Many blacks reject Farrakhan in poll

March 05, 1994|By New York Times News Service

Many black Americans reject the notion that Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam represent the views of most blacks in the country, yet many seem to share at least some of the racial views associated with the group, according to the latest New York Times poll.

At the same time, a preponderance of blacks say more leaders, both black and white, should publicly criticize racist statements when made by either blacks or whites.

The 60 percent of blacks polled who have heard about Minister Farrakhan are closely split in their opinions about him personally, with about as many expressing a favorable view (22 percent) as an unfavorable view (19 percent). An additional 19 percent said they had heard of Minister Farrakhan but were undecided in their opinion of him.

The telephone poll with 291 blacks nationwide was conducted in two stages from Feb. 15 to 17 and from March 1 to 2. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus six percentage points.

On the question of whether Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam represent the views of most blacks in America, 15 percent agreed, while 40 percent said the group and its leader were not representative.

Still, the poll found considerable, although varied, support among blacks for racial views identified with the Nation of Islam.

The poll presented black respondents with statements associated with Minister Farrakhan without identifying them as his, and these were the results:

* Sixty-six percent say "most whites feel they are superior to blacks."

* Forty percent say "most Jews are against progress by blacks."

* Thirty-two percent say "most white people want to keep blacks down."

* Twenty-three percent say it is true that the "government deliberately makes sure that drugs are easily available in poor black neighborhoods in order to harm black people."

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