Roger Simon reports on a public expression of anti-Semitism that the media failed to report. Since it happened at a high-profile celebration of Martin Luther King on the 40th anniversary of his assassination, one has to wonder what motivated the silence. While the Mayor of Los Angeles and several other city officials sat in attendance, the keynote speaker blamed Jews for black misery in the United States after the African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi awarded its Tom Bradley Award to an Israeli-born activist for the poor:
With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilman Bernard Parks, State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas and Assemblyman Mike Davis in attendance (and also winning awards in some instances) at the Marriott Hotel conference, the fraternity had just given its Tom Bradley Award—named for the esteemed former Los Angeles mayor—to Israeli-American Daphna Ziman.
Ziman is the founder and volunteer chairwoman of Children Uniting Nations—an organization devoted to the rights of children. CUN has helped children from Kosovo to the American inner cities, focusing especially on mentoring programs for children from Los Angeles broken homes. Ziman has also been a fundraiser and donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
After Ziman received her award, Reverend [Eric] Lee, who is the President/CEO of the Los Angeles branch of Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, began his keynote speech. In the midst of this, after praising Malcolm X, he started staring directly at Ziman, according to an email she sent.
Ziman’s email states “[Lee] started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the Jews that have featured them as rapists and murderers. He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say ‘What other kind of Rabbis are there, but Jews.’ He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA [African-American] community and the Jewish community together. ‘NO, NO, NO!!!!’ he shouted into the crowd, ‘we are not going to come together. The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.’”
In the interview, Ziman connects Eric Lee with Jeremiah Wright, telling Roger Simon that he said the “same things as Reverend Wright”. Using a Google search, I see no connections between Lee and Barack Obama. One blogger found an appearance by Lee at an International ANSWER event. That event also featured — surprise! — Cynthia McKinney as a guest speaker, as well as support from CAIR, two bastions of anti-Semitism and conspiracy-theory paranoia.
I’m less interested in this in terms of Obama, who has no apparent connection to this preacher, than in wondering where the press was for this event. With the Mayor attending an event honoring King, one has to believe that the LA Times would have had at least a beat reporter there. The Times archive has nothing on Kappa Alpha Psi for that period. Either they missed the presentation of the Tom Bradley Award altogether or didn’t find it newsworthy.
Will they find it newsworthy now? Will the hate speech of Reverend Lee make news, and will the media look into his background a little further? Don’t bet on it. Here’s the interview Roger conducted with Ziman: