House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is in hot water over a paper he wrote in college.

Jeffries, in a 1992 column for his college newspaper, likened black conservatives to “house negroes,” accusing them of being used as tokens. He also defended anti-Semitic remarks made by prominent black leaders at that time.

CNN reported that Jeffries was a member of the executive board for the Black Student Union at Binghamton University in New York at the time. In the same column, he defended his uncle Dr. Leonard Jeffries, a professor of black studies who was terminated for making anti-Semitic comments, as well as Dr. Louis Farrakhan, who once likened Jewish people to termites.

“The House Negroes didn’t labor in the field, they were domestic servants,” Jeffries wrote. “The House Negro was dressed up and was led to believe that he or she was better than those in the field. Most importantly, the House Negro sought to emulate the white master. This emulation was not designed with the interests of the masses at heart. Rather, the motivating force was personal gain.”

In 2013, when asked about his memory of the controversy that embroiled his uncle, Hakeem told the Wall Street Journal, “I have a vague recollection of it other than remembering that it was a very stressful time for my father in particular–given the level of controversy and acrimony surrounding Dr. Jeffries.”

“It had a great impact on my father at the time. My father’s a strong person, so he never really showed it, but that was his brother who was in the midst of the eye of the storm, and that was what I remember,” he said.

Jeffries graduated from Binghamton University and earned a law degree from New York University School of Law. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012, representing the 8th Congressional District of New York.

Jeffries has risen to become a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and was elected chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2019, making him the fourth-highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

He was elected to become the top Democrat earlier this year after Nancy Pelosi lost her Speakership to the GOP majority and stepped down as minority leader.


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