German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once stated: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
This reminds me of a very important YouTube clip of Jewish journalist David Sheen from a lecture he delivered in 2019, nearly 30 years after the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan published volume one of, “The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews.” Sheen had this powerful admission that sheds light on Schopenhauer’s three stages of truth. Sheen states:
“I wanted to find out what really went down … the Nation of Islam produced a book a bunch of decades ago called The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. And it documented the history of Jewish involvement in the slave trade, then goes on to say, you know, Jewish involvement in slavery was massive … So I decided to not just read what people I agree with say, but also people I don’t necessarily agree with … I think that what they have to say can’t be dismissed outright if they did scholarship. So, I wanted to judge it on its own merits, so I read that book that they wrote. It was called anti-Semitic …
I felt that they also documented facts that are unassailable and they sourced it impeccably, realizing that because of their hard-right politics that they would be attacked and that credibility would be called into question. So, they footnoted it you know to the nth degree. And left tracks so that they could be followed up on and verified. …And sadly, those are truths that we have to face you know. We have a messy history we have to look at it honestly accept it and acknowledge it if we were to make amends.”—David Sheen, Chronicling Culpability
Kanye West, who not long ago changed his name to Ye, is not a scholar, journalist or academician. Ye is a leader within the world of popular culture. His recent statements on the relationship between Blacks and Jews has drawn an extreme amount of criticism and opposition. As Jewish journalist David Sheen was surprised over the truths published by Minister Farrakhan in The Secret Relationship, many who condemn Ye as an anti-Semite may be surprised to learn the essence of his critique of Jewish misconduct within the Black community has strong academic support.
Ye’s wide-ranging statements and “thinking out loud” dramatic appearances in several recent interviews record him offering a curious admixture of ideas and thoughts to the court of public opinion. And even though he has been proven wrong in opining that martyr of the Black struggle—George Floyd—died of a fentanyl overdose, many of his other observations have powerful substantive support.
It should also be noted that in 2020 People Magazine reported Ye’s donating of $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. People Magazine specified that Ye created a 529 college savings plan for George Floyd’s daughter Gianna.
The Real Children of Israel
When Ye argues that Blacks are Jews, many within the court of public opinion reject this idea. Yet this idea has been a part of the religious beliefs of the Nation of Islam and other Black Hebrew communities for many years. My teacher, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stated on June 26, 2010:
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has said that Almighty God Allah revealed to him that the Black people of America are The Real Children of Israel. And we are The Choice of God; and that unto us He will deliver His Promise.”
Moreover, there is the growing acknowledgment among Jewish scholars that the Jews (i.e. Ashkenazi and Sephardic) are not the people whose history and journey are written of in the Bible as the Children of Israel.
Consider the words of esteemed Jewish scholar Prof. Shlomo Sands who wrote
“I was not raised as a Zionist, but like all other Israelis, I took it for granted that the Jews were a people living in Judea and that they were exiled by the Romans in 70 AD. But once I started looking at the evidence, I discovered that the kingdoms of David and Solomon were legends … Similarly, with the exile. In fact, you can’t explain Jewishness without exile. But when I started to look for history books describing the events of this exile, I couldn’t find any. Not one.”
—Prof. Shlomo Sands [Professor of History, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Author of “The Invention of The Jewish People” (2009)].
Ye proclaimed in one recent interview on Drink Champs that true Anti-Semitism is equal to the degrading forms of hip-hop that White and often Jewish executives oversee and produce.
In an article for Mic.com, entitled “How Music Executives Created ‘Black’ Hip Hop for White Suburban Kids,” culture critic Tom Barnes notes:
“Raps containing gangbangers, drug dealers, pimps, and hoes were pushed to the forefront, as executives believed that the sexiness and danger of these lifestyles were what white audiences craved from the genre. These stories were crafted, packaged, and sold as representing authentic ‘blackness.’ Other core attributes of early hip-hop music, such as its political critique, social commentary, comedy, and spirituality—represented by classic groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli—were pushed to the fringe.”
Hip Hop legend Too Short is also on the record lamenting that record executive Barry Weiss refused to support him in putting out a positive hip-hop album. Weiss instead encouraged the artist to put out his raunchiest album ever.
Black Leadership Falsely Labeled
Ye’s being labeled an anti-Semite follows a long history of Black people in prominent positions having to wear that political labeling that is designed to function as a real-life “scarlet letter.” In fact, a 2016 ADL study states that 23 percent of Black Americans are anti-Semitic.
Proof that the labeling of critics of the Jewish community or the state of Israel as anti-Semites is purely politically motivated and without merit, we cite former Israeli Education Minister Shulamit Aloni, who told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman:
“Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe someone criticizes Israel, we bring up the holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, they are [called] anti-Semitic.”
