I’m slowly working my way through Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s just-published memoir Break the Wheel: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence. I hope to write a formal book review. I’m taking my time reading the book, compiling notes on it, and doing research on related points. I want to post a series of brief comments on the book on Power Line while I am working my way through it. This is part 1. I won’t be keeping up much with the news this week.
The new book is a memoir of Ellison’s prosecution of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. It is Ellison’s second memoir. For some reason, his first memoir goes unmentioned anywhere in this book — it’s not mentioned in the text or in the capsule bio of Ellison or on the book’s dust jacket.
Ellison first memoir was My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, published by Simon & Schuster in 2014. I read that one too as soon as it was published. I wrote about it for the Weekly Standard (the article is behind the Washington Examiner paywall) and for the Star Tribune in a column that I titled “Ellison remembers to forget.” If you seek an expert on the oeuvre of Keith Ellison, I’m your man.
As a black convert to Islam and the first such Minnesotan elected to Congress and to statewide office, Ellison is a historic figure of a kind. Unfortunately, as such, Ellison is exempt from any serious scrutiny or relevant criticism by the mainstream media. MSM outlets such as the Washington Post, NPR, and the Star Tribune serve as little more than publicists of his work.
Reading his first memoir, I was interested to find his take on the branch of Islam that comports with every position of the radical left of the Democratic Party. “If I were Jewish,” Ellison explains, “I would probably be a Reform Jew. If I were Christian, I would be one of those come-as-you-are nondenominational Christians. … Faith is not about expressing what I believe so that the world can see I’m faithful. I don’t believe in following a strict set of rules to prove my love for God or to prove my faith.” According to Ellison, “In Islam, your religion is what you make of it.” I call this the Ellison branch of Islam. His successor in Congress — Ilhan Omar — is also a member.