Tuskegee Univ. Board Member Concerned About Louis Farrakhan's Visit


By Jessica Gertler

The national leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, is speaking at Tuskegee University next week. But his visit is stirring up controversy. In a Alabama News Network Exclusive -- a Tuskegee University board member speaks out about his concerns.

"There is no question that he hates Jewish people, and I find that appalling," says Andy Hornsby, who sits on the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees.

Hornsby found out Monday that Minister Louis Farrakhan would be speaking at the school. Farrakhan was invited by two student groups, and will be speaking about the economy, education and the need for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"We shouldn't endorse him anymore than we endorse the Ku Klux Klan. They are two organizations of a similar breed," says Hornsby.

Farrakhan will visit with the university for three days next week.

"He has a right to be there, and I have a right not to go, and I encourage my friends and others not to attend," says Hornsby, who believes in free speech.

Vice President of Student Affairs Cynthia Sellers says the university invites all walks of life to speak at the school.

"We know that his main topic is on Historical Black Colleges and Universities, and of course, by being one, we are very excited," she says.

Farrakhan became the leader of the Nation of Islam in the 1970s.

"Any time that Farrakhan is on the road speaking to groups we are afraid those ideas are going to be spread," says Heidi Beirich with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Farrakhan is on the SPLC's Hate Group Watch List, because of his beliefs.

"All whites are blue-eyed devils. That's part one of their foundation of beliefs," says Beirich. "The other part of their antisemitic ideas that they keep spreading is that Jews ran the slave trade."

And for those reasons, Hornsby says he will not be in attendance at next week's events.

"It's time to put all this hate behind us," he says.

Hornsby says Board Chairman Charles Williams shares his concerns.

Hornsby says the Board of Trustees will be meeting this weekend to discuss how they should handle the matter.

Farrakhan's keynote address will be next Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m. in the General Daniel James Center.    

We have been told that Tuskegee University has invited Macon County Public Schools to come listen to Farrakhan speak. Superintendent J.A. Brooks says no decision has been made.

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Sylvester "Nunnie" Robinson , TI '69 said on Wednesday, Apr 24 at 9:24 PM

I concur completely with those who agree that free speech is an inherent right in America manifested on college campuses around this great country from its very inception. It all depends on your perspective. As an African American totally immersed in the racist, states rights, moral indignities heaped upon us from the first slave ship to the present, it is totally inconceivable and ludicrous that any conscientious and fair-minded individual would oppose allowing opposite political philosophies the opportunity to be heard. That's a fundamental principle of our Democratic system. The truth will always prevail! I epitomize the old south and what it represents, having grown up in Mississippi as a baby boomer before attending Tuskegee. With Black folk it's always the first to break some long held tradition because of racial inequalities. And in 43 years not much has changed other than the way racism presents itself. Speak Minister Farakhan, SPEAK!!

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Time to Get Real said on Thursday, Mar 21 at 9:38 AM

Tuskegee should dump this guy in the same way that Obama dumped Rev. Wright.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Mar 20 at 2:52 PM


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annonymoous said on Wednesday, Mar 20 at 2:04 PM

Prayers are going forth.

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Class of 1954 said on Wednesday, Mar 20 at 2:01 PM

Our founder, Dr. Booker T. Washington and Dr.George Washington Carver especially would not agree with this decision.

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Bernard Gunn said on Wednesday, Mar 20 at 9:34 AM

I am sure Mr Hornsby would have tried to stop Malcolm X or Stokeley Carmichael from speaking to the student body also back in the "60's". In an educational environment healthy debate is essential, you do not ban views because you do not agree with them. Let students hear one of the most gifted Black speakers alive and make their own decision about his politics.

