I told you so…

{November 10, 2008}   Farrakhan hails Obama’s win, warns of racial tensions

Told you so


Louis Farrakhan, controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, on Sunday hailed US president-elect Barack Obama as an extraordinary leader but warned his victory would stir up racial animosity.

Farrakhan, 75, said that Obama’s presidential candidacy had excited the nation in a way not seen since Robert Kennedy ran for the White House in 1968, and that he had been moved by the “oneness of spirit” he saw among voters, particularly on election night in Chicago.

But he said the country remained “divided and polarized,” and he warned that the president-elect faced a daunting task in taking the reins of the nation during one of the most troubled periods in its history.

Many of the voters that backed Republican Senator John McCain “were older Americans and most reside below the Mason-Dixon line where racial attitudes and traditions die hard,” he said in a reference to the American South.

“We can change laws, but it’s difficult to change attitudes,” he told a congregation of about 1,200 people at Mosque Maryam on Chicago’s South Side.

He cited news reports that gun sales had surged since Obama’s electoral victory, and told of how fights reportedly broke out in some schools, with white students chanting “white power,” while blacks students chanted “black power.”

“I’m sure that many of our people have unfortunately lost their lives because of the absolute hatred that is manifested now that one of our own has risen to such a high office,” he told the crowd at the national headquarters of the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan is the leader of the religious group which rose to national prominence under Malcolm X during the civil rights movement.

He has been an influential voice but often a lightning rod for criticism with his incendiary remarks prompting charges of anti-Semitism and homophobia. He made headlines with his accusations that the government deliberately blew up levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in an attempt to wipe out the city’s black population.


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