Jake Tapper attacked Keith Ellison for over four minutes over his association with Farrakhan. It’s time he demonstrate some moral consistency and condemn Ronald Reagan, too.
By Hamzah Raza
On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld President Donald Trump’s Executive Order supporting a ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries, especially those in the crosshairs of American foreign policy. The five Republican judges decided that it did not matter that Trump had been touting plans for a Muslim ban for over three years, and essentially ruled that their own right-wing ideology superseded reason and the rule of law. Comparisons to notorious SCOTUS decisions allowing for the internment of Japanese Americans and the perpetuation of slavery were abound in discussions of the ban.
In the midst of the fallout from the ruling, prime time CNN personality Jake Tapper hosted Rep. Keith Ellison, one of only two American Muslims in Congress, for what on the surface seemed like a chance to respond to the court. Tapper then spent a grand total of 65 seconds talking to Ellison about the Muslim ban before revealing his true priorities.
As soon as Ellison mentioned Donald Trump’s “bigotry,” Tapper immediately changed the subject to demand that Ellison condemn Louis Farrakhan, though he has already publicly addressed the issue. Ellison helped organize Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, an event that was also attended by former President Barack Obama and hundreds of thousands of Black men with a wide array of political views. Today, Ellison is a Sunni Muslim with absolutely no ties to the Nation of Islam. Ellison explained this point ad nauseam for nearly four minutes before Tapper abruptly terminated the interview.
The interview revealed how little Tapper cared about the massive blow to civil liberties and his lack of concern for another escalation in the war on immigrants. Though he markets himself as one of Trump’s toughest foes in the media, Tapper seemed to have little interest in defending the values of the Constitution as they pertain to religious freedom. Instead, he seemed fixated on undermining those American Muslims who have dared to assert themselves in politics by using one of the cheapest and most well-worn tactics in the book.
Hamzah Raza studied Religious Studies and Economics at Vanderbilt University and has contributed to the Grayzone Project since its inception.