Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Danny Davis' Primary Opponent Tackles His Farrakhan Love

Many of you are no doubt aware of the recent controversy where a Women's March leader was cozying up to Louis Farrakhan (you can read my take on it here in Haaretz, or a complimenting one I wrote on this blog). After a lot of foot-dragging, the Women's March leadership has finally issued a statement that says Farrakhan's antisemitism, homophobia, and transphobia are not aligned with their values. Does it suffice? This thread gives a taste of my and others' reactions.

But sadly, the Women's March isn't the only progressive entity that just got caught playing footsie with Farrakhan.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) told the Daily Caller (sidenote: who on his staff was dumb enough to let him speak to the Daily Caller?) that Farrakhan was an "outstanding human being", then said he was misquoted, then re-reversed course to say "I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan ... The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question."

Davis actually has a Democratic primary challenger this year in Anthony Clark, and I guess it's not surprising that he'd be the main political figure to jump on this (Davis' colleagues in the Democratic caucus have kept quiet). But while beating an ousting an entrenched incumbent is always hard, it's revealing that Clark thinks that snuggling up to Farrakhan is a valid attack point in a Democratic primary in a plurality-Black district.

(Both Clark and Davis sit on the left-edge of the Democratic Party; Clark's primary pitch is that Davis has become too enmeshed in the establishment and has stopped actually working for the progressive reforms he claims to support).

UPDATE: J Street, which had previously endorsed Davis, is reaching out to his office for comment and may "reconsider" its endorsement.


Joe in Australia said...

The phrase "the Jewish question" has a long history in antisemitism. Maybe it's just unfortunate phrasing, but I don't see any reason to give Davis the benefit of the doubt here.

Doc_P said...

Joe I agree with you 100%. I also think that it is instructive that I haven't heard a lot of voices in the Democratic Party speaking up about Davis. And while Gary Cohn was correctly taken to task for not speaking up after Trump's post Charlottesville remarks and only resigning after his dispute over economic policy, the silence over some of the leaders of the Women's March cozying up to farrakhan has been notable. The only people to bring it up that I have seen are Jewish, like the host of this website and Emily Shire.
I consider myself liberal-progressive, but the refusal by the left to deal with their "Jewish question" is profoundly disturbing.