Demanding answers

Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones were present at the 2014 “Saviours Day” convention. According to the Detroit Free Press, the two politicians were seen sitting behind “Minister” Louis Farrakhan during the three hour lecture where Farrakhan continued his Anti-Jewish rhetoric.

This is where it gets interesting. Last May Congessman Conyers was  present at a Farrakhan speech where the schizophrenic leader spoke at the Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, Michigan. During this speech, Farrakhan spoke of “Satanic Jews”, and that President Obama “surrounded himself around Satan”, and “the Synagogue of Satan”.

When news leaked that the 84 year old Congressman was in attendance at the racist event, he immediately apologized by saying :

“Last Friday, I attended a speech by Minister Louis Farrakhan at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, Michigan. During this speech, Minister Farrakhan made unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements, which I condemn in the strongest possible terms.”

“The fact that Minister Farrakhan has engaged in important charitable work aimed at expanding economic opportunities for underserved communities does not excuse these statements.”

“I sincerely offer my apologies to my constituents and others who also may have been offended by the minister’s words.”

In his words, he thought “Minister” Louis Farrakhan “would only focus on Detroit’s revitalization efforts”.


While I want to give Rep. Conyers the benefit of the doubt that he was blindsided by “Minister” Farrakhan’s Anti-Semitism that evening, at the same time what else did he expect?

What made Louis Farrakhan famous is his unadulterated hatred for the Jews. If John Conyers is trying to come off as shocked by Louis Farrakhan’s Anti-Semitism, then he has either lived under a rock or is lying.

Would he have apologized if no one knew he was in attendance? I don’t know.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones


US Michigan Rep. John Conyers
US Michigan Rep. John Conyers

And now with news that Conyers has re-emerged himself as a witness to the Nation of Islam’s Anti-Semitism, I wonder what his excuse will be this time? As far as I’m concerned, he’s run out of excuses. There is no excuse for him being present at an event which devalues the Jewish people and further degenerates the reputation of African-Americans.

What makes me even more disappointed in John Conyers is his well-respected and honorable resume.

Between 1948-1950 he served in the Michigan National Guard and from 1950-1954 served in the US Army, and the Army Reserves from 1954-1957, and also served a year in Korea as an officer in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, where he was awarded combat and merit citations. He participated in Freedom Day-a civil rights voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama on October 7, 1963.

Given his extensive resume, John Conyers is well aware of racial inequality and knows better than to associate himself with a racist.

One cannot help but thank Rep. Conyers for serving his country and fellow Americans under obvious dire circumstances during that time period. I hold immense respect for him as a Korean War Veteran and for his 48 years as Congressman. In all aspects John Conyers is the anti-thesis of Louis Farrakhan. But under no circumstances can I condone his or Brenda Jones’ relationship with the Nation of Islam.

I must also question what is in their heart. Do they truly believe some, if not all of the Jewish conspiracy theories laid out by the bigoted “Minister”? Or is this a political maneuver to keep their standing in the Black community?

I don’t believe Brenda Jones or John Conyers are Anti-Semitic. But I do believe it is the latter, which troubles me. Both Conyers and Jones are walking fine lines between the loyalty of their Black constituents (some of whom agree with Farrakhan that Jews have a role in Black suffering) and denouncing Farrakhan.

However, there is a political mob mentality in the Black community when it relates to Farrakhan. Keep your mouth shut about Farrakhan or else face angry Black voters who could jeopardize your re-election. If Conyers and Jones want to maintain their reputation as politicians of principle, at a time when legislators are the least trusted, they must denounce this organization.

Even if it comes at the expense of their jobs. They must lead by example and say that under no circumstances whether Black or White, will bigotry be tolerated. But that hasn’t happened.

With both Jones and Conyers fully aware of Farrakhan’s racial prejudice and deciding to attend anyway, signals they would rather satisfy the unspoken rule in the black community.Do not criticize Louis Farrakhan. As a result, this further encourages a hazardous environment in the Black community where loathing Whites and Jews are acceptable.

For me this is unprecedented as I have never publicly done this, but in order to send a message we must not remain silent. We must be vigilant in opposition to hatred anywhere.

Here is the contact information for both Rep. John Conyers and Councilwoman Brenda Jones.

To reach Michigan Congressman John Conyers :

To reach Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones :

(313) 224-1245 (office) (313) 224-4950 (fax) TTY 711 or (800) 649-3777 E-mail:

Contact Person: Stephen Grady, Chief of Staff

313 224-7977;

About the Author
Dennis Austin is a student who is from Chicago.
Related Topics
Related Posts