Be Careful, You Might Be an Anti-Semite If …

By Demetric Muhammad-Guest Columnist- | Last updated: Jan 22, 2020 - 10:39:28 AM

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I recently read an ignominious article published by the It republished blogger Vic Rosenthal’s astonishingly outrageous piece that attempted to associate the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and other Black activists with a recent series of violent attacks on members of New York’s Jewish community. What Mr. Rosenthal has written is nothing more than a propaganda piece aimed at continuing to malign Minister Farrakhan and the cadre of young leaders who are awakening to commit their courage and energy in the struggle for liberation.

Rosenthal is a part of the absurdity that has become associated with the irrational charge of anti-Semitism. Let’s examine briefly why Rosenthal is wrong about Minister Farrakhan.

First of all, there have been various groups among the Orthodox Jewish community—the same community that has been attacked—that have come to the defense of Minister Farrakhan over the years. They admire him and have studied him through the lens of scripture; some have studied the Minister’s life and have drawn relevant parallels between the Jewish expectations of the Messiah and the life of Minister Louis Farrakhan. Orthodox Jewish Group Neturei Karta came to the defense of Minister Farrakhan. They responded to the character assassination campaign against Minister Farrakhan, wherein it was falsely claimed that he called Judaism a “gutter religion.” Reacting to this calumny Neturei Karta wrote in defense of Minister Farrakhan the following:

“The media widely reported that the Minister had referred to Judaism as a ‘gutter religion.’ This error (or distortion) was deeply troubling to the Nation of Islam. The reason was that in Minister Farrakhan’s vocabulary the phrase ‘dirty religion’ has a particular meaning. It referred to adherents of a faith who sinned against the tenets of that faith. The ‘dirty religion’ is the distorted faith which emerges from its manipulation by hypocrites or sinners ... . The use of ‘dirty religion’ in the Minister’s lexicon could have been discovered by any researcher interested in generating light instead of heat,” the statement reads.

Moreover, Rabbi Bruce Kahn has adeptly noted the complete absence of violence resulting from the ministry of Minister Farrakhan. According to Rabbi Kahn:

It seems clear to me that despite what I consider to be the horrifying insults that have issued from the Minister, the people who listen to him do not go chasing down Jews, or gays or Whites or Koreans to beat them and murder them. They do not do that for two reasons:

First, he warns them against such violent behavior. Second, these verbal onslaughts do not constitute the main thrust of his message. As unacceptable as they are, they are also tangential. His listeners know that. They are sufferers who know how tough it is to get a fair shake as Black people. They want that to change. They hear in Minister Farrakhan’s words inspiration and instructions to begin to bring about that change. That is the message on which he focuses and on which they focus. That is not the message on which the media focuses.

Rosenthal is guilty of an old trick and stratagem. What his piece attempts to do is what was done to Malcolm X in 1964. Brother Malcolm had been dubbed an anti-Semite by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith) and his preaching against the economic exploitation of Black people in Harlem was being blamed for violence. The May 9, 1964 edition of the Amsterdam News published the following:

The District Attorney of Queens County attempted this week to link the speeches of Muslim leader Malcolm X with the knife slaying of a White woman merchant in Harlem. The woman’s husband, who was also knifed at the same time, is in critical condition at Physicians Hospital in Jackson Heights, Queens. District Attorney Frank D. O’Connor in whose county both Malcolm X and the two stabbing victims live was asked to comment on reports published in the daily press that Negro youth have been roaming Harlem streets trained by Muslims to attack White people.

Malcolm X, Minister Farrakhan and the membership of the Nation of Islam have no record of committing violence against Jewish people or Jewish property. To do so would be against our religion. We are a community of Believers in Allah (God) and are only permitted to fight when we are attacked. At the close of all of our mosque meetings, we adjourn those in attendance with a reminder to never be the aggressor. And the Holy Quran teaches us that Allah (God) does not love the aggressor.

As time passes, it becomes clear that a Black man or woman can be labeled an anti-Semite for the most absurd reasons. Consider some of the following quotes wherein the markers and predictors for anti-Semitism among Black people have been identified.

You might be an anti-Semite if you’ve got the “Wrong Preacher”

An Orthodox rabbinical leader charged today that Negro clergymen have a “highly significant” role in the inception and spread of black anti-Semitism, either by failing to discourage it or by originating it and serving as a “core of racial antagonism.” The charge was made by Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, executive vice-president of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education.

You might be an anti-Semite if you’re “Well Educated”

Surprisingly, educated Blacks are among the most anti-Semitic of all groups in American society….certain educated Blacks seem to have adopted Malcolm X’s view that Jews are among the most substantial barriers to Black economic and political progress.

You might be an anti-Semite if you’re “Young”

Dr. Charles Y. Glock, director of the University of California Survey Research Center, pointed to Negro youth as a problem facing those concerned with anti-Semitism. “What is going on in the young Negro community.” He noted, is a paradox that his survey team must study further. For, Contrary to the white community where anti-Semitism increases with age levels, the young Negro is more anti-Semitic than his father and mother.

You might be an anti-Semite if you’re “Militant (Disciplined)”

James Farmer, executive director of the Congress of Racial Equality, asserted this week that anti-Semitism among Negroes was increasing as one aspect of the militance of the Negro fight for civic rights.

These extraordinary qualifications for anti-Semitism highlight the absurdity of the charge of anti-Semitism leveled against many in the Black community. For when we aspire to be “young, gifted and Black” it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. When we pursue the goal of being “well-educated” it has nothing at all to do with anti-Semitism. When we visit our favorite church or mosque to hear our pastors and imams, the Jewish people are the furthest thing from our minds. And when we send our sons and daughters to military academies or instruct them to live a clean, sober, disciplined life, it has nothing to do with wanting to harm Jews. We are simply aspiring to be our best selves and to maximize our God-given potential.

These published statements, when taken altogether, might cause one to believe that anti-Semites are spiritual, well-educated, youthful and disciplined. If this is the case, then every Black household in America is a potentially anti-Semitic household. Because we all aspire to be spiritual, well-educated, youthful and disciplined; and we teach our children to be the same.

I say to Mr. Rosenthal, leave Minister Farrakhan alone and stop interfering with the widespread proliferation of his salvific ministry. We in the Black community love Him and we won’t allow you to separate us from this man whom Allah (God) has given to us as a most magnificent gift.

Read more from Demetric Muhammad, a Nation of Islam student minister based in Memphis, at Follow @brotherdemetric on Twitter.