Consider some of the historical examples of Black leadership and what has become a phenomenon of their ultimate confrontation with Jewish opposition.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“We were living in a slum apartment owned by a Jew and a number of others, and we had to have a rent strike. We were paying $94 for four run-down, shabby rooms, and we would go out on our open housing marches on Gage Park and other places and we discovered that whites with five sanitary, nice, new rooms, apartments with five rooms, were paying only $78 a month. We were paying 20 percent tax. The Negro ends up paying a color tax, and this has happened in instances where Negroes actually confronted Jews as the landlord or the storekeeper.”
The one Black man who organized the largest Black movement in American history is the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. He described his Jewish problem in the following when he stated:
“When they wanted to get me, they had a Jewish judge try me, and a Jewish prosecutor. I would have been freed but two Jews on the jury held out against me ten hours and succeeded in convicting me, whereupon the Jewish judge gave me the maximum penalty.”
The February 25, 1966, edition of the Detroit Jewish News carried an article entitled, Tragic Tale of Malcolm X: Autobiography Denies Anti-Semitism, But Is Filled with It. In the article Malcolm is lambasted for being an anti-Semite:
“Much is said about Jews, Negros relationship with them, and there are many charges against them. Malcolm played an interesting game, predicting that he would be accused of anti-Semitism and resenting it. Yet there is so much evidence of his dislike for Jews that it is impossible to view him other than anti-Semitic.”
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
Author Marc Dollinger discussed the opposition of the Jewish leaders to the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad when he wrote:
“Despite the Nation of Islam’s political marginalization, American Jewish Committee officials still feared [Elijah] Muhammad. His charismatic personality, willingness to confront racism in the most dramatic rhetorical terms and ability to inspire even non-believing African American listeners concerned Jewish leaders. The Nation of Islam leader, they feared, could earn the respect of his black audiences, even if they chose not to join his movement.”
The ADL’s claims to represent the Jewish community are in jeopardy due to the growing number of Jewish people who agree with Minister Farrakhan. Their report entitled: Mainstreaming Anti-Semitism The Legitimation of Louis Farrakhan proposed the “no-platform” policy against the Minister:
“ADL is not going to make Farrakhan go away. What we can and should do is impose an obligation on those who deal with him, or, as in the case of universities, give him a platform. In each case, the burden should be on those who give Farrakhan some measure of credibility.”
Hiding the Truth
One of the numerous Jewish scholars of the many Jewish scholars, rabbis and historians that appear in the four-volume series, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” is Rabbi Bertram Korn. He is the author of Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South 1789-1965
He stated that he was encouraged not to publish what he found in his research:
“In this work in which I’ve been engaged for twenty-five years or more, I’ve had a lot of objections tossed at me on the part of Jews, scholars, and lay people, including my wife, ah, who think that it’s best to sweep things under the rug. That, ah, the suggestion that any Jews owned any slaves or had anything to do with the slave trade is, ah, putting a gun in the hands of the enemy…”
Similarly, scholar Abraham Melamed, author of The Image of Black in Jewish Culture exclaimed:
American Jewry is very sensitive to the issue in view of the tensions between their own and the black community in recent years. Jewish material from medieval times that even seems ‘racist’ could become explosive in the hands of anti-Semites like the black Muslims. Such elements have already made good use of the fact that among the slave traders who transported, bought and sold blacks in America in early modern times, there were Jews.
Not only do we find evidence of scholars being encouraged not to publish the truth, we see also that certain statements made by whites and Jews is not categorized as anti-Semitic.
Black criticism of Jews is the kind of criticism that Jews find most offensive. Rabbi Michael Lerner once observed:
“If a black person repeats what we say, the same words somehow become anti-Semitic.”
Consider when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was quoted in the President Richard Nixon tapes as saying:
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy, and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’rith said of Mr. Kissinger:
“Dr. Kissinger’s contributions to the safety and security of the U.S. and Israel have solidly established his legacy as a champion of democracy and as a committed advocate for preserving the well-being of the Jewish state of Israel. The Nixon Tapes should not change history’s verdict on the important contributions and ultimate legacy of Henry Kissinger.”
Like most in public life, Ye may be wrong on a lot of things, but as a Black billionaire, who is present in spaces most of us will never even know exists, his ideas should not be easily dismissed, and he does not deserve to be called an anti-Semite. If Black men controlled Jewish music and were responsible for Jewish artists producing and popularizing Jewish self-hatred and degradation it would be considered a scandalous outrage! Instead, the opposite is true, and when Ye or anyone else calls attention to it, we as a community need to unite and devise a plan to take control of our own music and entertainment.
Demetric Muhammad is a Memphis-based author and student minister in the Nation of Islam and a member of the Nation of Islam Research Group. Follow him on Twitter @BrotherDemetric. Read more at www.researchminister.com.