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Solomon’s Annan Comment Criticized

April 3, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican Congressman Gerald Solomon should apologize to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for saying he should be horsewhipped for dealing with Iraq, a Democratic lawmaker said Friday.

Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the ``outrageous″ remark was a ``racist insult that shows a blatant disregard for America and our values.″

Solomon of New York, who chairs the House Rules Committee, made the statement last week on the House floor.

``It is inexcusable for a member of Congress to make such an ignorant, irresponsible remark which conjures up the painful image of a black person being whipped into submission by his master,″ said Payne, a member of the International Relations subcommittee on Africa.

Annan, a native of Ghana, one of six African countries just visited by President Clinton, has been praised widely for his role in averting massive U.S. military action against Iraq.

Solomon spokesman Bill Teator called Payne’s charges absurd and said they would not be ``honored with a reply.″

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said he had never heard Solomon ``speak or act in a racist manner.″

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