Posted by: exiwp | April 4, 1994

Open Letter to Minister Louis Farrakhan (1994)

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Nation of Islam
Chicago, Illinois

A-Salaam-Alaikum, Minister:

My name is William Pleasant. I am the former senior editor and chief writer of the National Alliance newspaper. As you know, the Alliance was the leftist journal that supported Dr. Lenora Fulani and the New Alliance Party (NAP). In November 1985, former senior editor Michael Hardy [and I] conducted an interview with you at your Chicago headquarters. That interview was eventually published as a booklet and distributed throughout the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. It became the seminal document of your political, social, cultural and religious thinking at the time. I am very proud of that publication, for it allowed you to speak your mind without the usual interpretation and distortion found in the pro-Caucasian bourgeois media.

Though I believe that our political methodologies and strategies are very divergent–even at some points conflicting–I also believe that the only way that the oppressed Black community can successfully formulate a truly revolutionary political agenda–an agenda that will lead all people to liberation–is for ALL opinions and tendencies that exist within our community to be heard. That means that I have always supported your right to speak, as I believe you have always respected my right to disagree with you. That is the essence of political principle.

It is on the matter of political principles that I address you today. Allow me to be blunt. It does not serve your interests, or the interest of serious political dialogue within the Black community, for you to continue to be associated with Dr. Lenora Fulani, NAP, Fred Newman or any of other front personages or organizations of the International Workers Party (IWP). As you may know, Michael Hardy [and I] were leading members of the IWP. You may not know that we broke with Newman and Fulani in 1992. Like many Black, Latino and white members of the IWP, we walked out over Newman’s political and financial corruption, as well as his brutal and humiliating manipulation of Dr. Fulani.

Not unlike Roy Innis, Fulani exists as a fictitious Black Leader, manufactured by Newman’s Jim Crow propaganda department, for the benefit of Newman’s fundraising business among liberal whites. Dr. Fulani serves as Newman’s poor, Black militant-talking poster child. Needless to say, the millions of dollars that Newman has harvested through his marketing campaign have fattened his pockets and done nothing to advance our struggle.

Newman is the leader of a psychotherapy cult, predominately composed of middle class whites and a handful of Black and Latino dependents. Fulani is simply one of those dependents. She cannot speak or act without Newman’s permission. Everything that comes out of her mouth is scripted by Newman. He, like a Dr. Frankenstein, readily refers to Fulani as his “greatest creation.” Several times Fulani has publicly declared that Newman has done more for the Black community than any Black leader alive! Fulani’s emotional, intellectual and political thralldom to Newman is complete. For example: in 1991, Newman told Fulani to denounce then Chief of Staff General Colin Powell as just another fascist. But in 1994, eager to curry favor with right wing and white followers of Ross Perot, Newman told her to launch a campaign to draft Powell as the Black progressive candidate for the Virginia U.S. Senate seat! Fulani is no more “independent” than Charlie Bergen’s puppet, and her political integrity begins and ends with any and every scheme Newman cooks up to turn a buck. When you hear her, you are actually listening to Newman’s scam, nothing more.

You may be aware that Newman, like his former partner Lyndon LaRouche in the early 1980s, has abandoned leftist politics altogether and attempted to ally with the billionaire rightist Ross Perot and his followers. He has demanded that the Black community join with the Perot folks, irregardless of the fact that the new far-rightists (proto-fascists) are ideologically anti-Black and anti-poor. Newman’s message to the Black community is that if we fail to jump on the Perot bandwagon, then we have nothing but ourselves to blame for our disempowerment!

Newman’s newest objective is to repackage and market himself to Perot’s new right, given that he has blown all of his contacts in the Black and progressive communities. Newman must be understood today as merely another white Jewish owner of a string of businesses that is being reorganized to sell intelligence on the progressive opposition–you and the NOI included–the labor of his cultists and an affluent white middle class database, generated by the honest political work of the now defunct IWP. He is an entrepreneur. You are literally his last high-profile Black link. He seeks to exploit you by positioning himself as the “Jew” who has your ear. He can sell that, just as he will make a mint from marketing video copies of the interview of you he orchestrated on the so-called FULANI Show. Frankly, Minister Farrakhan, I was quite shocked by the ease with which you allowed yourself to be used by Newman. You were the hot property and he got you for nothing!

