Taari Coleman | Staff Writer
On Sunday, Oct.10, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, spoke about freedom, justice and equality.
The Million Man March is a legendary event that took place for the first time twenty years ago at the same location. Referred to as, “… one of the most historic organizing and mobilizing events in the history of Black people in the United States,” by Chicago-based Dr. Conrad Worrill. Worrill was a main organizer of the March and the current president emeritus of the National United Black Front.
On that day, October 16, 1995, the world was showed a view of Black men different from what they were accustomed to. Not the aggressive, obnoxious image often portrayed in the media, but friendly, open, and sharing with each other. Back then, Minister Farrakhan charged Black men with improving themselves, being better husbands, neighbors, and all around people.
Twenty years later, millions of men, women, and children met in Washington DC to hug, share, laugh, and foster an environment of oneness. Many well-known faces populated the crowd as well, including J. Cole and P. Diddy, who both wore hooded sweatshirts in tribute to Trayvon Martin, whose mother was also in attendance.
Yet, many were shocked to find that BET did not provide live coverage of the anniversary of such an event. Social media outlets erupted with criticisms and disgruntled users attempted to stir up boycotting the channel.
Many might be unaware that BET was bought by Viacom Inc. back in November of 2000. Viacom is a cable and broadcasting company that also owns CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
Keeping this in mind, one might not be surprised to find that BET did not cover the Million Man March, largely in fact because CBS news did not. In the purchasing of BET, Viacom proceeded to influence its news by expanding through CBS, its music through MTV’s global distribution. These influences end up causing BET to cater to the audiences of CBS and MTV, which may or may not be interested in a positive view of Black people in this social climate. BET did not provide a response to social media users, but did claim to send a news crew to the event. However information on the even was not posted on the website at any point in time.
Minister Farrakhan’s speech was insightful and called for unity and peace among races, reform in the care for veterans, and the freedom from oppression from women. He invoked the President to speak out against police brutality. He used the term “real.” “Real freedom, real justice, real equality.”