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The Kindness of Minister Farrakhan

To: The American News Media
From: Jude and Patricia Wanniski
Re: His Letter to Jude's Mother

It’s been nearly twenty years since I first heard the name Louis Farrakhan. I was a senior in college, struggling to finish an honors thesis on the 1984 presidential campaign of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. It was at this time that the Minister acquired, undeservedly, a reputation for espousing violence as a means for helping the causes of the African-American community. When Reverend Jackson began to receive death threats, Minister Farrakhan warned that if black America lost another leader, cities would burn. Since Reverend Jackson was the first African-American presidential candidate, the possibility of assassination was very real, and the Minister took it quite seriously. Unfortunately, over time, these remarks took on the character of a threat, more than what was clearly at the time a simple statement of fact. And as far as the media is concerned, it has been downhill ever since for Minister Farrakhan.

When the Minister’s name began to resurface in the media in the mid-1990s, Jude was curious as to what he was all about. I explained the origin of the media animosity towards the Minister and the Nation of Islam, and then we did the due diligence, watching hour after hour of news coverage as well as Nation of Islam speeches given by the Minister at various Nation of Islam events. We have even attended a few, which is quite an experience for a white Catholic girl from New Jersey. Having watched and listened to many hours of his speeches and spent several evenings with him at dinners, I have never heard the Minister say anything anti-Semitic, or anti-any religious for that matter, though he has often said things that have challenged my perspective.

It wasn’t until last month, though, that I began to know the extent of the Minister’s kindness and generosity. At the close of a breakfast meeting in Los Angeles in February, Minister Farrakhan inquired as to the health of Jude’s elderly mother, having met her years ago at a Polyconomics conference. Jude responded that his mother is now losing her sight, due to cataracts, and the difficulty we were having convincing her that she should go ahead and have her eyes fixed so that she can continue to enjoy her crossword puzzles and romance novels. The Minister sympathized with us and asked if it would help if he wrote to her. He was faithful to his word. The letter, the text of which follows in its entirety, was beautiful, and moved us greatly. Best of all, she is now considering seriously all her options. If only the media would dig a bit deeper, and find out what Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are all about.

April 8, 2002

As-Salaam Alaikum.
(Peace Be Unto You)

Dear Mrs. Wanniski:

May this letter find you in good health and spirit.

I am writing this letter as a means of encouragement to you not to be afraid to take the operation that has a very good chance of improving your ability to see.

I know that I never wanted any operation on my body. I was hoping that I would return to Allah (God) in the same manner that I was sent into the World without scars, but, my desire is not necessarily Allah’s (God’s) Will so I had to accept a horrific operation that has scarred my body, but, has allowed me to live and although my quality of life is somewhat diminished, I am alive to do more good today than I did yesterday.

As we get older and our health diminishes, it would be so wonderful to be able to see clearly Allah’s (God’s) marvelous creation because as we get older we have a deeper sense of appreciation of the little things that we paid small attention to in the days of our youth.

If you are somewhat afraid, try the operation for one eye and should it be successful, which believe it will, then, do the second eye. You will be happy and all who love you will be happy to know that your sight has greatly improved through the wonder of medical science. Pray, my dear mother on this matter and if you can fast a day that you pray. If you can, and, if Allah’s (God’s) spirit tells you to go ahead, go ahead and do that which His Spirit has led you to do and do not look back.

May Allah (God) grant you His Spirit and guide the hands of any work with you that they may help to restore your vision that you may enjoy the wonder of a Mighty God’s Creation.

Best wishes for your success.

I Am Your Brother and Servant in the Cause of Truth,

The Honorable Louis Farrakhan
Servant to the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in the West

HMLF/sm