Farrakhan: Don’t be ‘pacified’ by Obama election
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday urged his followers not to become complacent by President Barack Obama’s election and to work to repair communities.
The 76-year-old Nation of Islam leader said in a speech commemorating the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March that people shouldn’t become pacified by the election of the first black president.
“This can pacify you and lull you to sleep in a dangerous time, making you think that we live in a post-racial America — when the opposite is true,” he said to loud applause.
The Chicago-based Nation of Islam has embraced black nationalism since its founding in the 1930s, and has used Obama’s election as a launching point for celebration, intellectual discussion and a call to action.
“You may not be pleased with everything he’s saying and doing, but you have to understand that he’s been voted in to take care of the affairs of a nation, and not yours and mine particularly,” Farrakhan said. “He’s the American president, not the black president.”
Given those broad responsibilities, African-Americans need to “accept responsibility to build our own communities,” Farrakhan said.
Sunday’s speech was billed as a plan to focus on reducing crime. Farrakhan didn’t lay out details in his 2 ½-hour address, but said members of the Nation of Islam have shown a blueprint for helping people repair their lives. The organization has long focused efforts on recruiting in prisons by encouraging inmates to study the movement’s teachings.
“They’re going to prisons and they make a man and a woman whole, the prostitute gets cleaned up, the drug addict gets changed,” he said. “You see a model in Muslims in the Nation of Islam when our people come into the mosque toxic and then are made useful.”
NEW ORLEANS, La. — At least two civil and constitutional rights groups are calling for a Louisiana justice of the peace to resign after he refused to issue a marriage license for an interracial couple.
The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Louisiana and the Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice in New York said Keith Bardwell should quit immediately.
Bardwell is a white justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish in southeastern Louisiana. He refused earlier this month to issue a license or marry Beth Humphrey, who is white, and Terence McKay, who is black.
Bardwell said he always asks if a couple is interracial and, if they are, refers them to another justice of the peace.
He says children of such unions face troubling futures.
Jamaica to convert waste into energy, save $60M
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica has hired a Florida company to build two plants that will convert garbage into energy and help save the government $60 million a year in fuel imports.
Energy Minister James Robertson says the plants could generate about 18 percent of the country’s electricity and eliminate the need to import more than 700,000 barrels of fuel a year.
Robertson said in a statement issued Friday that Miami-based Cambridge Project Development Inc. will oversee construction of the plants at the Riverton landfill in Kingston.
It is unclear when construction would start. Further details were not available, including the project’s cost.
Afghanistan — As of Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, at least 796 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. The department last updated its figures Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.
Of those, the military reports 614 were killed by hostile action.
Outside the Afghan region, the Defense Department reports 72 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, three were the result of hostile action. The military lists these other locations as Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Jordan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Philippines; Seychelles; Sudan; Tajikistan; Turkey; and Yemen.
There were also four CIA officer deaths and one military civilian death.
SEC: Ponzi scheme targeted Haitians in Florida, New Jersey
MIAMI, Fla. — Three men are accused of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than $14 million from Haitian-American investors in South Florida and New Jersey.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says the men promised to double their clients’ money every 90 days. Authorities say only about $1 million of the money invested was traded. The rest allegedly went to the men’s personal use and to paying earlier investors.
The three men are charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.