House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York has come under scrutiny for comments he made in a 1992 column for his college newspaper, where he likened black conservatives to “house negroes” and accused them of being used as tokens. Jeffries also defended anti-Semitic remarks made by prominent black leaders at the time.
According to CNN, Jeffries, a member of the executive board for the Black Student Union at Binghamton University in New York at the time, wrote in a column that black conservatives strive to imitate their white conservative counterparts. In the same piece, Jeffries defended his uncle Leonard Jeffries, a professor of black studies who was terminated for making anti-Semitic comments, as well as Dr. Louis Farrakhan, who once likened Jewish people to termites.
“The House Negroes didn’t labor in the field, they were domestic servants,” Jeffries wrote. The House Negro was dressed up and was led to believe that he or she was better than those in the field. Most importantly, the House Negro sought to emulate the white master. This emulation was not designed with the interests of the masses at heart. Rather, the motivating force was personal gain.”
In 2013, when ask about his memories of the controversy that embroiled his uncle, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Hakeem told the Wall Street Journal “I have a vague recollection of it other than remembering that it was a very stressful time for my father in particular–given the level of controversy and acrimony surrounding Dr. Jeffries.”
“It had a great impact on my father at the time. My father’s a strong person so he never really showed it but that was his brother who was in the midst of the eye of the storm and that was what I remember.”
Jeffries, a Democratic politician from the state of New York, graduated from Binghamton University and then went on to earn a law degree from New York University School of Law. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012, representing the 8th Congressional District of New York. Jeffries has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. In 2019, he was elected chair of the House Democratic Caucus, making him the fourth-highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
For years, House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries has claimed he has only a "vague recollection" of his uncle's antisemitism.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 12, 2023
Louis Farrakhan, who was also defended by Hakeem Jeffries, called Adolf Hitler a “great man” during a news conference. Farrakhan stated that he thinks Hitler was “wickedly great” but also acknowledged that he was “not great for me as a black person.” The comments were made during a radio sermon broadcast nationwide, in which Farrakhan also called on blacks to ostracize the Post reporter who reported Jesse L. Jackson’s derogatory remarks about Jews.