Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass? by the Forward

Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

Image by Getty Images

It has been a month of purging on Twitter. Accounts of well-known conservatives, whose rhetoric has been deemed unacceptable, were shut down with no notice or explanation. GayPatriot, RightWingNews, and Gavin McInnes all were disappeared.

Dd they all tweet something beyond the pale? It’s possible. But no one could point to exactly what. The email they received was Kafkaesque. “Your account has been suspended for violating the Twitter rules. Specifically, for: ________.” The “for” remained blank.

Opinion | Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

At the same time, Louis Farrakhan made the news again for tweeting what he always tweets — that Jews are the scourge of the earth.

This time, he posted a video of himself giving a speech where he insisted that he wasn’t an anti-Semite but rather an anti-termite.

The words came at the end of a rant about his favorite target. As part of the rant, Farrakhan thanks Jews who he says “don’t like” him. “Thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet,” he gloats. “I’m not mad at you because you’re so stupid.”

He ends the video with the line he highlighted in his tweet: “I’m not anti-Semite, I’m anti termite.”

And as usual, the response was, well, muted.

This is shameful. And yet, it’s not surprising. Somehow, every time he compares Jews to insects or accuses us of causing transgenderism, Louis Farrakhan gets a big pass from the left.


When the Unite the Rally happened in Charlottesville in 2017, there was a Twitter campaign to identify random marchers. The media gleefully outed these people in the name of reporting on the campaign. Marchers lost jobs and were shamed in their communities.

Opinion | Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

Of course, no one should feel too sorry for the wannabee Nazis marching with their tiki torches and shouting “Jews will not replace us.”

Fast forward to Farrakhan’s speech. When he triumphantly calls Jews termites, the crowd he is addressing is pictured laughing, and clapping.

And yet, there is no campaign to find out who these people are, despite the fact that Farrakhan and the Charlottesville protesters have the exact same message. Who are these people hanging on Farrakhan’s ever hateful word? No one seems to want to find out.

Again — it’s awful but not surprising.

Farrakhan has long had that kind of protection from powerful people and the media. Newsweek called his termite comment a ”joke” — while still acknowledging that he did actually compare Jews to termites.

It took Facebook a full two days to remove his “termite” video after it was posted. His page, however, did not get removed, so he’s free to post future videos about those “satanic Jews” he can’t stop talking about.

The “termite” video remains live on Twitter. Anti-Semites can watch his video on a loop.

Who else gets this kind of soft treatment?

What Farrakhan manages to expose more than anything else is how acceptable it is to hate Jews, to despise our existence and to remain in the public eye despite that.

He’s right that Jews “put his name all over the planet” but it’s not because he is powerful; in fact his lack of actual power is frequently highlighted by the left as a reason to ignore him.

They are right. He’s not powerful. Farrakhan matters not because of his own power but because of his relationship to the actually powerful.

Recall Barack Obama grinning alongside Farrakhan in a photo that was intentionally suppressed so it wouldn’t harm Obama’s reelection chances.

Recall Snoop Dogg, Dave Chappelle, Puff Daddy and other celebrities at Farrakhan’s 25th anniversary of the Million Man March. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith made a $150,000 donation to the march.

Think of the leaders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, openly celebrating Farrakhan.

These people can’t have never heard his anti-Semitic comments. They must ultimately just not care.

In March, Rep. Danny K. Davis of Illinois said of Farrakhan, “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth.”

Opinion | Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

The “Jewish question,” of course is what Adolf Hitler attempted to answer with the Holocaust and it didn’t get much bigger than that for Jews.

Davis’ comments prompted the New York Times to run a piece titled “Why Louis Farrakhan Is Back in the News” as if he had ever really left.

The piece quoted Farrakhan’s fans and gave them a chance to explain and repent. Mallory was quoted explaining she is warm toward Farrakhan because the Nation of Islam was there for her during difficult moments of her life.

No similar piece will ever be written about the lost boy who finds the white nationalist movement when things in his life have fallen apart, and then doesn’t abandon it after hearing the full noxiousness of the comments they make.

And that’s a good thing! It’s correct and moral not to focus on whatever good is accidentally done by hateful people like David Duke or Richard Spencer, on whatever lives they helped or communities they might have aided.

Duke and Spencer are rightly shunned by the mainstream. Why isn’t Farrakhan?

Opinion | Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

Farrakhan is wrong. Jews should pay attention to him and make his name known around the planet. And they should make the names of those who stand by him known too. They matter far more important than Farrakhan himself.

Karol Markowicz is a writer living in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter: @karol.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Why Does The Left Give Louis Farrakhan A Pass?

Thank you!

This article has been sent!