“You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.” —Louis Farrakhan
One thing irresponsible actors on both sides of the political spectrum now agree on—perhaps the only thing—is that the medieval bigot Louis Farrakhan and his followers are serious people who “represent” or can “speak for” black America.
And the poison is spreading.
It is being spread by Donald Trump, now partnering with rapper and Farrakhan fan Ice Cube, who enjoys tweeting anti-Semitic memes and images, like one depicting Jewish bankers seated around a Monopoly board resting on the backs of Black men. It is being spread by Barack Obama, headlining an event with the discredited Women’s March leader and Farrakhan acolyte Tamika Mallory. And it is being spread by the editors of The New York Times, who this weekend ran a fawning op-ed about the women behind Farrakhan’s Million Man March without so much as a nod to his overt and grotesque bigotry--which led the late John Lewis to boycott the event. When Jewish readers expressed anguish at this whitewashing, the author of the piece took to Twitter to tell them to stop “centering” themselves in this conversation. Can you imagine that being said by a contributor to the Times to any other minority group targeted for violence? And in the very year when there was a mass murder of Jews perpetrated by someone driven by the ideas that Farrakhan promotes?
The normalizing of America’s leading conspiratorial anti-Semite by both parties, in the hope of bringing out more African American voters, is one more symptom of the deeply corrosive and morally repulsive politics that has trashed the American liberal tradition. It makes a mockery of the left’s flood of outrage over Donald Trump’s failure to forcefully denounce white supremacists, while Trump’s courting of one of Farrakhan’s outspoken fans, reportedly through the good offices of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, makes a mockery of the idea that he is a bulwark against Jew-haters on the progressive left. As for The New York Times, we look forward to the forthcoming magazine issue devoted to explaining that Farrakhan, and not Martin Luther King Jr., was actually the lead character in the fight for racial justice in America, in a series of essays to be given out next year in public schools.
If this is a dangerous moment for Jews—and it is—it is also a dangerous moment for Black Americans, who both political parties are misrepresenting as disciples of a nut case who believes that Hollywood Jews spread homosexuality to weaken Blacks and that the “white race” was created by a mad scientist on an island 40,000 years ago. This is not a roadmap to a safer, more prosperous, more open society; it’s a ticket to a society that, in the grip of conspiracy theories, decays beyond help. Anyone who wants their children to live with others in peace will reject this kind of manipulation, the consequences of which are all around us and getting worse by the day.
For those still confused about Farrakhan and what his rehabilitation will mean for our society, here is a selection of articles that make it very, very clear:
Is the Women’s March Melting Down? by Leah McSweeney and Jacob Siegel
Jay-Z and Jay Electronica Lick Louis Farrakhan Up and Down by Armin Rosen
The Loneliest Hatred by John-Paul Pagano
Where Black Nationalism Meets White Supremacy by Jack R. Fischel
Anti-Racism Erases Anti-Semitism by John-Paul Pagano
Is Jewish Control Over the Slave Trade a Nation of Islam Lie or Scholarly Truth? by Batya Ungar-Sargon
The Man Who Opposed Hate by James Kirchick
From the editors at Tablet Magazine