2000-11-04 / Columnists

From The G-Man Lieberman and Farrakhan: No Big Whoop!

From The G-Man
Lieberman and Farrakhan: No Big Whoop!

Hey people! Can you dig the new photo. I knew that you could. I got tired of looking at that old one. I was in "Miami Vice" mode when it was taken, and Arsenio Hall had a late night talk show. Yes, it was that old. This picture doesn’t capture my best side, but at least I don’t look like the lead singer of the group Cameo. Ohhhh!

Last week, vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman appeared on one of the political talk shows. He was being questioned, and criticized, about a recent meeting with Minister Louis Farrakhan. Many people were extremely upset that this meeting took place, in light of the inflammatory remarks made in the past by Farrakhan towards the Jewish people.

The host constantly jumped from file footage of Farrakhan speeches, to a rabid line of questioning. I could get the sense that he felt he had the Senator on the ropes, and he was about to go in for the kill. It was at this point that Lieberman said something to totally seize control of the situation and the interview.

Lieberman proceeded to point out how people of the Jewish faith have much in common with African-Americans, in terms of their struggle

to gain respectability and acceptance in this country. He stated that even though there are differences between the two, and false interpretations made by both groups, this should not prevent a dialogue from taking place.

The Senator went on to say that this was a major problem with American society. Too many people would rather degrade and attack each other instead of sitting down and asking each other why these feelings exist.

"How can anything be resolved if people are not willing to come to the table to discuss their grievances," stated Lieberman.

I happen to think he is absolutely right, and I applaud him for having the courage to step up in the face of such scrutiny by his own people. Most

people know that he does not support the statements made by Farrakhan, and deep down inside he may think Farrakhan is an idiot, but I truly believe that he is looking at this situation as an opportunity to bridge the gap between Jews and African-Americans in this country and abroad.

Many people view it as a political move, to gain African-American votes, in a close race for the presidency. While that is a possibility, you cannot ignore the fact that regardless

of the outcome of the election, a path has been constructed so that greater communication can take place between these groups. That is a good thing.

As far as Farrakhan goes, I think he is sincere in his plea for meetings with the Jewish community. His reason for wanting to do so is probably similar to that of Mayor Giuliani’s, and it can be summed up in two words, prostate cancer.

According to my sources, this man almost died, prior to his initial operation, and he is now facing another life threatening bout with the disease. If death is staring you in the face, you would probably be willing to make a few changes in your life as well. I think Farrakhan has come to realize this, and he is trying, in his own way, to atone for his past acts and statements.

In a recent interview, Farrakhan revealed that he has called for meetings with reps from the Jewish community, but they are so incensed by his rhetoric that they refuse to meet with him. "If I have made remarks that the Jewish people find offensive, then come to me and tell me that I am wrong, that I am misinterpreting the historical facts, and I will listen. I am even willing to apologize for my inaccuracies, but key players will not meet with me, and those who consider meeting me face retribution," states Farrakhan.

I really hope a major national dialogue will take place in the near future. There are more things that unite us than divide us. The Jews have the Holocaust, and African-Americans have slavery. The fact that we are the primary targets of most racist hate groups should unite us. We worked so closely during the civil rights period, and somehow we allowed ourselves to become divided, fearful and distrusting of each other.

If Lieberman and Farrakhan are willing to try and build bridges of communication, we all should be willing to try. That’s probably why I saw Blacks and Jews, conservative, orthodox and Hasidic, on C-SPAN, standing proudly at the Million Family March. It’s time to come together,

and Senator Lieberman, and Minister Farrakhan, have my utmost respect for attempting to make this happen.

Please continue to direct all correspondence to me at the office of The Wave. I’m going through a difficult separation, from my fiancé, and this is the only way I can respond to each of you in a timely fashion. I don’t mind revealing this because I’m a straight shooter, and no matter what, I’m here for all you. Ladies, feel free to send photos! Just kidding. Make sure to get out and vote, and I’ll see you next week.

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