Republican Jewish Group Demands Resignation of Senior Congressional Democrat Over Louis Farrakhan Ties
A Republican Jewish group called on Friday for the resignation of a top Democrat in the House of Representatives over his unapologetic stance toward Louis Farrakhan, the virulently antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam.
“Today, with the revelation that third-ranking Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn is connected to known antisemite Louis Farrakhan, we call on (Democratic Party) Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to demand Clyburn’s resignation,” Republic Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement.
A former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Clyburn is currently marking his 25th year as the representative of South Carolina’s 6th District.
“When it was revealed that Clyburn had shared a stage with Farrakhan in recent years, the Congressman had the opportunity to condemn Farrakhan, he chose not to,” Brooks said, in reference to a comment that Clyburn made to the NoI’s newspaper, The Final Call, in March 2011 after he spoke alongside Farrakhan at a town hall meeting in Pittsburgh.
Although one other speaker at the same event withdrew in protest at Farrakhan’s participation, Clyburn went ahead, saying afterward that he “not bothered in the least bit” by the criticism he received from Jewish communal leaders and others for sharing a platform with the NoI leader.
“If Congressman Clyburn won’t condemn Louis Farrakhan’s virulent antisemitism, it is time for him to leave Congress,” Brooks said.
The pressure on Reps. Pelosi and Clyburn comes amid heightened scrutiny of the relationship between several legislators and Farrakhan — arguably America’s most prominent post-war antisemite, who has over the years called Judaism a “gutter religion,” praised Hitler as a “great man,” and claimed that the 9/11 terrorist atrocities were the work of “Zionist Jews.”
On Monday, one of those lawmakers, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill) was blasted by the Anti-Defamation League for lauding Farrakhan as “an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate.”
“It is unfortunate that the congressman apparently can’t muster up the courage to denounce Farrakhan’s blatant antisemitism and instead chose to praise him instead,” an ADL spokesman said.
Additionally, the RJC this week called on seven other Democratic representatives in the House to resign over their ties to Farrakhan. “Farrakhan is the moral equivalent of a leader of the KKK,” the RJC said. “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.”
Two of those Congress members — Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) — have since disavowed Farrakhan. Lee said on Thursday that she “unequivocally condemned” Farrakhan’s “antisemitic and hateful comments,” while Meeks said that the NoI leader’s “antisemitic messages are upsetting and unacceptable.”
Meeks also criticized “right-wing blogs” for suggesting that he viewed Farrakhan differently, and for trying to turn the controversy around Farrakhan into “a black vs. Jewish community issue.”