Dear Minister Farrakhan,
May this letter find you in the very best of health and spirit. I had the pleasure of listening to your lecture via webcast on October 21st, 2012 giving President Obama advice for his second term.You pivoted, at one point, into a riff about homosexuality, the power of the gay community, and how, in your words, "Homosexuality leads to the death of the family". You mentioned that it was(paraphrased) a sick type of love that would "not allow you to want to reproduce yourself". This letter is an open rebuttal to those remarks, from myself, an author who has published a book on human sexuality among black men, and who is one who loves you and is a former member of the Nation Of islam.
I have a unique experience with your organization, as I was once a proud member of the FOI(Fruit Of Islam; the name given to the military training of men who belong to the nation Of Islam in North America) during the years of 1989 to 1994.You, Minister Farrakhan, gave me a partial scholarship to Tuskegee University, in large part because you saw potential in me for future greatness and productivity. As an openly same-gender loving man, here is my point-by-point response to your comments:
1).Your remark that Homosexuality leads to the death of the family is,respectfully, one I find tremendous disagreement with. 70% of black women are having children out of wedlock, not because of black gay men, lesbian women,or transgendered persons, but because of a variety of other reasons, including a War on Drugs capturing 3.6 million black men and either incarcerating them, putting them on probation, parole, or some other form of court supervision. That figure,3.6 million,is a number greater than the total number of slaves, male and female, in the South in 1850, just 10 years before the Civil War. Perhaps instead of using Bible and Qur'anic based riffs against homosexuality to get your crowds fired up, you could use those books to tackle that prison issue,, more than the small, marginally consequential prison ministry you have in the Nation Of Islam.
This War on Drugs marginalizes MILLIONS of otherwise eligible black men from job opportunities, having a felony conviction. Without adequate employment, a vicious cycle of repeated incarceration occurs. Add to this,a trans-generational cycle of poverty, mis-education, and a warped view of manhood of many young brothers in so-called gangs that does not value collective responsibility on a sex-to-marriage level when babies are produced. All of these issues, Minister Farrakhan, (respectfully,sir), loom far larger than a small segment of the black community that is same-gender loving. To use us as scapegoats for the community's condition is disingenuous at best, and bizarre in the extreme in context of the above facts. Many black gay men and lesbian women face intense discrimination from their white gay counterparts as well as heterosexual blacks.WE ARE NOT THE DEATH OF THE BLACK FAMILY.
2). Many, many black same-gender loving men are fathers, and take excellent care of their children. To suggest that we have no desire to reproduce is simply UNTRUE. We do not love the same gender to avoid child bearing or rearing, but simply because we are attracted to the same gender. We do not engage in relationships with the same gender out of resentment towards black women or black men who are heterosexual. Respectfully sir, we do not think that much of heterosexuals to hate or resent them to the point where we would "choose" homosexuality. This form of accusatory language is false,and repugnant. I find it ironic that, as a former member of the Nation Of Islam, I was a witness to several(nearly two DOZEN, actually) young brothers in Mosque Maryam who were secretly gay or bisexual, including young men who were close to you, Minister Farrakhan. I would have thought that exposure to them would have opened your eyes to the humanity of same-gender loving people, but I see that it has not. Saddening indeed.
3).I fully understand that, as the National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation Of Islam, your position on homosexuality is carved out for you through religious text and Nation Of Islam teachings. Please, sir, while articulating your position, have a more informed assessment of the humanity of my section of the black community and make fewer inaccurate statements about our motives and intentions. While you may claim not to be homophobic, your comments can easily be used by those who are to feed into a hateful climate that I do not think you wish to create. We are all around you, and have much to contribute to the liberation and salvation of the black community. Divisive rhetoric under the cover of "religious doctrine" is not productive, either. We are not "sissies"(a term you have used throughout the years to describe gay men), "punks"(another term used that is derogatory to gays that you have used to suggest "real manhood" is heterosexual manhood) or "faggots"(a term you used passionately in a few speeches from the 1980's to describe men who you suspected might be gay). We are same gender loving men, and we are not going anywhere. There has been no "growth" of homosexuality. There are just more and more of us that are no longer living in fear and silence...
Your Brother and Servant,
Brother Hassan Hartley, CEO,Brother Hassan's Books
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