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Rep. Peter Roskam on Democrats' embrace of Louis Farrakhan: The mask is off of the Left

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Some Democrats and Women's March organizers have faced scrutiny over their association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

In recent weeks, several Congressional Democrats and organizers of the Women's March have been dogged over their association with Nation of Islam leader and known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., said when it comes to anti-Semitism, the Left is now showing their true colors.

"The mask is basically off of the Left," Roskam told the Examiner editorial board when asked about their embrace of Farrakhan.

"You see what's happening in the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] movement. The BDS movement, I would argue, is not a presentation of legitimate grievances that go back and forth and try to move the Israelis to a position and influence their negotiations. At the heart, BDS is an anti-Semitic effort. It is. Period. Paragraph. End of Letter. And yet, it gets normalized as it's trafficking in some of these circles. And people either choose to see it or they're blind to it and they can be willfully blind or just ignorant."

Roskam, who serves on a bipartisan task-force to combat anti-Semitism, said it's highly unlikely that they would denounce any member of Congress who associates themselves with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader.

"For Republicans to criticize Democrats on this, it is passe," Roskam explained. "Democrats have to call out Democrats on this. And this is part of the challenge of saying, 'Hey, this relationship is beyond the pale.' No pun intended."

Even when presented with the fact that Democrats widely denounced President Trump over his poor handling of the Charlottesville riots in August 2017, Roskam said that what's "persuasive" is when Democrats "distance themselves" from other Democrats in question.

Farrakhan delivered a speech at their annual Saviours' Day gathering in late February in which he said, "The powerful Jews are my enemy," and, "White folks are going down."

In addition to meeting with then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2005, Farrakhan has earned the company of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., several Women's March organizers, and a character defense from Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill.

While Davis' comments are without question a sign of support for the Nation of Islam leader where he called him an "outstanding human being," Ellison has disavowed Farrakhan's views as well as anti-Semitism and bigotry "in all forms." However, several organizers of the Women's March haven't quite held a unified denouncement of Farrakhan and anti-Semitism.

Women's March co-president Tamika Mallory, who attended Farrakhan's Saviours' Day speech, posted on Twitter, "I am and always have been against all forms of racism. I am committed to ending anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia. This is why I helped create an intersectional movement to bring groups together."

Meanwhile, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, organizers with the Women's March, both attended the Nation of Islam's #JusticeOrElse rally in 2015. In fact, Sarsour even delivered a speech.

Sarsour has also made it clear that you can't be a "feminist" and a "Zionist," therefore pro-Israeli feminists (in addition to pro-life feminists) were not welcome to the Women's March.

Perez called any association with Farrakhan a "distraction," saying, "People need to understand the significant contributions that these individuals have made to Black and Brown people."

CNN's Jake Tapper has been one of the few members of the media with a mainstream platform who has questioned why Democrats have a hard time denouncing Farrakhan and the individuals who maintain relationships with him.

Democrats were quick to denounce Trump over the support he received from former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke or neo-Nazi Richard Spencer — both are known anti-Semites — despite the fact that there haven't been any alleged meetings between them, yet Democrats have shown next to no effort to denounce members of their own party.

None of these individuals were forced to meet and embrace a known anti-Semite in Farrakhan. They did that of their own volition.

Instead of condemning and apologizing for the damage they've caused, Democrats and the Women's March are going down a route as hateful as the one they accused Trump of going down. There are no winners in this, and it will haunt them in the end. It doesn't have to be this way.

Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.