A Tennessee congressional candidate has declined to disavow a flier saying the incumbent and the Jews hate Jesus.
The flier, which reads “Steve Cohen and the Jews Hate Jesus,” is the work of an African-American minister, the Rev. George Brooks, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
In an editorial, the newspaper noted that the campaign of Cohen’s Democratic primary opponent, Nikki Tinker, would not condemn the flier because its officials had not seen it.
“We’d be interested in denouncing this sort of nonsense as well but, again, we haven’t seen it,” Tinker spokesman Cornell Belcher said.
The Appeal slammed the flier as “disrespecting the pioneers who have fought for racial parity.”
Cohen represents in the U.S. House of Representatives a majority African-American area in Memphis. In 2006, during his freshman run, he had been the target of anti-Semitic invective, particularly from a vocal African-American minority that wished to preserve the seat for an African-American congressman.
The seat was open because its incumbent, Harold Ford, was running for the U.S. Senate.
Separately, the National Jewish Democratic Council in denouncing the flier called on those “who find such smear tactics abhorrent to spread the word and shame those responsible.”