Patrick Gaspard, a former Obama administration official and president of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, blasted former president Bill Clinton on Friday for condemning Stokely Carmichael, a racial separatist who called Hitler the only white man he could respect.
Gaspard slammed Clinton for referring to Carmichael unfavorably in a eulogy for the late civil-rights leader John Lewis. Clinton said civil-rights activists for a brief period "went a little too far towards Stokely."
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"I didn’t want to tweet this during the funeral for John Lewis, but who is Bill Clinton to show up at a black funeral to attack Stokely Carmichael? Stokely was ours," Gaspard said in a tweet on Friday. "He was targeted for destruction by the FBI and forced into exile. He gave all for us. Bill Clinton ain’t no hero."
As Lewis’s successor leading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, Carmichael pressed blacks to embrace direct confrontation rather than peaceful demonstration. He opposed most forms of coalition-building with white liberals and pressed blacks to "close ranks" and exclude whites from the organization.
"Stokely had become a fierce anti-white black nationalist, and eventually … expelled whites from the organization—even though many had sacrificed during Freedom Summer and after," Hudson Institute adjunct fellow Ron Radosh told the Washington Free Beacon.
Carmichael also peddled anti-Semitic tropes, telling the British journalist David Frost that he believed Hitler was "the greatest white man." In remarks at the University of Maryland in 1990, Carmichael complained, "Zionist pigs have been harassing us everywhere…. And when this anger rises, [we] will snap our fingers and finish them off."
Abraham Foxman, the former president of the Anti-Defamation League, blasted Carmichael as "an unabashed racial separatist and anti-Semite who often uses the slogan, ‘the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.’"
Carmichael’s philosophy became the core of the Black Power movement, and he worked to advocate for a pan-African socialist revolution as an American expatriate in Ghana and Guinea.
"Those of us who advocate Black Power are quite clear in our own minds that a ‘non-violent’ approach to civil rights is an approach that black people cannot afford and a luxury white people do not deserve," Carmichael said in his 1967 book Black Power: The Politics of Liberation.
Gaspard and Open Society Foundations did not respond to a request for comment before press time.