Hate group leader speaks during key to the city meeting
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo has given a key to the city to the leader of The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam is a black separatist organization, designated a hate group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Farrakhan as racist, anti-semitic, anti-catholic, and anti-gay.
Farrakhan made questionable statements at the meeting with Mayor Mayo and other black community leaders present.
"Don't let the fact that you're in a post that white folk held, make you think you can do the same things as white folk did," Farrakhan said at the meeting. "They may be out of office but they're watching, to see if you make a missteps so they can get good out and put evil back."
"In the 16 years that I've been mayor, no other person has received two keys. A key for the front and a key for the back," said Mayo.
Councilman Michael Echols says awarding Farrakhan a key to the city was a wrong move.
"I was a little shocked,” Echols said. "The other rhetoric that he's used in speeches - that is not any semblance of the people here in Monroe."
Echols was not invited to the meeting.
"I was a little bit taken aback because one, I've never been notified there was any dignitary or official visiting the city," said Echols.
Councilwoman Juanita Woods attended the meeting.
"He talked about love, loving each other and taking care of each other peace and living together," said Woods.
KNOE asked Woods about Farrakhan's divisive past statements and his divisive statements in Monroe, but she said she knew nothing about either.
"I've got so much admiration for this man. He spoke so eloquently about us all coming together...and it was just a beautiful time listening to the minister," said Woods.