House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York said black conservatives were being used as tokens and compared them to “house negroes” in a 1992 column for his college newspaper.
Jeffries, an executive board member of the Black Student Union at Binghamton University in New York, alleged in the column that black conservatives seek to emulate white conservatives, CNN first reported. In the same article, Jeffries also defended his uncle Leonard Jeffries, a black studies professor fired for antisemitic remarks, and Dr. Louis Farrakhan, who once compared Jewish people to termites. The congressman had repeatedly denied extensive knowledge of his uncle’s statements.
“The House Negroes didn’t labor in the field, they were domestic servants. 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,” Jeffries wrote.
NEW from me @KFile: Hakeem Jeffries wrote a 1992 college editorial defending his uncle, a Black studies professor, from antisemitism & harshly criticized Black conservatives, comparing them to “House” slaves. https://t.co/RhbxQTkk0g
— em steck (@emsteck) April 12, 2023
“Perhaps the current trend is to have a new ‘token Black’ who emulates the white master in thought instead of a ‘token Black’ who may have divergent ideological thought but is impotent because of numerical isolation,” he continued, naming Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell and Shelby Steele as examples. (RELATED: ‘You Asked For An Example’: Hakeem Jeffries Stumped After Asking For ‘Example’ Of Dems Being Racist To Clarence Thomas)
A frequent critic of the Supreme Court’s longest-serving justice, Jeffries alleged during a 2022 House Judiciary Committee hearing that Thomas is “trying to abuse and bully the American people.” He also called Thomas a “hater” who he said was trying to take away Americans’ civil rights.
Jeffries also threatened to pack the court after the Senate confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, asserting that “all constitutionally provided options [should remain] on the table.”
The then-college senior also defended his uncle, who was under fire at the time for accusing Jews of organizing the slave trade. Leonard Jeffries was eventually fired from his role as head of the Black Studies Department at the City College of New York after asserting that Russian Jews developed Hollywood as part of a plan to “put together a system of destruction of black people.”
“Dr. Jeffries has challenged the existing white supremacist educational system and long standing distortion of history. His reward has been a media lynching complete with character assassinations and inflammatory erroneous accusations,” Hakeem Jeffries wrote.
A spokeswoman for Jeffries denied that the House minority leader supports his uncle’s views.
“Leader Jeffries has consistently been clear that he does not share the controversial views espoused by his uncle over thirty years ago,” spokeswoman Christiana Stephenson told CNN.