It was an image that caused quite a stir Friday afternoon. There on the stage presiding over Aretha Franklin’s epic funeral extravaganza was former President Bill Clinton alongside former presidential candidates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. And immediately next to those three, in the same honored position as the ex-president and the civil rights leaders was anti-semite, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The controversial, fringe leader who has been accused of anti-semitism, anti-white racism, anti-gay slurs, and sexism was prominently featured in the marathon television coverage but somehow didn’t show up in the social media coverage from some of America’s major networks.
It was clearly a deliberate choice to keep Farrakhan from the image thus protecting Democratic Party elder statesmen Clinton, Jackson, and Sharpton from being directly associated with the controversial hate-monger.
Given how every elected Republican is forced over and over again to “disavow” the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer and other race-baiting figures who inject themselves, uninvited, into the conservative movement, you’d think at some point Democrats would be challenged to disavow the Nation of Islam icon.
However, Farrakhan and his movement continue to be popular, it appears, with the African-American community in major urban centers and he is celebrated by the likes of Rep. Kieth Ellison, Rep. Maxine Waters, and Rep. Andre Carson. So, apparently, mainstream Democrats like Clinton find it less palatable to alienate those voters than it is to stand up against racist, gay-bashing, anti-semites like Farrakhan.
Duly noted. And the networks who delivered protection from an uncomfortable photo-op is also so noted.