Its troubling that so many listen to Farrakhan. If no one listens his becomes a voice in the wilderness. But listening transforms monologue into relationship. Farrakhan’s audiences are predominantly black, but blacks are not his only listeners. Jews listen, too, and with an almost compulsive fascination, making it unclear which group has the more intimate relationship with Farrakhan.
Relationships offer confirmation of identity and affirmation of self. Farrakhan confirms and affirms identity for both blacks and Jews. Because he does, blacks and Jews are mesmerized by what are, in essence, nothing more than a combination of simplistic nationalist ravings, angry harangues, crude anti-Semitic diatribes, and historical ignorance. (I use “Farrakhan” here to refer not only to the individual, but also other purveyors of black anti-Semitism.)