Beliefnet
WASHINGTON, July 18 (AP) - Five years after his Million Man March, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Friday he wants to follow up with a march on Washington for the whole family, with all ethnicities and religions invited.

The event, planned for Oct. 16, will respond to the erosion of family values in America, Farrakhan said at a news conference July 14.

Noted at times for racially inflammatory and anti-Semitic comments, Farrakhan focused instead on outreach, inviting members of different religions, including Jews, to "come under their banner."

"We are all members of the human family, though we are not yet quite human," said Farrakhan. "When you look at the wars that are raging in the world, the tribal hatred in Africa, in Asia, the religious hatred, we have not yet become human."

Farrakhan said the march would support Nation of Islam policies on education, poverty, crime, drugs and African and Caribbean relations. He also hinted that the march would involve a presidential endorsement.

Farrakhan said he plans to remarry a million men to their wives and also marry 10,000 new couples on the day of the march.

At a separate news conference Tuesday promoting the march, which will call for people of all races and religions to "rise above their symbols," Farrakhan said the Confederate flag was an integral part of American history and removing it from public places doesn't cure the country of racial problems.

"The people of the South are bigger than the Confederate flag," Farrakhan said. "But the Confederate flag is a part of the history of the South." The Confederate flag represents the "America of yesterday," he said.

"If we are upset as black people they're flying the Confederate flag, you should be upset about flying the American flag," Farrakhan said. "Because all the hell (that slaves) caught, we got on the next flag."

Earlier this month, South Carolina removed the Confederate Flag from atop its Statehouse. The flag, seen as a reminder of slavery for some and a tribute to Southern heritage for others, flew atop the Statehouse dome for 38 years.

Farrakhan, who suffers from prostate cancer, said he's still fighting to recover from radiation therapy and considers himself at 85-percent strength.

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