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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Diana West: The Farrakhan Factor (www.washingtontimes.com)

Diana West: The Farrakhan Factor
www.washingtontimes.com

3/4/08

Transfixed by the two-candidate "horse race," maybe we didn't focus precisely on what happened in the home stretch of the last Democratic debate when Barack Obama tried to pick and nuance his way through a straight-ahead question from NBC's Tim Russert.

Q: Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan? (The question arose because the longtime racist and anti-Semitic leader of the racist and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam had delivered a two-hour speech devoted mainly to praising Mr. Obama's candidacy.)

Here is Mr. Obama's answer: "You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments. I think they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can't censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we're not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally, with Minister Farrakhan."

"Minister" Farrakhan? The honorific seems unduly deferential applied to a demagogue who, just to recall a few pearls of his noxiousness, has labeled Judaism a "gutter religion," said "the white man" is "the anti-Christ," and suggested the post-Katrina failure of the New Orleans levees was a "white" plot to flood "black" neighborhoods. But what is most important here is to note Mr. Obama's failure to take a stand on Farrakhan support: "I obviously can't censor him" — whether Mr. Obama could censor him wasn't the question — "but it is not support I sought." Kind of tepid, no? Mr. Russert tried again.

To read more: http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080304/EDITORIAL04/280164763/-1/RSS_EDITORIAL

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