By Richard B. Muhammad, Editor
One of the most effective and often used tools employed by those who desire to keep Blacks underfoot is to try to pit Blacks against one another. Instead of dealing directly with those who are thwarting their plans for Black domination, the enemy seeks to pit us against one another.
We thank Allah (God) for history and the wisdom and love of a man who gives us the proper understanding of history that we will learn from it and not repeat past mistakes. The latest to try to use this tactic are the White Jewish enemies of the Black Nation who care nothing for the plight and the lives of Black people, including our brothers and sisters who follow the law and practices of Moses.
The Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan are not and have never been anti-Semitic, we are anti-anything that inhibits, frustrates and stifles the potential good and the best interests of Black people, including our Black brothers and sisters who are Jewish. We will never allow this deceitful and unceasing enemy to lead us down a path of attacking one another. We know who the real enemy is and we will never cease of fight against them, unless they incline to peace, true peace as described in the Holy Qur’an.
The beautiful thing about the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the work, example and leadership of Min. Farrakhan is that it promotes true love of self and kind. It promotes in its adherents a desire to have for their brothers and sisters what they want for themselves. We are actually taught we cannot be Muslims unless we want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves.
We want freedom, justice and equality for all our people regardless of land, language of professed faith as we understand all faith is rooted in the One God who has appointed for every people their way of devotion.
Yet anti-Black, European and White Jews are pitching a “new” narrative and employing an old tactic. Unable to pull the masses of Black people and independent Black leaders into their camp, these Johnny-Come-Latelys to the teachings of Moses seek to say Black Jews are under attack from Black people.
In an article published online in the Jewish Forward publication, our sister Tamar Manasseh wrote an Opinion piece headlined “Anti-Semitism – And Racism – Are Forcing Me To Choose Between My Black And Jewish Identities.” In the May 30 article, the young woman who leads Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) in Chicago’s predominately Black neighborhood called Englewood wrote: “On a recent late night run to a chicken shack in my neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago, I felt real fear for the first time. It wasn’t fear of high cholesterol, or even the familiar fear of the gang violence that’s all too frequent here. I feared for my safety because I told a stranger that I am Jewish, something I unthinkingly do whenever I’m asked about my Hebrew necklace.
“Usually, people respond with curiosity, or silence. This time, however, I was accused of being a self-hating N-word because Jews hate the black man, according to a man who overheard me inform another patron that I also belong to the Jewish people. ‘Just look at what they’re doing to the Minister!’ He said, referring to Louis Farrakhan.
“The man who accused me of being racist against my own people wasn’t a member of the nation of Islam. He also wasn’t a Hebrew Israelite, which he insisted I must be, prior to his lengthy tirade.
“He was just a middle aged black man who looked like he’d just finished working the second shift of a job that he hates but, like so many of us, he does because it’s the only one he could get.
“He didn’t look frightening or crazy. He looked like he could have been any one of my neighbors. So did the other people in the restaurant, who formed an Amen corner whenever he took a breath. They were all normal looking, too.
“Waiting for my dinner that night, I got served with a new understanding that I didn’t previously have. I am black and Jewish, and I live in a predominantly black neighborhood; while my skin color may be the same color as theirs, my worldview was and always has been different from most of the people around me.
“For the first time, I felt totally alone in the neighborhood I call home. When I walked out of that restaurant, I walked into a neighborhood full of Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, and unlisteds, but no Jews. Not one Jew who looked like me–or even one who didn’t.
“This is the ‘hood on the Southside of Chicago, and I am alone in it. I am a part of the Jewish people, but how? They don’t live here. And their absence, in this city that is so divided along racial lines, is a sign of privilege.
“How could my struggling black neighbors see me struggling just like them, but still see me as a person belonging to a people they perceive to have so much privilege? And how could people with such privilege really be aware of my existence, or even be reminded of the Jewishness of people who look like me, if they never venture to my neighborhood, and only see people like me when it’s arranged?
“My existence is being erased because the black community and the Jewish community can’t see me. Worse, while there aren’t enough mainstream Jews who look like me, I do look just like those people with whom the mainstream Jewish community has been conducting very public feuds lately.
“I look like Tamika Mallory. I read Alice Walker. I admire Angela Davis. And I live just blocks away to intersections where members of the Nation of Islam sell out thousands of Final Calls and bean pies in mere hours.
“As a Jew, all anti-Semitism hurts me. But it’s not Farrakhan’s followers who have been murdering Jews in synagogues, or who drive their cars through crowds of protesters, or who scream that ‘Jews will not replace us.’ His admirers are my neighbors. And to the black community where I live, Farrakhan has nothing to do with Muslims and Jews, or even with anti-Semitism. It has to do with racism. You might think you hate Louis Farrakhan because he’s anti-Semitic. But to my black neighbors, he’s disliked because he’s black. Like them. Like me.”
Our sister’s pain and feelings of isolation are real and we must acknowledge her experience and how easily we hurt one another, often because we need a better understanding of one another and in this case because we are angry at a real enemy and that enemy is not our sister Tamar Manasseh. The problem is anti-Blackness our sister has experienced and written about and the anti-Blackness and lies that infuriate Black people when they see and hear the lies hurled at the champion of Black people and defender of Black people, including our sister. She is not “the other” to us, she is part of our family and she is to be respected and protected. Blacks in the religion of Moses go far back beyond the White Ashkenazi. Ms. Manasseh has written about her feelings of “otherness” among Whites who are simply “Jewish” while the adjective “Black” must be placed before her name to describe her faith. She has written of the racism in Israel and it’s mistreatment of Black people. In one piece she declared: “I’m Black And Jewish. Israel Is Not My Promised Land.”
She doesn’t enjoy the power, privilege or protection accorded White Jews and organizations, like the ADL, that has demonized and slandered the Minister out of fear of what the truth will bring. And we believe the truth is Black people, including Tamar Manasseh, are the people of God’s Choice today and fulfill the biblical prophecy of Abraham’s seed going into bondage under a strange land and a strange people for 400 years until the coming of God Himself.
White Jews are angry because they seek to keep Black people under their control and their actions have nothing to do with the faith of Moses but are rooted in White supremacy and racism. They cannot hide behind their religion and avoid that fact, yet they try to–as all liars and deceivers reject and distort truth. At their root is a disdain for Black people and disrespect for Black life whether that life is Black Jew, Black Christian, Black Muslim or simply Black Black. We understand. We want out sister, Tamar Manasseh, to know that. We want her to know she enjoys our love, our respect and respect for her faith.
We know who the enemy is and our enemy is the same–anti-Blackness and racism trying to hide behind the cover of Jewishness. But it won’t work and we will never separate from one another. We are one people of many beliefs and many faiths. The enemy has no respect or love for any of us, but we must and should love and respect one another.
–Richard B. Muhammad, editor