Opinion: Two More Takes on Jill Carter

Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) during her swearing in last year. Photo by William F. Zorzi

Editor’s note: State Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) isn’t even a candidate for Congress yet — she’s simply set up an exploratory committee to begin raising money. But already we’ve gotten commentaries about her. Last week, we ran an opinion piece endorsing Carter in the special election to replace the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D). Here, we feature two more:

Why I Oppose Jill Carter for Congress

I understand why no serious national politician ever associates himself or herself with vile racists of the past like Mississippi’s Sen. James Eastland, Arkansas Sen. John L. McClellan, Alabama Gov. George Wallace and many others whose horrific and undiluted racism was manifest for decades.

Let me say that their constituent service was exemplary.

So what? They were despicable racists, some say. And I agree, 100%.

In his paean to Sen. Jill Carter, writer Richard Elliott never even mentions Sen. Carter’s connection with the vile anti-Semite Rev. Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Farrakhan, dear reader, in case you are unaware of this, has been a virtuoso anti-Semite throughout his career through the current day.

Witness just a description of Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism as well as a tiny, infinitesimal portion of his statements in service of his hatred of Jewish people, courtesy of the great civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to whom this writer has donated thousands of dollars since 1989.

“Farrakhan blames Jews for the slave trade, plantation slavery, Jim Crow, sharecropping and general black oppression,” the SPLC writes, offering these examples of Farrakhan’s words:

** “The Jews, a small handful, control the movement of this great nation, like a radar controls the movement of a great ship in the waters. … The Jews got a stranglehold on the Congress.” – Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day speech, Chicago, Feb. 25, 1990

** “And you do with me as is written, but remember that I have warned you that Allah will punish you. You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell. But I warn you in the name of Allah, you would be wise to leave me alone. But if you choose to crucify me, know that Allah will crucify you.” – Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day speech, Chicago, Feb. 25, 1996

** “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.” – Oct. 16, 2018, tweet from Louis Farrakhan (@LouisFarrakhan).

** “Pedophilia and sexual perversion institutionalized in Hollywood and the entertainment industries can be traced to Talmudic principles and Jewish influence. Not Jewish influence, Satanic influence under the name of Jew. – Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day speech, Chicago, Feb. 17, 2019

As with several other irresponsible Baltimore leaders, Carter appears to be a supporter of this contemptible anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan. She attended at least one speech (whose facilities were shamefully allowed usage by Morgan State University), and her attendance was announced from the dais.

So far as I can determine, she has never publicly regretted or retracted her symbolic support for Mr. Farrakhan, and one cannot find any criticism of her suborning of Mr. Farrakhan among Baltimore or Maryland political principals or Baltimore print or electronic media.

Granted, she is not alone…according to The Jewish Journal (Nov. 15, 2018), the Congressional Black Caucus met secretly in 2005 with Mr. Farrakhan and, as Democratic Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois summed it up, “I regard him as an outstanding human being.”

Persuasion, which I have taught for almost five decades, is about strategically selecting facts and interpretations to persuade audiences. The ignoring of Carter’s connections is like ignoring Donald Trump’s attacks of personal destruction and speaking only of his economic successes.

In satirist Tom Lehrer’s brilliant epic on all kinds of prejudice and the disingenuousness of those who claim to oppose it through vehicles like National Brotherhood Week, after cataloguing all of the various group hatreds, he summarizes by sardonically observing, “And everyone hates the Jews.’

Maybe there is some limited truth to that, but let’s not perpetuate it by supporting those who openly associate with despicable anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan.

— RICHARD E. VATZ 

The writer is professor at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic of Persuasion: the Agenda-Spin Model  (LAD Custom Publishing, 2019) and the co-editor of Thomas S. Szasz: the Man and His Ideas (Transaction Publishers, 2017).

A Republican’s View: The Best Democratic Candidate

“You just flew from Italy to testify here today?”

State Sen. Jill P. Carter yanked at me in the lobby of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee room after delivering my furious 3-minute presentation on child support guidelines to her committee last March. I burst out laughing and said no, I had returned to the USA two months earlier. But I knew she had followed me during my four-month Italian trip via Facebook.

My bond with her has gotten stronger every year since 2003.

Immediately after the sudden death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Matters Editor Josh Kurtz wrote the list of possible candidates for replacing Cummings. His list puzzled me, so I emailed him that he might have forgotten Jill P. Carter. He replied, “Smart thought,” and added Carter’s name to his list immediately.

A few days later, the senator announced her exploratory committee for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.

