LAS VEGAS, NV.—Following a column in Tuesday’s Washington Post titled “Obama’s Farrakhan Test,” noting that a magazine linked to Obama’s minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, honored Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Barack Obama said he condemned “the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan” and disagreed with a decision to honor him.
The column, by Richard Cohen said that Trumpet Newsmagazine last year, gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to Farrakhan because he “truly epitomized greatness.”
Cohen made clear that Obama has nothing to do with Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic views. Cohen, however, called on Obama to distance himself from award because, Cohen wrote, Obama had an obligation to speak out because he could be the next president and wondered where is Obama’s “sense of outrage.”
After the column was published, Obama said in a statement, "I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. “I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."
Obama’s campaign sent the statement to several major Jewish organizations and armed some of Obama’s most prominent Jewish supporters with talking points about Obama’s strong support of Israel. The matter came up during a previously scheduled conference call w the campaign’s Jewish Community outreach.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said he welcomed Obama’s condemnation of Farrakhan and his disagreement with him getting the honor. " Issues of racism and anti-Semitism must be beyond the bounds of politics. When someone close to a political figure shows sympathy and support for an individual who makes his name espousing bigotry, that political figure needs to distance himself from that decision. Senator Obama has done just that.”