Andre Carson doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind. Indianapolis’ Democratic congressman regularly blasts political opponents with clear, forceful criticism. He also fires back at his critics with a bluntness that leaves no question about what he thinks.
Carson — on matters that don’t involve Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — is straight-forward, plain-spoken, passionate.
So it was disappointing to hear Carson waffle over questions about his anemic response to a horribly anti-Semitic speech that Farrakhan recently gave in Chicago.
In a 50-minute phone interview on Friday, Carson avoided criticizing Farrakhan directly, declined to characterize Farrakhan’s remarks as “hate speech,” and would not rule out meeting with Farrakhan in the future to discuss policy concerns.
A bit of context: In late February, Farrakhan during a speech in Chicago declared, “Powerful Jews are my enemy.” He also said Jews are “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” And he added this: “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”
Farrakhan’s comments were vile. But they were not a surprise. His history of spewing anti-Semitic remarks stretches back more than 30 years. Here’s how the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes the Nation of Islam: “Its bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites — a belief system vehemently and consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims — and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders, including top minister Louis Farrakhan, have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
Which raises a few questions. Why was Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory in the audience last month to hear the bigoted ramblings of the longtime leader of an organized hate group? Why did Carson sit down with Farrakhan in 2015 to discuss issues such as crime, discrimination against women and the dangerous influences of gangs on African-American youth? How much hatred must Farrakhan spread before Carson and other prominent Democrats disavow and distance themselves from him?
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