Dem lawmaker attends Farrakhan speech after condemning past statements as ‘racist,’ ‘anti-semitic’

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Despite condemning Minister Louis Farrakhan’s “unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements” last year, Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers attended a three-hour Farrakhan sermon before 18,000 people Sunday.

During the final day of the movement’s four-day convention in Detroit, the Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan — known for his racist rhetoric, anti-Semitism, friendship with former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and homophobia — called for separate courts for African Americans, attacked pastors who defend gay marriage, and spoke about how America is headed for destruction because it has disobeyed God.

Seated behind Farrakhan for the duration of the speech was Conyers and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Last May, Conyers attended another Farrakhan speech at the Fellowship Chapel in Detroit where the black nationalist leader said President Obama “surrounded himself with Satan,” talked about “Satanic Jew,” the “Synagogue of Satan,” and the like. Conyers ended up having to condemn his remarks.

“Last Friday, I attended a speech by Minister Louis Farrakhan at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, Michigan. During this speech, Minister Farrakhan made unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements, which I condemn in the strongest possible terms,” Conyers said at the time, adding that he believed the Nation of Islam Leader would be focused on Detroit revitalization efforts.

“The fact that Minister Farrakhan has engaged in important charitable work aimed at expanding economic opportunities for underserved communities does not excuse these statements,” he added. “I sincerely offer my apologies to my constituents and others who also may have been offended by the minister’s words.”

With Monday’s announcement that Michigan Democrat Rep. John Dingell plans to retire, Conyers will soon become the longest serving active member of the House.

Conyers’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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