House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., is taking heat for reportedly defending his controversial uncle, Leonard Jeffries, and antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in the 1990s.
Jeffries’ uncle was a black studies professor who “eventually lost his job over incendiary comments about Jewish people,” CNN reported Wednesday. Rep. Jeffries had previously “said he had only a ‘vague recollection’ of the controversy,” but CNN unearthed an article Jeffries wrote defending his uncle at the time.
“So, Jeffries and the Black Student Union invited his uncle to speak on campus following the controversy after this was protested by Jewish student groups,” CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski said on Wednesday.
“Jeffries actually led a press conference defending his uncle on campus, and he wrote an editorial in which he defended him and Louis Farrakhan writing, ‘Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Minister Louis Farrakhan have come under intense fire. Where do you think their interests lie? Dr. Jeffries has challenged the existing white supremacist educational system and longstanding distortion of history. His reward has been a media lynching, complete with character assassination and inflammatory, erroneous accusations.’ So that was then,” Kaczynski said.
The Wall Street Journal asked Jeffries about his uncle in 2013, after he was elected to Congress in 2012.
“He says, ‘when a lot of this controversy took place, my brother and I were away at school. There was no Internet during that era. I can’t even recall The Daily Binghamton, New York, area newspaper, but it wasn’t covering the things that the New York Post and Daily News were at the time,'” Kaczynski said.
Jeffries’ office did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment relating to CNN’s article about the controversy.
“So obviously,… we see him hosting a press conference. We see him writing an editorial defending him. We look at those Wall Street Journal quotes,” Kaczynski also said. “We can see that that has obviously severely undermined Jeffries’ claims that he told The Wall Street Journal. He’s also made similar claims over the years, recently in 2019, and he does often also like to point back to that Wall Street Journal interview when he does get questions about his uncle.”
Jeffries also wrote about about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and author Shelby Steele in the 1992 article that Kaczynski referenced.
“Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the rise of Black conservatives is that of their popular acceptance by the predominantly white media. Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, and Shelby Steele are hailed as our leaders and pointed to as examples for us to follow,” Jeffries wrote. “I find it suspect when the white power structure and their propaganda emissaries, the media, tell us who our leaders should be. Do you think that a ruling elite would promote individuals who seek to dismantle their vice-like grip on power? Of course not.”
Jeffries questioned where Thomas and Powell’s “interests lie.”
“Clarence Thomas was appointed by George Bush to the highest court in the nation,” Jeffries wrote. “Colin Powell was appointed by George Bush to lead the military establishment ‘policemen of the Wall Street Bankers,’ in the words of Cesar Agusto Sandino. Where do you think their interests lie?”
Jeffries also discussed “the House Negro” and “the Field Negro” in his article, specifically naming Thomas.
“There has been a recent trend in the Black political arena which I believe threatens to sustain the oppression of the Black masses. The phenomenon I refer to is the rise of the Black conservative,” Jeffries wrote. “The most notable indicator of this is the appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court.”
The House Negroes didn’t labor in the field, they were domestic servants. The House Negro was dressed up and was led to believe that he or she was better than those in the field.
Most importantly, the House Negro sought to emulate the white master. This emulation was not designed with the interests of the masses at heart. Rather, the motivating force was personal gain.
“For years, House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries has claimed he has only a ‘vague recollection’ of his uncle’s antisemitism,” RNC Research tweeted. “But CNN’s @KFILE has the receipts — and Jeffries is on record DEFENDING both his uncle AND Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.”
Christiana Stephenson, communications director for Jeffries, told CNN on Wednesday that “Leader Jeffries has consistently been clear that he does not share the controversial views espoused by his uncle over thirty years ago.”
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