Love isn’t a matter of matching colors

By Claudia Curry

I was all set to write my column this week on Louis Farrakhan’s visit to NIU. I figured I could go to the lecture and write about what I got out of the experience. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend his speech.

I agree with NIU President John La Tourette in his statement supporting Farrakhan’s visit on the basis of the First Amendment allowing free speech…but it wasn’t.

On top of the $4000 student fee allocation, there was a four dollar at-the-door admission fee. So on my tight budget, I concluded I could get by if I asked a variety of those who attended the speech what they got out of it, and it would be just like I was there.

So, what did I miss? What did this guy have to say? What do you think his main point was?

“Charismatic,””Powerful,””Eloquent,””Motivated.” Those are the words I heard when I asked people why they thought he was so popular. I was beginning to regret my decision already.

However, many said he didn’t speak on socio-economic problems in the 1990’s as planned. Many said his speech focused on black supression and the need for blacks to receive a quality education. Well, I wasn’t offended yet. Yet.

Sometime during Farrakhan’s speech, he touched briefly on the subject of inter-racial relationships. He expressed that in his opinion, races should not interbreed—that it’s wrong and that people should stick to their own heritage and be proud of it.

He even went as far to say that if you are a black person involved with a white person, be sure that it’s love and not a slave mentality controlling your decisions.

What ever happened to equality and unity? According to Farrakhan, that should only be to a certain extent. The more I think about what this man stands for the more I wonder how the groups which sponsored his visit justified bringing him here.

For years NIU has been campaigning “Unity through Diversity.”

We have been exposed to messages calling for understanding and acceptance. We are of different colors, different cultures, different beliefs—joined by one common bond: humanity.

Before we are black, white, jewish, oriental or hispanic, we are all part of the human race—a race which should be encouraged to interact, befriend, care, and yes, in some cases, love one another.

In a society where racial hatred is so easily bred, we need to stop and ask ourselves that if unity is the key objective, why should inter-racial relationships be shunned? It shouldn’t be thought of as bizarre or unnatural, but simply as two people caring about one another while respecting and enjoying their differences. It’s difficult for any two people of any race to accomplish that, so why put up obstacles for those who do.

You see, I’ve learned this first hand. My parents have an inter-racial relationship and through this diversity I was granted the opportunity to learn and be proud of two heritages instead of just one, and I’m thankful.

Farrakhan would have a problem with my parents’ relationship, but that’s O.K.—people like my parents would have a problem with Farrakhan.