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Farrakhan to Speak at UCB but Jewish Student Group Says He Refers to Jews as ‘Bloodsuckers’

Some Jewish students are angered that Farrakhan is speaking at a UC Berkeley conference this Weekend

The Afrikan Black Coalition Conference, organized by UC Berkeley’s Black Student Union, will be held at UC Berkeley Friday through Sunday. Louis Farrakhan has been invited to attend which has angered some Jewish students who say that Farrakhan’s “anti-Semitic,” according to the Daily Cal.

“Throughout his career, Farrakhan's hateful rhetoric has targeted Jews, the LGBT community, and Israel,” said Jacob Lewis, the co-president of Tikvah, the Jewish student group. Lewis goes on to say in a blog post that Farrakhan refers to “the Jewish people as ‘the Synagogue of Satan’ or ‘bloodsuckers’."

But the chair of the Black Student Union, Salih Muhammad, said the speakers were chosen based on “who the union felt would provide ‘a sense of self-determination’ to conference attendees.” The Daily Cal quotes Muhammad as saying: “Those students are well in their right to subject themselves to anything.”

Noah Ickowitz is SQUELCH! Senator and he has pulled a bill that would support funding to the conference, because he says Farrakhan’s language is tantamount to “hate speech,” according to the Daily Cal.

So should Farrakhan be prohibited from speaking because he engages in 'hate speech'? Or is this a freedom of speech issue.

John Erlich March 07, 2012 at 05:22 PM
"Jewish student group says [sic!] he refers to Jews as 'Bloodsuckers'?" What kind of mealy-mouthed journalism is that? Whatever one may think of his Black self-help message, he has certainly and widely been quoted as saying exactly that: "Many of the Jews who owned the homes, the apartments in the black community, we considered them bloodsuckers because they took from our community and built their community but didn't offer anything back to our community." The biggest problem with this statement is that it (1) pointlessly singles out for attack another historically oppressed minority (Jews) and (2) ignores urban history and capitalist land economics, i.e., the fact that in ALL U.S. inner cities there were and are absentee land owners and the vast majority of them are not Jews. Farrakhan picks on the Jews because they are an easy target. Student groups certainly have the right to invite anti-Semites and homophobes to speak, but they should be (honestly) asking themselves whether a fight with the Jewish or LGBT communities really furthers their interests.
Tanya Jo Miller March 08, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Hey John - Thanks for your insights and for taking the time.
Jeff Klives March 09, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Even though I completely disagree with his views, he absolutely should have the right to speak if he is invited. And I hope no students heckle him to try to interfere with his talk. At the same time, I have no problem with people voicing their opposition to statements he has made and his idealogy by protesting outside the event. Nor do I have a problem with people trying to discuss with the BSU why they think he may not be a good person to invite to speak on the campus.
Tanya Jo Miller March 09, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Would you go to hear him speak Jeff? I'm thinking of stopping by if I have the time.
Jeff Klives March 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I thought I read you had to already have tickets to see him speak. i have watched a bunch of videos of him on youtube. Even if I could go, I'd pass.
Tanya Jo Miller March 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Oh, you may be right re: tickets...well I may stop by just so see what the scene is like
Maurice Muhammad March 10, 2012 at 05:57 PM
John Erlich, Tanya Jo Miller, Jeff Klives, i recommend you go and listen to him and learn of him. Maybe you would understand why he is the most powerful black Leader in the world today. Then maybe you will examine yourself and make corrections then learn the difference between Zionist, and Jews or the original Jew and the Ashkenazi Jews!
Tanya Jo Miller March 10, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Hi Maurice, Why not give us a brief lesson now! What, in your opinion, is the difference between Zionist Jews or the original Ashkenazi Jews?
John Doh! March 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Mo, u lose credibility when u ignore Oprah, O'bama, Koffi Anan, Aliko Dangote, Jay-Z, Patrice Motsepe, Bob Johnson, Ursula Burns, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, and many other more powerful Black leaders.
Jeff Klives March 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
He is hardly the most powerful black leader. He has a very small following. I have seen plenty of his speeches. Next you will be telling us who is a real Jew. I get it. You don't think Jews should have a homeland. You got to get with the times. It isn't 1947. This issue is no longer up for debate. Israel exists as a homeland for the Jewish people. I (along with the last 3 Israeli Prime Mininsters) support Palestinians to have a homeland that will peacefully co-exist with Israel.
Jeff Klives March 12, 2012 at 06:50 PM
He will say Zionist Jews (Jews who think Jews should have the right of self-determination) are the problem and he doesn't have a problem with Judiasm. He will cite some marginal Jewish group that he will claim are the real Jews and note that they think Israel shouldn't exist. Then he will say Ashkenazi Jews aren't real Jews. He say Ashkenazi Jews are converted Khazars and aren't Jews who came from the Middle East. Of course, this theory is not accepted by serious academics on the subject and this argument is only used by whack jobs. DNA testing shows Ashkenzai Jews come from a Middle Eastern ancestral population.
John Erlich March 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Yes, Maurice...like Father Charles Coughlin, Farrakhan (and other NOI leaders) air the grievances of disempowered groups in our society (Father Coughlin, working-class white Americans during the Depression; Farrakhan/NOI, poor African-Americans). I personally have no objections to that. What I object to is irrelevant and, frankly, demented attacks against Jews. As bigotry, this is not only wrong in and of itself, but is bad for the cause in that it distracts attention from the real culprits. Further, I can only advise African-Americans against wading into the “Who is a ‘real’ Jew?” sewer of an argument: This whole line of “thinking” originated with neo-Nazis.
Tanya Jo Miller March 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Well here's an updated article: http://patch.com/A-r58K What I didn't include in it (b/c I don't believe he was ever convicted so it's all speculation) is that Malcolm X's family believe's Farrakhan was responsible for ordering his assassination. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Farrakhan#Malcolm_X.27s_death

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