Every so often, Chicago’sNation of Islam leaderLouis Farrakhan rouseshimself to riff on a favoritetheme: Accusing Jews ofbeing mainly responsiblefor slavery in the Americas, a false claim easily ignored. Mostrecently, thisoccurred as the Women’s March was gearing up, which sowed disunity within the diverse group: Leaders of the black participants could not bring themselves tosever their link with Farrakhan, tenuous though itwas, to satisfy Jewish participants who understandably were alienated by Farrakhan’s unsubstantiated claims.
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This unfortunate mischief undermines unity when it is most needed todemand gender equality. Apparently the black leadership of the Women’s March felt censuring Farrakhan mightstrain whatever relationship may exist with his group.Minimal research would showFarrakhan’s assertions to be nonsense. None other thanthe authoritative Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University, host of TV’s popular “Finding Your Roots,” hascalled the Nation of Islam’swritings on Jews and slavery“one of the most sophisticatedinstances of hate literatureyet compiled,” massivelymisrepresenting the historical record.
The momentum toward gender equality has never been so palpable as it is atthis moment. It would bea shame to see it sabotaged by the rantings of a race-baiter like Farrakhan, who conveniently ignoresthe generations-long history of Jewish-black collaboration towards fullequality.
Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park
Gang database fine with me
I disagree with Toni Preckwinkle’s stand to abolish the Chicago police gang database.
If everyone in the justice system acknowledges the database has flaws, they’ll all know to take its findings with several grains of salt. Even Toni Preckwinkle doesn’t know if the database has ever affected even one person. She said, “This data — which is riddled with errors — often comes up in background checks and job interviews, which can sabotage the career prospects . . .” How often is “often”? And Ms. Preckwinkle says only that it “can” sabotage the career prospects, not “absolutely does.”
I’m drawing my own conclusions.
Martha White, LakeView