On Dec. 5, United States Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota wrote a candid editorial distancing himself from the Nation of Islam in an attempt to become the Democratic National Committee chair.
For most of Ellison’s political career, he has had to apologize for supporting Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation for the institution’s alleged bigotry.
In 1995, Ellison was a young civil rights attorney who helped organize the Minnesota contingent of the Million Man March against racism in America.
Now, the politician has to further denounce Farrakhan if he wants to be DNC chair. According to CBS Minnesota, there has been opposition coming from both sides of the political spectrum.
At one point, Ellison was considered a shoe-in for the top post, but this “scandal” has taken some of the luster off of the politician and many are reconsidering their support.
The Washington Post reported that Ellison is up against South Carolina state party chairman Jaime Harrison and New Hampshire state party chairman Ray Buckley. There also are murmurs about DNC Labor Secretary Tom Perez joining the fray.
Monday’s editorial is only the latest in one long string of apology tours the politician has been on. Nearly 10 years ago, he apologized to Jewish leaders in Minnesota when he first ran for the 5th congressional seat.
But a top Republican in Minnesota is very suspicious of Ellison’s timing and subsequent apology in the recent op-ed.
“We’ve known about that here in Minnesota for some time,” Chris Fields told the outlet. “He’s never really apologized before. And so I think the timing is suspect.”
Furthermore, Ellison has told the media that he will step down from his congressional seat if he becomes DNC chair. He also told media that he is hopeful his denouncement of Farrakhan will ease his doubters.
“These men organize by sowing hatred and division, including anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood,” Ellison wrote in the piece. “I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views and apologized.”