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Double Vision

August 25, 1996

I suggest that there is indeed room in these United States for Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume ("National Icon-in-the-Making?" by Gregg Zoroya, July 21).

Having observed the new NAACP president from afar when he made his move on Washington, first as a congressman and then as president of the Black Caucus, I have been extremely impressed by the ease with which he has articulated his positions on issues, and by his elegance and manner, always cool and self-possessed. Then I had the good fortune last year to see him in person at a women's political luncheon during one of his trips to Los Angeles; he is a most captivating speaker with an absolutely charming personality.

I say, make room America, here is a man on the move. LaVera Porter Williams

Sun City

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At the swearing-in ceremony as president of the NAACP, Mfume referred to those in the organization "who will counsel us to be silent in this reactionary time." Yet what could be more reactionary than Mfume's: Forging a close alliance with the anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-homosexual, anti-white--indeed, xenophobic--Louis Farrakhan. Championing racial, ethnic and gender preferences, euphemistically known as "affirmative action," as well as numerous other coercive remedies for past discrimination, including systemic redistribution of wealth. Substituting empty, inflammatory rhetoric for genuine vision and wisdom. If the NAACP is to halt its descent into marginality and irrelevance and restore its stature, credibility and influence, it will have to wean itself from a reliance on "charismatic," blustery leaders and stale, Pavlovian ideology and learn to embrace the spirit of the times--the spirit of individual liberty and personal responsibility. Nicholas Eric Spinner

Los Angeles

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