In the wake of both the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Scandal and a triumphantly victorious Trump Campaign, the Demoractic Party has been cast into stark disarray and many within it’s ranks have been clamoring hungrily for new leadership. One of the most popular prospects for the now vacant (with the departure of Schultz) position of Chair for the Democratic National Committee is Keith Ellison, a radically liberal congressman from Minnesota. He is most widely known, not for any particular piece of legislature or oration, but rather for being America’s first Muslim Congressman. This is not a trivial fact given the hefty push-backs Congressman Ellison has been receiving from both the political Left and Right.
The lines of division between Ellison and Clinton loyalists like party-chair competitors, Kristen Gillibrand and Obama Loyalist Cory Booker are two-fold. The first point being that Ellison is ideologically aligned with Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders (who has since endorsed him) and might very well run against Obama-favored Labor Secretary, Tom Perez. Such a competition seems likely to reignite the smouldering flames of resentment between the Democratic Party’s ultra-liberal socialist wing and it’s more moderate, dyed-in-the-wool constituency – and after so many shuttering blows, further ideological division would serve only to weaken the party’s chance of mounting any kind of successful future push against the quick congealing Trump administration and it’s fairly sizable grassroots constituency.
Secondly, Mr. Ellison is a devout protege of the controversial Black Separatist, Louis Farrakhan (formerly Louis X), the man who lead the afro-centric religious movement known as the Nation of Islam (of which, Ellison was, for many years, a devoted member). Many critics of both Farrakhan and Ellison have taken issue with the racially centered, identitarian nature of the religious movement as being (what else) racist.
However, this is of little concern to me, what is more concerning is the often violent rhetoric and sometimes bizarre practices of those associated with the NOI. Some of these strange practices include the intensive study of Dianetics, the metaphysical, psuedo-scientific mind tuning methods created by Scientology founder and fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard. The group also has a history of hyperbolic and volatile criticism of whites, Christians (especially Catholics) and Jews, with the state of Israel being a centerpiece of long, bloviating tirades.
What is quite notable is that many of these aforementioned tirades occurred directly under the purview of Mr. Ellison himself. For instance, in a 1995 rally organized by Ellison, a NOI speaker named Khalid Abdul Mohammed stated, with white-hot fervor, that, “If words were swords the chests of Jews, gays and Christians would be pierced!” Mr. Ellison, rather than distance himself from such violent declarations, continued for many years to defend such speakers.
Such action are both odd and rather deplorable but, unfortunately, Ellison decided that covering and organizing for dogmatic, sociopathic-sounding violence-mongers was not quite enough and that lying about his past affiliations was the next logical step. A good example of Mr. Ellison’s abject dishonesty in this regard can be observed in 2006 during a bid for congress where the Jewish Community Relations Council expressed grave concerns over Ellison’s past involvement with Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam group. Mr. Ellison replied that such past ties were highly overstated and that his only involvement with Farrakhan and the NOI was during a 18 month period in which he assisted with the religious leader’s Million Man March. This statement is manifestly, objectively false. If that was not enough, however, Ellison also stated that he was completely ignorant of Farrakhan’s views on the Jewish people. Again, another falsity.
My main contention with this is not anything which Farrakhan or the NOI said or whether or not Ellison agreed with it, but rather the fact that a man who is so ensconced in the corridors of power deems it necessary to lie about it. If Ellison this is the very best that the Democrats have to offer then, not only will they lose during Trump’s reelection, they will deserve to.