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Lautenberg Accused of Racism

Thursday, March 02, 2006

(SNN Newark) A civil rights group yesterday accused Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) of making racist comments during a New Jersey rally this week. The Senator was condemning the takeover of U.S. port operations by an United Arab Emirates owned company. Lautenberg denied the accusation, calling it a "bum rap."

At the rally, Lautenberg raised questions about homeland security risks involved in turning over port terminals in six cities including Newark. "We wouldn't transfer the title to the devil; we're not going to transfer it to Dubai," Lautenberg said.

The American Anti-Bigotry Committee for Devils Demons and Imps said in a statement that it "values honest and fair debate, and fully supports all measures to keep our country safe." But the group said Lautenberg's comparison is unacceptable.

"His comments compound paranoia, and outright racism in order to make otherwise unsubstantiated points," said the group. "It wasn't meant as an insult at all," Lautenberg said. " I said I won't do business with the devil and I won't do business with Dubai."

"Of course my community supports any measure that makes our country more secure, including an honest debate about port security," said AABCDD President James Adramalech. "There are many honest hard working demons and devils in America that came here seeking a better life and a release from the fires of eternal damnation."

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