Democratic Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky broke with some of her colleagues on Thursday and denounced Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a notorious racist and anti-Semite.
“I am appalled by the statements of Louis Farrakhan and condemn him for once again fanning the flames of anti-Semitism. At a time where the Anti-Defamation League tells us that anti-Semitic incidents rose by 57 percent last year, those remarks are particularly dangerous. There should be no place in our society for those words,” Schakowsky said.
Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also ripped Farrakhan on Thursday and urged his fellow Democrats to denounce him.
“This is unacceptable in a progressive coalition or any political coalition. Antisemitism has no place in American society. We must reject this, left right and center,” Schatz wrote on Twitter.
At least seven House Democrats are known to have ties to Farrakhan, as The Daily Caller News Foundation revealed.
One of those seven, Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, repeatedly praised Farrakhan and called him “an outstanding human being” in February during an interview with The Daily Caller.
Davis doubled down on his comments in an interview with The Daily Caller New Foundation last week, saying that he isn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s response to the “Jewish question.”
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, claimed when he ran for Congress in 2006 that he had left Farrakhan in his past, although he admitted to being a former Nation of Islam member.
Despite those promises, Ellison attended multiple meetings with Farrakhan during his time in Congress, according to photos, videos and witness accounts reviewed by TheDC. Ellison has declined to deny that he attended those meetings, which included a private visit to Farrakhan’s hotel room.
The other five House Democrats with ties to Farrakhan, including Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters, have declined to condemn Farrakhan or otherwise comment on their relationship with him.
Farrakhan continued his anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish people last month at the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviour’s Day convention, while Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory was in attendance. Mallory has since doubled down on her relationship with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
Schakowsky also bashed the Republican Jewish Coalition for calling on the seven Democrats to resign. Schakowsky claimed that, despite her colleagues’ close ties to a notorious anti-Semite, they’re all very committed to fighting anti-Semitism.
“At the same time, I condemn those who are trying to score political points over this issue. My colleagues who are being attacked by the Republican Jewish Coalition have spent a lifetime opposing anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny, and racism,” Schakowsky said.
“I know that they will continue working against discrimination wherever and whenever it occurs, and I will work with them to renew and expand those efforts.”
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