Louis Farrakhan Endorses Obama at “Saviours’ Day” Event in Chicago: A Tale of Who Shall Be King

The Associated Press reports today that Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan “says presidential candidate Barack Obama represents hope that the United States will change for the better.”

Seems a neutral enough statement. Farrakhan, 74 years old and recovering from prostate cancer, said he wasn’t telling anyone who to vote for, but “praised Obama and took small jabs at his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a speech Sunday”.

Minister Farrakhan’s keynote address in Chicago culminated a 3 day event geared toward unifying “Nation of Islam” followers…. a group of mostly blacks who, amongst other things, have often preached separatism of black and non-black cultures, and who have a humanitarian arm to help the poor.

But Minister Farrakhan’s endorsement aside, in the US, a political endorsement of one candidate over another, is understood, by some, as an absolute command… for the ‘congregation’ to vote for the endorsee

…. rather than just a prominent person simply saying, “This is what I personally think.”

Endorsements are still seen as tribal exhortations to the masses. And perhaps they are, often enough.

Though some pundits will try to marginalize such endorsement, and others try to make some big fat frakas over Minister Farrakhan’s so called endorsement, and some will say Oh pshaw, he and his group are irrelevant in our time, I think that all likely overlooks ‘the youngest son’ syndrome’ that often enough, historically overrides even the most august endorsements…

The one who shall be king next, after the old regime has worn down, in mythos, is often the youngest.

This is an old old story, the restoration of the withered kingdom, and who shall prevail to become king.

In mythos, it is often not the eldest son or brother, daughter or sister, nor the eldest advisor, that revives and raises up the faltering kingdom.

It is often the youngest, freshest, strongest one.

In our family is told an old tale called, “The Quest and The Question,” wherein the old king looks over his kingdom which has suffered ‘a gray famine.’ The kingdom is just now trying to recover from that long travail.

The old king, knowing new blood for the kingdom is needed in leadership, sends his three sons in search of ‘the most precious and irreplaceable thing.

Whomsoever comes back with this boon, will be deemed the most visionary, and that one will be awarded the entire kingdom.

The eldest son misunderstands the quest, and brings back a glittering gold and gem-encrusted object of great material but perishable value. The old king regretfully shakes his head, no.

The second eldest son brings back an equally beautiful object of great value which is also of limited life. The old king shakes his head: No, that does not fulfill the quest either.

But the young son brings back nothing. Empty-handed, he appears before his father.

The youngest son says: Father, I have found on my journey not a material thing that can approach what you asked to be brought to you. But I have brought something invisible that does fulfill “‘the most precious and irreplaceable thing,’…

that ‘thing’ father, is my soul … which has now traveled so far and seen so much. I now understand exactly what the kingdom has need for: A most precious and irreplaceable Vision. Through the eyes of the soul. That is the irreplaceable and precious thing.

And the old king cries out that this is exactly the answer, the very thing that –with the energy of youth– will bring the kingdom back to green and good again.

And as we say in our old country, immigrant family, which specializes in semi-elaborate endings to tales:

And thus it was all greened and good again in that land, and thus it stays in that land, still… while we all back here in this dear world are still on the quest, still asking the question, still seeking the boon that will re-green our kingdom….

In depth psychology, the different aspects of a psychological legend, such as the old king, and all three sons, are seen as being components of a single psyche. They could as easily be Queen and daughters, or a mixture; the gender may be less important than the processes followed in these ancient tales which are teaching stories about inner life.

The exegesis of such tales sometimes reveals a psychological process that can be copied in reality, from unconsciousness and ego sight only, to a better, wider, deeper consciousness that has farther-seeing…

New sight is needed for a change or transformation that lasts… not forever, for there is no forever regarding ‘change, else it wouldn’t be called change,’ and there is no transformation that doesn’t eventually wear down and need renewal…but one to last for a long time.

In any grand round of old monarchical leader to a new one, notice is cried out: God save the King; then, The King has Died; then Long live the (New) King. In symbolic thought, this can mean that the psyche of the culture, of the individual will often strive hard to keep the old way/ thought system/ paradigm alive.

Often much and many resources will be used to keep trying to revive the old paradigm even as it ails more and more (runs out of fresh sight and ideas, energy, narrows life). But ultimately the time will come for dying to the old way. Then, ideally, the best of the old will be carried forward, but will no longer dominate. Ultimately a new way, thought system/ paradigm will rise up:

Consider Cuba, Minister Farrakhan, Rev. Falwell’s old empire, James Dobson, current administrators, death of an elder in our own families, a deadened creative function in the individual psyche … Regardless, at least two things are most often sure; the wisdom of the elder is much needed; the long view. The energy and reach of the young is needed: the fresh view. Putting these two together mysteriously creates a third thing: transformation.

THus, in predicting politics and policies, despite the condition of the old king and his withered kingdom, look to which of the young has leaderly instincts. It is that one, who is most often, listening to the elders, and waiting for the opportunity to go on the quest… to be worthy to take up repair of the ailing kingdom.

If that younger one does not squander the opportunity, “that youngest son” may step right in to the ready-made heroic hollow left as the elder moves laterally… and often, in some kind of communion between younger and elder, a withered kingdom will accelerate re-greening the land for its citizenry.

