By Robert S. Singh

During this penetrating serious research of Louis Farrakhan's ascent to nationwide impression, Robert Singh argues that the minister's upward push to prominence is a functionality of race and response in modern the US. Singh probes the origins and importance of Farrakhan in American politics. Drawing on released and unpublished documents, own interviews, and Farrakhan's writings and speeches, Singh areas Farrakhan expressly in the "paranoid sort" of such reactionaries as Jesse Helms and Joseph McCarthy. analyzing Farrakhan's biographical information, non secular ideals, political options, and relative effect, Singh argues that Farrakhan is an severe conservative who exploits either black-white divisions and conflicts in the black neighborhood for private development. Singh proposes that Farrakhan's advanced entice African-Americans is predicated on his skill to orchestrate the diffuse forces of African-American protest opposed to the established order. sarcastically, says Singh, Farrakhan has completed his place partially through positioning himself opposed to so much African-American political leaders, a tactic made attainable through the level to which black American politics now monitors an identical uncomplicated gains as American politics more often than not. by way of stoking the fires of worry and hatred but effecting no actual alterations, Farrakhan poses a better hazard to black americans than to whites. The "Farrakhan Phenomenon" is written in a transparent, obtainable sort that would attract normal readers fascinated by race kin in addition to to students of yank historical past and politics. It unearths a clever opportunist who has capitalized on America's carrying on with failure to accommodate its critical and abiding race difficulties.

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The new Speaker of the House even spoke publicly in terms of  < previous page < previous page page_149 page_15 next page > next page > Page 15 excoriated by others as a bigoted black extremist, a marginal social force, and a transparently opportunistic and fraudulent charlatanis at once striking, unusual, and significant. Few, if any, other African-American public figures have attracted such extreme and contradictory responses since the 1960s. Of post-civil rights era black American public figures, only the nomination of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas provoked an intense political controversy and broad dissensus among African-Americans nationwide on a scale even remotely comparable to Farrakhan.

See McFadden-Preston, "The Rhetoric of Minister Louis Farrakhan," chapter 6. 67. The suspicion that Farrakhan's personal values also encompass sexist notions is partially fuelled by some of his less sensitive public comments. One example was the interpretation that Farrakhan placed upon the conviction of the black boxer, Mike Tyson. " Quoted in Richard E. " 68. Farrakhan speech, "Black Solidarity Day Address," 2 November 1970. Reprinted in Farrakhan, Seven Speeches by Minister Louis Farrakhan. 69.

18 The paranoid politician represents an especially curious and compelling, though deeply unattractive, American public figure. In marked contrast to most politicians active in American national life, the political paranoid constitutes a distinctive activist. Most obvious, the stuff of "normal" politicsmoderation and courtesy, comity and mutual cordiality, civility of manners and discourse, a consistent striving for conciliation and compromiseis not for the paranoid actor, for whom blandness and uniformity are traits to be zealously avoided at almost all costs.

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