The clip is CNN’s Glenn Beck interviewing Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever to be elected to Congress.
Actually, it is not an interview at all – perhaps that came later. The clip is mostly Beck’s disclaimer, in which he prefaces his ridiculous ‘non-accusation’ with statements along the lines of, “I have Muslim friends, I have been to mosques, I love Muslims.” All stupid declarations that warn you that he is about to say something exceptionally idiotic. And then he did.
“I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’…I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.”
Very much to his credit, Ellison handled the ‘non-accusation’ well, responding in an intelligent and controlled manner, and without becoming defensive. Perhaps he was seething on the inside. I would have been.
Glenn “Offensive Pig” Beck may as well have said, “Sir, you are not white and you are not Christian. What gives you a right to sit in the House of Representatives?”
And Beck obviously had not done his homework. Ellison has been open and forthcoming about his religion and what it means for him in a political context. A quick google search turned up these quotes from May 2006:
“I think it’s time for the
“My faith informs me. My faith helps me to remember to be gentle, kind, considerate, fair, respectful. But I don’t make my faith something that other people have to deal with.”
Beck also made the statement that Ellison’s district was “heavily immigrant with Somalians”, and went on to imply that Ellison had only won his seat in Congress because his district is Muslim. I did not find information as to how many Somalians live in
Beck made a complete arse of himself. His comments were nothing more than a blatant and shameful display of racism and ignorance. Not really surprising on CNN.
* Keith Ellison quotes from The Hill.