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Farrakhan's Pennsylvania Admirer
Among all of the top Democrats intimately involved in the Pennsylvania primary, which would you say has had the coziest relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam?
It's not Barack Obama.
The individual who has shared a podium with Farrakhan and has publicly praised the Nation of Islam the loudest is the person most responsible for organizing, mobilizing and delivering the Pennsylvania vote to Hillary Clinton: her close friend and trusted political counselor Ed Rendell.
That Rendell and the Nation of Islam have something going is beyond doubt.
Go to the video on YouTube:
See Rendell standing at the lectern with Farrakhan seated near him.
Listen to the applause from a packed audience, many men in dark suits and bow ties, as Rendell tells Farrakhan how his respect for Philadelphia's Nation of Islam minister Rodney Muhammad "has grown" and how much he respects Muhammad "for the intensity of his beliefs, for the decency of his soul, and for the strength of his courage."
Observe Farrakhan nodding in approval as Rendell says, "I'd like to thank the Nation of Islam here in Philadelphia . . . for what you stand for and . . . for all the good it does for so many people in Philadelphia."
Cheer (or boo) along with the audience as Rendell lauds the Nation of Islam as "a faith that doesn't just talk about family values, it lives family values."
The rally took place in 1997 after racial turmoil in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia. The Nation of Islam had threatened to assemble 5,000 people to march through Grays Ferry. But it relented at the request of then-Mayor Rendell.
In a two-page letter to Farrakhan, Rendell pledged to speak at an alternative interfaith and interracial rally. The mayor also said he would denounce "the racism of all kinds that exists in our city and other American cities as well." That pledge brought Farrakhan to the rally.