Andre Carson's Racist Family Ties
It should be no surprise the representative from Indiana's 7th district fabricated racial incidents in 2010 and used KKK imagery last week to smear the Tea Party. Indiana Congressman Andre Carson learned how to race-bait for votes early on. Although not the only Congressional Black Caucus bigot playing the race card, Carson comes with a special set of familial baggage.
Andre Carson was raised by his grandmother Julia Carson. A state legislator for 18 years and a congresswoman for a decade, Ms. Carson had a friendly relationship with the hateful Louis Farrakhan throughout Andre's childhood. In fact, Julia and Louis went "way back" according to a 2008 Indianapolis Star report. Andre's wife stated that Farrakhan was with Julia the night her grandson was born in 1974. The anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader who called white people "devils" told mourners at her funeral in 2007 "I was with her in her discipleship."
Farrakhan's presence in the grandmother's life came to a head during her eulogy (on video) when the minister endorsed Andre's bid for the dead woman's congressional seat. "She lives in Andre," he said "she wants him to succeed her."
Carson quickly distanced himself from Farrakhan in order to secure his political future. There were calls from local media to explain why the NOI leader was allowed to speak at Julia's service. Jewish and Christian constituents wondered whether Carson himself was a "Louis Farrakhan Muslim." The soon-to-be congressman tried to reassure potential voters that his conversion to Islam in the mid-1990's involved many different influences.
Like every other human being, I have various faces. I am multifaceted.
After the funeral Julia Carson's connection to Farrakhan led to questions concerning Andre's affiliations. In a "phone chat" with sympathetic blogger Ruth Holladay in January 2008, the 33-year old Carson offered up some personal history.
Carson is not a member of the Nation of Islam, he said. Nor does he attend services at a Nation of Islam mosque.
Farrakhan's presence at the funeral raised questions and had some of us wondering where Andre Carson stands..
Now he is speaking out.
Carson, 33, said today in a phone chat that he was influenced, as a teen-ager, by the biography of Malcom X, and by NOI members and an offshoot group, the Five Percent Nation or the Five Percenters. Both the NOI and the Five Percenters were active in Indy, trying to clean up its mean streets during the 1980s and 1990s.
Carson grew up during hip hop culture when many rappers were members of the Nation or sympathizers. Music was a vital part of his identity as a youth, he said.
Carson claims he had never met Farrakhan prior to his grandmother's funeral. He told the Star's Robert King that he knew very little about his grandmother's personal history. That seems highly unlikely as the young Carson attended the Democratic National Convention with Julia in 1984, worked on her campaigns, was heavily involved with the hip hop culture (his teenage rapper name was 'Juggernaut') and still resided in Indianapolis when Farrakhan traveled there in 1997 for a press conference. The black supremacist was joined on stage by Julia who gave the minister a big hug.
As a teen Carson admitted he was attracted by the outward appearance of NOI members walking the streets in his Near-Northside neighborhood. But eventually he asked for guidance from Imam Muhammad Siddeeq who also counseled Mike Tyson. Siddeeq, a former assistant to Louis Farrakhan, influenced Carson's conversion to traditional Islam in his early 20's. Before his move to Washington, Andre attended the Nur-Allah Islamic Center mosque in Indianapolis along with his wife Mariama Shaheed-Carson, the daughter of Marion County Superior Court judge David Shaheed. They have a young daughter, Salimah, which means "peaceful" in Arabic.
Prior to his January 18, 2008 caucus victory securing his party's special election nomination, Carson blamed Farrakhan's funeral invitation on the dying wishes of his grandmother. The situation compelled him to seek counsel from Siddeeq who told him he must honor Julia's request. Pathetically, Carson was forced to tell Party insiders gathered for his acceptance speech that day, "My last name is Carson, but I'm Andre. I'm my own man, my own person."
Carson has never been his "own man." He touts his 9-year stint as an Indiana State excise police officer but fails to mention that one of Julia's former campaign managers, Eugene Honeycutt, who led that agency at the time of Carson's (and his cousin Sam's) hiring, was accused of giving Julia's grandsons jobs over more qualified applicants. Later in 2000 Honeycutt pled guilty to accepting food, drink and sexual favors from a strip club, but denied he "ignored any excise violations" in doing so.
In 2007 Andre resigned his positions as an excise officer and with the help of his grandmother's former connections at the Center Township Trustee's Office, Andre took over Patrice Abdullah's 15th District city-council seat.
Radical hate-mongers beget radical hate-mongers. As Farrakhan said, "Julia lives in Andre." Truly, multi-generational corruption does more damage to society than isolated assaults on single human beings. By casting hateful aspersions against millions of innocent Americans because of the color of their skin, Andre continues the cycle of bigotry. So, instead of renouncing Farrakhan's tacit endorsement of his candidacy at the funeral, even after his own campaign treasurer, Erin Rosenberg, walked out in disgust, Andre employed Farrakhan's politically correct "universal language" of "humility, service," and a rejection of "hatred and bitterness."
In light of his role models, Carson's lies about the Tea Party and peaceful ObamaCare protesters outside the Capitol calling Representative John Lewis the N-word "15 times" makes sense. It puts to rest any doubt about his adherence to Farrakhan's world view. Just because Andre Carson occasionally has to throw his mentors under the bus à la Obama doesn't mean he's not a believer. As a faithful follower, he will say and do anything his masters tell him to do.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report.