Fanning the flames

"Fanning the flames" Continued...

Issue: "Stand in the gap," Oct. 18, 1997

As for allegations of fiscal misconduct, he said Mr. Lyons had answers, he had sources of funds, no money was missing from NBCUSA accounts, and the committee and board couldn't identify any denominational rule he had broken. "We've never had a president who has raised money like this before, as far as I know," Mr. Hill said. "Billy Graham can't go out and sell endorsements and broker business deals; maybe we need to consider making the same restrictions."

Mr. Hill expressed bitterness toward "the white press," which he believes treats black leaders in general, and Mr. Lyons in particular, unfairly. He blamed the relative lack of black leaders of national "stature" on the white-controlled media.

Should Mr. Lyons step down if he is indicted? "It depends on President Lyons," Mr. Hill said. He confessed to the convention in Denver last month he had made a number of errors, and he asked for forgiveness, Mr. Hill reminded. He suggested that jail had been a badge of honor for many black leaders in the past, and could be in Mr. Lyons's case.


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