This post has been updated.
By Shep Gerszberg
Over the past few weeks more and more reports have come out about Democratic involvement with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Currently, around seven Democratic House members have confirmed current ties to Farrakhan.
I join organizations like the Republican Jewish Coalition in calling for all of these representatives to resign: Keith Ellison (D-MN), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Andre Carson (D-IN), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Al Green (D-TX).
To them I say: You should be ashamed of your continued association with this man and you need to resign. As the RJC wrote in a statement, “Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Farrakhan is the moral equivalent of a leader of the KKK. If it was discovered that members of Congress had met with the leader of the KKK, they would need to resign. In this case, for meeting with, and embracing, Louis Farrakhan, nothing short of resignation is acceptable from these seven Democrats.”
To be clear, every citizen has the right to associate with whoever they want, but we do hold elected officials to higher standards.
When someone associates with an undisputed anti-Semite like Farrakhan, they are going to rightfully be called out for it and should face the consequences. Farrakhan has been quoted as saying, “And don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!”
Farrakhan has claimed that Jews were involved in the 9/11 attacks, and had reportedly called Judaism a “gutter religion” and has referred to the “Satanic Jew.” The man is anti-Semitic, which is why it is concerning he has close ties and has advised certain Members of Congress.
To be clear, the Right is not clean from association with troubling figures, and any Republican with confirmed ties to someone like David Duke should face the same criticism and the same consequences.
At this moment, we are finding more and more Democrats with ties to this specific man. These Members of Congress have, themselves, made some troubling statements. Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison has, in the past, made troubling claims about Israel controlling U.S. policy, a common anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Illinois congressman Danny Davis was confronted with his ties to Farrakhan and, rather than denounce him, he said he had no problem with Farrakhan and was not concerned by his anti-Semitism.
As the Left becomes more and more obsessed with the idea of “intersectionality,” that all minorities who face any sort of discrimination or bigotry should group together as one movement, Jews are increasingly left out.
Jews are not viewed as a minority facing any discrimination, rather they are viewed as powerful, which feeds into the conspiracy theories highlighted in “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and are still used by anti-Semites like Farrakhan. The Left needs to learn that you cannot leave Jews out of intersectionality if you do not want to be a hypocrite.
Frankly, Rep. Davis’s statements were anti-Semitic themselves, such as uttering the phrase “the Jewish question.”
“The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing,” Davis told The Daily Caller.
On Thursday, Lee condemned Farrakhan’s anti-semitic comments. However, her condemnation seems rather disingenuous since it comes only now, when her association with him is becoming a public issue, after years of anti-Semitic statements from Farrakhan and she did not seem to have an issue with him then.
I’ve spent my life fighting discrimination in every form, from anyone. I unequivocally condemn Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic and hateful comments. This vitriol has no place in our society.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) March 8, 2018
I am not a Democrat, and I think blind intersectionality can be extraordinarily dangerous leading to potentially good and legitimate movements poisoning themselves with harmful ideologies, a threat exemplified by the Black Lives Matter movement’s embrace of the BDS movement. However, if you are a believer in intersectionality, and you do not find the Left’s pointed exclusion of Jews as a factor in intersectionality anti-Semitic, maybe you should look at your own biases and blind spots.
I call on the DNC to remove Ellison from his position as deputy chairman. I will not pretend that Republicans are perfect. They struggle with various forms of discrimination as well, and when I see members of the Republican Party stepping over the line, I call it out.
It is time for Democrats to do the same. Actions have consequences, and Democratic blindness to anti-Semitism cannot continue. These members of Congress need to either resign or be removed, as both an example and a warning, anti-Semitism cannot be ignored.