Farrakhan heard without violence

By Beth Behland

The long-awaited speech by controversial black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan ended without violence.

Farrakhan’s intensely guarded lecture Tuesday at the Chick Evans Field House lasted about two hours, and included topics from anti-Semitism to female degradation. He also encouraged students to improve their education and enter into disciplines that will help “advance the civilization” and not waste time on “BS” degrees.

“Education is a living thing, it must never be stagnant,”he said.

Farrakhan verbally attacked the media and defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism. Calling the media “wicked demons,” Farrakhan denied any similarities between himself and Adolf Hitler—except that he will lead black people from defeat as Hitler did.

Hitler “was a great man—wickedly great,” Farrakhan said, emphasizing that “great” and “good” are not the same.

The more than 2,500 people entering the field house endured a thorough screening, while members of Farrakhan’s camp frisked them to insure safety.

Although much of the audience repeatedly applauded Farrakhan and his inspirational words, Brad Strauss, Hillel Jewish Student Organization member and Student Association senator, did not agree with many of Farrakhan’s remarks.

“He tried to rationalize his bigotry in the end (of his speech), but so many things he has said in the past cannot be rationalized,” Strauss said, founding the speech interesting until Farrakhan brought up the anti-Semitism issue and “skirted around the issues of bigotry and racism.”

However, Ralph Lassai, a Loyola University senior, said hearing Farrakhan speak was more than worth the ticket price and traveling time.

“He spoke the truth, and that’s what black men and white men need to hear,” Lassai said.

But toward the end of his speech, Farrakhan said “Whether you like me or not, you heard me,” and added that popularity is not his mission.

If Americans come together and open their eyes to government facades and hypocrisies, the U.S. has the potential to be the greatest nation of all time because it has a taste of every race and culture, Farrakhan said.