Perspectives

A Speech and Book For The New Spiritual Economics (Part 2)

By Cedric Muhammad -Guest Columnist- | Last updated: Jul 19, 2010 - 9:50:59 AM

Bookmark and Share

What's your opinion on this article?

secret_rel_v2_300x225_6.jpg

There are many members of the American Jewish community and even its political establishment whom I believe would be deeply moved by Volume Two of “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” especially if they take the time to read its detailed footnotes, which cite eminent scholars, historians, and economists.
“From Los Angeles' early years, Jews dominated the merchant class. They came to the pueblo and immediately opened dry-goods stores, stationery stores, and blacksmith shops – anything that might flourish in a slow-moving frontier economy … Since Los Angeles was so isolated, most of these merchants had partners in either San Francisco or New York, men who could select and ship new merchandise for the stores. Frequently, these were family members, for early Jewish settlers relied on extended kinship networks to keep down their costs.”  —“Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California “ by Frances Dinkelspiel

The member of the American Jewish Community with whom I have had the deepest and most respectful public dialogue regarding Black-Jewish relations is Mr. Steven Silbiger, author of “The Ten-Day MBA” (which sold over 250,000 copies) and “The Jewish Phenomenon.” Mr. Silbiger is a highly intelligent man and both of his books are very significant in my opinion.

In 2003, Mr. Silbiger and I met outside of Philadelphia where I conducted a several-hour long interview, which eventually was published at BlackElectorate.com. The reaction I received to the interview—by both Blacks and non-Blacks was phenomenal and Mr. Silbiger would later thank me for helping to popularize his book, “The Jewish Phenomenon.”

Shortly after the release of the revised edition of “The Jewish Phenomenon,” In December of 2009, we spoke again, in a wide-ranging interview on my radio program. In that discussion, Mr. Silbiger repeated something that we discussed previously—that the most enthusiastic reaction he has received, in a positive sense, to his book, has come from the Black community and that the most resistance to “The Jewish Phenomenon” came from within the Jewish community.

One of the things Mr. Silbiger told me in reference to this—in 2003—was that National Public Radio (NPR) canceled a scheduled show featuring Mr. Silbiger and Black conservative intellectual John McWhorter out of fear that a discussion involving “The Jewish Phenomenon” would alienate NPR's numerous Jewish benefactors.

Here is part of the exchange that Mr. Silbiger and I had regarding this topic back then:

Cedric Muhammad: You were telling me some interesting anecdotes that we were discussing over lunch regarding how your book, really, for lack of a better description, hasn't gotten the best reception from journalists, media outlets and opinion leaders in the Jewish community. Could you elaborate more on the nature of this—the reasons for it as you were telling me earlier?

Steven Silbiger: Sure, the people who have read the book enjoy the book, it is very useful but within the media there has been an almost silence about the book because they would rather the book not create any discussion. A lot of the book reviewers and people in the main press don't want to cover the book because the subject of Jewish success in America is more controversial than anything else. Because the idea is that if you publicize Jewish success and the reasons for it, then it will bring additional anti-Semitism to the Jewish community. I have spoken to Jewish groups, B'nai B'rith, Haddasah—many Jewish groups, and the book has been universally well-received when presented, but book reviewers and other opinion leaders would rather not deal with the subject because their downside is much greater than the upside for covering the book. I wouldn't mind negative reviews. But they'd rather not review it at all because of how powerful the message is in this book ...”

This exchange implies much about the role that the media plays in determining the quality of the dialogue over Black-Jewish relations.

On the back cover of the revised version of the book one sees:

“Revealing Facts and Statistics behind The Jewish Phenomenon

• Jews make up only 2 percent of the total U.S. population, yet 45 percent of the top 40 of the Forbes 400 richest Americans are Jewish.

• One-third of American multimillionaires are Jewish.

• The percentage of Jewish households with income greater than $50,000 is double that of non-Jews.

• 20 percent of professors at leading universities are Jewish.

• 40 percent of partners in the leading New York and Washington, D.C., law firms are Jewish.

• 25 percent of all American Nobel Prize winners are Jewish.”

One of the very few things I disagree with contained within Mr. Silbiger's book is his description of the causes for what he calls a ‘rift' in Black-Jewish relations.

In a section headlined, ‘AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE JEWS,' he writes: “The relationship between the American Jews and the African-American community has been a close but strained one. At the beginning of the twentieth century the bonds were stronger, but the rise of Muslim religious leaders in the African-American community in the 1950s began to widen the rift between them. Some of these African-American Muslims have mistakenly used Jews as scapegoats for their own lack of progress. Although there were a few Jewish slave owners in the South, Jews were not large players in the slave trade.”

To support the last sentence of this statement, Mr. Silbiger has a footnote that directs one to the book, “Jews, Slaves and the Slave Trade” by Eli Farber.

A few corrections and counter-arguments can be easily made in light of the just published and meticulously researched “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume Two: How Jews Gained Control Of The Black American Economy.”

First, the statement, “Jews were not large players in the slave trade,” is easily overcome by the avalanche of detailed history, from Jewish archives, regarding the settlement of Brazil, Surinam, Curacao, Jamaica and Barbados in the Caribbean; as well as the history of the slave holders and slave traders in American cities like Charleston, South Carolina and Newport, Rhode Island. In addition statements centered upon the ‘slave trade,' are potentially misleading as they ignore or redirect attention from the central role that members of the Jewish community played in supporting the plantation economy as merchants; and as cotton factors and crop lien holders in the sharecropping era.

