Black leaders clash over anti-Semitism: Jesse Jackson has taken the lead in condemning the inflammatory rhetoric of the Nation of Islam group
Wednesday 26 January 1994
In a politically risky move that may cost him support in the black community, Mr Jackson has condemned as 'racist, anti-Semitic, divisive and untrue' an inflammatory speech by one of Mr Farrakhan's aides, Khalid Muhammad. He called American Jews 'the bloodsuckers of the black nation' and accused Jews of controlling, to the detriment of black people, anything of any consequence in American life, from the Federal Reserve Board to the film industry.
This is not a new departure for members of the black Muslim group, who for several years have been blaming Jews for their problems. But Mr Jackson evidently decided that the speech had crossed some key hate-mongering line. He called on Mr Farrakhan to denounce last week's speech by Mr Muhammad.
But Mr Farrakhan has not done so. He had a good chance to make amends in Harlem on Monday night when he addressed 10,000 people at a 'Black Men Only' rally to call for an end to violence among black youth, but he did not even mention Mr Jackson.
Instead, in a two-and-a-half hour speech he again launched into an attack on the Jews, saying 'they're trying to use my brother Khalid's words against me to divide the house'. Implying that Mr Jackson had become some kind of tool of the Jewish lobby, he said that the Jewish community was 'plotting as we speak . . . they don't want Farrakhan to do what he's doing.'
Having warily embraced Mr Farrakhan's efforts to bring an end to black-on-black violence, several prominent black leaders have now also decided to distance themselves from Mr Muhammad's remarks. Besides his anti-Semitic remarks, he also attacked Roman Catholics and homosexuals.
Benjamin Chavis, the leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the largest black civil rights group in the country, condemned Mr Muhammad's speech, saying his anti- Semitism 'must not go unchallenged'. Mr Chavis said he was 'appalled that any human being would stoop so low to make such violence-prone anti-Semitic comments'.
Another black leader, William Gray, president of the United Negro College Fund, has also condemned the speech.
Of particular significance is the condmenation of Representative Kweisi Mfume, a Maryland Democrat, who heads the 40-member Congressional Black Caucus and has been trying to forge a partnership between the caucus and the Nation of Islam.
In addition, a Harlem Democrat, Representative Charles Rangel, said of Mr Muhammad's remarks: 'Clearly we're dealing with a person who is very dangerous, bitter and, in my opinion, very sick.'
Other less prominent black leaders accused Mr Jackson of dividing the black community, and charged that he was only challenging Mr Farrakhan for his own political gain.
Eric Adams, the leader of a black policemen's group in New York that is working with the Nation of Islam in an attempt to control violence in black neighbourhoods, said Mr Jackson's criticism of Mr Farrakhan would definitely hurt his following among black Americans. 'It's tme for us to realise what Mr Farrakhan is trying to do,' he said.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...