Flashback: In 2003, I attended the hearings of the Maryland House Judiciary Committee a few times and studied all committee members’ body languages. [I am deaf since birth]. My purpose was to find a legislator who might be willing to sponsor a bill that would overturn provisions of the Maryland child support court decision, Drummond v. State, 714 A.2d 163 (1998), which dealt with child support and disability benefits. Based on their body language, I had narrowed the list to the following lawmakers: my state delegate, Carmen Amedori (R); Anthony Brown (D), the vice chairman; Jill P. Carter (D); Susan C. Lee (D); Susan McComas (R); Tony O’Donnell (R); and Bobby Zirkin (D).

When I walked out of the Judiciary Committee room in 2003, Delegate O’Donnell stopped me in the hall and told me that he had read my email. He would love to introduce my proposed bill on the child support issue, he said, but could not because he would lose female votes. It meant that I had to find a female legislator to sponsor my possible legislative proposal.

On the Senate side, Sen. Norman Stone Jr. took my request in March 2004 and engineered his bill into law (Chapter 491 of the Acts of 2004).

Since then, I have testified orally before Carter’s Judiciary Committee on the child support issue every year and noted that she took my testimony very seriously. In return, I learned that she is advocating for civil rights for children in the form of parental engagement and custodial equality as well as pushing for more rights for non-custodial parents in the child support situation.

Carter hid smiling when I clashed with Del. Kathleen Dumais (D) over the child support bills. She has always supported my legislative proposals and amendments on the matter.

One day in 2011 or 2012, the Judiciary Committee had a few bills with a hot topic. It attracted administration aides and judges to testify ahead of public witnesses. The starting time for public witnesses was delayed over two hours, so an interpreter for the deaf that had been provided for me had to leave for another assignment.

Carter was puzzled, so she walked toward me. She wrote asking whether I was going to testify orally without the presence of the interpreter. I nodded and explained that I would use body language for the committee. Then she whispered to Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D). He agreed to let Carter read some yellow highlights from my written testimony to her committee. It was very kind of her.

In November 2015, Jill Carter emailed me, seeking advice. My advice??

She explained that she loved her first cousin, who is deaf, but was concerned about his ability to adequately care for himself and handle his life responsibilities since his mom had dementia and was in a facility. After exchanging messages, I referred Carter to the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for further advice.

At the end of the conversation, she asked me to look at the picture of her cousin on Facebook. I did and yelled, “Gregg Richardson!” I’ve known him since he tried to make the USA Deaf Tennis Team twice – though he did not make a trip to the Deaflympics.

As you probably know, Carter is the daughter of the late civil rights activist, leader, and visionary, Walter P. Carter. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Republican parents, my parents were Republican conservatives supporting the civil rights movement during the 1960s.

If Carter is elected to Congress, I firmly believe that she will push legislation for improving deaf rights as well as disability rights. Because she has a deaf cousin, she would participate in the Congressional Deaf Caucus.

Yes, I am a registered Republican and I used to work for the National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican National Committee. No matter my political philosophy, Maryland’s deep-blue 7th Congressional District needs the best Democratic candidate – Jill P. Carter.

— HOWARD L. GORRELL

The writer is an advocate for rights for deaf and disabled individuals.

 

 

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. So Richard Vatz’s whole argument that Sen. Carter is somehow anti-Semitic is that she may have once attended a talk Farrakhan gave? That’s the only piece of evidence he presents for his claim that “Carter appears to be a supporter” of Farrakhan. That’s ridiculous. Attending a talk hardly constitutes an endorsement of the speaker, let alone an endorsement of the ugliest parts of his record.

  2. I yawned when I read the Richard Vatz’s diatribe about Senator Jill Carter being an “anti-Semite” since this is a worn-out and hoary attempt to discredit *any* Black person who demonstrates by word or action their support for Minister Farrakhan. Poll after poll shows that anywhere between 65 to 75% of African Americans consider Minister Farrakhan one of the most admired leaders among African Americans and support his efforts to build independent Black institutions, help with the rehabilitation of over incarcerated Black prisoners and his encouraging educational pursuits and healthy lifestyles among African Americans. By Vatz’s logic this would mean that 65-75% of African Americans are “anti-Semitic”, which is, of course absurd.

    Vatz’s decontextualizing Farrakhan’s statements is eerily familiar to how Dr. Jeremiah Wright’s statements were decontextualized during Barack Obama’s first run for President. Black people like myself see these “hair on fire” attempts by certain groups and media as a not so clever tactic to discredit Black leadership that is unbought and unbossed. Minister Farrakhan is one such leader and so is Senator Jill Carter.

    Professor Katz would be better served at directing energy toward white supremacists who murdered a young woman in Charlottesville, killed Jews in Pittsburgh and have promised that “Jews won’t replace us”, in their truly anti-Semitic rants not only in Charlottesville but across the nation. Jill Carter doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in her body and Vatz’s ad hominem attacks on her only serve to create schisms between the African American and Jewish community.

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