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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Anti-Semitic Flyer Attacks Democrat in Primary

Pam's House Blend:

Boy what a trifecta in that headline - and there's a dash of homophobia for extra seasoning!

In Tennessee's 9th district (Memphis and environs), Rep. Steve Cohen, who is Jewish, is being attacked in an flier (left, "Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the Jews hate Jesus") distributed by a black homobigoted pastor from Murphreesboro not even from Cohen's district, Rev. George Brooks. Cohen's opponent, Nikki Tinker, who happens to be black as well, and was called to condemn the flier. (WaPo)

From the Washington Post:

While he says he has plenty of support from the "old guard" African-American leaders in his district, Cohen is having difficultly wooing influential black colleagues from Congress to campaign on his behalf. He'll surely be looking for support from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who is scheduled to be honored as this year's April 4th Foundation awards banquet in Memphis along with actor/singer Harry Belafonte - whose sister, Shirley Cooks, coincidentally, serves as Cohen's chief of staff.

Cohen battled racial and religious innuendo in his 2006 campaign for Congress, but not anything as blunt as the flier he received last week. After winning, he tried unsuccessfully to become the first white member of the Congressional Black Caucus, leaving him decidedly white.

The Malcontent comments:

So why am I writing about this, apart from my complete disdain for anti-Semites? Because Cohen has also been attacked in the past by black ministers for supporting the inclusion of gays in hate-crimes legislation.
The story broke yesterday, and yet, as far as I can tell, the list of people and entities that have failed to respond in any way to this vicious fusillade include Tinker herself, who declined a request for comment, the Democratic Party (in the guise of either the DCCC or DNC), the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

One would think that the Log Cabin Republicans would be all over this, but they aren’t. It would be a great way to show that anti-Semitism and anti-gay animus, particularly in the realm of political campaigns, are not the sole province of the GOP. It would also be a good way to set themselves apart from groups like HRC and NGLTF, with whom some critics say Log Cabin works too closely, too often. Log Cabin, and anyone who claims to be promoting equality and dignity for gays, Jews or any other minority group, needs to loudly condemn such bald hatred, no matter which political party (or race) from which it emanates.

Instead, HRC, with its laser-beam focus on gay-rights issues, is busy yammering on about health care, while Matt Foreman is busy attacking one of the strongest supporters of gay issues in history.