NEW YORK (Jan. 15)
The national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith today labeled as “racism” the statement by a top aide to the Rev. Jesse Jackson that the U.S. government would have done more to free U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Robert Goodman had he been “white or Jewish.”
Nathan Perlmutter rebuked the Rev. Wyatt Walker for the remark made just before Jackson’s successful trip to free Goodman from Syria. Desribing as “the first and to date the only intrusion of racism into this Goodman case,” Perlmutter said: “Alas, there are mind-frames among minority as well as in dominant groups which more readily don fabrications of prejudice than they wear comfortably the reality of our nation’s race relations progress.”
Pointing out that by his comment, Walker set up hypothetical” Jewish and white prisoners” as “unfairly advantaged,” Perlmutter raised the following questions: “Would a white or a Jewish Lt. Goodman have been released by (Syrian President Hafez) Assad? And would the Rev. Walker have flown to the butcher of Hama if Lt. Goodman were not Black?” Hama was the site in 1982 of a mass slaughter of Moslem fundamentalists by Syrian forces.