The Democratic Party's Puzzling Connection to a 'Far-Right Extremist'

May 2, 2019

Journalists are writing stories about Instagram's decision to ban a number of prominent "far-right leaders" and "right-wing extremists" in an effort to crack down on misinformation and dangerous online behavior.

The banished far-right zealots include Infowars' Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopolous, Paul Joseph Watson, Paul Nehlen, Laura Loomer, and...

…Louis Farrakhan. 

That's according to the Washington Post, which to its credit has issued a correction since posting the following (now deleted) tweet:

As the Post noted in its correction, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a prominent anti-Semite who has led chants of "Death to Israel" in Tehran, was "incorrectly" included in its list of "far-right" individuals. It's the sort of mistake that could easily be shrugged off if not for the fact that the national media constantly makes, and almost always errs in one direction. On several occasions specifically involving Farrakhan, the media has engaged in some dubious behavior.

The Atlantic, for example, still features the follow headline on its site.

At the very least, Farrakhan is finally being recognized as an extremist in the wake of controversies surrounding his connection to the leaders of the Women's March and his praise for Ilhan Omar, the habitually anti-Semitic congresswoman from Minnesota. But characterizing him as "far-right" or "right-wing" is especially absurd considering his ties to the Democratic Party.

Not only has Farrakhan been a guest of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 2005, he was photographed at that meeting smiling next to then-Sen. Barack Obama. A CBC staffer reached out to the photographer, Askia Muhammed, requesting the photo. Instead, Muhammed sent the image to Farrakhan and kept one copy for himself. It wasn't published until 2018.

Farrakhan has close ties to former congressman and current Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison, who was called out (by the Washington Post) for falsely claiming to have "no relationship" with the Nation of Islam leader. In 2018, Farrakhan attend Aretha Franklin's funeral, where he sat next to Rev. Al Sharpton, former Democratic presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson, and former President Bill Clinton.

Media coverage of the funeral downplayed Farrakhan's presence at the event, in some cases cropping him out of photos of Bill Clinton. The Getty/AFP photo library includes a number of bizarrely off-center photos that only make sense if the intent was to exclude Farrakhan, who is just out of frame on the left.