Chelsea Handler praises clip of Louis Farrakhan on Instagram

Celebrities including Chelsea Handler and Jessica Chastain shared a video clip with their millions of social-media followers showing a speech by Louis Farrakhan, the fiery Nation of Islam leader who has a history of anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic rhetoric.

“I learned a lot from watching this powerful video,” wrote Handler in blasting out the clip to her nearly four million Instagram followers on Sunday.

In the undated clip from The Phil Donahue Show, Farrakhan verbally jousts with members of the program’s studio audience on questions of whether racial prejudice could ever truly be overcome.

The post — shared amid international unrest sparked by a white Minneapolis cop’s fatally kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, on May 25 — reportedly racked up likes from celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jennifer Garner.

Chastain shared the post with her 3.2 million followers from Handler’s page, Mediaite reported Tuesday, only for the actress to apparently delete the video without explanation.

Fellow actress Jameela Jamil also reportedly shared the video, along with a message that betrayed ignorance of Farrakhan’s notoriety.

“Someone please tell me the name of this extraordinary man who so perfectly sums up white fear in under a minute,” Jamil reportedly wrote in her own comment, which too has been deleted.

In his decades atop the Nation of Islam — which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — Farrakhan, now 87, has unabashedly spewed vitriol against white people, the LGBT community and, in particular, Jews.

“Farrakhan is an anti-Semite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the US government and controlling the levers of world power,” wrote the SPLC in a profile of the firebrand.

Louis Farrakhan in 1990
Louis Farrakhan in 1990Multimedia Entertainment

Even as Handler’s post garnered over 93,000 posts as of Tuesday afternoon, it also drew significant criticism.

“So, based on this logic, if you find a video of Hitler saying something positive and powerful, will you feel equally compelled to share it?” replied Instagram user cindyjh5. “You gave hate credibility and a large platform today.”

Added user socalmama94, “Farrakhan is a hateful anti Semite. He wears that label proudly. There are many others whose wisdom you could be sharing.

“This is disappointing Chelsea.”

Even after as the criticism poured in, however, Handler, 45, argued that Farrakhan’s hatred may have been justified by his own experiences on the receiving end of bigotry.

“Another thing: perhaps Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic views took form during his own oppression,” wrote Handler. “We know now that oppression of one race leads to an oppression of all races.”


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