Though I do not subscribe to the nationalist tendency, I consider myself a Black revolutionary–of the Marxist variety, with no apologies. That means that I understand that the uprising and triumph of our people–the truly “wretched of the earth”–will mean the rising of humanity, in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s poetically apocalyptic “North American Wilderness” and elsewhere. Likewise, I am concerned that the progressive movement, historically led by African Americans, Latinos, Indians and other people of color, purge itself of white parasites and their black skin apologists. I am talking about Newman and Fulani here.

Every time that you or your followers allow Fulani a photo opportunity, you feed Newman’s money machine. Fulani draws relevance from her association with you and other organic Black leaders, not from a relationship to a grassroots grouping of people in our communities who share her psychotic obedience to Fred Newman. Such people simply don’t exist.

For example: Fulani’s political support in the NYC Black community is currently so poor that she has to literally pay people recruited at homeless shelters to participate in her marches and demonstrations! In the 1993 Gay Pride Parade, she boasted of an army of Black lesbian and gay followers in her contingent. In fact, the sisters and brothers marching with the good doctor were not only straight, but they had been paid only $10-a-head to march in the torturous 5-hour parade! Any grouping of people–particularly Black and Latino people–you see at a Fulani event tend to be rented props, or Fred Newman cultists. So you see, you do not give Fulani any legitimacy in the Black community; Black folks have already sniffed her out and stampeded in the opposite direction! She can’t do anything in the Black community with an endorsement from you, because the community basically distrusts her–and for very sound reasons–no matter what you say. The Fulani that you knew in 1988 no longer exists! She has been reprogrammed by Newman.

Newman’s money machine depends on having a “Black Cause” that can be sold to white liberals–they give the money–and Fulani is that cause. In lieu of an organic following, Fulani must constantly appear to be associated with Black controversy. She has become a sort of political ambulance chaser, latching on to any happening in the Black community or any Black leader who bothers to return her phone calls. But once the TV cameras have been turned off, she disappears until the next opportunity for a sound bite. I believe that if you spoke to Rev. Al Sharpton about the matter, then he could give you a very vivid picture of how Newman has sought to manipulate and control Black progressive politics through Fulani. Newman believes that he can simply bribe out anyone. He attempted to bribe Rev. Sharpton. Fulani simply served as his bag man, so to speak.

Though many Black people may have political disagreements with you, nonetheless, they have great respect for your integrity. In short, they believe you won’t back down. The same cannot be said for Fulani. Your association with Dr. Fulani–i.e., Fred Newman–actually degrades that respect. Fulani is widely viewed as a compromiser and a slave to the whims of a white limousine pseudo-radical.

I speak as an insider, so I know the score, Minister Farrakhan. Fulani’s 1992 Presidential Campaign, the All Stars Talent Show and Pregnant Productions, Castillo Cultural Center, New Alliance Productions, International Peoples Law Institution, Community Literacy Research Project [All Stars predecessor], even the Barbara Taylor School, etc., are all Newman business fronts, paper organizations that exist for the sole purpose of laundering donated money into Newman’s personal accounts! That is why myself and scores of other IWP members–Black, Latino, Asian, white, gay–have spent a year and more investigating and exposing Newman’s corruption. Meanwhile, Dr. Fulani–for reasons that are totally opaque, given her history and education–has played Newman’s Black tail-gunner, as he has attempted to dodge criminal indictment. Newman is currently under investigation for fraud, embezzlement and forgery by the Manhattan DA. He seems to have stolen at least $4 million from Fulani’s 1992 Presidential campaign alone!

