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POP EYE

Special Report : Public Enemy and a Psychiatrist's Theory of Race : Review copies of 'Fear of a Black Planet' contain her 15-page booklet on white supremacy

April 29, 1990|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

"If they read my book, they would see I'm asking white people to respect themselves. Because if they respect themselves, they would respect others and get along with the other people on this planet instead of killing them off."

Allen said Wesling's booklet was sent out with "total input" from Chuck D: "He knows everything I do." However, the Public Enemy leader refused to comment on the booklet. CBS Records corporate publicity chief Bob Altschuler had no comment, saying he had not seen the booklet. The band's manager, Russell Simmons, responded: "They just read it to me--I didn't see anything that shocked me."

Asked if the controversial topic didn't raise a warning signal, he replied: " Everything they do raises warning signals. But I don't get involved in everything they do."

Allen defended the booklet, saying, "We drop bombs. And we don't make any of this stuff up. We consider Dr. Welsing an important voice because of her standing in the African community, the intellectual level of her study and its lack of deference to white standards."

Told that some critics found Welsing's theories outlandish and crackpot, Allen replied: "Is it more outlandish or crackpot than white supremacy? Or flipping through the TV and seeing white people every time? Or seeing white faces on every magazine cover? Or walking through Harlem and seeing poor black people for miles and miles?"

Still, the early reviews aren't very positive. "I've always liked the band," Sandow said. "But if they believe they're part of a political struggle in this country, I can't see how writing off all white people is going to help them."

HOT FLASH: A&M Records isn't wasting any time replacing the series of key staffers who've departed the label in recent weeks. As predicted here last week, the company is promoting from within, bringing up a new generation of Young Turk execs. You won't see any official announcements until later this week, but here's several confirmed players in A&M's new starting lineup. Tom Corson, ex-president Gil Friesen's former assistant, moves up to vice president of marketing. . . . Billy Gilbert becomes vice president of sales (taking over the departed David Steffens' old sales duties). . . . And Richard Frankel steps up to vice president of creative services (the domain of departed creative wizard Jeff Gold).

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