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     American Nazi Party Commander George Lincoln Rockwell (center) at a Nation of Islam (NOI) rally, Uline Arena, Washington, DC, June 25, 1961.  During the collection, he shouted: “George Lincoln Rockwell gives $20!” (almost $135 in today's money).  Malcolm X, noting the applause, asked him: "George Lincoln Rockwell, you got the biggest hand you ever got, didn’t you?” 

     Elijah Muhammad, NOI founder, invited Rockwell to speak at their next Savior's Day Convention, which he did on Sunday, February 25, 1962, before 12,175 people in Chicago’s International Amphitheater.  (Muhammad Speaks, April 1962, p. 3.)  At the podium, in full Nazi regalia, Rockwell opined “that Elijah Muhammad is to the so-called Negro what Adolph Hitler is to the German people.  He is the most powerful black man in the country.  Heil Hitler!” (Black History and the Class Struggle, Spartacist League, August 1994, p. 37.) 

Anthony Flood

Updated July 24, 2007

Two letters on the Nation of Islam, one from The New York Times, February 23, 1994 . . .


What about the Nation of Islam's Historical Ties to Fascism?

Hugh Murray

To the Editor:

It was widely reported when Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, suspended Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who told an audience at Kean College of New Jersey that Jews are bloodsuckers, gays are sissies, and the Pope is a cracker.

Mr. Farrakhan rebuked the manner in which Mr. Muhammad delivered his message, but Mr. Farrakhan reaffirmed the “truths” of that message! Reporters speculate if this is a repudiation of bigotry or not.  But they are silent about the history of the Nation of Islam on these subjects.

In the early 1960's, at a large gathering of the Nation of Islam, the featured speaker was Elijah Muhammad, its leader.  But the speaker just before him, addressing Elijah Muhammad's followers, was George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party.1

In the early 1960's Malcolm X, as a Nation of Islam spokesman, mocked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.  At the height of civil rights protest Malcolm traveled to the South, not to partake in civil rights protest, but to negotiate with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan on how to thwart the struggle for civil rights.  This scene is omitted from Spike Lee's film and from the recent PBS documentary on Malcolm X.

And in the 1920's, even before the founding of the Nation of Islam, Marcus Garvey led the Universal Negro Improvement Association, which became America's largest black nationalist organization.  The association created the Black Cross Nurses, the African Legion, the Knights of the Nile and established the Black Star Steamship Line.  Though black liberals and socialists like A. Philip Randolph and W. E. B. Du Bois bitterly opposed Garvey, Garvey found other associatesthe leaders of the Ku Klux Klan.

Garvey and Klansmen met and shook hands in the 1920's.  Eventually, Garvey was deported and lived in Britain, where he supported the Conservative Party and hoped Britain would transfer some of its African colonies to him.  Garvey also admired some European leaders, like Mussolini.  Garvey even reminded his followers, “We were the first Fascists.”2

Thus, the problem is not a single speech by Khalid Muhammad.  Behind much of black nationalism and the Nation of Islam lurks the idea of fascism.  And black fascism, like white fascism, is still fascism.

When Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus attempt to embrace Louis Farrakhan, they are seeking an alliance with a tradition of fascism.

Hugh Murray, Milwaukee, Feb. 16, 1994

The writer is the author of articles on black history.

1 See William H. Schmaltz's When George Lincoln Rockwell, Elijah Muhammad, and Malcolm X Shared the Same Stage and Rockwell's own account elsewhere on this site.A.F.

2 For the source of this quote, see the third reference note to Hugh Murray, “From the Communist Party to Affirmative Action,” elsewhere on this site.A.F.

Posted July 4, 2007

[Updated August 1, 2007]

. . . the other from Chronicles of Higher Education, December 8, 1995.

Examining the Million Man March

To the Editor:

Leroy Davis's account of his experiences at the Million Man March misses the main point ( "Memories of the 'Million Man March,'" Opinion, November 10). One needs to recall some of the history of black nationalism in this country to comprehend the larger meaning of that march.

In the 1920s, when the young National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sought to extend civil rights to blacks, the black nationalists were in opposition.  The leading black-nationalist organization of that era, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, was headed by Marcus Garvey.  Not only did Garvey revile the N.A.A.C.P.'s W. E. B. Du Bois as a mulatto, and insufficiently black, but Garvey colluded with the Ku Klux Klan!  And why not?  Garvey later contended that he and the members of the U.N.I.A. were the first fascists.

Today's leading black-nationalist organization, the Nation of Islam, views whites as devils.  The N.O.I. opposed the civil-rights movement and the civil-rights march on Washington of 1963, at which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous speech.  Malcolm X traveled to Washington that day not to speak of unity, not to march, but to denounce the farce on Washington.”  And in the early 1960s, when Malcolm was still a member of the N.O.I., when he traveled to the South, it was not to partake in civil-rights protest, but to make secret deals with the Klan.  Furthermore, at a major N.O.I. gathering in Chicago's International Amphitheater in 1962, Elijah Muhammad had George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party, address 12,000 of his followers at this Black Muslim conclave.

Sociology, black-studies, and other academic departments have covered up and distorted much recent history, and the media have repeated their distortions.  They often assert that blacks cannot be racists.  How absurd!  Not only can blacks be racists, they can beand some arefascists. There is a long tradition of black fascism in this country, one that the politically correct refuse to see.

Some endorsed the Million Man March because of its message, its noble aims, its unifying symbolism. How foolish!  A march whose chief sponsor is America's leading fascist and racist is a march that must be condemned.

The march was a watershed event. Hundreds of thousands of black men have voted with their feet to endorse as their leader America's leading fascist.  There were few American flags at the rally, for basically Black Muslims reject this country.  They prefer the black, red, and green, and the black duce, Minister Farrakhan.  It is a sad day for all Americans.

Hugh Murray

Posted July 5, 2007


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