Should Keith Ellison Apologize For Being In The NOI?
06-09-2006, 12:50 PM
Should Keith Ellison Apologize For Being In The NOI?
This whole situation is quite comical to me.
Blackcommentator questions whether or not Ellision has sold out because he apologized for his relationship with the NOI.
From the statements that I've read in the press, it does seem like Ellison is punking out kinda... It seems as if He is trying to say he never agreed with the NOI's stances or that he was unaware of them... Moreso, he assumes that the NOI's stances are indeed racist and/or anti-semetic...
Without even me agreeing or disagreeing the fact is that the NOI says they are not anti-semetic and the press does... so at the very miniumum there are two sides with two perceptions. But for certain is the fact that the NOI isn't like the KKK in that they don't claim to be anti-semetic, while the KKK outright tells you they are white supremacists. If I were associated with the KKK regardless of what I say, they have a self-proclaimed platform that clearly says they are anti-black and so I couldnt really agrue anything else. But the NOI does not say they are anti white or semetic as far as I know. Members may give comments that are interpreted as so. But is that the official stance? I know that they teach a certain mythology of the universe, but I also know that things can be taken out of context. And I also know that that is a pattern we see alot presently and historically in the media especially in regard to black folk. These are just the facts.
Either way, Ellison seems like the best candidate. Even that is different that Trent Lott running for office... I'll say this... if Trent Lott were fighting for universal health care, against the big insurance companies, if he were for increasing education funding, against discriminatory prison sentencing, for HIV/AIDS funding, for progressive taxation to help redistribute wealth and other basic things... and he said some racists shit, I'd still vote for him. So really they got nothin on Ellison cause he seems to step right politically.
I won't judge the dude, but I have to admit that he seems to be punkin out. But I guess that's the life in politics. You gotta play the middle man and please everyone and that might mean "changing your mind" or denoucing things that you "misinterpreted" back in the day...
Whatever, who cares, as long as the dude is standing up for my folks he'll get my vote. I won't lay no hope in him changing the world cause he's a politician and politicians can't do that. But I'll support the dude with a simple vote.
06-09-2006, 12:50 PM
Ellison letter addresses his past ties
The DFL-endorsed congressional candidate said he failed to study Louis Farrakhan's positions when he was involved with the Nation of Islam.
Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune
State Rep. Keith Ellison, the DFL endorsee in the Fifth Congressional District race, has sent a letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council in an attempt to quell concerns about his connections to a group viewed by many as anti-Semitic.
Ellison said that when he had ties to the Nation of Islam for about 18 months in the mid-1990s he failed to scrutinize the positions of the group and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, and "wrongly dismissed concerns that they were anti-Semitic. I should have come to that conclusion [that they were anti-Semitic] earlier than I did. I regret that I didn't."
Ellison, who could become the first Muslim elected to Congress, noted that there has been "much speculation" about his ties to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, an organization that is aimed at improving conditions for black people but has been criticized as being antiwhite, antigay and anti-Semitic.
Ellison wrote that he saw "in the Nation of Islam, and specifically the Million Man March [in 1995], an effort to promote African-American self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, and community economic development." His relationship to Farrakhan has been raised mostly on blogs and in political scuttlebutt.
He said in an interview Friday that he wrote the letter, dated May 28, to the Community Relations Council to "reassure allies and friends of my long-term support for civil and human rights."
Ellison has at least three DFL primary opponents for the Minneapolis-centered seat: former state DFL chairman Mike Erlandson, former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge and Minneapolis City Council Member Paul Ostrow.
Reichgott Junge said "questions have arisen" about Ellison but "I'm not at all putting that out there. I'm running my own campaign."
Ostrow said, "It is disappointing that it took until now for Representative Ellison to acknowledge and disown the anti-Semitism of the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. When you run for federal office, you run on your record and your past."
Erlandson declined to comment.
In his letter, Ellison also addressed a matter involving Joanne Jackson, who in 1997 headed the group Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism. She had been quoted as calling Jews "among the most racist white people," and Ellison was involved with a group of black leaders who defended her.
"I believe that Ms. Jackson's alleged remark was clearly bigoted, discriminatory, inappropriate, and even ridiculous," Ellison said in the letter, adding that while some leaders defended her comments, he "spoke out in favor of increased dialogue between the Jewish and African-American communities."
Some in the Jewish community said Friday that they are willing to take Ellison at his word and his recent record in the Legislature. Others were more concerned.
Three members of the council's board, Dan Rosen, a Minneapolis lawyer; Alan Weinblatt, a DFL elections lawyer, and Jay Benanav, a St. Paul City Council member, said they have seen the letter.
"Given Ellison's public multiyear association with a vicious anti-Semitic organization, and given his past writing, I have to be skeptical of statements he makes in the context of an election campaign," Rosen said.
The other two are supportive.
Weinblatt said he listened carefully to Ellison's public speeches and met with him before deciding to support him. "I view this as an awesome opportunity for the citizens of Minneapolis ... to send somebody to Congress who has a unique background," Weinblatt said, referring to Ellison's work as a criminal-defense attorney and his Muslim faith.
Benanav, who noted that he was born in Israel to Holocaust survivors, said that he has worked with Ellison and that concerns are "not well-founded with regards to anti-Semitism, anti-Israel."
