Jameela Jamil, Chelsea Handler and Jessica Chastain condemned for sharing Louis Farrakhan video

Nation of Islam leader has been accused of antisemitism, homophobia and sexism throughout his life

Adam White
Wednesday 17 June 2020 14:28 BST
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Stars including Jameela Jamil, Jessica Chastain and Chelsea Handler have come under fire for sharing a video of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on their social media.

The clip sees Farrakhan explaining that white people are fearful of black power as they believe the violence historically enacted against black people could be enacted against them, too. The clip is sourced from the minister’s appearance in a 1990 episode of Phil Donahue’s US talk show.

Jamil appeared to share the clip first, captioning it: “Someone please tell me the name of this extraordinary man who so perfectly sums up white fear in under a minute.”

Chastain re-shared the clip in her Instagram story soon after, while Handler posted the clip on her main Instagram, captioning it: “I learned a lot from watching this powerful video.”

Handler’s video was commented on by a number of stars, including Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes, who wrote: “This should be played on a loop. Everywhere. Always.”

Unfortunately, many were quick to point out that Farrakhan has been accused throughout his life of antisemitism, homophobia, and sexism. He has denied calling Judaism a “gutter religion”, but did call Adolf Hitler “a great man” in a 1984 speech. In 2015 he alleged that “Israelis and Zionist Jews” were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and tweeted in 2018 that the Harvey Weinstein scandal was about “Jewish power”.

Farrakhan has also been forced to deny any involvement in the assassination of black revolutionary and civil rights activist Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Shabazz’s widow Betty repeatedly alleged that Farrakhan played a role in her husband’s murder.

Both Jamil and Handler removed their videos of Farrakhan after being criticised, though Handler suggested that Farrakhan’s antisemitism may have stemmed from his own oppression as a black man.

“I still consider this message to be quite powerful,” Handler wrote in a comment to one of her followers. “Perhaps Farrakhan’s antisemitic views took form during his own oppression. We know now that the oppression of one race leads to an oppression of all races.”

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