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Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), candidate for Democratic National Committee chairman, reportedly canceled his scheduled interview with The New York Times after he learned they would ask about his past ties to radical National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Buried 20 paragraphs in its story on infighting within the Democratic Party, The New York Times reported:

Aides to Mr. Ellison were going to make him available for a telephone interview, but then declined when informed that he would be asked about his past comments on Mr. Farrakhan. They emailed a list of his links to the Jewish community and a statement that said, “Democrats need an organizer who will energize the grass-roots across this country to build the party from the bottom up.”

Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, speaks at a press conference near United Nations headquarters on June 15, 2011 in New York City. Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, speaks at a press conference near United Nations headquarters on June 15, 2011 in New York City. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Ellison has good reason to want to run from his association with Farrakhan, who is openly anti-Semitic, anti-white and regularly spews messages of hate and violence.

Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, wrote several articles defending Farrakhan while attending University of Minnesota Law School. He was reportedly a self-identified member of the Nation of Islam in 1998 when he first ran for public office in Minneapolis.

The Democrat went on to work with the Nation of Islam for eighteen months.

More from The Weekly Standard:

Ellison was still talking up “Minister Farrakhan” at a National Lawyers Guild fundraiser for former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson in 2000. By 2002, however, when Ellison was first elected to the Minnesota legislature, and 2006, when he sought the DFL endorsement to succeed Sabo in Congress, Ellison had abandoned the Nation of Islam and returned to the fold of Islam.

So far as I know, Ellison is the only convert to Islam for whom Islam has served as a way station to the Nation of Islam. How did that work? That's one part of Ellison's secret history that actually remains secret.

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ellison has largely avoided discussing his ties to Farrakhan, who refers to white people as “devils” and believes Jews carried out the 9/11 terror attacks.

In his 2014 memoir, “My Country, 'Tis of Thee,” Ellison spoke out in opposition to Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, glossing over his years of association, The Weekly Standard noted.

“He could only wax eloquent while scapegoating other groups.” Ellison wrote about Farrakhan. “In the NOI, if you're not angry in opposition to some group of people (whites, Jews, so-called 'sellout' blacks), you don't have religion.”

It's surely possible that Ellison experienced a change of heart — but now The New York Times won't even have a chance to ask.

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