Editorial: Lousy Louie

Few can ar­gue that ra­cism in Phil­adelphia has been ex­tin­guished. It ex­ists in gov­ern­ment, in the form of gov­ern­ment con­tracts re­served for minor­it­ies. It ex­ists in the hearts of many people in many neigh­bor­hoods. It ex­ists in the sub­con­scious of people. It was part and par­cel of a few may­ors — Frank “Vote White” Rizzo and John “The broth­ers and sis­ters are run­ning the city” Street.

All that stuff, however, is in the past or be­neath the sur­face, where it be­longs. And that’s what makes a cer­tain event this past week­end one of the low­est points in race re­la­tions Phil­adelphia has ever seen — and it’s seen plenty of low points.

Louis Far­rakhan, a “min­is­ter” and “lead­er” of the Na­tion of Is­lam, on Sunday filled the Pennsylvania Con­ven­tion Cen­ter with his typ­ic­al hate-filled garbage in which he showed his ut­ter dis­dain for Amer­ica, a united na­tion, for Jews and for all white people.

His speech was sup­posed to mark the 16th an­niversary of Wash­ing­ton, D.C.’s Mil­lion Man March, but the name of the game in Cen­ter City on Sunday was bigotry and sep­ar­at­ism, Far­rakhan style.

“The Zion­ists of Amer­ica have locked down the gov­ern­ment of Amer­ica,” said the cha­ris­mat­ic orator, who re­newed his call for blacks to unite by buy­ing land and build­ing their own banks, busi­nesses and schools. He even said the dol­lar bill has “the en­emy’s face on it.”

Even Far­rakhan’s fel­low ra­cist, former Wash­ing­ton may­or and crack-co­caine user Mari­on Barry, got in­to the act at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, say­ing, “When you get power, use it for our people.”

The crowd ate it all up, and that is pathet­ic. Clearly, ra­cists come in all col­ors.

Amer­ica will be in a bet­ter place when the 78-year-old Far­rakhan meets his maker. ••

Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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