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J. Burroughs said on Tuesday, Mar 19 at 8:21 PM

Let's be clear, Minister Farrakhan has never led a war against other nations in order to steal their resources; has neither instigated nor led a holocaust like the Transatlantic slave trade in order to create wealth and power; has not laid the framework that supports ideas and institutions that underlie American racism. He is not an architect of America's racist traditions and institutions that include things like lynching, displacement and murder of indigenous populations, as well as the creation and support of legislation that disenfranchises non-members of the dominant culture. When I attended Tuskegee (Institute) University, I had the privilege of hearing Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael (Kwami Toure), James Foreman, and other great African American leaders speak on America's political & social/cultural issues. Minister Farrakhan is a learned man who's message might stimulate meaningful thought among students & maybe board members.

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JP said on Tuesday, Mar 19 at 3:31 PM

I believe in hearing various views and making individual decisions based on my beliefs. College students and others should be allowed the same privilege. If this is not true, then the majority of the politicians in Washington along with other politicians should be censored or banned.

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Samuel D Craig, Jr. said on Tuesday, Mar 19 at 11:09 AM

Tuskegee is a place for students to learn, to think for themselves. A great opportunity to be exposed well educated individuels.While there are areas of Minister Farrakhan, I may not agree with, I have found him to be a thought provoking individual. I have never heard so much hate and lies as I have about our President, so don't tell me about hate speaches.How many people takked about Dr. King when He was alive, and was angry with what He stood for, now want to act as if they were with Him all the way in His efforts.Now the same haters now want to claim Him as if they always agreed with Hi Him. THINK FOR YOUR!SELF

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herb jones said on Tuesday, Mar 19 at 10:15 AM

As a Tuskegee student we were privileged to hear from a diverse group of speakers from Dr. King to Malcolm X. I recall Malcolm's presentation to the student body very well. I also attended the Million Man March and recall Farrakhan's presentation as well. For me personally, the opportunity to hear these great leaders of our time and to witness history in the making has and continues to have an everlasting impact on me. I often tell audiences when I am speaking that I had the honor to see and to hear two of the greatest African American leaders from my generation. Universities are about learning not censorship. If Mr. Hornsby is an example of the leadership and thinking of representatives on the Tuskegee Board, our current students are in trouble. Tuskegee teaches you to think for yourself. Let the students listen and learn. They don't need Hornsby or anyone else to think for them.

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UNBELIEVABLE!!! said on Monday, Mar 18 at 8:00 PM

Mr. Hornsby, I'm glad someone sits on the Board of Trustees that has some sense. Only fools would not realize that this is a legitimate concern!! Drive On Sir, This is Why your on the Board!!

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BILL PEARSON said on Monday, Mar 18 at 1:06 PM


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Anonymous said on Monday, Mar 18 at 8:44 AM

Farrakhan is nothing if not a hate monger. Listen to what the Southern Poverty Law Center, which exists to fight discrimination, is saying. His organization exists to build up one group, by blaming everything bad in society on another. His lies are so blatant to be absurd.

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JB said on Wednesday, Mar 13 at 11:44 AM

Andy Hornsby owes Black students and Black Americans in general an apology for his hateful comment! His absurd comparison of the upstanding men, women and children who make up the Nation of Islam to a domestic terrorist group responsible for bombing, lynching and murdering thousands of their (Black) people is extremely offensive to say the least!

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Mar 13 at 3:28 AM

How dare you compare The Nation of Islam to the KKK, when they have been responsible for murdering Black people in walking distance of Tuskegee? Why is it that a prestigious university such as Tuskegee would allow a "hate monger" to speak? Because he isn't. Hornsby says it it clear that he hates Jewish people. What is clear is that he can't prove it. This is because he never LISTENED to the man speak. There is nothing that Farrakhan has said about the significant Jewish involvement in the African Slave Trade that is not a matter of Congressional record. Not the acts of a few wanton, racist Jews as the SPLC would suggest. Why would a legal entity such as the SPLC promote such a blatant distortion of documented, verifiable evidence? A racist agenda perhaps? Black people ARE Semetic people. In the event you and or Mr. Williams are Black, do your research, Mr. Hornsby, and stop making an embarrassment of yourself. In the event you are a Caucasion, put the hate behind yourself.

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