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WATCH: Hakeem Jeffries Won’t Condemn Uncle’s Anti-Semitic Comments

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) in comments to reporters on Thursday did not denounce anti-Semitic remarks made by his uncle, whom he defended in a newly unearthed college op-ed, merely saying he does not “share any of the controversial views.”

“I think I’ve made clear consistently that I do not share any of the controversial views that were expressed by my uncle more than three decades ago,” Jeffries said during a Thursday press conference.

Jeffries came under fire last month when CNN surfaced a 1992 opinion piece he wrote as a college activist in which he defended his uncle, Leonard Jeffries, against criticism of his anti-Semitic comments. His uncle had claimed that “rich Jews” were responsible for the slave trade and alleged the existence of “a conspiracy, planned and plotted” by Jewish businessmen in Hollywood to portray black people poorly.

The op-ed contradicts Jeffries’s claims over the years that he had only a “vague recollection” of the controversies surrounding his uncle and hadn’t looked at the anti-Semitic speeches he made. 

In the 1992 op-ed, Jeffries further defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, an infamous anti-Semite who defended Adolf Hitler and assailed the “stranglehold that Jews have on this government.”

“Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Minister Louis Farrakhan have come under intense fire,” Jeffries wrote in 1992. “Where do you think their interests lie?” He claimed his uncle “has challenged the existing white supremist [sic] educational system and long standing distortion of history.”

“His reward has been a media lynching complete with character assassinations and inflammatory erroneous accusations,” Jeffries added. 

Jeffries also compared black conservatives to “House Negroes” during American slavery, calling them “tokens” and “opportunists.”

“The House Negro of the slavery era and the Black conservative of today are both opportunists interested in securing some measure of happiness for themselves within the existing social order,” Jeffries wrote in college.

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