Out of respect for her historic status as the first African American and first woman to wage a nationwide Presidential campaign, Dr. Fulani was privately warned in February 1993-before the investigation began–that she should distance herself from Newman and avoid scandal and further political humiliation. She refused and denounced myself and scores of other ex-supporters as “liars” and “snitches,” on cue from Newman, of course. We were the ones who warned her! Fulani will probably attempt to counter my charges by denouncing me as an agent of some conspiracy against herself and so-called “independent Black leadership,” hatched by the government, the Democratic Party, the Elks or anyone else who strikes Newman’s fancy. She’ll charge that I turned her (Newman) in to The Man. The irony of that charge is that her “mentor” has a long history of using the police and the courts to chastise his critics. For example: when Morning Sunday, the Black Maryland state chairwoman of the New Alliance Party (NAP Md.) protested the way that Newman’s operatives were mistreating native Black campaign workers and expatriating every campaign penny raised in her state back to Newman’s NYC bank accounts–by withholding submission of Fulani’s 1992 Maryland ballot nominating petitions-Newman ordered Fulani to file charges against her erstwhile Black sister for grand theft! Sunday, who had been a longtime grassroots NAP activist and Fulani partisan, was subsequently convicted of the charge, but was later vindicated by an appeal–months and thousands of dollars in legal fees later. Fulani (Newman) is actually an expert at “snitching” o activists. But, as the old folks say, “What goes-around-comes-around!” And just to be clear, I was not the one to first publicly denounce Fulani (Newman) for embezzlement and fraud, or to file a complaint with any legal authorities whatsoever. Fulani knows that’s the truth, but she won’t let that stand in the way of trying to convince you otherwise.

Likewise, when the Brooklyn-based City Sun broke the story of the DA’s investigation in October 1993, Newman signed Fulani’s name to a 3,000-word rebuttal painting anyone who dared to criticize him as an FBI agent. Needless to say, City Sun publisher Andy Cooper refused to print the nonsensical response–for one, because at no point in the piece did Newman address the very specific charges made against him b his own associates, not the police! Newman then ordered is attorney Arthur Block to harass and threaten Cooper into publishing the rebuttal. Cooper stood by his guns aid so Newman backed down, knowing that a libel suit against he City Sun would be a legal nightmare. He would have to open his books and answer questions under discovery.

It is important that you be informed about this matter. There is no reason why you and your organization should in any way soil yourselves with Newman.

Beware, Minister Farrakhan: as you move closer to Fulani (Newman), you give your followers the impression that there is some sort f strategic political fusion between yourself and Fulani (Newman). This is a grave error on your part, because it opens up the NOI to infiltration by Newman. He cannot put people into the NOI, because, frankly, he has next to no Black disciples anymore, particularly Black males–maybe to 6 remaining. And those who remain are so damaged that hey would be useless as moles. But he can attempt to corrupt your middle leadership. In fact, that is his favorite tactic. He will use whatever he has at his disposal, including bribery and even sexual seduction to build a pro-Fulani (Newman) caucus within the NOI. He will prey upon you more weaker or ambitious followers.

Allow me to give you an example of Newman at work against Black organizations that I am personally aware of, though I refused to collaborate in. The 1991 split within the Mason-Maddox-Sharpton-founded United African Movement (UAM), though born of some pre-existing internal organizational contradiction,, was consciously abetted by Newman’s backroom antics, front d by Fulani. Newman sought to do whatever was necessary to split Sharpton away from Maddox and Mason, whom he characterized as too hostile to even begin to co-opt. His tactic against the UAM was simple; once internal strife became manifest in the organization–after Sharpton was stabbed in Bensonhurst–Newman gave the order to swarm Sharpton and is immediate followers with fawning IWP operatives, financial assistance and free PR. Newman sought to pull Sharp on into his orbit for no other reason than he believed that Sharpton would give Fulani (Newman) legitimacy in the Black community. He sought to use what he perceived as his financial leverage over Sharpton to force Sharpton to sponsor Fulani within national Black leadership circles–to allow her to tag along. To his credit, Sharpton peeped Newman’s game early on, and constructed a counter-tactic that at once allowed him to utilize Newman’s relatively formidable financial and organizational resources, while at the same time maintaining a healthy political distance from Fulani. In other words, Sharpton turned the con-game on the con-man Newman! Newman has been seething with hatred for Sharpton ever since.

More or less, Newman has been hatching a similar scenario for you and tie NOI, at least since your 1988 appearance with Fulani at Atlanta’s Wheat St. Baptist Church. You know quite well how Newman meddled in NOI affairs three years ago, after Dr. Alim Muhammad allegedly made contact with the neo-fascist Lyndon LaRouche. Newman’s sole purpose of “warning” you about LaRouche was to promote political polarization within the NOI–to paint you as the “progressive wing” of the NOI and to portray Alim as a right winger! Newman’s strategy against the NOI has always been to split you, Farrakhan, away from you more politically and religiously conservative supporters by forcing Fulani upon you. You are what he calls a “big fish.”

