Nation of Islam and alt right revisit common ground: Racism and anti-Semitism

November 16, 2017

A few days before the 22nd anniversary of the Million Man March/Holy Day of Atonement, NOI’s leader, Louis Farrakhan tweeted: “Black People: We should be more convinced that it is time for us to separate and build a nation of our own.” Farrakhan’s pronouncement, which was echoed in his anniversary speech, “Separation or Death,” was retweeted nearly 2.9K times, a number that included alt-right leaders Richard Spencer and Mike Enoch, as well as the Twitter account for Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance. 

AmRen Tweet

From Mike Enoch: 

Enoch Tweet

And Richard Spencer: 

Spencer Tweet

Vincent James of the alt-right “news” organization The Red Elephants posted a fifteen-minute video on YouTube explaining why it makes sense that Spencer would reach out to Farrakhan to collaborate, because the two have “very similar rhetoric.” Whether Spencer and Farrakhan will actually meet in a public forum, as Spencer suggested, remains to be seen.  

Farrakhan responded to the alt-right a couple days later at his speech in Newark, calling the alt-right “white people of intelligence.”

“Do you know white people of intelligence feel the same way? Somebody told me that the alt-right, Mr. Trump’s people, had a tweet or something – we kinda like what Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam is saying, we with them to separate in a land of their own. I said: very good, alt-right, ya’ll want to talk about it? Talking has been done, nothing to talk about because now it’s either separation or death.”

Maajid Muhammad, who considers himself a member of #FarrakhanTwitterArmy and the Fruit of Islam, retweeted the American Renaissance tweet in an apparent sign of approval. 

While it may seem strange for the likes of Louis Farrakhan and Richard Spencer to find common ground, their two groups actually overlap considerably in ideology and agenda: they’re virulently anti-Semitic and call for separate ethno-states. 
 This is not the first time the groups have agreed publicly on these issues. Farrakhan’s predecessor, Elijah Muhammad, wrote about “separation or death,”, and in 1961 Malcolm X gave a speech with the very same title. Members of the American Nazi Party attended that speech, and their founder George Lincoln Rockwell told reporters, “I am fully in concert with their program, and I have the highest respect for Elijah Muhammad.” In the past, David Duke has also tweeted agreement with Farrakhan, and in 1985 Farrakhan met with Thomas Metzger, a former KKK leader, at an NOI rally in San Diego.

Today, members of the alt-right are once again expressing their respect for NOI’s leadership and agenda.  Andrew Joyce, a writer for the racist, anti-Semitic online magazine Occidental Observer tweeted a link to his 2015 article in which he named NOI as an example of “group evolutionary strategy,” and wrote that white nationalists should follow these strategies in order to further their agenda. Joyce added that white nationalists should “welcome any recognition of racial realities by other groups. I’m not particularly fond of being called a ‘Devil,’ but there is an honesty in NOI depictions of racial competition, and it’s [sic] acknowledgement of Jewish influence, which I find refreshing.”