The Words of the Reed Family
Reverend Moon: The Man, Mission And Movement
June 6, 2007
Is there a greater icon for people of color than Reverend Sun Myung Moon? Nearly everyone has read or heard something about the founder of the Unification Church -- often negative and insulting. But, in spite of America's full thrust of religious and racial bigotry Moon remains unbent, unbowed and source of enrichment of many minorities.
"The reason I like Rev. Moon is that he brings black, white, yellow and brown together" said Rev. A.I. Dunlap when he joined forces with Reverend Moon on the 50-state "We Will Stand" tour. A friend and source of support for Black ministers for years, Moon's tour was designed to encouraged elimination of racial and religious diverseness.
Reviled by American media since he came to America, when Rev. Moon aligned with Minister Louis Farrakhan to sponsor the Million Family March, mainstream media labeled it "the oddest alliance in recent American history". "Odd" they called him, but the more media ridiculed him the more a media mogul Moon became. His organization owns News World Communications, a media company that has operations in 20 countries. News World Communications owns the United Press International (UPI) news agency and the Washington Times. Other newspapers include The Middle East Times (Egypt), Segye Ilbo (Korea) and Sekai Nippo (Japan). Moon's foundations also fund the Kingmaker Magazine and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), an interdenominational, interracial group of ministers that preach messages of family values in urban communities.
Reverend Moon's success in spite of the "two strikes that were against him" should invoke a sense of pride across black, brown and yellow races. As the Unification movement evolved from selling roses on street corners, its members' dedication to their faith and purpose have resulted in vast holdings. Moon's movement is a sprawling collection of churches, nonprofit foundations and for-profit holding companies whose global operations include computers in Japan; automotive plants in China; seafood in Alaska; arms and ginseng in Korea; huge tracts of land in South America; a university in Bridgeport, Conn., a recording studio and travel agency in Manhattan; a horse farm in Texas and a golf course in California.
Moon has successfully met and matched his opponents. Much of his spiritual focus is on building the family and its values, and civil rights. Within his movement, Moon's spiritual and business ventures are viewed by adherents as part of a unified whole. While he was being labeled a "cult leader" over the decades; as a part of his drive for world unity, the wealthy pastor frequently forged ties with black clergy and groups on issues of common interest, including sexual abstinence, social justice and world peace.
Blacks that are suspect of Moon should take note that his embrace of us goes back to decades-long linkages to Martin Luther King, Jr. associates. "That's my man!" says former MLK aid, Walter Fauntroy. A civil rights activist and pastor of Washington, D.C. pastor, Fauntroy first met Moon in 1971. Fauntroy served for two decades as the DC delegate to Congress and has endorsed Moon's efforts to strengthen families and pursue world peace for 35 years. When Moon was freed from prison, Reverend Joseph Lowry and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference decried his case and its persecution.
The "odd alliance" between Moon and Minister Farrakhan had as its objective: to hold the Million Family March to promote concepts of strong families and values. In contrast to the way the media portrayed their "alliance," Farrakhan says, "Everything that I have experienced of Rev. Moon, I see him attempting to break down the barriers that divide people religiously, ethnically and racially".
People in Moon's movement are more likely to knock on Blacks' doors more often than they will those of whites'. When that happens, will Black Americans reject Unificationists' outreach to help "Rebuild Families and Restore Communities" simply because of America's established order's views?