Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim to be elected to Congress and a candidate to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, reportedly pulled the plug on a New York Times interview when he learned the newspaper planned to ask him about his connection to the extremely controversial Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan.
During his first congressional run in 2006, questions arose about Ellison's ties to Farrakhan. As outlined by The Weekly Standard, during his third year of law school at the University of Minnesota from 1989 to 1990, Ellison — using the pen name "Keith Hakim" — wrote very complimentary columns about the radical Muslim leader. He then went on to work with the Nation of Islam for 18 months.
Now Ellison, apparently concerned about the impact his connections to Farrakhan could have on his chances of becoming the next DNC chief, is not at all interested in talking about his past, according to the Times:
Aides to Mr. Ellison were going to make him available for a telephone interview, but then declined when informed that he would be asked about his past comments on Mr. Farrakhan. They emailed a list of his links to the Jewish community and a statement that said, “Democrats need an organizer who will energize the grass-roots across this country to build the party from the bottom up.”
While many are concerned about President-elect Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon and his past comments about Jews and minorities, Farrakhan has gone on the record as a rabid anti-Semite, according to the Anti-Defemation League, blaming Jews and Israel for 9/11 and saying they "don't fear America because they control it from within."
Not to mention Farrakhan frequently calls white people "devils."
In addition to Ellison, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison are interested in the post at the DNC.