That Louis Farrakhan is an anti-Semite is not a matter of dispute — it’s an indisputable, well-documented fact, with plenty of damning evidence available. Just this year, Farrakhan delivered a three-hour address on YouTube featuring a litany of anti-Semitic remarks. (The video was later deleted after Honest Reporting called on the public to take action and pressure YouTube.)
His rabid brand of hate speech, comparing Jews to termites, describing Hitler as “a very great man,” and branding Judaism a “gutter religion” defended by Israel, is something all genuine progressives should want to distance themselves from.
And yet Farrakhan continues to enjoy a remarkable amount of love and admiration from certain elements in American society.
A recent op-ed in the New York Times is a good example. The piece, by academic Natalie Hopkinson, entitled ‘The Women Behind the Million Man March,’ extols Farrakhan as a man on a “quixotic quest,” and praises him for his inclusiveness, saying “he took the advice of the women.”
In reality, Farrakhan is a noted vicious anti-Semite and homophobe who was among several prominent people whose posts were banned by Facebook in May of 2019 for promoting or engaging in “violence and hate.”
Yet despite being banned by Facebook and cancelled by YouTube, the New York Times has deemed an op-ed which glosses over his history of engaging in anti-Semitic hate speech as acceptable.
Bari Weiss, former editor of the New York Times editorial page, took to Twitter to slam her former employer, “If you read the op-ed and knew nothing about Farrakhan, you would think he was a gentleman.”
Jake Tapper, CNN’s Chief Washington Correspondent, joined in with Weiss and pointed out that, “The late great John Lewis didn’t participate in the Million Man March because Farrakhan had made comments that were ‘divisive and bigoted.’”
While the op-ed focuses on Farrakhan’s seeming niceness, it totally avoids the reality that many of those attending his speech were ardent consumers of vile anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Ira Stoll, now of the Algemeiner, reported in the Forward at the time of the march that concession stands lined the event as Farrakhan spoke. Among them, a range of questionable wares were being hawked:
…one vendor is selling ‘Chosen People From the Caucasus: Jewish Origins, Delusional Deceptions and Historical Role in the Slave Trade, Genocide and Cultural Colonization,’ by Michael Bradley. Nearby, between tables hawking ‘O.J.’s Free’ T-shirts, salesmen display copies of ‘The Jews and Their Lies,’ by Martin Luther. Young men in red bow ties sell ‘The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.’”
None of this seemed relevant to either the writer, nor the op-ed page editors at the Times. Then again, this is the newspaper that in 2019 infamously published a despicable cartoon bearing classic anti-Semitic tropes.
As Weiss pointed out on Twitter: “When The Times ran the infamous anti-Semitic cartoon, the issue was not that editors were hardened anti-Semites. It’s that they didn’t even *notice* it. This shouldn’t surprise. It’s part of a worldview in which Jew hate does not count.”
So bad was the fallout after that horrendous cartoon was published, and so unable was the Times to trust itself to distinguish between scathing, legitimate criticism and unacceptable stereotyping and racist tropes, that it simply ceased publishing political cartoons altogether.
Perhaps the self-proclaimed ‘newspaper of record’ might consider following suit with ceasing op-eds.