Second, Volume Two provides overwhelming evidence that in the American South it was suffering Blacks who were used by certain members of the Jewish community as both ‘scapegoat' or ‘buffer' to facilitate their own assimilation or integration into White Gentile society.

As quoted in Volume Two, Irving Howe, author of the most popular book on American Jewish history, “World Of Our Fathers” writes, “For decades American blacks had served …as a kind of buffer for American Jews. So long as native hatreds were taken out primarily on blacks, they were less likely to be taken out on Jews.” Also from Volume Two we read the words of Rabbi Bertram W. Korn, “The Negroes acted as an escape-valve in Southern society. The Jews gained in status and security from the very presence of this large mass of defenseless victims who were compelled to absorb all of the prejudices which might otherwise have been expressed more frequently in anti-Jewish sentiment …”

Could it be that it is quotes like these—from respected Jewish opinion leaders and not Black ‘anti-Semitism'—which members of the Jewish Political Establishment truly fear?

Third, Mr. Silbiger's statement, “the rise of Muslim religious leaders in the African-American community in the 1950s began to widen the rift,” in an important sense cannot be proven true in light of certain statements from establishment Jewish leaders of that era. This excerpt from the Preface of Volume Two makes that clear. Related to an unsubstantiated claim in 1959 by Time Magazine that the Nation of Islam was anti-Semitic we read:

In response to the 1959 Time Magazine article, the head of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, Arnold Forster, admitted in a secret memo that “Time magazine notwithstanding, we have no documentable evidence of anti-Semitism on the part of the Temples of Islam movement or Elijah Muhammad.” He affirmed that they are “not anti-Jewish per se.” Yet Jewish organizations publicly continued to label the NOI as ‘anti-Semitic.' In 1960, the chairman of the American Jewish Congress, Nathan Edelstein, wrote that “We doubt whether the bulk of its followers are presently committed to anti-Semitism.”

In the footnotes of Volume Two's Preface the sources for the above information are given to substantiate what is written.

In Brother Jabril Muhammad's book “This Is The One” first published in the early 1970s we read:

“Back in 1959, the white press, as if on signal, launched a furious attack on Messenger Muhammad and The Nation of Islam, following the dishonest portrayal of us entitled: ‘The Hate that Hate Produced.' Through such publications as Time, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, The Reporter, Esquire, Confidential, True, Saga, and a host of other magazines and newspapers; white America spewed forth a flood of articles, both superficial, spurious and poisonous in nature. A few among them did a creditable job, as far as they went. But the bulk of what was written was insidious and rotten to the core. But it did not hurt us.

There is plenty evidence to show that much of the material was deliberately misleading. There are instances when reporters found interpolations in the text to their stories that were altered, here and there, by their ‘bosses' so as to misrepresent their findings of the Messenger and his followers.”

Part of the ‘plenty evidence' referred to in “This Is The One” was revealed in 1996 with the publication of “In The Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan And The Nation of Islam.” In it author Mattias Gardell writes:

In 1959, the FBI launched a large-scale media campaign. In this first phase, the FBI briefed selected journalists who willingly channeled the view of the bureau to the American public. The special agent in charge (SAC) in Chicago, wrote: “Originally the program was centered around espousing to the public, both white and black, on a nationwide basis the abhorrent aspects of the organization and its racist, hate type teachings. This was done in such leading magazines as Time, U.S. News and World Report, Saturday Evening Post etc. … as well as through newspapers.”

The ADL and the FBI have a very intimate relationship. Part of it involves the ADL both training and briefing the FBI on such topics as what it calls ‘radical Islam.' One such training session was conducted on May 18, 2010. How far back has such training gone, and is the ADL the fountain from which the lie that the Nation of Islam is ‘Anti-Semitic' (even though the ADL privately admits it is not true) comes?

There are many members of the American Jewish community and even its political establishment whom I believe would be deeply moved by Volume Two of “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” especially if they take the time to read its detailed footnotes, which cite eminent scholars, historians, and economists.

I believe these individuals—after such a reading—would sense something very spiritually wrong in the reaction the ADL had to the powerful letter that was written to its President, Mr. Abraham Foxman, by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

The past and current efforts of some in the Jewish community to silence or distort discussions regarding the sources of its wealth are hurting, not helping Black-Jewish relations.

The sooner the ‘intelligent and sensible' dialogue which Minister Farrakhan describes begins, the sooner a greater appreciation and admiration for the beautiful side of Jewish kinship-based economics can emerge—enlightening and inspiring not only Black Americans, but an entire world.

In closing, Steven Silbiger has personally told me of his admiration for the leader of the UNIA, the Honorable Marcus Garvey.

While Steven Silbiger expresses high regard for Marcus Garvey, this great leader from Jamaica has also been labeled as ‘anti-Semitic.'

However, in “The Jewish Phenomenon” we read, “Garvey denounced discrimination against the Jews and ascribed it to others' jealousy of Jewish economic success. At the same time, emphasizing his self-empowerment theme, he cautioned against relying on Jews, stating that the very racial solidarity he admired made Jews loyal only to themselves.”

Think and read for yourself.

Order Volumes One and Two of “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews” today.

(Cedric Muhammad is a business consultant, political strategist, and monetary economist. He's a former GM of Wu-Tang Management and currently a Member of the African Union's First Congress of African Economists. Cedric's the Founder of the economic information service Africa PreBrief (http://africaprebrief.com/) and author of ‘The Entrepreneurial Secret' (http://theEsecret.com/). He can be contacted via e-mail at: cedric(at)cmcap.com.)

Bookmark and Share