Steve Sailer has a blog about Obama's Afrocentrist minister, Jeremiah Wright, who is finally getting some mainstream attention.[Obama's spiritual advisor gives Farrakhan his "lifetime achievement" award] Steve has a quote from Obama's Audacity Of Hope, in which he listens to a sermon by Wright, (using the phrase "audacity of hope") which leads to a semi-conversion experience:
To be crass about it, this strikes me not as a religious conversion but as the moment when Obama finally feels Black Enough.
Like his mentor Rev. Wright, Obama's religion appears to be essentially racial and political rather than universal or spiritual or behavioral, although they appropriate traditional Biblical vocabulary for expressing it. The Old Testament expresses a primarily racial religion as well, so it's better suited to Wright and Obama's wants than the universalist New Testament. Similarly, the Afrikaaners' Dutch Reformed Church found much inspiration in the Old Testament.
In summary, Reverend Wright went with Minister Farrakhan to visit Col. Gadaffi in 1984, three years before Obama decided to join his church out of all the churches he had visited as part of his ethnic organizing. And in November 2007, Reverend Wright gives Minister Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award named after himself. There seems to be a pattern here, one that somebody as astute as Sen. Obama would have noticed long before. The Farrakhan connection is not an anomaly, it's a window into the now-historically important question of who Obama ... well, not into who Obama is (that's a complicated question), but into who he has long wanted to be.
Why would a minister of the Christian religion be giving awards to to Black Muslim? Because he's a major "African-American leader," and that trumps his religion.
Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post that
Maybe for Wright and some others, Farrakhan "epitomized greatness." For most Americans, though, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism.[Obama's Farrakhan Test, January 15, 2008]
Actually, not particularly. While Farrakhan is an anti-Semitic loon of the most fevered kind, he has a larger agenda—who Farrakhan hates is white people. And Americans. Oh, and Christians. One of his preachers, his former national assistant, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, once said that "The true meaning of Christmas is heathen, vain, ignorant, backward, white pagan worship and idolatry." That's standard Black Muslim rhetoric about Christianity.
Our criticisms over the years of Martin Luther King shouldn't blind us to the fact that King was an actual Minister of the Christian church, who addressed himself to "all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, " while Farrakhan doesn't care about anybody but Black Muslims.
The anti-Semitism is part of the Nation of Islam's copying of normative Islam, but it's not what the Nation of Islam is about.
Daniel Pipes described the Nation of Islam and its founder, Elijah Muhammad, in an article in Commentary:
The NoI offered a folk religion with strong Christian overtones and hints of science fiction. It had little in common with standard Islam. In the intervening seven decades it has moved in that direction, but not by much. Muhammad hated the United States and loved its enemies, especially non-Caucasian ones. And so he rejoiced in the Japanese victory at Pearl Harbor in 1941, not only refusing to register for military service but instructing his followers to do likewise. Arrested for draft evasion in May 1942, he spent three years in jail on sedition charges, getting out in August 1946.[How Elijah Muhammad Won, June 2000]
That's why Farrakhan is a problem, not only his specific mania about Jews, but his attacks on the rest of us, as well. As for the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, he doesn't only hate whites, he hates middle-class blacks.