05:13 GMT +321 February 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Rep. Omar Labeled Anti-Semitic for Pointing Out the Problematic Role of AIPAC

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Talib Karim, attorney and executive director of STEM4US.

    Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) apologized this afternoon for what many saw as anti-Semitic comments discussing links between AIPAC, as well as other Zionist lobbying efforts and money, and American policy output. She quote tweeted journalist and Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald, who said: "GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans," and she added that McCarthy's motives were "all about the Benjamins." When people asked what she meant, Omar tweeted, "AIPAC," referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobbying group that has spent millions sending lawmakers on visits to the Jewish nation over the years. What did Congresswoman Omar say or tweet, and was it anti-Semitic?

    A Virginia state legislator, Delegate Patrick A. Hope, who intended to begin impeachment proceedings against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, backed off today after African-American lawmakers demanded there not be a rush to oust Mr. Fairfax, who is black, over accusations of sexual assault while the state's white governor and attorney general are refusing to resign after they admitted wearing blackface in their youth. This situation is getting more complex by the day. Mr. Hope circulated a resolution on Sunday that would have directed a House of Delegates committee to determine whether allegations of sexual assault against Mr. Fairfax by two women, Meredith Watson and Vanessa C. Tyson, "constitute conduct sufficient to provide grounds for impeachment." He had said on Friday evening that he would introduce articles of impeachment today if Mr. Fairfax, a fellow Democrat who denies the allegations, had not resigned by then. Mr. Hope backed down after a Sunday night conference call among House Democrats turned heated, according to two Democrats directly familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss party matters. Mr. Hope said on Twitter on Monday that discussions with his colleagues had "led to additional conversations that need to take place before anything is filed." Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, who have been agonizing over what to do regarding all three of the state's executives for over a week now, believe the claims against Mr. Fairfax should be litigated in a legal setting, not a political venue.

    Forty years ago today, Iranians engaged in a bloodless revolution. They overthrew Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Western-backed dictator, also known as the Shah. This made me reflect upon Mohammad Mosaddegh, the 35th prime minister of Iran, who held office from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's MI6. Anglo-American oil companies did not like, among other things, that Mosaddegh was nationalizing Iranian oil and raising the price per barrel so that he could raise the standard of living for the average Iranian. Sounds a lot like what the US is doing in Venezuela. Is there a comparison between the US-backed coup in Iran and the US-backed coup in Venezuela?

    GUESTS:

    Talib Karim — Attorney and executive director of STEM4US.

    Dr. Shantella Sherman — Historical researcher, technical writer, author of In Search of Purity: Popular Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes 1915-1935 and publisher of Acumen Magazine.

    Joseph L. Graves Jr. — American scientist and the associate dean for research and professor of biological studies at the Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, which is jointly administered by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and UNC Greensboro.

    Dr. Kathie Stromile Golden — Associate vice president for academic affairs and director of international programs at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, where she previously served as director of the Delta Research and Cultural Institute. Executive director of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and director of the Graduate Assistantship Program.

    Dr. Anthony Monteiro — Author, activist, DuBois Scholar and former professor in the African American Studies Department at Temple University.

    Phil Wilayto — Writer, speaker and organizer based in Richmond, Virginia. He is a founding member of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, an all-volunteer community organization, and editor of the quarterly newspaper The Virginia Defender.

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    Tags:
    Blackface, Islamic Revolution, AIPAC, Gov Northam, Justin Fairfax, Ilhan Omar, Iran, Virginia
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