He knew that your pro-Black political orientation would inevitably le d you to embrace Fulani out of pure solidarity, if nothing more. He calculated that such an association, given Fulani’s scripted provocations, would alienate sectors of the NOI. Newman believed that your fear of NOI dissident leaders would drive you into his arms. Once you had become isolated, then Newman planned to move in, offering you money, PR and political foot-soldiers in the form of IWP cadre. Newman still dreams of owning you, like he owns Fulani and attempted to buy out Rev. Sharpton. I know this because I was present at many of the IWP leadership me tings where these matters were discussed. Newman reserves a particular contempt for Black males, he fears us as competitors–seemingly in the most vulgar, racist and sexual terms. He also knows that Black men more quickly sniff out his con-game long before many of the Black females he ha been able to emotionally manipulate and string along s welfare cases, i.e., women like Fulani.

Within the leadership of the IWP, Newman often openly bragged about what he saw as his “profound” political impact upon you and the NOI. Newman portrayed your 1990 endorsement of Fulani for NY governor to the IWP as testimony of his influence over you. He had “won you over” to participate in partisan politics. He operated under the delusion that somehow he was transforming the NOI into an auxiliary of the New Alliance arty, with himself in the lead and you under his spell, vi your relationship with Fulani! Personally, I believed, like several other IWP leaders, that any relationship between the IWP–while it still had some relevance as political organization, it’s just a cult now-and the NOI ad to be based on mutual respect and concrete political cooperation, not on trying to get Fulani’s (or Newman’s, for that matter) picture taken with the famous Farrakhan, no seeking a hollow endorsement by association!

That is why, as the inevitable criminal indictments come down you should not feel an obligation to rush to Dr. Fulani’s defense. She will not be a Black sister under attack by The Man, but a willing-but-ignorant accomplice to Newman’s con-game against Blacks and other progressive folks.

Ironically, given how Newman kept his name off of any of the forged and falsified campaign finance documents, Fulani and her campaign staff will be the ones most likely to bear the criminal consequences of the scam. There is circumstantial evidence that Fulani’s chief campaign finance officer, a white lawyer named Francine Miller, has already allegedly turned her candidate into the DA, possibly with the promise of immunity from prosecution. Miller, a very high ranking and long time Newman operative, reportedly resigned from the IWP and disappeared a few months ago! For the record, I strongly believe that Fulani never touched a cent of the stolen money. She didn’t even know that the money-laundering operation was going on! Tragically, Fulani has stepped into a trap. Newman, the real crook, will probably walk away clean–and richer!

Thousands upon thousands of decent people–Black, Latino, Asian, gay an white–across this country gave their precious pennies and dollars to support Fulani in 1992–100% more than the did in 1988! They gave because they believed that she would make a political difference in their otherwise degraded and disenfranchised lives. Newman ruthlessly pocketed their money and told them to chase after Perot.

You know how and it is to reach people, particularly Black people these days. Over the years, we have been lied to and robbed by phony revolutionaries again and again. This constant betrayal builds up like a callous over the hearts of our people–we become cynical and self-hating. Fulani’s betrayal of the community, at the behest of her white-skin master, only feeds that cynicism and hate. They are critical components of the nihilistic mindset afflicting our youth. Our children kill each other because they have very little hope. Newman’s scam left them with even less, and Dr. Fulani helped him with the heist. That was a political crime more dastardly than murder itself.

Minister Farrakhan, I look forward to meeting with you again. In the meantime, I hope that you take my words to heart. Share hem with your followers–publish them in the Final Call, if you like. Likewise, the next time Fulani attempts to crash one of your events, confront her with these charges. Let her know that you are aware of who she is and what she as done for Newman at the expense of political development in communities poor and oppressed people. Again and again I aid others have called her out to answer these charges in print, on radio and in public meetings. She has chosen to hide. Likewise, Newman, a consummate coward, has hidden behind her skirt! Don’t give her refuge in the Nation of Islam, or our integrity as a Black leader. Again, as our old folks use to say: “If you lay down with dogs, then you’re likely to get up with fleas.” Fulani is that proverbial do and Newman is the flea!

I have nothing to gain by fighting Newman. Nobody will send me a check in the mail for exposing him. I have to buy my own stamps an pay my own long-distance bills, just as the dozens of other ex-IWP members who have stepped forward to take a stand or what is decent and progressive. We are determined to get the word out. I trust that you are listening….

Thank you for your time, Brother.In Solidarity

William Pleasant

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