The NAACP Summit and Louis FarrakhanI read with great...


June 25, 1994

The NAACP Summit and Louis Farrakhan

I read with great dismay Carl Rowan's comments, on the June 15 op-ed page of The Sun, on the "overreaction by some Jews" to the recent conference of black leaders held in Baltimore. Mr. Rowan clearly missed the point of the protesters and the outrage felt by Jews and others over Mr. Farrakhan's participation at the conference.

In his commentary, Mr. Rowan likened Louis Farrakhan to Howard Stern. While Mr. Stern may be Jewish, he does not attempt to speak on behalf of the Jewish community as a whole or its leadership.

Mr. Farrakhan, however, does represent a sizable back organization and has attempted through his virulent anti-Semitic, anti-white remarks to spark hatred throughout the black community toward Jews, Catholics and many others.

Mr. Stern is a media personality who may in his effort to shock people of all colors, races and religions make outrageous statements.

Mr. Farrakhan, on the other hand, represents himself to be a leader of the black community. There is a great deal of difference between the two, and their responsibilities are markedly different.

Had Shoshana Cardin or any other Jewish community leader made anti-black remarks of the same tenor that Mr. Farrakhan and his disciples have used in making anti-Semitic remarks, there most certainly would be outrage, anger and disgust in the black community, and rightfully so.

The Jewish community is not asking Mr. Rowan or others within the black community to "give a speech or to write a column disavowing every anti-Jewish tirade by every black demagogue," he suggests, but only to speak out against hate; whatever the race involved, whenever and wherever it arises.

Mr. Rowan also suggests that it is only the Jewish community that is upset by the words of Mr. Farrakhan and his followers. This is not the case. People of all colors and religions have spoken out against the hateful remarks made by the Nation of Islam leaders.

The NAACP, while it has a right to invite anyone it desires to its conferences, must understand that persons like Mr. Farrakhan do not further the cause of blacks in America, but distance them from the rest of Americans of all colors.

The NAACP and its leaders should have spoken out as heatedly against Mr. Farrakhan's anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and anti-white remarks as Mr. Chavis now does in espousing unity of the black community . . .

Richard B. Pazornik



Well it's about time! Way over due for the nation's black civic leaders, clergy, educators and philosophers to convene at the African-American Summit in Baltimore, in what has to be construed as having vast historical importance.

As a young man of African descent, I am pleased to now see the courage, intelligence, new blood, love, commitment and activity projected by Benjamin Chavis, the "new" NAACP and the core participants at the summit.

This is the example that younger generation African-Americans can look to for hope, positive change and a foundation on which we will continue to build on in the future.

Most of us have come to the realization that poverty doesn't have to be a part of the black community . . . drugs, violence and crime doesn't have to be a part of the black community . . . babies having babies and non-supportive fathers doesn't have to be a part of the black community . . . unequal treatment and indifference on the side of the government doesn't have to be a part of the black community . . . disproportionate educational spending, disease and high unemployment rates don't have to be a part of the black community . . . low voter turnout doesn't have to be a part of the black community and certainly despair, lack of love for one another and spiritual deprivation doesn't have to be a part of the black community.

These diverse leaders have reconciled their past divisiveness, and are now determined to put to rest ideological differences and petty wrangling to come up with viable working solutions to these things that "don't have to be a part of the black community".

For those so-called leaders who optioned their right not to attend . . . a sincere thank you . . . we all know now that you are not leaders, but very effective followers. You've very simply followed in the line with those who sustain themselves off of our many ailments (Alan Keyes, to start).

Our "real" leaders have no hidden agendas, no personal platforms and lots of enemies . . . and they've vowed at the summit to serve the people who need them most. The dialogue must continue and the solutions must ultimately follow.

John Hughes


Tax on Hotels is fair

So you believe a 2 percent increase in the hotel tax to finance the Convention Center expansion will led to the downfall of Baltimore's "hospitality" (hotel) industry? Perhaps we could interest you in a new set of of clothes for the Emperor.

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