LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – In a video posted to YouTube, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan urged performer Kanye West to refrain from apologizing for comments he made about Jewish people during an interview on WWPR-FM, a New York City radio station.
“Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people,” West stated at the time. “Black people don’t have the same connections as oil people.”
According to the Cleveland Jewish News, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, publicly chastised West for what he called “classic anti-Semitism.”
“There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government,” he said. “As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better. We hope that he will take responsibility for his words, understand why they are so offensive, and apologize to those he has offended.”
Farrakhan fired back in the video, posted Sunday by the official YouTube page of The Final Call, asserting that West “told the truth” in his initial comments.
“You’re not all-powerful, but you certainly are powerful, and you control the levers of government,” Farrakhan said of Jewish people. “You don’t want to admit it, but as a celebrity you’re telling Kanye West [that] he should know better. He does know better, and that’s why he said what he said!”
In addition to addressing West, Farrakhan also addressed Foxman directly.
“I wish you and I could have a dialogue,” he said. “You wouldn’t put that small-time stuff over on me that you put on scared-to-death Negroes, that if they mention ‘Jew’ and you call them anti-Semitic, they start bowing to you and your pressure.”
He then urged West to avoid apologizing, stating, “Kanye West, don’t bow to the pressure to apologize to anybody. You said nothing wrong.”
The video is described as the 49th edition of a weekly series entitled “Time and What Must Be Done.”