WHEN THE OLD SOUTHERN RACISTS FILIBUSTERED A civil rights bill, they would serve up fatback inanities to an almost empty Senate chamber--homily grits to obstruct the hours.

Minister Farrakhan's performance, playing to a packed house, rose through Washington's sweet October air and bounced off satellites. Farrakhan banged on the American mind with a silk umbrella and the handle of a broom: Mumbo jumbo will hoodoo you. He went on about obelisks and the intricate, unintelligible meanings of mystical, pseudo-Pharaonic numerologies. He sounded by turns menacing and Rotarian: a salesman in a sharp bow tie, the hallucination of Mussolini channeling Booker T....

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