Democratic Illinois Governor Criticized for Farrakhan Supporter on the Hate Crimes Commission
Pam Spaulding says it well:
Why does anyone take this man seriously, other than as a hate monger? He's no better than Don Wildmon, Dobson, or the rest of those clowns, yet too many black politicians give Louis Farrakhan legitimacy that he doesn't deserve in the slightest.
There's been quite a controversy in Illinois over a Louis Farrakhan assistant, Claudette Marie Muhammad, getting appointed to the Illinois Hate Crimes commission. Left leaning and right leaning gay blogs are outraged. Jewish members of the hate crimes commission are now resigning in protest.
Although Muhammad was appointed to the commission in August, it wasn't until recently, when she invited commission members to attend a speech by Farrakhan, that word of her affiliation with the Nation of Islam began to spread.
During Farrakhan's speech Sunday, he said "the Hollywood Jews" are responsible for promoting homosexuality and other "filth of Hollywood."
Muhammad issued a statement this week in which she said she believes in "fairness to all people regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or religious beliefs." She also said she supports human rights for gays and lesbians.
The conflict continued to gain steam when Blagojevich said Wednesday that Muhammad shouldn't be judged by a history of anti-Semitic and anti-gay statements made by Farrakhan, but rather by her own words in support of tolerance and acceptance.
Nasatir said he was "utterly disappointed" in the governor's decision to stand by Muhammad and that her statement was "wholly inadequate" and "in no way condemns or apologizes for Minister Farrakhan's hate-filled rhetoric that pervades the message and beliefs of the Nation of Islam."
The Chicago Tribune editorialized that the Governor should ask for Claudette Marie Muhammad's resignation.
Rick Garcia, Executive Director of Equality Illinois defended Farrakhan's assistant in the Windy City Times and in mainstream media.
Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois, told WCT that Farrakhan's three-hour speech was a mixed bag. "At one point, although Farrakhan said that the Koran [ as well as ] Hebrew and Christian scriptures do not accept homosexuality, he also said that gays, lesbians, and transgenders should not be the victims of violence and should be respected," Garcia stated. Ultimately, according to the gay-rights activist, Farrakhan "is a little better than he used to be; he's certainly not as bad as Pat Robertson. What else is there to expect? It's vintage Farrakhan."
However, Garcia stressed that the real story centered not around Farrakhan, but around Muhammad. "The bottom line is if it's acceptable for Sister Muhammad to sit on the commission—especially when the ADL [ Anti-Defamation League ] lists the Nation of Islam as a hate group," he contended. [ On its Web site, the ADL lists quotes that Farrakhan has uttered, including, "Listen, Jewish people don't have no hands that are free of the blood of us. They owned slave ships, they bought and sold us," which the site contends was uttered during the 2005 Saviour's Day speech. ]
And what is Garcia's assessment of Muhammad? "So far, she has been nothing but the embodiment of what the committee should be about," said Garcia, who has known her for a few months and who also sits on the commission. She talks about Muslims; Hebrews; and gays and lesbians as well as the need to work together. She"s a very good commissioner."
He added that she "shouldn't sit if she demonstrated anti-gay or anti-Semitic behavior while on this commission." Garcia stated "if she should sit there as a member of the Nation of Islam [ because Farrakhan is its leader ] , then I, as a Roman Catholic, should not sit there either," alluding to the words and actions of Pope Benedict XVI.
As an example of what Muhammad has done, Garcia pointed to a proclamation involving Blagojevich and a huge, upcoming event: "She initiated the governor’s proclamation welcoming Gay Games participants to Illinois."
Dan Blatt from GayPatriot raises a good point: where are the National Gay organizations on this one?
Excerpts from Farrakhan's 2006 Savior's Day Speech as compiled by the Anti-Defamation League.
On Jews and Gays
-- "These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength...It's the wicked Jews the false Jews that are promoting Lesbianism, homosexuality. It's wicked Jews, false Jews that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!"
-- "And the Christian right, with your blindness to that wicked state of Israel...can that be the holy land, and you have gay parades, and want to permit to have a gay parade in Jerusalem when no prophet ever sanctioned that behavior. HOW CAN THAT BE THE ISRAEL, how can that be Jerusalem with secular people running the holy land when it should be the holy people running the holy land. That land is gonna be cleansed with BLOOD."
On Jewish control of the American Government
-- "Is Jerusalem surrounded by armies now? These neo-cons and Zionists have manipulated Bush and the American government and our boys and girls are dying in Iraq and in Afghanistan for the cause of Israel, not for the cause of America! Israel is the tail waggin' the dog, which is America. You may not like me, and I really don't give a damn. I'm throwin' the gauntlet down today.
-- "I'm warning you America. You better get rid of them neo-cons. That's the synagogue of Satan. They have made America weak. You're a weak nation now, and your country has been taken from you by the synagogue of Satan. They own congress. That's why the congress ain't right."
On Justifying Hate
-- "God does not love everybody. He said he loved Jacob but he hated Esau. So if God is our example and he can love and he can hate then don't be afraid to love and don't be afraid to hate."
I'd put Louis Farrakhan in the same category as Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps.