UPDATED: What’s Kip Holden Doing Welcoming Louis Farrakhan?

Baton Rouge’s two-term (and seeking a third) mayor Kip Holden rode a significant portion of the white vote to both his previous electoral wins, and Holden hopes to pick up a substantial portion of the East Baton Rouge white vote for a third term.

So this seems a bit of a head-scratcher…

Grambling State University turned him down, but Southern University and the city of Baton Rouge welcome Louis Farrakahn last week. Student Government and The Nation of Islam sponsored a speech by Minister Louis Farrakhan.

To a crowd of 2,000 Minister Farrakhan spoke about issues from the presidential debate , problems in the Black community, his life as the leader of the Nation of Islam and problems in education.

Farrakhan’s speaking engagement was organized by the Nation of Islam Student Association’s Southern chapter. But Farrakhan thanked the university too, calling it a great honor to speak.

After being welcome by the Mayor and the chief of police when he arrived in Baton Rouge.

Southern University Chancellor James Llorens offered greeting along with several musical performances, and poetry readings.

Students at Grambling tried to schedule Farrakhan for a free lecuture this spring but the administration said the students probably would attend because of spring celebrations.

Farrakhan’s message seemed to suggest that blacks should only attend historically black colleges…

“Education is the key to the future of us, but what education? The enemy is not going to send a teacher to you that would prepare you for an independent future,” said Minister Farrakhan. “A proper education will make us a productive people. “…If you bring an inferior mind to your studies, you will never become a master.”

Do we need to list all the reasons why (1) no state-funded university in Louisiana should be hosting Farrakhan, or (2) the mayor of Baton Rouge shouldn’t be embracing him?

This man is a racist, anti-Semite, anti-American crook. And Southern University, which is struggling with poor graduaton rates, sagging enrollment and budget cuts, can’t afford the further hit to its reputation by bringing him in for a lecture.

For Holden to embrace such a spectacle indicates he’s no racial healer. Regardless of who’s running against him it’s time for him to go.

UPDATE: We’ll have to make an adjustment to this, because it appears the Monroe Free Press’ account of Farrakhan’s speech didn’t have it quite right.

Or maybe they did.

Rannah Gray, Holden’s spokesperson, challenged the article on our Facebook by saying something rather interesting…

“…the story posted about Mayor Holden “welcoming Louis Farrakhan” is completely false. He did not attend the event and was not even on the Southern Campus that day. We are requesting that the story be taken down.”

Of course, if you parse the Monroe Free Press and Gray’s statement together you’ll notice that the Free Press didn’t say Holden welcomed Farrakhan at Southern, nor did Gray say that Holden had no contact with him when he came in.

Our source says Gray is correct. Holden wasn’t at Southern last week. Instead, Holden met Farrakhan in New Orleans. Specifically…

Kip did not attend but met Farrakhan in NO and escorted back to BR.

He just picked him up at Louis Armstrong and ferried him to his speech, as opposed to giving a “hey, how ya doin'” introduction at Southern.

Which is worse? A meet-and-greet, or Drivin’ Minister Louis?

As it happens, there is video of Farrakhan’s speech, which can be found here. At the 7:20 mark of the video you’ll find Farrakhan saying the following…

“I want to thank the mayor of Baton Rouge, the police chief and the police personnel that met my flight in New Orleans and shepherded me here to Baton Rouge. I thank you for such a great honor and I do not take that for granted.”

Decide for yourself whether this is acceptable.

UPDATE #2: Now you don’t have to go to the Nation Of Islam’s website to watch the video; you can go to our YouTube page or just click the play button below…

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