A new photo has surfaced that shows former President Barack Obama posturing with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the black nationalist hate group Nation of Islam.
The photo shows then Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama smiling ear to ear with Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in 2005. Farrakhan is known for embracing radically anti-Semitic and anti-white views, as even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center has acknowledged.
Journalist Askia Muhammed said he took the photo but decided to suppress its publication in order to protect Obama’s presidential ambitions.
Now that Barack Obama’s political career is done, Muhammad is going public with the picture and publishing it in a new book called “The Autobiography of Charles 67X.”
The photo was first published last week by the Trice Edney News Wire, a “provocative, empowering, unapologetically Black” wire news service that interviewed Muhammad. The veteran journalist told the news service that he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy” to protect Obama.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) January 25, 2018
“But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover,” he said, referencing keeping the photo under wraps to protect Obama’s career. “It absolutely would have made a difference.”
Muhammad is a veteran journalist who has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Obama’s ties to Farrakhan became an issue during the 2008 campaign, after Hillary Clinton slammed Obama for being slow to disavow the hate group leader’s endorsement.
“I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought,” Obama said at the time, according to CNN. “And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.” Obama added: “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy.”
Pushed by Clinton, Obama finally denounced Farrakhan, saying that “if the word ‘reject’ Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word ‘denounce,’ then I’m happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce.”
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The new photo shows Obama was closer to Farrakhan than he let on.
Muhammad is the news director at Washington, D.C. radio station WPFW and has served as the head of the Washington offices of the Nation of Islam’s official newspaper, The Final Call.
Farrakhan is a minister who leads the Nation of Islam and has made anti-Semitic remarks. During Obama’s presidential campaign, conservatives pushed multiple apparently racially motivated conspiracy theories about Obama’s religion and supposed ties to Islam.
During the 2008 presidential election, conservatives questioned the indirect ties between Farrakhan and Obama, who attended a church that gave Farrakhan an award. At a 2008 presidential debate in Cleveland, Obama said he had “been very clear” in his “denunciation” of Farrakhan’s remarks.
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