House Minority Leader Hakim Jeffries has come under fire for an editorial he wrote while a college student at Binghamton University.
Jeffries defended his uncle, black studies professor Leonard Jeffries, as well as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in the post. CNN picked up the article again this week on “Lead with Jake Tapper.”
Leonard Jeffries was criticized in the 1990s for his comments about the slave trade and the involvement of “rich Jews”. He also claimed that a “conspiracy, premeditated and planned, and a program carried out outside of Hollywood” by Jewish film executives was responsible for denigrating blacks in film. Farrakhan has previously called Judiasim a “dirty religion”.
Leonard Jeffries was condemned for his comments by New York City Mayor David Dinkins, New York Governor Mario Cuomo and the Anti-Defamation League. After a legal battle, the professor left his position at the City University of New York in 1995.
After the men received backlash for their comments, Jeffries defended his uncle and Farrakhan in a 1992 op-ed condemning black conservatives, white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan.
“Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Minister Louis Farrakhan have been heavily criticized,” Jeffries wrote. “Where do you think their interests are based? Dr. Jeffries has railed against the current white-dominated education system and long-standing historical distortions. The prize is full of character assassinations and inflammatory misrepresentations.” It’s a media hoax.
Hakeem Jeffries compared black conservatives to “House Negroes.”
“House Negroes didn’t toil in the fields, they were house servants. House wore a negro and made them believe that he or she was better than anyone in the field. Above all, House Negro wanted to imitate the white master He wrote. “The home Negro of the days of slavery and the black conservative of today are both opportunists interested in finding some happiness for themselves in the present social order.
In the year Shortly after being elected to Congress in 2012, Jeffries They spoke The Wall Street Journal He said he had a “clear memory” of the controversy surrounding his uncle and Farrakhan in 2013, but was not in college at the time and repeatedly cited statements to the WSJ when asked about the controversy.
“And when there was a lot of controversy and my brother and I were away from school,” he he said.. “There was no internet back then and I can’t even remember a daily newspaper being produced in the Binghamton, New York area that didn’t cover what the New York Post and Daily News did at the time.”
CNN reports that Jeffries knows more about the controversy than he’s letting on and, while on the board of the university’s Black Student Union, invited his uncle to speak at the school. Leonard Jeffries accepted the invitation and reiterated his comments to 800 people that Jewish moguls in Hollywood are “anti-black.” He defended himself by comparing the reaction he received from the Jewish community to that of the Nazis.
“It is ironic that members of the Jewish community are forced to adopt a position that is anti-democratic and… brutally pro-Nazi,” he said. he said..
Jeffries’ spokeswoman, Christiana Stephenson, told the newspaper that the House Minority Leader disagreed with her uncle’s comments.
“Leader Jeffries has been consistently clear that he does not share the controversial views expressed by his uncle 30 years ago,” Stephenson said.
Conservatives were quick. Call Jeffries is anti-Semitic. Byron, a black Republican representing Florida’s 19th district, challenged Donald Jeffries to a debate.
“I’m done with fake apologies. Let’s have an honest debate about black conservatism and black liberalism,” he said. He wrote. “Let’s have a real conversation about whose policies will solve not just black America, but all of America. What the people want is a debate. I’m ready @hakeemjeffries.
Florida Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz defended Jeffries and noted the Jewish values of love and kindness and his leadership “in the face of hatred.”
“As native NYers, Leader @RepJeffries and I are quick, dear friends. I saw how he passed on the Jewish teachings of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Gemilut Hasadim (love and kindness). While others promote anti-Semitism, Hakeem Jeffries always leads in the face of hatred.
Rep. Dean Benson Phillips, D-Minnesota, defended the House Minority Leader, calling Jeffries a “staunch advocate for the Jewish community.”
“Leader @RepJeffries He wrote. “Few Americans are more committed to the Jewish community and more hostile to all communities than Hakim Jeffries. #truth”
Others defended Jeffries on social media and noted his commitment to fighting hate.
“It’s been over 30 years since that college op-ed. He wrote A Twitter user. “If Jeffries shares his uncle’s anti-Semitic views, we know for sure. Instead, he seems to have strongly condemned all forms of racism and bigotry in his political career.
“Someone on the GOP side is trying to smear Hakeem Jeffries. It doesn’t work,” he said @juaelz1.
“Dusting 30 years of history? …someone decided Jeffries had to go. Wonder who they chose as the new minority leader? RightWing_Vet wrote.