Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan returned to the Washington Convention Center last night to urge blacks to take part in his new economic enterprise, but he also used the occasion to attack black leaders who "betray" their trust.
At one point during his speech, attended by an audience of nearly 10,000, Farrakhan stood between two women he identified as "sisters of John Africa," a member of the back-to-nature, anarchist group MOVE who died in the May police assault on MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia. Farrakhan criticized Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode about the incident, then continued:
"A power-crazy mayor and a chief of police dropped a bomb on black people . . . . Whenever you put a black man in office and he betrays the best interest of the people who put him there, take him out, and if he does not repent . . . we will tar and feather them, hang them by a limb, chop off their heads!"
Since February, Farrakhan has appeared before large crowds in a number of cities asking people to support a company he has formed called People Organized to Work for Economic Rebirth, or POWER.
He says the company will raise $5 million to make household products such as soap and deodorant to be sold to black consumers.
"Can you see yourself brushing your teeth with POWER toothpaste?" Farrakhan asked the crowd. "Can you see yourself saying I feel strong because under my arm I got POWER?
"Then we can buy farm land to feed ourselves," he added, and led the crowd in the chant: "We've got power, at last forever!" We've got power, at last forever!"