LaWana Mayfield
LaWana Mayfield

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield responded publicly on Wednesday to the controversy surrounding her refusals to condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT comments.

In an interview with Creative Loafing, the city’s alternative newsweekly, Mayfield said it was not her place to judge.

“It’s God’s place to judge people,” she told writer Joanne Spataro. “The great thing about the United States is everyone has an opinion, and I represent an extremely diverse community. It is not my place to place judgment on anyone. I’m not God, and I don’t intend to be.”

Mayfield said she does not like to focus on differences. “We need to be individual thinkers, so I’m going to look at the good people have done and I’m going to look at where we can build something together as opposed to focusing on our differences,” she said.

The city’s first and only openly LGBT elected official, Mayfield also questioned the hate group classification given to Nation of Islam by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based hate watch and civil rights organization.

“For me, the hate group designation has as much merit as those of us in the community who think all Muslims are terrorists,” Mayfield said. “It’s that type of intolerance that encourages ‘us versus them,’ as opposed to encouraging communities to work together.”

You can read Spataro’s entire interview with Mayfield at

Mayfield attended an Oct. 13 speech by Louis Farrakhan at Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church. While there, Mayfield sent a message to her followers on Twitter stating that Farrakhan was “doing God’s will.” Over the past several weeks, qnotes has asked Mayfield to condemn Farrakhan’s comments. Others, including Mecklenburg Commission Chair Harold Cogdell and Vilma Leake, also attended the speech and similarly declined to condemn the hate group leader’s comments.

Farrakhan is the longtime leader of Nation of Islam, heralded by many for empowerment within the African-American community though his history of anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT comments has landed him and his organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate-based organizations. Farrakhan has said Jews are “Satanic” and their places of worship are “Synagogues of Satan.” He has said the Star of David the “mark of the beast.” He has also called LGBT people “beasts” and said modern U.S. acceptance of LGBT equality will lead to this nation’s destruction, citing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Farrakhan’s events in Charlotte came just one month before two other hate groups rallied here. Last Saturday, a national neo-Nazi group and a North Carolina gathering of the Ku Klux Klan staged a rally in Uptown Charlotte. As many as 250 counter-protesters attended to challenge the groups’ rhetoric. Mayfield did not attend the event with the counter-protesters, though her colleague, District 5 Councilmember John Autry was there. Some community members have questioned the lack of response to the rally from local LGBT leaders and organizations.

You can read the original report on the Farrakhan controversy here and see a full timeline of events and other reports here. Read Spataro’s interview here.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

4 replies on “Mayfield responds to Farrakhan controversy”

  1. @Robert –

    The problem is that she also tweeted that Farrakhan was doing God’s Will.

    This implies she believes all of Farrakhan’s work including that of his anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric is seen by Council woman Mayfield as being righteous and worthy of praise.

    Unfortunately that remark sets the context of how I judge her subsequent statements of it’s not her place to judge as she already did from the get-go.

  2. I appreciate the stance ms Mayfield, the nerve of these hypocrites to ask for condemnation of a man that is doing much good to correct the evil of four centuries of wicked racism. You ask ms Mayfield to do what Jesus said not to do ( judge not less you be judged and condemn not less you be condemned ),
    just to promote wicked propaganda against a man that is exposing the wicked behaviors in society. I haven’t heard of any account of asking a white person to condem all the slave owning presidents I haven’t heard of any request to condem the Pope, Billy Gram for their stances on these issues etc. Min Farrakhan wasn’t bashing the the gay community he was exercising his freedom of speech. In a free society you have a right to disagree. min Farrakhan isn’t lynching and murdering those whom he disagrees with as many of your four fathers have done to blacks right there in the Carolina’s. qnote condemn your four fathers condemn your white supremacist mentality The southern poverty law center is a bunch of hypocrites ran by the enemies of the real poor simply a propaganda machine to control the thinking of the oppressed and disenfranchised. Intelligent people know that it is more than one view . These organization sound Like dictators of old who wanted to control and manipulate the thinking of people discouraging free thought. Condemn yourselves quotes for insulting the intelligence of black america. You have enough in your on people’s dirty house to condemn. Would you call the slave owning founding fathers of America HATE LEADERs mr Matt Comer? Apparently you are a modern slave to your editors or the false ideologies and propaganda of satan. Min Farrakhan has saved millions of lives, His work addressees the illnesses your people infected black people with per our enslavement and living under white supremacy. His messages promote self love self knowledge self help etc. But, you already know this your just a part of the machine. Your world is caving in because of people like you who publish lies and manipulating propaganda. Now post this

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