ADL "Deeply Disappointed" Over Louis Farrakhan's Scheduled Address At Student-Run Conference At UC Berkeley; Calls On University To Follow UC President Mark Yudof's Lead And Condemn "Merchants Of Hatred"

San Francisco, CA, March 8, 2012 …The Anti-Defamation League today expressed its deep disappointment over the decision of the annual University of California (UC) Afrikan-Black Coalition (ABC) Conference's student organizers to invite Minister Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic leader of the Nation of Islam, to deliver an address to them on March 10, 2012. The ABC is comprised of African-American students from across the entire UC system. Their annual conference is taking place this year for the first time on the UC Berkeley campus.

Nancy J. Appel, ADL's Associate Director, stated:

For over thirty years, Louis Farrakhan has been notorious as a purveyor of hate against Jews, whites, and the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community, among others. It is unconscionable for the organizers of the ABC Conference to have honored him with this invitation to address their annual gathering. Granting Farrakhan this privilege is a slap in the face to all members of the diverse UC Berkeley community who strive to make their campus as inclusive and welcoming as possible for everyone.

Despite Farrakhan's ugly bigotry, however, ADL does not challenge his or the conference organizers' right to have him speak on campus. Nonetheless, ADL has asked the UC Berkeley administration to exercise its own free speech rights by unequivocally condemning Farrakhan's hate mongering and removing any indicia of administration support for his message from the conference.

Appel continued:

We urge Chancellor Birgeneau to follow the example that President Yudof set in yesterday's open letter to the UC community in which Yudof utilized his free speech rights to 'to condemn merchants of hatred when they come into our community' and urged others to do the same.

ADL's fully updated backgrounder, "Farrakhan In His Own Words" is available on our website.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.