As my old country father used to say: “You see, de yunkist son in de schtory, vas green (roll the r’s heavily). Sometimes, de green (inexperienced but soul-smart) yunkist vun… knows best how to make de gray vorld green again.”

It is well known that some of the elders do not always easily cede to the younger when it is time… for it takes a heart-wise and insightful king to do that.

But in tales of redemption and restoration of a withered kingdom, the wise elder and the wise younger soul need each other, are foils for one another, admire and find each other venerable, travel together, intervene as needed, are not enemies, not insulters of one another.

Instead, both the elder and the younger are both teachers of one another…both learning new and anew. And carrying both these aspects of psyche, is the crux for maturity in a visionary soul.

This kind of aware ‘knowing’ amongst elders…. and among those younger…. this kind of complementary and healthy symbiotic relationship between young and elder, may be in our times, a most precious and irreplaceable thing. The ultimate endorsement. Regardless of any other kind of endorsement from whomever, or why.

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

21 Comments

  1. Farrakhan's embrace will harm Obama far more than it will help him. If Obama has any sense at all, he will reject Farrakhan's support immediately.

  2. Even though the statement is neutral, Senator Obama will now be judge on how strongly he condemns the very neutral statement. But Minister Farrakhan has SERIOUS baggage.

    I've read countless blogs posts and seem numerous MSM shows about how endorsements don't really matter that much. You wait until THIS endorsement hits the fast track. Senator Obama is about to get roasted. I will shocked if he doesn't.

    And on the fringe sites, this will be played up as Senator Obama the extremist. My head hurts.

  3. Great, another manufactured controversy so that Jews like me can be scared away from voting for Obama. Louis Farrahkan is a loser and a has-been. So now Obama has to go through the proper media gyrations to prove that he doesn't share Farrakhan's idiotic views? Well, I guess this is an easy opportunity for a Sistah Soljah moment since black separatism is the number one issue on American voters' minds these days.

  4. LOL! As if anyone expected Farrakhan to endorse Hillary.

    Actually it would have been a hoot if Farrakhan had endorsed Hillary, citing the reason for his support is that she went to the State of the Black Union conference whereas Obama didn't… :) ROFL!

    I can just hear Taylor Marsh right now…. not saying anything in particular, just a high screech.

  5. Elrod, almost none of us are voting for Obama.

  6. Also… oh, never mind. I'd better stop before someone takes me seriously.

  7. Actually it would have been a hoot if Farrakhan had endorsed Hillary, citing the reason for his support is that she went to the State of the Black Union conference whereas Obama didn't… :) ROFL!

    Ain't that the truth. What a crazy place our country is sometimes. I hope this doesn't become one of those “faux defining moments” for Senator Obama. Would be quite sad if this causes a backlash against him. I seriously doubt Senator Clinton herself would had fuel to this issue. But you know SOME Clinton supporters and SOME right-wingers/Republicans are going to have alot of “fun” with this.

    Oh well. Is November here yet? I just want the campaign season to end.

  8. Holly,
    Almost none of who? Every Jew I know is voting for Obama. And being a Jew myself, I tend to know a lot of fellow tribesfolk. Everybody in my family is for Obama.

    Now I admit that Hillary Clinton has legitimate support among many Jews. I like her too. But I like Obama much more.

  9. The overwhelming majority of the Jewish vote here is going to Hillary Clinton. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, most of us here in Cincinnati will vote for John McCain.

  10. For me, Obama runs a distant 3rd.

  11. T_Steel, I agree, this is one of those endorsements that the GOP will latch on. Let's have fun with it while we can. Btwn, now and Nov. the GOP will milk this for all its worth (or some permutation of Obama being a muslim or unpatriotic). We might as well get used to it. But the good news is that most people who buy into the inevitable charges from this are people who wouldn't vote for Obama anyway.

  12. Holly,
    And what are you basing that on? The handful of Meir Kahane wannabes who sent around the “Obama is a Muslim” smear email to gullible Jewish voters? I'm sure there are some Jews who won't vote for the “schwartze” but I bet he gets the same 75% support among Jews that every Democratic nominee gets.

    Jews who normally vote Democratic will not vote for an anti-abortion, pro-war Republican. Period. Obama and Clinton have identical records on Israel, church-state separation, civil rights, etc. Why do you suppose Obama would get such little support in the Jewish community?

  13. Holly, I'm curious (and I must not have been paying close attention to your previous posts- sorry about that). I know you're a Hillary supporter. And I respect that because you are obviously well informed and don't follow the crowd, like so many people do for any politician. But it is because I know you've put a lot of though into ranking your choices that I'm asking.

    Why Obama third? If Hillary and Obama are very close on policy issues (and you may not think so- personally I don't think Obama and Hillary are as close on policy issues as most people claim, but that's just me) it seems that Obama would be a natural second choice for you. McCain isn't on my list as any choice because I strongly oppose the Iraq war (among other reasons) and he wants us to stay there.

    If you said that you would never vote for Obama, that's fine too. It just seems odd that you go from Hillary to McCain to Obama.

