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"One people, one leader," now where have I heard that phrase before? It seems that it was a common phrase in Germany from the early 1930s until May of 1945. I, therefore, found it profoundly disturbing to hear Minister Louis Farrakhan use that same sort of phrase during his speech on Oct. 16. How convenient for Mr. Farrakhan to insinuate that, since he is "God's messenger" and the only one capable of organizing the "Million Man March," he can claim the right to represent or speak for all black Americans.

I, for one, do not recall any sort of election conducted by America's black population that would elevate him to this sort of status. I can certainly say that there are no single individuals who represent all respective white, brown, yellow or native Americans.Mr. Farrakhan, who has for many years consistently spewed forth a message of hate and division, now talks of peace and reconciliation. This is not a new tactic for hatemongers acting with ulterior motives. Even butchers like Hitler and Stalin were capable of being charming and saying the right things to the right people at the right time.

Don't be fooled by this wolf in sheep's clothing. As for the march itself, it had noble goals, and I sincerely hope that some good will come of it. There is certainly no threat in people desiring to better themselves and their communities. However, what I feel is a legitimate concern for myself and others is that a large number of people, who have historically felt disenfranchised and want so much to improve their lives, will, in desperation, embrace a man who is not capable of leading, but only of misleading.

The Nation of Islam can legitimately be credited with driving drug dealers out of some public housing projects and providing direction for some spiritually lost individuals, but at what price? Membership in this organization is a "package deal" that involves the teachings and rhetoric of hatred for one's fellow man and the creation of scapegoats (whites, Jews and Western civilization in general). Hitler and the Nazis made big promises, too, and they restored German national pride and made the trains run on time, but at what cost? The only answer the German people could give in World War II's aftermath was that they had been misled.

That black Americans have been mistreated and discriminated against is undeniable and is a shameful part of our nation's history. But is hatred going to serve as an effective balm for these wounds; is it going to solve anything? Absolutely not. The only way that the races are going to get along is for us to realize and focus on the fact that our similarities far outweigh our differences.

W.C. Maples