muhammad," and it was as appropriate for him as it is for us to introduce a member of a city council, or a justice of the peace, or any elected official as "the honorable so-and-so." Minister Farrakhan is certainly just as deserving of that same sobriquet.

Mr. Muhammad designated Brother Farrakhan as his minister and "National Spokesman," and those are the only titles he has claimed as he has restored the work of, and international respect once again for the Nation of Islam, both as a force for good, raising Black people from their lowly status as "the stone that the builders rejected" to becoming "the headstone of the corner."

Because of their enmity for Minister Farrakhan, White people try to heap contempt on him even in the way they say his name - Fair-a-can - and in the way they bastardize his title, sometimes calling him "Reverend Fair-a-can." And while the title reverend an honorific title, bestowed on a member of the clergy who is to be "revered," or who is "worthy of reverence," Louis Farrakhan is not a member of the clergy, he is a "minister" in the Nation of Islam, as in a "high office of state entrusted with management ..."

I have seen Louis Farrakhan in most every imaginable circumstance: at the table of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, even serenading Mr. Muhammad with a concert on his violin. I watched him rebuild the Nation of Islam, literally brick-by-brick beginning in 1978, three years after Mr. Muhammad departed from among us. During his early ministry, he came to Washington and spoke every Wednesday for six months at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, to help establish the roots in the District of Columbia.