by Brian E. Muhammad
For New Pittsburgh Courier
(NNPA)—Syndicated radio talk show host Warren Ballentine recently got an increase in threats for his on air interview with the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.
Ballentine, who is also an attorney, interviewed the outspoken leader March 2 on a daily mid-morning radio show after he delivered his annual Saviour’s Day address Feb. 28, in Chicago.
Ballentine dismissed the threats in a telephone interview with The Final Call, saying threats are nothing new and have been regular since becoming a national voice via radio.
“This isn’t something that’s unusual at all, I’ve had threats on my life, basically ever since I got into syndication and started talking about Black empowerment. And then the Minister comes on and kind of drives home the point better than I ever could; then they really get afraid because they understand that it is not just the Nation of Islam, but it’s Black folks who may not be in the Nation, who are still friends with the Nation and willing to work with the Nation. That’s the greatest fear in the world for America,” Ballentine said.
The Chicago native, also known as the “people’s lawyer” for his advocacy of the masses, uses the reach of the airwaves to push innovative ideas, challenge the status quo and develop a dedicated listenership of “Truth Fighters” across the country.
“Now, I’m trying to wake us up economically,” Ballentine said. “If we understood our economic positioning, it will change everything in this country, from education to job opportunities, to entrepreneurship, to how we eat.”
He continued, “My whole thought process right now is to awaken the sleeping beast.”
For Farrakhan, such controversy is not new and has become a weapon used by his detractors who makes him a litmus test for Blacks or anyone who engages with the leader.
The efforts to marginalize Farrakhan haven’t been limited to the borders of the U.S.
After the success of the 1995 Million Man March, Farrakhan embarked on two World Friendship Tours to spread the message of “atonement” and “reconciliation.”
At every turn the U.S. State Department intervened and warned sovereign nations against receiving Farrakhan.
In one instance with Uganda, the U.S. government gave President Yoweri Museveni an ultimatum, if he officially welcomed Farrakhan, Kampala would be passed over for President Clinton’s Africa tour that year.
Ballentine complimented the work of the 80-year-old organization the Muslim leader heads.
He said, “The greatest thing that has happened to Black America is the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam has done more to uplift the Black man and the Black community than any organization, than any movement that ever happened in this country.”