WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 14, 2014) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) released the following statement today after groups attempted to organize a boycott of the White House Iftar dinner.
“I’m looking forward to visiting with President Obama at the White House Iftar. While I certainly share the concerns of the people who have called for the boycott, I disagree with the tactic. It will not close Guantanamo Bay, guarantee a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine or undo the NSA’s targeting of Muslims.
“The leaders of the Montgomery Bus boycott and the United Farm Workers’ boycotts didn’t have the opportunity to speak directly to the White House about the issues affecting their communities. Boycotting was one of the few tools on the table at that time. A boycott of the White House Iftar dinner tonight won’t help advance an agenda on the policy matters we care about. If the boycott was successful and no Muslims showed up, then no one would talk about the issues on behalf of our community.
“Precisely because the people adversely affected by these policies cannot be present, passionate and articulate members of the community must be there tonight.”