Friday, March 24, 2006

Cuba, Nation of Islam and Katrina

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (C) and U.S. medical students on scholarships pose at Havanas Latin American Medical School, Havana.

The US appears to be finding another way to block Cuban aid to Hurricane Katrina victims. After blocking Cuban rapid response medical personnel right after Katrina hit, leaving hundreds od Doctors sitting idle 45 minutes away from New Orleans when hundreds pf people were dying, the US is now denying Cuban's multi-million dollar World Baseball Classic winnings, which were dedicated to Katrina's victims.

This at a time when black Muslim leaders, including Min. Louis Farrakhan, are in Cuba meeting with poor US Medical students studying for free, Cuban volunteer Doctors and Hurricane specialists. The aim is to learn from Cuba in the areas of diasaster relief.

"IF we had this type of preventative system we would have been spared a large part of the disaster caused by Katrina." This opinion was expressed by Akbar Muhammad.

The NOI criticized the Bush Admin. for refusing a Cuban offer to send doctors after Katrina devastated New Orleans last August, flooding neighborhoods mainly populated by blacks and the impoverished.

Farrakhan, who led the Million Man March on the Washington Mall in 1995 to promote black self-reliance and responsibility, said he intended to "spread the knowledge" among impoverished black, Hispanic and Native American communities. He met with young Americans studying medicine in Havana on Cuban scholarships and encouraged them to go back to their communities to deliver medical services needed by those who lack health insurance.


Blogger jsb said...

I guess your not familiar with the rascist leader of the Nation of Islam's constant anti-semetic rhetoric. Or do you share his view of the jewish people? You socialists will lie in bed with any body who praises Castro. It's disgusting.

12:23 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

J, welcome back...

While Mr. Farrakhan occasionally speculates and lets batty NOI beliefs (like any religion) get the best of him, it is clear to me that he IS the leader of poor African Americans in the US and for that reason, has a huge bulls-eye on him by the nation’s elite, including journalists who routinely quote him out of context and only publicize his controversial remarks. If you don’t believe me ask the late WSJ editor (and Reaganite) Jude Wanniski, who wrote this note to Joseph Lieberman in 2000 attempting reconciliation between Jews and Blacks.

“The American Jewish Coalition did Vice President Gore no favors in undermining your outreach to Min. Farrakhan, who has been seeking such reconciliation since 1984, as far as I can tell. In each and every instance where it appears there may be some success, though, the Jewish political establishment tosses a hand grenade into the proceedings. I’ve gotten to know Min. Farrakhan very well over the past four years and can assure you he is neither bigoted nor anti-Semitic. The controversial statements attributed to him are either false, taken out of context, or viewed through a cultural prism when they are meant only as political views…”

Farrakhan has made it clear over and over again he has great respect for the Jewish people. His comments regarding Jews are normally in the context of some of their leaders occasionally putting Israel’s interests ahead of our own, a notion that is being hotly debated right now in foreign policy circles after a report on the Israeli lobby’s influence was penned by esteemed Dead of Harvard’s Kennedy School David Walt and U of Chicago Prof. John Mearsheimer in the London Review of Books. The real issue that arises is that the NOI religion also has a theological claim on the “chosen people” designation, which obviously conflicts with Judaism. For anyone to claim to be “chosen” is ridiculous in my book but if you are going to call the NOI racist, I suggest you look at the way Israeli’s talk about and treat Muslims (even from “liberal” friends I have heard the vilest language).

You can laugh off Farrakhan as a racist nut if you want, but I can tell you that he has a sophisticated mind that understands the world and brings that down to the everyday people. The same way Malcolm X was crucified in the press, then killed, after he began talking about foreign policy issues – Farrakhan was not considered a threat until he mobilized 1 million people and talked about America’s need to “atone” for past crimes around the world.

If I were one of those sectarian leftists, certainly it would be easy to find faults in Farrakhan’s worldview, but I am not. I view his as an authentic expression of the black liberation movement; someone with the unique ability to organize and energize poor black people for positive means. In Revolutionary Cuba, the Minister has found a place that embodies his ideals – and those who struggle for decent life chances: universal quality health care, education and integration.

12:06 PM  

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