A man who works on the political principle that there is one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about, Mr Farrakhan ensured his own starring role in "the Million Man March". Jesse Jackson and the celebrated poet Maya Angelou are also to address the protest but it will be the Nation of Islam leader's speech that will receive all the media attention. Mr Farrakhan said in a television interview broadcast on Friday that he did not believe there was "great enmity between blacks and Jews". "But it was rabbinical scholars who developed the Hamitic myth that we as black folk were the children of Ham - cursed, black, doomed to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the superior white race."
And certainly, Mr Farrakhan told Reuters Television, he had been in the habit for some years of using the term "bloodsuckers", but he applied it not only to "some members of the Jewish community". Others had taken from the black community and given nothing in return. Palestinian Arabs, Koreans and Vietnamese had set up businesses in black neighbourhoods to the benefit only of themselves.
Mr Farrakhan is often quoted as having called Hitler "great". In fact he said he was "wickedly great". Such qualifiers cut no ice with the House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, who yesterday said Mr Farrakhan's remarks were "racist, bigoted and hateful". "I don't see how any black leader can possibly agree to appear with him," he said.
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