Raphael Warnock, whose mentors have often been racist black nationalists and extremists, posted a message on the death of Calvin Butts, declaring that, “Reverend Butts was my pastor. He mentored, trained, and inspired me at the beginning of my career; I owe much of who I am today to him.”
The media coverage of Butts’ death avoided any of the controversies surrounding him.
The New York Times however briefly mentioned his antisemitic issues.
In 1986, a third of the musicians of the New York Philharmonic, many of them Jewish, boycotted an annual concert at Mr. Butts’s church because he refused to repudiate the Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, who had called Judaism a “gutter religion.”
Mr. Butts told The New York Times then that he disagreed with Mr. Farrakhan’s remarks on Judaism, though he supported some of his economic and social positions. But he insisted that he had been asked to flatly denounce Mr. Farrakhan.
“All I’m saying to the Jewish community is, don’t dictate to me,” Mr. Butts said. “I understand your anger. I’m not a fool. I don’t hate Jewish people. In fact, I quite respect what the Jewish people have done. But please don’t make me a boy and tell me what to do.”
The routine sounds familiar because little has changed. But Butts played a major role in helping to mainstream Louis Farrakhan who, as we continue to see, plays a major role in antisemitism among black people.
BUTTS: So, my Uncle Leon who was the union organizer. He came by our house one night or we went to his. He said, “Come down in the basement. I’ve got something for you to hear.” Now, what is this? And he put on this forty-five record and the record was singing or saying, “White man heaven is black man hell.” He said “Do you know who that is?” I said, “No.” He says, “That’s Louis X,” and of course, that’s Minister Farrakhan today. And so he was influential because he had that energy.
Butts continued to admire Farrakhan and welcome him in because he admired his hatred of white people.
The title was: “A White Man’s Heaven Is a Black Man’s Hell.”
He refused to condemn Farrakhan’s reference to Judaism as a “gutter religion” in 1986, triggering a boycott of an Abyssinian concert by more than a third of New York Philharmonic’s players.
And then there’s Butts’ “Go to hell, white man” quote.
That’s another one of Warnock’s mentors.