Black surpremacist Louis Farrakhan of NOI to speak at Ford sponsored Rainbow/Push event 1/8/05 -named BET Person of the Year
January 5, 2006
Monday, Jan. 2, 2006 7:49 a.m. EST
Louis Farrakhan Named 'Person of the Year'
Firebrand Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been named "Person of the Year for 2005" in an online poll by the Black Entertainment Television network, beating out Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Barack Obama and BET founder Robert L. Johnson.
"An overwhelming percentage of our users agreed that Minister Farrakhan made the most positive impact on the black community over the past year," BET.com vice president Retha Hill told FinalCall.com, Farrakhan's own web site.
The BET.com VP credited Farrakhan's Millions More March last October with mobilizing "hundreds of thousands of blacks around the issues of atonement and empowerment, and to convince the masses of our people that we must be the primary catalysts and engines for positive change in our communities."
During his Millions More March address, Farrakhan urged African-Americans to bring a class action suit for "criminal neglect" against the U.S. on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and demanded that America "acknowledge her wickedness to the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere."
For weeks before the march, the controversial minister touted a theory that the Bush administration had blown up the levees in New Orleans. Farrakhan said he came to that conclusion after a private meeting with Mayor Ray Nagin, who told him there was a 25-foot crater beneath the levees.
Farrakhan told BET.com that he was "greatly honored and extremely humbled" to be chosen as their 2005 Person of the Year.
"I accept this great honor as encouragement to work as hard as I can in the twilight years of my life to facilitate the success of this ongoing struggle," he added.
MIM:This is the award announcement from the NOI Final Call newspaper.
MIM: The press relese urging that Toyota cancel Farakkhan's participation in the upcoming Rainbow/Push Wall Street conference.
To: National Desk
Contact: Dr. Carl Horowitz of the National Legal and Policy Center, 703-237-1970, Website: http://www.nlpc.org
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a December 22 letter to the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), Ford Vice President and Chief of Staff Steven K. Hamp asserted that the company will continue its support for Rainbow/PUSH even after incidents of anti-Semitism at the Rainbow/PUSH annual convention in June.
Dr. Carl Horowitz, NLPC Senior Fellow, reacted by asking, "What is Ford saying? That anti-Semitism is bad, but not bad enough to cease funding it?"
Hamp's letter was in reply to a December 1 letter from NLPC President Peter Flaherty. The text of Flaherty's letter, in part, appears below.
BEGIN TEXT OF LETTER:
We ask that you refrain from sponsoring the annual Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Conference scheduled to take place January 8-11, 2006 in New York City. Your company was identified by Rainbow/PUSH as a sponsor of last year's event.
The New York Stock Exchange ended its sponsorship and financial support for the same event in 2005 in apparent response to our requests.
You should be aware that corporate sponsors of another recent Jesse Jackson conference were subjected to controversy and embarrassment. At the Rainbow/PUSH & Citizenship Education Fund Annual Conference that took place in Chicago on June 11-16, 2005, the following problems occurred:
1) Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan spoke at a luncheon sponsored by Toyota and other corporations. Toyota insists that that Farrakhan spoke "unbeknownst" to Toyota.
2) Toyota was listed on conference materials as a "Platinum Sponsor" but Toyota claims that it did not sponsor the conference and that its name and trademark was used without its knowledge or permission.
3) Another conference speaker, Harry Belafonte, made inflammatory and anti-Semitic statements. Belafonte called Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, a "powerful Jew" and a "liar," and complained that "only a Jew has a right to the word Holocaust."
A member of our staff was present and witnessed these events, which were also reported in the media. Many of your customers, shareholders, employees and business partners object to your bankrolling of Jesse Jackson and his organizations.
END TEXT OF LETTER
Hamp wrote in reply, "Pertaining to the current sponsorship, you have raised some concerns, pertaining to specific behaviors at a different event, which creates a divisive atmosphere. We do not condone such behavior. Nor, however, do we have any plans to reconsider our support at this point."
Hamp also wrote, "Our company has a long history with the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition which parallels our corporate vision of diversity." A PDF of Hamp's letter can be viewed at http://www.nlpc.org.
Horowitz responded, "Ford is trying to make a false distinction between Jesse Jackson's New York and Chicago conferences. Both events are fundraisers for Rainbow/PUSH. The money all goes to the same place. When you give to one you give to both."
Sponsors of past Wall Street conferences include Freddie Mac, GE, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, IBM, MetLife, Microsoft, New York Life, Raytheon, Time Warner, Toyota, and Waste Management.
NLPC promotes ethics in public life, and sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project.