A former top deputy to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan tells Newsmax that Barack Obama’s ties to the black nationalist movement in Chicago run deep, and that for many years the two men have had “an open line between them” to discuss policy and strategy, either directly or through intermediaries.
“Remember that for years, if you were a politician in Chicago, you had to have some type of relationship with Louis Farrakhan. You had to. If you didn’t, you would be ostracized out of black Chicago,” said Dr. Vibert White Jr., who spent most of his adult life as a member and ultimately top officer of the Nation of Islam.
White broke with the group in 1995 and is now a professor of African-American history at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
White said Obama was “part of the Chicago scene” where Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and radicals would go to each other’s events and support each other’s causes.
“Even though Chicago is the third-largest city in the country, within the black community, the political and militant nationalist community is very small. So it wouldn’t be uncommon for [Obama and Farrakhan] to show up at events together, or at least be there and communicate with each other,” White told Newsmax.
Obama was careful to “denounce” Farrakhan’s comments – but not the man — during the Democratic primary season earlier this year, but only after Hillary Clinton called him out for benefiting from Farrakhan’s support.
Farrakhan endorsed Obama in a videotaped speech to his followers at Mosque Miryam in Chicago in February. “You are the instruments that God is gonna use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth,” Farrakhan said.
He told the crowd that Obama was the new “messiah.”
Once the news media and the Clinton campaign got hold of those comments from Farrakhan, demands mounted from all sides that Obama “renounce” Farrakhan.
But as he has done repeatedly throughout this campaign, Obama was careful to parse his words.
“You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments,” he said during one appearance on “Meet the Press.” “I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible.”
Obama hastened to point out that Farrakhan had been praising him as “an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.”