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College Democrats invite Louis Farrakhan to speak in Alabama

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The College Democrats at Alabama A&M University are among a coalition of student groups that have invited Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to speak on campus despite his history of outlandish and offensive remarks.

Farrakhan is set to speak with students at the Huntsville campus on April 10 at the invitation of a coalition of student groups, including the Alabama A&M Democrats and the Alabama A&M Poetry Club, according to local news reports.

A spokesman for the Alabama Democratic Party did not return a request for comment from The Daily Caller on whether the state organization thinks the speech is an appropriate activity for the College Democrats.

The Anti-Defamation League says Farrakhan “has marked himself a notable figure on the extremist scene by making hateful statements targeting Jews, whites and homosexuals.”

But WHNT News 19 reported that Kris Taylor, who leads the poetry club, predicted that there’s “going to be positive energy coming from this.”

“I don’t believe he’s going to come here and bash the Jews,” Taylor said.

The outlet reported that the Jewish Federation of Huntsville-North Alabama plans on asking administrators at Alabama A&M to reconsider holding the event.

The Huntsville Times reported on Tuesday that University spokeswoman Wendy Kobler made clear that the school is “not sponsoring him. We are not bringing him.”

“They are just utilizing the facilities on campus, just like any outside organization would,” she said.

Jewish members in the Alabama community are not happy.

“I think all he’s going to do is try to poison the minds of the A&M students,” Max Rosenthal of the Etz Chayim synagogue told WHNT News 19. “It’s a real disaster to the community, and I believe it’s going to be very divisive.”

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