Democratic congressman and DNC chair front-runner Keith Ellison once said that “black people don’t live in a democracy” and “don’t have an obligation” to obey the government.
Ellison made the comments at a 1992 protest after white police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. At least 63 people died in the racially charged riots following the verdict.
Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune quotes Ellison as telling a group of protesters in Minneapolis that “Black people do not live under a democracy.”
“You don’t have an obligation to obey a government that considers you to be less than human,” Ellison said.
Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim congressman, has come under fire for his history of making racially inflammatory comments, as well as his past association with notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, whom Ellison has since renounced.
Ellison once called for American blacks to have their own nation and called the U.S. Constitution “best evidence of a white racist conspiracy to subjugate other peoples.”
While speaking to an atheist group in 2007, Ellison compared the Sept. 11 attacks to the Reichstag fire, stopping just short of accusing then-President George W. Bush of having a hand in the attacks.
“It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” Ellison said of 9/11, according to reports at the time. “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”
Ellison went on to say he wouldn’t suggest the U.S. had a hand in the attacks because “you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you,” before later walking back his comments.
While speaking at a 2010 fundraiser in front of a mostly Muslim audience, Ellison claimed that American Jews have been “mobilized” by Israel to “do its bidding in America.”
Ellison was the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation in 2009 after failing to disclose that an American Muslim organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood had paid $13,500 for him to take a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2008.