Memo To:Tim Russert, “Meet the Press”
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Farrakhan interview
Your interview of Louis Farrakhan Sunday morning was excellent. It produced an astonishing amount of information and created waves that will be felt into the next century. You could tell by your closing comments that Minister Farrakhan seems to be in a dark mood these days, discouraged because there seems to be so little progress in the closing of the racial divide as the new millenium approaches. Nothing seems to change as he surveys the condition of the masses of ordinary blacks. It’s all the same old, same old. When you asked him about Julian Bond, his responded that Bond was speaking as a “slave” in denouncing Farrakhan as an anti-Semite before an audience of Jewish financial supporters of the NAACP. It may not be politically correct to say so, but Farrakhan is exactly right when he says the NAACP can never move on to a black political agenda as long as it has to rely upon Jewish political philanthropy. At the time Bond made his gratuitous comments about Farrakhan with Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League in the audience, I posted a website memo to Kweisi Mfume of the NAACP, asking him if he approved of this kind of kowtowing. Mfume and I had spoken several times about the problems of breaking out of the old New Deal coalition, by which blacks vote Democratic at the polls in exchange for Jewish/trade union/environmentalist support for support for social welfare spending. Anyone could see Bond had been brought in as punishment to Mfume for having publicly endorsed reconciliation with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
The even bigger news Farrakhan made in your interview was his flat statement he would not support a Jesse Jackson candidacy for the President -- on the grounds that this is the same old game Jesse is playing, rounding up black votes in the primaries and then delivering them to the man who wins the Democratic nominee. If you were in Farrakhan’s shoes, you would remember how he ended his policy of remaining outside of partisan politics in order to support Jackson in his 1984 race. In return for going to bat for Jackson when Jesse was receiving a fistful of death threats every day, Farrakhan has gotten nothing but abuse, beginning with the “black Hitler” blasts from the ADL and 14 years of demonization in the American press. Notice that Farrakhan said Jesse was “brilliant,” but that he was playing the same old games that hold no promise for ordinary black Americans. Another generation of young black men in prison, another generation of young black women struggling with fatherless families? In the past, Farrakhan has gone out of his way to refrain from any criticism of other black leaders. He broke out of that mold on your program.
You asked him about his comments in the Final Call about Monica Lewinsky and the fact that several Jewish women have participated in the scandal that is wrecking his presidency. Was she a Zionist plant? you asked. Farrakhan made biblical references to the lengths Jewish women would go on behalf of Israel. It is of course far-fetched to imagine such a conspiracy, but he indicated the notion was put into his head by Jeff Greenfield in a CNN program. I’m sure all Greenfield was doing was noting President Clinton’s weakness in the Middle East peace process as a result of the scandal, perhaps forcing him to tilt toward a harder-line Israeli position. Farrakhan extends the thought to conspiracy, wondering why there have been so many attacks on this particular President at this particular time -- a President who virtually endorsed the Labor Party and its “land-for-peace” Oslo accord. When you ask him why 91% of black Americans support Clinton while a minority of white Americans have a positive view of him, Farrakhan answered that blacks are suspicious of when there are concentrated attacks on a leader they believe is representing their interests. They do not trust the political establishment and do not believe the power elite necessarily acts on principle. I of course completely agree with him. The power elite conspiracy against Iraq finally became so obvious that it became a formal, public conspiracy. We actually have New York Times columnists advocating the assassination of Saddam Hussein and Congress appropriating funds to overthrow the Baghdad government. You quoted Sandy Berger, the President’s National Security advisor, about how sure they are that the pill factory bombed in the Sudan was making weapons on mass destruction. There isn’t anyone in your pay grade, Tim, who believes that baloney, yet the power elite decide to lie about it because everyone is involved.
Do you remember when Michael Milken was railroaded into federal prison, broken by the power elite. If there was any white capitalist who did more to channel capital to the black community than Michael Milken, via his junk bonds, I have no idea who it could be. It was Ivan Boesky, a true thief and swindler, who set up Milken in exchange for a sweetheart deal from the feds. At the time, Bill Tatum, editor of Harlem’s Amsterdam News, wondered if this was a white conspiracy to shut off the flow of capital to black America. I’ve told both Milken and Farrakhan that they are, respectively, the most demonized Jew in America and the most demonized black.
Yes, Louis Farrakhan is in an unusually pessimistic frame of mind. I’ve been doing my best to cheer him up, Tim, but I’ve not been feeling that cheerful myself of late. There are so many lies being told, so many cover-ups, so much despair about the state of the presidency, so much partisanship, so little leadership. We have an election coming up between two political parties who managed to do almost nothing of real help to the masses or ordinary Americans, and now they compete on who will be more aggressive in cracking down on crime or preaching morality to the down-and-out. And when the elections are over, we have the impreachment process to cheer us up some more.