Ellison remembers to forget

I bought and read Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison’s My Country, ‘Tis of Thee within a few days of its publication this past January. The book is Ellison’s memoir, written for a national audience. I bought and read the book upon publication because I was interested to see how Ellison would deal with his background as a local activist on behalf of the Nation of Islam. I wrote up my findings in the Weekly Standard article “The Ellison elision.”

I thought the book was so interesting in this respect that I worried about being scooped by some local political reporter who would write about the book before my article on it was published. Once Weekly Standard deputy editor Richard Starr accepted my piece for publication, I asked Richard to place it in the next issue if he could. He said he would do his best to accommodate me and in fact placed the piece in that week’s issue.

I owe Richard Starr an apology. Of the many worries that have troubled my sleep over the years, this one may have been the most laughable. It occurred to me when I saw the paperback edition of Ellison’s book on the shelves of the downtown Minneapolis Barnes & Noble two weeks ago that, so far as I know, no one in the local media has yet noted Ellison’s treatment of the Nation of Islam in the book, nearly a year after the book’s original publication.

With the recent publication of the paperback edition, I wanted to take the opportunity to submit my findings to a local audience. Today’s Star Tribune carries my column “Ellison remembers to forget.” I am grateful to Star Tribune commentary editor Doug Tice for letting the column see the light of day in the hometown paper and wanted to bring it to the attention of Power Line readers who might be interested.

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