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Mixed Reviews for Stanley Crouch

June 07, 1990

What a refreshing experience to read the article on black essayist Stanley Crouch. Occasionally, the voice of sanity pops up like a cork out of "an abyss of intellectual and moral cowardice."

How disappointing is the contemporary crop of black American leaders, who, as Crouch says, are "selfish opportunists, suffering from critical bankruptcy in the face of fashion and ideology."

As a white retired school teacher, who devoted the main part of my career to teaching in a black ghetto, I yearn for intellectuals like Crouch to come forth and tell it like it is.

Crouch describes the indoctrinations of Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan as "consistently incoherent." Unfortunately, his duped followers do not appear to possess the rational capacity to see through him, and have made him a power figure that has discarded white support. Many agree that Farrakhan's anti-Semitic and separatist thinking helped to undermine the whole civil rights movement.

Crouch characterizes the "rap group Public Enemy and those of their ilk who have engaged in the baiting of Jewish people, Afro-fascists." If only more black leaders could remind their people that the Jews were, and are, in the forefront of the black civil rights movement. What an insult and disappointment to those Jews whose blood has intermingled with theirs in the struggle.

Let's hope that more black Americans will listen to Crouch's teachings and turn more to what America has to offer, and refute the haters, separatists and seekers of personal power at the expense of their people and the nation.

IRVING E. FRIEDMAN

Laguna Niguel

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