Of the racist ghouls hanging around the fringes of the American left, none has been so prolifically offensive and genuinely bizarre as longtime Nation of Islam boss Louis Farrakhan. There are plenty of antisemites over there, for instance, but few which would actually suggest that world Jewry “thought they could trust in Hitler, and they helped him get the Third Reich on the road.”
Most politicians who have been linked with Farrakhan in any manner have tried frantically to distance themselves from the malignant octogenarian with all due speed. Rep. Keith Ellison, once a member of the Nation, has repeatedly tried to remove the Farrakhan-induced stain from his career, going as far as to write a two-page letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas repudiating both the organization and its leaders when he was first nominated for Congress in 2006.
Other politicians have it a bit easier. In Barack Obama’s case, he allegedly just had the Congressional Black Caucus pressure a photographer into suppressing a picture of him with the black nationalist leader.
That’s at least the excuse given by photographer Askia Muhammad, who captured Obama in flagrante racisto with Farrakhan just a few years before the first-term Illinois senator would mount a successful bid for president.
This meeting of the minds, such as it was, happened at a 2005 Congressional Black Caucus meeting where Farrakhan was present. It presents a smiling Obama together with the Nation of Islam leader, smiling shoulder-to-shoulder.
While one might first ask why Farrakhan was at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in the first place, the group’s behavior afterwards was even more sketchy, at least according to Muhammad’s account.
“A staff member from the black caucus called me and said ‘we have to have the picture back,’ and I was kind of taken aback,” Muhammad told Fox News. “And we talked a couple of times on the phone after that, and I said ‘Okay, I will give the picture back to Minister Farrakhan’s chief of staff.’”
And the Congressional Black Caucus alleged acted with all due rapidity; Muhammad reported that the caucus managed to contact him before he got off Capitol Hill because “they sensed the future.”
“Minister Farrakhan and his reputation would hurt someone trying to win acceptance in the broad cross-section,” he said.
“I gave the original disk to him and in a sense swore myself to secrecy because I had quietly made a copy for myself,” Muhammad added. “It’s my picture, it’s my art, and it’s my intellectual property. I owned it and I wanted to keep it.”
Apparently, the photo wasn’t Obama’s only dalliance with Farrakhan’s organization, if Muhammad is to be believed; the photographer says Obama had Nation of Islam-involved staffers in his Chicago office up to and including his run for Senate in 2004.
“In fact he had people from the Nation of Islam working on his staff and in his office in the Chicago, his Senate staff. The members of the Nation of Islam helped him in his Senate campaign and on the South Side of Chicago,” Muhammad claimed.
As for whether or not the photo would have made an impact in the 2008 election, in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire, Muhammad said the picture would have “absolutely would have made a difference.”
And one can see why. Lest you think that Farrakhan is just a bit of a nutter, here are just a few of the statements that probably had black caucus members scrambling to get Askia Muhammad’s phone number the second after the picture was taken:
“White people are potential humans — they haven’t evolved yet.”
“I believe that for the small numbers of Jewish people in the United States, they exercise a tremendous amount of influence on the affairs of government …Yes, they exercise extraordinary control, and black people will never be free in this country until they are free of that kind of control … “
“The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”
“America is in trouble, and I say God is about to wipe this nation from the face of the Earth. I’m not crazy, I’m not drunk, how long do you think a nation can do evil and not face the wrath of god?”
“Gadhafi is a revolutionary, he’s my friend, he’s my brother. And I would never deny him because you don’t like him… I love him.”
“I don’t own Hollywood. Who depicted black people? Who writes the books? Who writes the plays, the songs that make us look less than human? Do you mean to tell me that Jews have never done any evil to black people?”
Farrakhan, some readers might not know, was a calypso singer known as “The Charmer” before his conversion to the Nation of Islam. And by those quotes, you can certainly see how he earned that moniker.
Sadly, it’s unlikely that this photo is going to make too much of a difference for those who blindly follow the cult that’s built up around our 44th president — a cult whose tolerant acolytes talk in hushed, reverent tones about how the object of their adulation healed America and brought us together, and how he could have done so much more healing and bringing-togetherness had those filthy racist zombies who deigned to disagree with any aspect of his agenda stopped being so closed-minded, moved to Seattle, gotten a job in tech, taken up polyamory and started drinking fair trade coffee.
For those who don’t buy into the cult, the photo seems to emphasize what we’ve known all along: Obama had plenty of dalliances, even full-blown alliances, with fringe members of the ultra-left that the former president always seemed to assiduously know when to drop.
Those who raised questions about Obama confederates like Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright were told, politely but firmly by those on the left or in the media, that Obama had disowned these individuals and moved on; any further mention of these associations would end with accusations of prejudice or talk of tinfoil haberdashery.
Yet, imagine if the president was spotted palling around with David Duke during his campaign. Or if the Freedom Caucus had invited Richard Spencer to a meeting. The hue and cry would not subside until there were mass resignations. And yet, this photograph has been received with little more than a shrug by the media at large.
For those doing a fair and clear-eyed assessment of our 44th president sometime in the future — safe from the pitched battles being fought in the cultural arena at the moment — the photo of Obama and Farrakhan, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus’ alleged reaction to it, are more significant than how they’re being played at the moment.
Obama was a member of a group that apparently invited one of America’s most notorious racists to a major event. Did the senator walk out? No. Did he object to Farrakhan’s presence? Judging by the fact that he certainly seems to be a) aware that the photo was being taken, b) aware of who was next to him, and c) perfectly happy to be in it, the answer to that seems to be no. What he and the Congressional Black Caucus objected to, or at least what we can deduce from Askia Muhammad’s story, is that this photo might have let on a little more about then-Sen. Obama than potential primary voters might care to know.
Without any other plausible explanation — the Congressional Black Caucus has refused comment and it seems, from the look of things, nobody has even attempted to get the former president on record — this is what we must conclude.
The Tolerant One — the man who would take the White House three years after this picture was snapped on a nebulous platform few can remember specific details from, other than the words “hope” and “change” were used a lot — must not be seen with one of this country’s foremost agents of intolerance. And so, he wasn’t, all thanks to political pressure and some quick thinking by a group of folks who weren’t terribly ashamed to share an event with Louis Farrakhan, just to be seen with him. Nice work.