Washington Confidential

Top Carson Aide Wants Taxpayers To Fund Farrakhan

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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Ben Carson says a Muslim should not be president.

But his key adviser, Armstrong Williams, has, unbeknownst to the good doctor’s supporters, been praising Louis Farrakhan — even urging Chicago to hire Nation of Islam security guards to fight crime.

Quite the Farrakhan aficionado, Williams had promised to broadcast his radio show live from the hate monger’s 20th anniversary Million Man March last Saturday, recalling to the Washington Times that, “It was a moving experience [in 1995], so I want to be there again.”

In a little-noticed Times column the day after the march, “To Curb Chicago Violence Bring in Nation of Islam,” Williams argued that only NOI toughs can help stem the tide of killings there and temper other inner-city pathologies by fostering greater self-respect among residents.

The Hill published Williams’s piece on October 6 under the headline, “The Nation of Islam Could Be Chicago’s Savior.”

If taxpayers foot the bill, of course.

Williams, apparently a big fan of government contracts since he received $240,000 from the George W. Bush Department of Education to promote “No Child Left Behind,” argued that the “NOI brings to the table things other private security firms and the police don’t — credibility within the community. The NOI is one of the few community-based organizations that actually recruit in prisons and also offer transitional services to ex-offenders.”

Williams opined that starting in the late 1980s NOI guards, known as the “Fruit of Islam,” successfully patrolled housing projects in New York, Chicago and Washington. The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the Fruit multi-million dollar contracts but they were eventually nixed after a nationwide controversy and congressional hearings in the mid-1990s.

In 1995, “HUD abruptly canceled an NOI-affiliated firm’s contract to secure Baltimore public housing buildings — citing bidding irregularities and other violations that were widely viewed as a smoke screen for a political battle over the group’s anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

Uh, yeah, Armstrong, what about all that hateful NOI rhetoric? Never mind Chicago residents. It seems that journalists, whites and cops are the ones who need guards—to protect against Farrakhan.

The hatemonger famously tried to incite his followers to kill the Washington Post reporter who exposed Jesse Jackson’s “Hymietown” slur in the 1980s. More recently, Farrakhan urged blacks to “rise up and kill those who kill us” unless the federal government intercedes on their behalf.

In a rhetorical sleight of hand, Williams writes that, “Extremist elements of the NOI should be sternly and unequivocally condemned.On the other hand, more moderate Muslims have made it a point of standing up for their communities”

OK. Sounds plausible at first. Williams is probably the most deft practitioner of sophistry on the political scene since the US-born Soviet Union spokesman Vladmir Pozner, who famously went on television and made the USSR downing a Korean civilian jetliner with hundreds aboard in 1983 sound justifiable.

And Williams contention, if read quickly, also seems reasonable. Just stay away from the Nation of Islam “extremists elements” and stick with the moderates. But are there any other “elements” in the Nation of Islam besides “extremists?”

For Williams, what counts as non-extremist elements of the Nation of Islam? Do the moderates disagree with the late Farrakhan aide Khalid Muhammad that Jews are “blood suckers?”

They just think Jews get too many transfusions? Centrist members of Farrakhan’s quasi-cult disagree with their leader that Hitler was a “great man?” They just think he was an o.k. guy?

In his column, Williams cites as an example of a moderate the Nation of Islam member David Muhammad who received nationwide media attention by filming drug dealers and customers in Chicago. Muhammad could not immediately be reached for comment but there is nothing online to indicate he ever condemned Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism or incitement to violence.

Regardless, any money the Nation of Islam were to receive from contracts would be controlled by Farrakhan, not the so-called moderates.

Williams — who has sparred with this reporter and deemed his description of Carson in a freelance piece for The Daily Beast as “conservatives’ great black hope” highly “offensive” — did not respond to repeated emails. He was asked to provide the names of Nation of Islam moderates and whether Carson supports his proposal to have Farrakhan feed at the public trough.

But Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein called for Carson to disassociate himself from Williams’s proposal and possibly send him packing.

“I am really surprised that somebody as respected as Armstrong Williams would urge the government to use a racist, anti-Semitic and anti-white group for anything”, he told the Washington Gadfly. “Ben Carson should condemn these remarks and say he should say nothing to do with this. Ben Carson should denounce this ludicrous policy and make sure he has nothing to do it. [Carson] should reconsider whether Armstrong has the type of judgment that he wants around him.”