For all their heightened sensitivity to any hint of racism, black leaders remain appallingly oblivious to the overt message of hatred delivered by Louis Farrakhan and his kind. Farrakhan is a racist. Farrakhan is anti-Semitic. No amount of mental gymnastics, contorted rationalizations or protracted apologetics can alter these facts.

To sanction the views of such a man by handing him the key to the city of Greensboro is as offensive and as immoral as it would be to extend this honor to David Duke. If blacks and whites are to be equal partners in a future, better America, their leaders must distance themselves from extremists like Farrakhan and Duke, who, under the guise of racial pride, exacerbate racial tensions by exploiting fear and prejudice.By embracing Farrakhan, Greensboro City Councilman Earl Jones has legitimized and validated the politics of hatred, and for that the citizens of North Carolina deserve, at the very least, an apology. Michael E. Backfield Winston-Salem

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