New York Times criticized for positive op-ed on antisemite Louis Farrakhan

Farrakhan has been labeled an extremist by the Anti-Defamation League and numerous other groups for a slew of antisemitic comments made over the years.

MANY OF these Jew-hating canards can be traced back to the man once known as Louis X, today more well renowned and recognized as the Reverend Louis Farrakhan Sr.  (photo credit: REBECCA COOK / REUTERS)
MANY OF these Jew-hating canards can be traced back to the man once known as Louis X, today more well renowned and recognized as the Reverend Louis Farrakhan Sr.
(photo credit: REBECCA COOK / REUTERS)
The New York Times (NYT) was criticized Sunday after running an opinion editorial depicting Nation of Islam leader and prominent antisemite Louis Farrakhan in a positive light.
The article, by Howard University assistant professor Natalie Hopkinson, recalled his role in providing advice to African-American women in the Million Man March to counter “critiques that the Million Man March was exclusionary and sexist,” and in helping the community organize to vote in elections. 
Farrakhan has been labeled an extremist by the Anti-Defamation League and numerous other groups for a slew of antisemitic comments made over the years, including calling Jews "termites," saying that "powerful Jews are my enemy," and that the Jews are "responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out."
Likewise, Farrakhan has also described Adolph Hitler as “a very great man,” and has branded Judaism a “gutter religion.”
A former editor of the NYT, Bari Weiss, who resigned in July 2020 over what she deemed was a culture of bullying at the newspaper, said in a comment on Twitter that the op-ed would make you “think [Farrakhan] was a gentleman” and “deferential to women.” She also noted the numerous antisemitic quotes from Farrakhan, including Farrakhan saying in 2019, “Pedophilia and sexual perversion institutionalized in Hollywood and the entertainment industries can be traced to Talmudic principles and Jewish influence. Not Jewish influence, Satanic influence under the name of Jew.”
“When The Times ran the infamous antisemitic cartoon [in 2019], the issue was not that editors were hardened anti-Semites,” Weiss tweeted. “It’s that they didn’t even *notice* it. This shouldn’t surprise. It’s part of a worldview in which Jew hate does not count,” she added.
 

The ADL also criticized the NYT, saying on Twitter “Stunned NYT ran a piece describing Louis Farrakhan in such glowing terms, ignoring his history of hate & #antisemitism,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “Even in discussing women’s unsung role in the Million Man March, failing to mention the serial bigotry of its organizer normalizes it.”
 
ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt later wrote a letter, according to the Jewish Journal, to the NYT on Farrakhan's past antisemitic statements, noting that he said “that it was Jews who got America into World War II and that ‘international bankers’ (code words for Jews) financed both sides of the war effort.” 
“While Mr. Farrakhan may have created opportunities for women of color, his long and unapologetic record of hateful slurs and conspiratorial statements about Jews long ago cemented his status as a serial bigot,” Greenblatt wrote. “When this type of hatred is ignored, it normalizes such intolerance and makes it more acceptable for others to hold such dangerous views. This cannot be omitted from any honest appraisal of him.”
Hopkinson was quick to defend her piece, saying on Twitter that the reason she did not mention Farrakhan's antisemitic statements was because “You don’t center the marchers. You don't center the Black women who are named and linked. You don't even center Farrakhan. You center yourself and your feelings. Exactly the problem with history.”
In a later tweet, Hopkinson said that people “who have become white [a claim about Jews] should not be lecturing Black [people] about oppression.”
 
In a statement to the Jewish Journal, Hopkinson said that “The Black women whose voices I elevated in the NYT essay speak for themselves. The other tweet on the new book ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent’ was not related to the essay. I suspect that is where most of the misunderstanding came from. Bigotry is our common enemy so I would like to stay focused on uniting and defeating that moving forward. 
"This Wednesday, I will be talking about the book, not as an expert on religious identity of any kind, but as a reader grateful to learn more about the intersections between our two historically marginalized communities.”