America Needs Progressives to Shun Farrakhan And Conservatives to Take on Bannon
19th Century English scientist Francis Galton invented the dog whistle to message canines at high decibel levels and great distances. In 2018, it seems political dog whistles are manipulating humans with ugly messages.
When President Trump praised departing Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, but also described him as a “globalist,” the president was accused of using an anti-Semitic dog whistle. That was nonsense, but it resonates when applied to a tweetstorm by Ann Coulter smearing every high profile Jew, right and left, as insufficiently patriotic “globalists.” Racking up thousands of “likes,” including from Neo-Nazis, Coulter lit up right-wing web sites, 4Chan and on Gab.ai, a micro-blogging service that does not censor hate speech.
If the extreme right developed hyper-acute canine hearing, the political left, is deaf and dumb. A case in point is their reaction to perennial anti-Semite, Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Born in 1933, the year Hitler came to power, he’s still going strong in his eighties spewing hatred of Jews and Israel.
Farrakhan’s favorite “Black Muslim” theological riff -inherited from NOI’s founder Elijah Muhammad, is the fantastic notion that “the evil white race” was invented by the Mecca-born mad scientist “Yakub” (Jacob) on the Aegean island of “Pelan”. Farrakhan keeps pushing the odious fantasy, even though Elijah Muhammad’s own son long ago repudiated it.
Farrakhan’s allure extends to many elites. Veteran Chicago pol, Congressman Danny Davis, declared: “I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him. I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being.” Asked specifically about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic statements, “Davis was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.” But then Congressman Davis backtracked, stating that he would like to know what Farrakhan has said about Jews “recently.” Now, Davis has belatedly criticized Farrakhan.
Davis’ waffling is not surprising since he represents inner city Chicago neighborhoods, long Nation of Islam strongholds. But what about Farrakhan’s intergenerational political romance with Tamika Mallory, co-chair of January 2017’s Women’s March against the incoming Trump Administration? Mallory, an avowed Farrakhan admirer attended his recent annual Saviour’s Day Address and had her photo taken with him. Rather than apologize, she doubled down, comparing Farrakhan to Jesus and proudly shared her attendance on Instagram.
The left/right divide over Farrakhan came to a head on The View. “It’s not just that she attended,” co-host Meghan McCain stated. “She posted a photo to Instagram calling Farrakhan G.O.A.T. which means greatest of all time.”
When Valerie Jarrett jumped in to say that leaders sometimes have to work with people they disagree with, citing the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, McCain rejected the comparisons … “There’s a difference between meeting with someone who was a hate leader…He(Farrakhan) is in the same vein, to me, as David Duke. If you are so hateful and you think Hitler was a great man, I don’t think you deserve a platform.”
In 2018, there are obvious ideological differences between Farrakhan and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville. Yet Nation of Islam and American Nazis like George Lincoln Rockwell started informally collaborating in the early 1960s, as did Holocaust Denier Willis Carto in the 1980s. Today, white racist Charlottesville organizer Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan to work together toward “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”
At his recent Saviour’s Day Address, Farrakhan escalated his attacks declaring the “powerful Jews…are my enemy… “Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.” At the Academy Awards “time is up” means one thing. To Farrakhan it represents his everlasting threat against the Jewish people.
All this is happening as extreme right European nationalists are using variations on Holocaust Denial to rewrite their nations’ history, seeking to whitewash the crimes of collaborators during the Nazi Holocaust. Across the continent from France to Poland, far-rightists are mainstream power players. A few days ago, exiled While House political adviser Steve Bannon, seeking to become the dog whisperer of the far right on both sides of the Atlantic, lauded these movements in a speech before Marine Le Pen’s Nationalist Front in Paris.
To stop the hate from poisoning America, Conservatives must lead the way in repudiating the vile anti-Semitic dog whistle. Progressives must also finally denounce Farrakhan’s Jew-hatred.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.