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Tipsheet

Dem Hakeem Jeffries Taking Heat for Comparing Black Conservatives to Slaves

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is under fire for comparing Black conservatives to enslaved people in a re-surfaced 1992 editorial. 

Titled "The Black Conservative Phenomenon," Jeffries's article was published in the Binghamton University newspaper while he was in college, warning readers about the "rise of the Black conservative" that "threatens to sustain the oppression of the Black masses."

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The Democrat defended his uncle, Leonard Jeffries, a professor of black studies, for making anti-Semitic comments, and Dr. Louis Farrakhan, who claimed Jewish people were like termites and called Adolf Hitler a "great man" during a news conference.

"There has been a recent trend in the Black political arena which I believe threatens to sustain the oppression of the Black masses. The phenomenon I refer to is the rise of the Black conservative," Jeffries wrote. "The most notable indicator of this is the appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court."

In one section of the article titled "White Media," Jeffries attacked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for "accepting" the Black conservative movement, adding that non-Blacks push for a white-power society. 

"Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the rise of Black conservatives is their popular acceptance by the predominantly white media," Jeffries wrote. "Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, and Shelby Steele are hailed as our leaders and pointed to as examples for us to follow. I find it suspect when the white power structure and their propaganda emissaries, the media, tell us who our leaders should be. Do you think that a ruling elite would promote individuals who seek to dismantle their vice-like grip on power? Of course not."

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Jeffries also called out "token Blacks," a Black character deliberately featured in a show or movie for the sake of racial diversity, accusing white people of using them to push their "right-wing agenda," which, according to him, was not designed to "uplift" the Black community. 

At the end of his article, Jeffries said that he was "not trying to encourage the restriction of Black political thought to one particular ideology" but said he hoped African-Americans would begin to "evaluate critically, the merits of the Black conservative phenomenon and then assign it its rightful place in the struggle to free persons of African descent from oppression." 

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