By Jeff Crouere
In 2005, then U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) met with the Congressional Black Caucus along with Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, a certified racist, homophobe and anti-Semite.
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Obama’s meeting with Farrakhan was photographed by journalist Askia Muhammad.
It showed both of them smiling, surrounded by happy members of the Farrakhan entourage, including his son-in-law, two sons and Reverend Willie Wilson, Executive Producer of the Million Man March program.
After the photo was taken, Muhammad was confronted by a representative of the Congressional Black Caucus who asked that it not be published. Obviously, it was soon realized that the association with Farrakhan could be devastating to Obama’s political career. Eventually, Muhammad gave the photo to Farrakhan’s staff, but only after keeping a copy for himself.
For 13 years, Muhammad kept this explosive photo hidden because he was convinced that “it would have made a difference” in Obama’s presidential campaign.
Thus, this reporter engaged in a cover-up to further the political aspirations of a liberal presidential candidate he supported, not exactly a ringing endorsement for fair and balanced journalism.
In fact, the only reason Muhammad is releasing the photograph now is that he received permission from Farrakhan to include it in his new self-published memoir.
Muhammad revealed that the photo was taken after Obama engaged in a “warm conversation” with Farrakhan, a “constituent and fellow Chicagoan.”
It is not surprising that the two men were acting like such buddies. Obama did attend Sunday services for many years at Trinity United Church of Christ, led by Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Like Farrakhan, Wright established a reputation as a racist, anti-Semite and anti-American religious leader. This did not bother the future President for Wright was his spiritual mentor and served as the inspiration for his book, The Audacity of Hope. Barack Obama even asked Wright to officiate his wedding ceremony.
Wright also felt a close affinity for Farrakhan and his church’s magazine gave the Nation of Islam leader a “Lifetime Achievement” award. He made some controversial trips with Farrakhan, including a 1984 visit to Libya to meet with dictator Muhammar Gaddafi and a 1986 excursion to Syria to help negotiate the release of an American held hostage.
In Chicago, Wright and Farrakhan were both powerful religious leaders when Obama started his political career. As an African American Democrat, Obama decided to align with both men, despite their baggage and history of hate filled rhetoric.
For example, Farrakhan expressed admiration for Nazi mass murderer Adolph Hitler. He called Jews “the synagogue of Satan,” and branded Judaism a “gutter religion.” Farrakhan labeled white people “devils,” who are “sinful by nature.” He has also condemned homosexuality and interracial marriage.
Despite Farrakhan’s history of inflammatory hate speech, in 1995, Obama decided to attend the Million Man March in Washington D.C., sponsored by the Nation of Islam. In addition, according to former Nation of Islam executive Dr. Vibert White, Obama and Farrakhan would “show up at events together” in Chicago.
When Obama ran for President in 2008, he was endorsed by Farrakhan, who called him the new “messiah.” While Obama denounced Farrakhan’s controversial anti-Semitic comments, he did not reject his endorsement or personally criticize the Nation of Islam leader.
During the presidential campaign, Obama distanced himself from Wright, Farrakhan and another controversial associate, former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. He famously claimed that Ayers was just “a guy that lives in my neighborhood.” However, it was later discovered that Obama served on a board with Ayers and actually attended a barbeque at the former terrorist’s Chicago home in July of 2005.
Despite these troubling affiliations, the media gave Barack Obama a pass during the 2008 presidential campaign. There was practically no interest in digging into the extent and underlying rationale for these relationships. Those Republicans who did raise legitimate questions about the closeness of these radical individuals to the presidential nominee were denounced by Democrats as racists. Most Republicans tired of the criticism and eventually dropped the issue.
With the release of this photo, all of the fears expressed by so many Republicans have been validated. Obama and Farrakhan were not strangers, they acted like friends and apparently shared some of the same beliefs. If Americans would have been fully aware of this relationship and this photo had been published 13 years ago, Obama may not have been elected President and the country would have been spared eight years of misery.
Sadly, a journalist placed his political preferences over his duty to report the facts. He participated in a cover-up that has finally been exposed. It is too late to undo all of the damage to this country caused by President Barack Obama, but it is never too late to finally uncover the truth and ensure that this type of history never repeats itself in America again.
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Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at email@example.com