When Tamika Mallory, a chairwoman of the 2017 Women’s March, praised the Nation of Islam’s leader Louis Farrakhan, two of her fellow chairwomen—and many of their followers—rallied to defend her from critics. This controversy came hard on the heels of recent revelations about Farrakhan’s continued relationship with mainstream African-American politicians. The editors of the Weekly Standard comment:
How strange that these self-proclaimed “intersectional” feminists would support an openly misogynistic and racist demagogue like Farrakhan. Among his more recent offerings: “When a woman does not know how to cook and the right foods to cook, she’s preparing death for herself, her husband, and her children.” He’s also observed that “man is supposed to have rule, especially in his own house . . . and when she rules you, you become her child.” Directly to women he cried: “You are a failure if you can’t keep a man, no profession can keep you happy!” We wonder just what it is about him that these feminists find so alluring.
More troubling is the photo that recently surfaced of a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) meeting with Farrakhan. It featured Illinois’s rookie senator, Barack Obama, smiling broadly at Farrakhan’s side. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, says the CBC asked him to suppress the image because it might have derailed Obama’s presidential aspirations. Nor is that the only time CBC members hobnobbed with Farrakhan: as Jeryl Bier pointed out in the Wall Street Journal in January, several of them can be seen shaking hands with Farrakhan or hugging him in a 2009 YouTube video.
We doubt the photo with Farrakhan would have hurt Obama, who easily weathered revelations of his long association with the anti-Semitic and anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright. What’s troubling is that the preponderance of mainstream journalists are happy to look the other way. We suspect that if a photo emerges some day of George W. Bush grinning with Richard Spencer or David Duke, the New York Times will have room for it on page A1.
On March 4, the CBC member Danny K. Davis defended his relationship with Farrakhan by remarking that “the world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth.” That phrase, “the Jewish question,” rings a bell. Where have we heard that before?