Mark Rotenberg, head of Minnesotans Against Terrorism, general counsel of the University of Minnesota and a Jewish Minneapolis resident who is supporting Reichgott Junge, said, "folks are extra-concerned about his past association with known anti-Semites, anti-whites and anti-Catholic spokesmen. There are other strong, experienced, progressive Democrats in this race who don't have that kind of heavy baggage."
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747
©2006 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.
06-09-2006, 12:51 PM
Let's not forget Ellison's support of Nation of Islam
Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune
Imagine that a Republican seeks his party's endorsement for the U.S.
House of Representatives, despite having been allied with a white
supremacist organization just a decade earlier. Imagine that this
candidate had once sarcastically proposed setting aside certain states
for white citizens and had shared a stage with a speaker known for
excoriating Jews as "bloodsuckers."
You're right. That man wouldn't get his party's endorsement. He would
probably want to go into hiding after the howl of negative media coverage.
So how did we get Keith Ellison?
State Rep. Keith Ellison of Minneapolis is the DFL-endorsed candidate
for the Fifth District congressional seat. In this DFL bastion, that
means that -- barring a primary loss -- Ellison will succeed Martin Sabo
when Congress reconvenes next year.
Ellison's background is, shall we say, unorthodox. He is a former
outspoken supporter of Louis Farrakhan's notorious Nation of Islam, a
virulently anti-white, anti-Semitic organization once led by Black
Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad.
Ellison came to public attention in 1990, when, using the name Keith E.
Hakim, he defended Farrakhan in a Minnesota Daily article while a law
student at the University of Minnesota. In another 1990 Daily column,
Ellison claimed that splitting America into two nations, with five
Southern states set aside for blacks, would be preferable to "liberal
"Black-white interaction would be voluntary instead of compelled," he wrote.
In 1995, Ellison helped organize Minnesota participation in the Million
Man March in Washington, D.C., which the Nation of Islam convened. At a
fundraiser for the event, he shared the stage with Khalid Abdul
Muhammad, who described himself as Farrakhan's "flamethrower." In 1994,
according to the Washington Post, Khalid had called Jews "the
bloodsuckers of the black nation."
Here in Minneapolis, at the event where Ellison shared the stage with
him, Khalid delivered "racist ranting," according to a Star Tribune
article. "If words were swords," said the article, "the chests of Jews,
gays and whites would be pierced."
During the 1990s, Ellison articulated extreme views on other occasions.
In 1992, he spoke at a Minneapolis protest rally after a Los Angeles
jury acquitted police of beating Rodney King. "Black people do not live
under a democracy," he told the crowd. "You don't have an obligation to
obey a government that considers you to be less than human." In 1997,
Ellison publicly supported Joanne Jackson, executive director of the
Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism, after she allegedly stated that
Jews were "among the most racist white people."
In 1998, the Star Tribune described Ellison as "well-known in the black
community as ... a supporter of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of
Islam." Ellison says he can't recall seeing the article or seeking a
correction. No correction was published.
Last week, Ellison moved to do damage control, as his background came
under increasing scrutiny. He only had ties to the Nation of Islam for
about 18 months in the mid-1990s, he told the Star Tribune. In a letter
to the Jewish Community Relations Council, Ellison repudiated
Farrakhan's and Khalid Muhammad's views, and rejected racism,
anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination. "This has always been
my position," he wrote.
Reached Wednesday, Ellison said he broke his ties with the Nation of
Islam when "it became clear to me that their message of empowerment
intertwined with more negative messages."
Can people change? Of course they can. Ellison now says he is fit to
serve all of the Fifth District's citizens.
But Minnesotans are right to question his candor and judgment.
Apparently, Ellison has not been fully candid about the duration of his
support for the Nation of Islam. In fact, today he insists that he never
shared the organization's extremist views. The record raises questions
There's a strange irony here. In April 2004, Minnesota's public safety
commissioner at the time, Rich Stanek, resigned after acknowledging
making racist comments in 1992. At a news conference, Keith Ellison and
other black leaders condemned Stanek's remarks and vowed to fight his
Stanek repudiated the comments and said he had changed. Nevertheless,
Ellison didn't give him the benefit of the doubt. "He's definitely one
to hold other people accountable, so I held him accountable," Ellison
told the Star Tribune.
Now it's Ellison's turn.
Katherine Kersten • firstname.lastname@example.org
06-12-2006, 02:45 PM
Yeah, he's being prudent...he wants to get elected.
The ADL and other such watchdog groups use anti-semitism as a hammer to discredit the NOI, but really thats to be expected from them.
What really is crazy to me is how people like this columnist conflate the NOI's remarks about Jews, which are a mixture of true statements and outrageous stereotypes (Like any rhetoric) into anti-semitism. When was the last time you ever heard of a Fruit of Islam guard or anyone in the NOI committing an act of violence against Jewish people? And I think thats a crucial point here.
I can't defend all of the NOI's rhetoric, but its basic that, 'by your fruits you will know them'. And I havnt heard anyone calling for violence against Jews in the NOI...mostly seems to be pointing out that Jews were complicit in the slave trade...things of that nature.
Well, I wish him the best.
10-05-2006, 12:24 PM
i like that.
to add on... as ur comment suggests, its important to keep in mind that we should allow people to be people. i can agree with the NOI on one point and disagree with them on another.
thats my biggest problem, the media or white minnesota (the representative jews in the media included) didnt allow any room for that... it was either "for" the NOI as a whole or "against" it as a whole, not allowing him to publically recognize the organization for all the good it does around the world.
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