WASHINGTON — Minister Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, on Thursday called on US President Donald Trump to repent for America’s sins and chastised Americans who are upset with Trump’s image, saying “he’s your reflection.”
Farrakhan, in a wide-ranging, two-hour speech at the Watergate Hotel in the capital, touched on issues as varied as North Korea, race relations and relations between Muslims in the Middle East in what he billed as an address to Trump.
“Mr. President, you won’t make America great again, not in our time,” said Farrakhan, 84, referring to the president’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. “She became great killing Native Americans. She became great enslaving us, bringing us from Africa into America to work the cotton fields. You’re not going to get that opportunity back anymore.”
The Nation of Islam, formed in Detroit in the 1930s, in part aims to free blacks from “servitude” to Western civilization — white society. It has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for positions against Jews, gays and others.
Farrakhan called on Trump to “repent for all of the evils that America has done to us, to the peoples of the world.”
However, he also said that God had placed Trump in the White House.
During the presidential campaign, Farrakhan sent mixed signals about Trump, indicating he saw some reflection of his worldview in the candidate’s rhetoric, including the Republican’s talk of a “global power structure” that has rigged the economy. Farrakhan has long promoted conspiracy theories, blaming Israel and Jews for the September 11 attacks, and accusing Jews of controlling the American government.
The ADL has called Farrakhan anti-Semitic and bigoted.
Much of the Thursday speech focused on blaming Jews for holding back African Americans, and for much of the talk he stood next to a poster with a Jewish star and an ad for a book titled, “How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy,” according to the Washington Post. That theme recurred throughout his 135-minute sermon.
“There are righteous Jews, good Jews, Jews that want to practice the teachings of the prophets,” he said at one point. “But then there are others who don’t wish to practice and it is they that hated Reverend [Jesse] Jackson’s desire to be president.”
Trump has called some Mexican immigrants rapists, advocated policies that put Muslims under general suspicion and has been criticized for being slow to condemn white supremacists.
Farrakhan on Thursday called Trump “transparent” and “real,” and said “he is what he is.”
Some “wanted him to put on a suit and act dignified, like the thieves and robbers who dress in suits and tell lies,” he added.
“He’s telling lies all right, and you’re angry because he’s your reflection,” Farrakhan said. “He’s an anomaly. You can’t make him what you desire him to be so you can say, ‘That’s my president.’ He wasn’t made that way.”
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.