QNotes blasts local elected officials who attended Day of Atonement

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QNotes is blasting some local elected officials for attending the Nation of Islam's celebration of the Day of Attonement in Charlotte this past weekend, asking several, including openly lesbian Council member LaWana Mayfield, why they won't condemn NOI's leader, Louis Farrakhan.

Farrakhan speaks at the Million Man March on Oct. 17, 1995
  • Dennis Brack/Newscome
  • Farrakhan speaks at the Million Man March on Oct. 17, 1995

Some local elected officials and candidates are coming under scrutiny this week after attending events headlined by hate group leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a long history of anti-Semitic comments and hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Among them is openly lesbian Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, who attended a Farrakhan speech on Oct. 13 and refused on Thursday to condemn Farrakhan’s prejudiced comments.

QNotes emailed all members of Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners asking if they had attended. Some, like Mayor Anthony Foxx, responded simply. "I condemn hate in any form," Foxx wrote.

Others, like Council member Claire Fallon, compared Farrakhan to KKK leader David Duke or evangelical Christian minister Flip Benham.

As our very own Emiene Wright wrote in last week's cover story, Farrakhan is a complex figure whose organization isn't shy of controversy. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Nation as a "black separatist" hate group listed next to groups ranging from neo-Nazis to white supremacists. According to the SPLC:

Since its founding in 1930, the Nation of Islam (NOI) has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, offering numerous programs and events designed to uplift African Americans. Nonetheless, its bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites — a belief system vehemently and consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims — and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders, including top minister Louis Farrakhan, have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.

Read the QNotes story here.

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