May 9, 2005
Mr. Abraham H.
823 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Re: Millions More
Dear Mr. Foxman:
I am writing in
response to your latest newswire release dated May 2, 2005 entitled, "ADL
Millions More Movement." The upcoming commemoration of the10th anniversary
of the historic Million Man March in Washington, DC, October 14-16, 2005 deserves
the respect and support of all people of goodwill who cherish the universal
love of humanity.
and disrespectfully, you are quoted as stating, "When will someone in the
African-American community stand up and say the Million Man March had a positive
message, but the pied piper is a racist and anti-Semite? We cannot understand
why good people continue to tolerate this outrage of anti-Semitic views and
behavior. It seems there is a line of denial indeed a blind spot among
many within the African-American community when it comes to anti-Semitism."
As Chairman of
The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network,
I know that your above quoted statements and the urging and pressure of the
ADL for African American leaders to reconsider their support of the Millions
More Movement and the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March will do nothing
more than increase the polarization of relations between millions of African
Americans and Jewish Americans. It is a sad commentary that your actions will
only help to spread anti-Semitism rather than help to end it.
The planned Millions
More Movement commemoration this year is about the mutual love and respect of
all people and the encouragement of taking
personal responsibility to uplift African Americans and others out of the devastation
of poverty and ignorance. Over 150 key leaders, including the
NAACP, National Urban League and the National Rainbow PUSH Coalition, have signed
on to be National Co-Conveners of the Millions More Movement and have all pledged
to stay focused on the redemptive message and agenda of the commemoration.
Ten years ago,
under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, the Million Man March not only "had
a positive message," it also had a positive and profound impact on millions
of African Americans and others across America and throughout the world. After
the Million Man March there was a dramatic decrease in self-destructive violence
among young African American males in the major urban centers and a tremendous
increase in youth mentorship, Big Brother, and child adoption programs and projects
in every region of the nation.
Simply put, you
are misguided, arrogant, and very disrespectful of African Americans and most
importantly your statements will unintentionally or
intentionally lead to a negative impression of Jews in the minds of millions
of African Americans. Similar to how you single-handedly caused millions of
persons to flock to see the "Passion of Christ" in defiance of your
call for non-attendance, you are going to precipitate a tremendous negative
defiance of your demands that will again severely hurt and harm relations between
Jews and African Americans.
You should refrain
from pressuring African American leaders to denounce Minister Farrakhan and
the Millions More Movement. This commemoration is as a real opportunity for
establishing healing, reconciliation and fostering a more effective environment
for constructive dialogue between Blacks and Jews. We want a society and world
were there is no hatred, anti-Semitism, violence, or poverty. For the record,
we do not and would not support or endorse any person's viewpoint that is anti-Semitic,
racist or hateful. You should, therefore, be working with us toward building
more compassion and love among and between all people.
For over 50 years,
Minister Farrakhan has labored to resurrect the downtrodden masses of African
Americans up out of poverty and self-destruction. A few days ago I personally
witnessed him affirm, "A Muslim can not hate a Jew. We are all members
of the family of Abraham and
all of us should maintain dialogue and mutual respect." Our work, commitment,
and lives are all dedicated to uplifting all people through love, goodwill,
equality, peace and justice for all.