A flustered Baltimore councilwoman insisted yesterday that she did not mean to compare the Nation of Islam to the Ku Klux Klan but stopped short of issuing the apology her black colleagues demanded.
Rodney A. Orange, president of the Baltimore branch of the
NAACP, said the remarks would only serve to inflame "the tensions in the community now between the black and Jewish communities."
He asked for a complete retraction. But Ms. Spector said she could not do so because her remarks had been misinterpreted.
In an interview later, she said she made clear that her only problem is with Louis Farrakhan's leadership of the Nation.
"For me, it is very much like the Mussolini thing. He got the trains to run on time, but look at the damage he did to the Italian people. I said I would feel just as badly if we were to give a contract to the Ku Klux Klan."
Asked if that was a direct comparison to the Nation of Islam, she said, "Absolutely not."