Rep. Danny Davis (D., Ill.) released a new statement Thursday evening denouncing anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan after an earlier, weaker statement led liberal Jewish group J Street to say it was reevaluating its endorsement of him.
A month early, The Forward reports, Davis called Farrakhan an "outstanding human being."
The congressman had also downplayed the importance of Farrakhan's anti-Semitism by saying "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' statement Monday did not address his own words about "the Jewish question" and instead blamed media for asking him about the controversy, although it was titled "Statement of Danny K. Davis on Anti-Semitism."
"Recently the ultra-right propaganda site The Daily Caller attempted to impugn my character," his statement began.
"History is replete with the horrific consequences of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, male chauvinism and other forms of hatred and bigotry and discrimination," Davis wrote, saying that those who promote those views are "pursuing an agenda which I will never accept."
That didn't go far enough, a problem his new statement,"Statement of Danny K. Davis on Anti-Semitism (Follow Up)" attempted to fix. The updated statement, however, still cast blame on "attempts to question my commitment to these principles because I did not specifically single out the views and remarks of Minister Louis Farrakhan in that statement."
He then specifically condemned Farrakhan, saying, "So let me be clear: I reject, condemn and oppose Minister Farrakhan’s views and remarks regarding the Jewish people and the Jewish religion." Then, he continued to cast blame on people who had issues with his support for Farrakhan.
"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," he said, adding that for his "part," he will continue to seek unity.