Guest Editorial: Blacks, Jews and anti-semitism

Recently, anti-Semitism has again reared its ugly head. It started, or re-surfaced, when Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, made some controversial statements about Jewish people that have caused him to lose boatloads of money. Basically, Ye has accused Jews of dominating the entertainment industry and allowing the production of music that has had a deleterious impact on the Black community.

Apparently, Ye miscalculated, at one point saying that Adidas couldn’t do anything to him. He was apparently very surprised when they severed ties with him, catapulting him out of the realm of billionaire-land. Other companies followed suit. Eventually, Ye ended up apologizing.

On the heels of Ye’s debacle, another Black man has come under fire as a result of spreading information about Jewish people.

Apparently, Kyrie Irving, a basketball player and member of the New York Nets team, shared controversial anti-Semitic information in a book and film. The book in question, The Thirteenth Tribe written by a Jew, Arthur Koestler, says the Jews who call themselves Jewish adopted the religion at some point in the past and were therefore not the original Jews. A film with anti-Semitic content was also promoted by Kyrie, who has since been suspended from his team.

All of this plays right into the anti-Semitic musings of a lot of people. Interestingly, the Jews have been maligned and persecuted for many years. Everyone knows about the pogrom against the Jews that fueled World War II. (A pogrom is an organized, often officially encouraged massacre or persecution of a minority group, especially one conducted against Jews). A similar situation occurred in Russia.

In spite of persecution, or maybe because of it, the Jewish people have achieved success far out of proportion to their numbers. They have dominated in many areas and can boast about accomplished pioneers who have helped shape society. Moreover, they seem to have a penchant for economic dominance that may be a source of hatred and envy. During World War II, the Jews’ domination of the German economy allegedly caused the pogrom against them.

The relationship between Blacks and Jews is complex, but more importantly, ironic since both groups have been subjected to prolonged persecution.

Complicating issues even further is the fact that many Black people consider themselves to be the original Jews. In fact, there is a whole community of American Blacks who have settled in Dimona Israel, asserting they have that right because they are legitimate Jews. People point to the fact that there were 12 tribes of Israel, but to date there are only two that people can identify, the Ashkenazi Jews and the Sephardic Jews. What this means is that there are 10 tribes of Judah that are lost.

What is certain about Jewish people is that they have had some incredible accomplishments, as pointed out earlier. Black people, who have also been persecuted, have not yet had the same successes that Jews have had. This can be seen in different responses to oppression.

The Jewish people seem to have been able to unify to such an extent that any attacks on the community serve as catalysts for them to collectively fight their enemies.

Black people, on the other hand, seem to have taken the opposite approach. There is a lot of self-loathing in the community, as demonstrated by the incidents of Black-on-Black crime. Black people have not been able to pull together effectively in order to overcome the curse of slavery and oppression.

It is important to note that Blacks and Jews have been staunch allies in the past. Particularly, Jewish people have served as fighters for Black liberation. And though there are pundits in the Black community who believe that Blacks and Jews are enemies because Jewish people participated in the slave trade, it can be pointed out that there were Black people who also owned slaves.

Ultimately, it can be seen to be extremely counter-productive for Black people to jump on the white supremacist bandwagon of anti-Semitism.

Instead, the Black community should take a page from the Jewish playbook and unify against enemies of the community. It is only natural for this to happen, which is why it is counterintuitive for Black people to attack Jews for their reaction to anti-Semitism.

Ultimately, the Black-Jewish schism seems orchestrated by other unseen forces in a divide-and-conquer strategy. Who would benefit from this schism? This is a question that Black people, in particular, need to answer. A Luta Continua.

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