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Nation of Islam leader rambles, riles at UC Berkeley

Sunday, March 11, 2012

imageNot surprisingly, 79-year-old Louis Farrakhan’s speech to about 700 mostly young people at UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall yesterday was overshadowed by the hubbub surrounding his appearance. The Nation of Islam leader seldom seems to speak without offending someone, and apparently his return to Berkeley after 20 years was no exception. Here’s an excerpt from the Chronicle’s John Cote, who sat through it:

[It was] a wandering speech that lasted about two hours and ran from foreign policy to the failings of an education system he said was designed to prevent young African Americans from becoming a threat to white dominance.

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Farrakhan at one point briefly adopted a faux Asian accent and used gibberish after asking the audience if they had ever seen the Chinese picketing, drawing a gasp from some in the crowd.

One female student quietly muttered "Oh no," when Farrakhan said he had "a word to the Jewish students" before warning against a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran.

He garnered a standing ovation at the end.


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