Reporters noticed the extremist Nation of Islam leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan’s latest three-and-a-half hour jeremiad on Sunday, but some left the most extreme rhetoric out. Kim Janssen of the Chicago Sun-Times caught it:
Speaking to an estimated 20,000 followers of the black nationalist movement at the United Center on Sunday, the 76-year-old Farrakhan said, "The white right is trying to set Barack up to be assassinated."
Referring to a Southern Baptist preacher's recent prayer that the president die, Farrakhan said, "There are Christians praying for God to kill Obama."
The 76-year-old leader said the "white right" was conspiring to make Mr. Obama a one-term president, and pointed to his stalled efforts to introduce health care legislation as proof. He said those opponents and lobbyists were trapping him into a future war with Iran that could lead to mass destruction.
The word 'prophet' is too cheap a word. I am a light in the midst of darkness," Farrakhan said at the annual convention of the movement that embraces black nationalism. "It ain't ego, it's my love for you."
The AP reporter did notice that Farrakhan toyed with the audience (and the reporters present) by neither confirming nor denying that he and Obama met:
He would not say if he and Mr. Obama had ever met on the issue.
"They all want to know did I ever meet with him and what did I say or what did he say," Farrakhan said in the speech. "I ain't going there."
Obama's longtime minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was a friend of Farrakhan and talked about traveling to Libya with him. So the odds that they met are very strong.