Upon learning of Mike Wallace’s death, I was immediately reminded of an interview that he did with Louis Farrakhan some years ago. Not much has changed since the interview with respect to the high horse of moral condemnation many people in the United States feel they are in the position to exercise.
In the clip below, Mike Wallace questions Louis Farrakhan about why he chose to take a trip to Nigeria, and later refers to Nigeria as the most corrupt country in the world. Check out the exchange and some of the highlighted quotes below:
You’re not in any moral position to tell anybody how corrupt they are. You should be quiet! [...] But, America should keep her mouth shut wherever there is a corrupt regime, as much hell as America has raised on the Earth.
Has Nigeria dropped an atomic bomb and killed people in, in Hiroshima, in Nagasaki? Have they killed off millions of Native Americans? How dare you put yourself in that position as a moral judge! I think you should keep quiet.
The United States continues to act as if they are in position to make moral judgements of African nations, and the rest of the world for that matter. Prominent and recent examples of this are the Kony 2012 movement and the condemnation of human rights violations in other countries, when the United States is guilty of the same things. Who’s dropping bombs and flying drones throughout Middle Eastern and African nations? Who’s occupying parts of the world, attempting to suck the resources from the people who inhabit the area? Who funds those who bulldoze Palestinian babies? Who’s made “preemptive” military strikes on those who posed no threat to the United States?
So, when you watch this video of Mike Wallace looking down his nose, as if to say, “Look at those dirty and corrupt savages,” while his country is responsible for many of the conditions that lead to and continue to lead to the suffering and corruption in that area of the world, it makes me wonder… Was Mike Wallace actually that naive?
My vote is a resounding, “Hell no, Mike Wallace wasn’t naive!” He understood the power and the impact that the media has on shaping public opinion. And that day, he convinced a lot of people to think the same thing he thought about Black Muslims. He convinced his listeners that Black Muslims, and the Nation of Islam in particular, are a bunch of crazy Black folks who hate Jews and whites.
Don’t look at the fact that what he said about America was true. No, don’t do that. Instead look over here and concentrate on his personal ideology. Never mind that what he said about America hit the nail square on the head. Mike Wallace pulled a slight of hand, redirecting the attention away from the wrongs of America and focusing on what he called the “hate that hate produced.”
Regardless of how you feel about Farrakhan personally, you must admit that it is highly hypocritical for the United States–or Mike Wallace defending the United States–to suggest that any other country is the most corrupt regime in the world.
Nevertheless, people will remember Mike Wallace as a “great” investigative journalist, paying little attention to his role in helping to advance the agendas of those who’d rather view Blacks and browns around the world as corrupt savages, unworthy of reaping the benefits of the land and resources they inhabit.
Yes, Mike Wallace is dead, and America is still great!