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Jackson Refuses to Publicly Disavow Black Muslim’s Support

April 16, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Democratic Presidential hopeful Rev. Jesse Jackson refused to publicly disassociate himself from his militant supporter Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam group, after the Black Muslim leader acclaimed Hitler as a “very great man” who “rose Germany up from nothing.” (See full story, April 13 Bulletin.)

But speaking to reporters at a campaign news conference in Phoenix last Thursday, Jackson sought to distance himself from Farrakhan and his characterizations of Hitler, saying the Nazi leader was “despicable” and the expression of “consummate evil.”

“I find nothing great about Hitler and everything about him despicable,” Jackson said. “Hitler’s greatness was great for some Nazis, but that’s all. I find no pleasure in what he represented idologically or what he did. He represents an expression of madness on the face of the human community.”

While Jackson refused to disavow Farrakhan’s support, he sought to differentiate between the role of a supporter and that of a “surrogate.” Jackson said, “I do not think it is fair to impose upon our campaign the views of a given supporter, ones that we do not hold ourselves.

“Any candidate who becomes the nominee of the Democratic Party will have within that party strong extremes, the very hawks on the right, the very doves on the left and all of those in between. It is that sense of delicate balance that I am concerned about.”

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