    If you don't want to answer here, that's fine, it is a little off topic. Maybe I'll start asking people what their rankings are and why. That would be interesting. Thanks for the thought.

  14. StockBoySF, I think you ought be writing headlines for The Onion. You have that hilarious ironic wit. Dont leave out Ralph Nader. Is he older than Sen McCain?

    I've been waiting to see who David Duke will endorse, who someone channeling Oral Roberts from the grave will endorse. We've already heard who A. coulter claims to endorse. And then there are the unendorsements. R. Limbaugh of JMcC, and on and on. I'm with T-Steel, it's enough to make your head ache, from laughing, from shaking it so hard in tiredness.

    I hope you will read the tale of 'the youngest son.' I believe that is where the jing is underlying this story… Maybe I ought state it more clearly/boldly… Farrakhan's (who I sat next to on an airplane once… another story for another time) group may vote for obama or not.. someone might make some 'materialistic' something or other about Farrakhan speaking his mind… But, there is a destiny to the old being replaced by, allied with, the young that overrides such matters. The depleted WILL be replaced and restored or remade by the new, newer and younger, no matter who says what.

    It might be that Obama is 'the youngest son' … regardless of what Minister Farrakhan or anyone else says or doesnt say.

    If that's not clear in this article, pls let me know.

    dr.e

  15. dr. e thanks! Nader turns 74 this week whereas John McCain turns 72 in August. I guess the Rep. nomination will be his b'day present. :) At least it's a gift from the GOP. Too bad they don't hold these conventions in Oct (my b'day). :)

    Actually come to think about it, Barack's b'day is in August, too. So an article in the Onion about how the two conventions gave these presidential candidates their Prez. nominations as b'day gifts would be hilarious!

    Hillary's b'day is in Oct. so I guess neither she nor I will be receiving the nomination as a gift. But that's OK, if Obama wins the presidency in Nov., that will be a nice enough gift for me. Maybe Hill will be veep so she can say the same. :)

  16. I just can't wait until the “Obama is a Muslim” crowd jumps in on this one.

  17. The far right will exploit this to no end—and try to show that the two are in bed together. While Farrakhan's movement HAS had some positive results in crime-ridden slums, he will damage Obama by association, as he does not consider himself an American, and is a blatant anti-Semite and reverse racist.

    Wait until some GOP consultant figures out that he can put Farrakhan's anti-Americanism together with Obama's decision not to wear a flag pin or put his hand over his heart during the “Star Spangled Banner”.

    This, together with Nader's quixotic mission to run again, is disasterous news for the golden boy!

  18. To All Barack Obama Supporters:

    AS WE ALL KNOW, SENATOR BARACK OBAMA IS NOT FRIENDS WITH LOUIS FARRAKHAN!!!

    In fact, Sen. Barack Obama has condemned Louis Farrakhan's horrendous hate speech and even criticized Trumpet Magazine for honoring him this past year! Please join me in telling Farrkhan to shut up; We don't need or want his endorsement! I just sent the following email to Farrakhan. I urge all of you to do the same…

    To Louis Farrakhan,

    I am a progressive white woman without a racist/sexist/bigoted bone in my body. I have been campaigning for Sen. Obama for months. I am deeply offended by your endorsement, which is completely unsolicited by Sen. Obama!

    How on Earth can you expect any white and/or Jewish Barack Obama supporter to feel good about their vote when the hate-monger Farrakhan publicly endorses him? Louis Farrakhan, you are a disgrace!

    You are the self-proclaimed enemy of white America. You and Sen. Obama have nothing in common! Sen. Obama is a symbol of hope for many Americans. He is fighting for peace and diversity in America. You seek only to perpetuates hatred and resentment.

    Please do not attempt to associate your views with Sen. Obama's views! Please distance yourself from Sen. Obama! Your endorsement is not a welcome one!

    Sincerely,
    Obama Supporter

  19. Thats is odd, i dont believe that you all have an understanding of Minister Farrakhan, he is not a bigot he does not hate white people or jews or black people, he hates the evil that the person does! he has sat down with the jewish council at his home and cleared up all mis-understanding that the media put out, which im sure you all know how bad the media will twist things around.. you see how they try to do obma as far as being a so-called muslim!!!! i have seen white preacher befriend min. Farrakhan and he often invites them out to the mosqe! so MS. MIA, you should not be so quick to judge that which you dont have a full understanding of, if Farrakhan is such a bad man then why is he respected by so many religons/races?! just think on that! Why is he allowed to speak at churches if he is such a bad man.. I really think your the one who needs to shut up! and start to study more on that which you crticize, least you be made a fool!

  20. Dr. E – I love the way you are framing the generational issues of this election. The most powerful thing Obama could do at this point is to select a VP a heart-wise and insightful elder, one who can see and know him and who can see and know what his country needs, too.

  21. LF is an equal-opportunity bigot.

    I don't pay much attention to who endorses who but I guess, Dr E, if I look at it in the tribal way you outlined, then people who look up to the endorser sure would pay attention.

    I can't tell very much difference between the 3 leading candidates. I'm not a statist & they are all for big Federal government so I shudder equally at all 3 LOL.

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