Scott Johnson’s book report
I was naturally excited to learn that Scott Johnson had also read Keith Ellison’s recent and charming memoir, My Country ‘Tis of Thee. Since the New York Review of Books, and even The Atlantic, rejected Scott’s review, he had to turn to his pal Doug Tice at the Strib to get it published. Which is, naturally, as it should be.
Wrapped in a sophomoric — I’m sorry, sixth grade — book report, there is a simmering Islamophobia that is the reason for the book report in the first place. That’s why it’s an op-ed piece, not in the Sunday books section.
Johnson complains that, “As late as 1998, for example, Ellison sought the DFL Party’s nomination for state representative as Keith Ellison-Muhammad, a frankly avowed member of the Nation of Islam.”
Keith writes in his memoir about the Nation of Islam, and why he rejected it. Only in Scott Johnson’s febrile imagination is this a memory hole.
Johnson also whines that Keith doesn’t identify a sect of Islam that “comports” with his version of Islam.
Now Johnson is a theologian as well as a literary critic. A true man for all seasons.
But he’s one thing more: a fellow traveler with one of the most virulent, racist, anti-Muslim harridans on the face of planet earth, Pamela Geller. Johnson is pictured here sharing the dais with Geller a program in 2007, about which Johnson gushes, “Today is a day I will not soon forget.”
2007 is nine years after 1998. But it doesn’t seem that the passage of time any done anything for Johnson’s attitude about Muslims.
This is the one that shouldn’t go down the memory hole.
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