And Then There Were None
Jude Wanniski
March 3, 1998


Memo To: Rep. Peter King [R-NY]
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Congratulations Pete!

As the point man in Congress for the Anti-Defamation League when it comes to destroying the Nation of Islam, you surely must be celebrating the fact that you have finally broken the last contract that the NOI has had with federal and state governments, to provide security at public housing projects. That includes the last contracts signed by Jack Kemp when he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Bush administration. Leonard Muhammad, the chief of staff of the NOI and Min. Louis Farrakhan's son-in-law, advised me of your success last weekend, at my client conference in Florida. The good news, to you, is of course that between 3,000 and 4,000 young men have been put out of the work and the tens of thousands of inner-city dwellers who they protected have been once again put at the mercy of drug dealers and muggers. I understand the excuse in breaking some of the contracts is that some of the NOI young men were caught selling copies of the Final Call, the Nation of Islam newspaper. Now I've been a subscriber to the Final Call for several years, and have never found in it much more than spiritual homilies and appeals to the readers to eat wholesome food and to refrain from alcohol and tobacco, not to mention hard drugs. There are also occasional articles on the plight of the dispossessed in the United States and around the world, but there has been nothing remotely resembling anti-Semitism or bigotry. Then again, Congressman, you undoubtedly have your reasons for doing what you do and I will not interfere with your celebration. I must point out that instead of young men all over the country selling newspapers while they protect the little old ladies and single mothers, there are now young men back selling drugs.

By the way, I asked Leonard how it was that the NOI was so successful all these years in their security work, when they are not permitted to own or carry firearms. He told me it was the moral authority they carried by virtue of being followers of Islam and men of unquestionable integrity. "It is the same as a priest who goes into a Catholic neighborhood and finds young men hanging out, shooting dice, drinking and acting up. He doesn't need a gun to get them to move along. They do so out of respect for him." He told me that it did not matter that the residents of the public housing projects signed petitions pleading with the authorities not to break the contracts. Your power was greater than all the petitions. You owe yourself a celebration. Have a drink and toast to your cleverness. You went after the contracts one at a time, and then there were none.