Jewish Protesters Try To Distrupt Farrakhan Speech
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A handful of Jewish protesters tried to disrupt a Monday night speech by Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, one shouting ″Farrakhan is a Nazi.″
Farrakhan spoke to a standing-room-only crowd estimated at 12,000 at the Los Angeles Convention Center about two months after postponing an appearance that had been opposed by Mayor Tom Bradley.
Outside the center, about a half-dozen Jewish protesters demonstrated before the speech. Irv Rubin of the Jewish Defense League walked toward the line of people waiting to go through a security check, shouting: ″Farrakhan is a Nazi 3/8 Don’t go inside.″
Most ignored him.
″Everybody’s entitled to his own opinion,″ said Meta McCullough, 30.
The 5,000-seat main auditorium at the convention center was sold out, and the speech was broadcast on closed-circuit television in satellite rooms.
In his fiery speech, Farrakhan said he was a victim of racism.
″Black people have been oppressed for four centuries,″ he said. ″Now, they turn on one of the victims ... and charge me with their condition, their hatred.″
He denied allegegations that he is anti-Semitic.
″I’m not ‘anti’ (anything),″ he said. ″I’m ‘pro-justice,’ ‘pro-freedom.’ I’m anti-exploitation.″
He criticized the four-term mayor of the nation’s second-largest city, saying Bradley had become ″a black manager in a white man’s store.″
Farrakhan, leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam, came to national prominence in 1984 as a supporter of Jesse Jackson’s bid for the presidency.
Heralded by some as a spokesman for black economic progress, he gained notoriety when he called Judaism a ″gutter religion″ and Hitler a ″great man.″
Later, he amended his statement about Hitler to say he was ″wickedly great.″
Earlier, Rubin had compared Farrakhan himself to Hitler.
″You can’t ignore a cancer in the hopes the cancer will go away. It’s never worked in the past and it won’t work in the future,″ Rubin said. ″We believe somebody has to stand up and say ‘never again’ to Mr. Farrakhan.″