Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Congressman Condemns Farrakhan After Previously Praising Him

Rep. Danny Davis issued a statement on Thursday condemning the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, days after an interview in which he said he had “no problems” with the preacher who has been accused of anti-Semitism for decades.

Davis, a Democrat who has represented parts of Chicago since 1997, told the conservative Daily Caller last month that he thought Farrakhan was an “outstanding human being,” and claimed in another interview last week that “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth.”

After criticism from the Jewish community, Davis issued a statement on Monday saying he was not anti-Semitic and had worked to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, but did not mention Farrakhan specifically.

In a follow-up statement on Thursday evening, he explicitly distanced himself from Farrakhan. “Let me be clear: I reject, condemn and oppose Minister Farrakhan’s views and remarks regarding the Jewish people and the Jewish religion,” he said. “Those who have attempted to defame me either do not know me or my lifetime record or are deceitfully and deceptively attempting to use this as an opportunity to foment division and hatred between the African American and Jewish communities.”

The second statement came after J Street, the dovish Israel-related group, told JTA Wednesday that they were reevaluated their endorsement of Davis.

“We take anti-Semitism quite seriously,” J Street’s statement read. “We are currently in conversation with Representative Davis’ office about this issue. We will get back to you shortly with a more extensive response.”

Two Democratic members of Congress who had appeared at events with Farrakhan over the years, Reps. Barbara Lee and Gregory Meeks, issued their own condemnations of Farrakhan on Twitter on Thursday.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.