The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/adl/uncommon-ground/introduction


Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.white-power,soc.culture.african.american,alt.revisionism
Subject: [01/17] Uncommon Ground: Black-African Holocaust Council
Summary: The ADL's 1994 report, "Uncommon Ground: The Black
         African Holocaust Council and Other Links Between Black and
         White Extremists

Archive/File: pub/orgs/american/adl/uncommon-ground/introduction
Last-Modified: 1995/09/29

                    Introduction

It is the grimmest of ironies: in a grotesque parody of
interracial cooperation, extremists from the white and
African-American communities have joined rhetorical forces to
attack Jews, and demean and deny the reality of the Holocaust.
This report addresses these concerns by focusing on a
relatively new hate group, based in Brooklyn, New York, and
active in the African-American community, called the Black
African Holocaust Council (BAHC), which has made explicit use
of Holocaust-denying and other white extremist propaganda; and
by examining previous contacts between white and Black
anti-Semites.

Since 1991, the Black African Holocaust Council -- founded by
Nation of Islam (NOI) member Eric Muhammad, though apparently
organized independent of the Nation itself -- has devoted
itself to advancing NOI's familiar anti-Semitic and Black
separatist doctrines through rallies, lectures, and a
publication titled _The Holocaust Journal_. Thus far, Muhammad
has achieved only limited success in uniting his community
through fear and hatred of Jews. Most BAHC meetings have been
sparsely attended, and the group's ideology represents only
the worst extreme of bigotry in the African-American
community. But though BAHC is hardly representative of most
Black Americans, an analysis of the organization's beliefs and
activities gives a sense of where unchecked prejudice can
lead; it provides one of the most concentrated examples of
anti-Semitic propagandizing in the African-American community
today. Moreover, only early exposure of this group can ensure
that its message of hate does not spread unchallenged to a
wider segment of the community.

Indeed, the potential to ignite the bigotry of large numbers
of people through these activities was amply illustrated by a
now-notorious April 19, 1994, rally at Washington, D.C.'s
Howard University, at which speakers such as NOI's Khalid
Muhammad, conspiracy-theorist Steve Cokely, and college
professors Tony Martin and Leonard Jeffries joined in a
four-hour litany of anti-Semitic scapegoating and vilification
before an audience of more than 2,000. Each of these speakers
has also spoken before the Black African Holocaust Council; as
such, BAHC can be regarded as a regular forum for the kind of
intense hatemongering and rabble-rousing on display at Howard
during the April 19 rally.

Of equal concern as BAHC's efforts to galvanize the
African-American community to the cause of Jew-hatred is the
source of much of their propaganda. The first issue of _The
Holocaust Journal_, for example, advertises a BAHC lecture at
which a video attacking the historical veracity of the gas
chambers at Auschwitz, produced by the largest
Holocaust-denying group in the world, the Institute for
Historical Review, was shown. The publication also advertised
two books written by the conspiracy-theorist Eustace Mullins,
who has been aligned with white supremacist and right-wing
extremist groups for more than 40 years. _The Holocaust
Journal's_ most disturbing link to the white supremacist
movement as an editorial by BAHC leader Eric Muhammad; this
feature lifts material, in some cases word-for-word, from an
anti-Semitic, anti-Black essay by long-time neo-Nazi William
Pierce.

How could Eric Muhammad, supposedly so committed to the
education and liberation of the African-American community,
read Pierce's gutter-level attacks against Blacks and Jews and
conclude that this provided him with an ideological and
rhetorical model worthy of emulation? To attempt to explain
this, one must understand the history of Black and white
extremist efforts to collaborate. Thus, this report reviews
the instances in which the Nation of Islam has endorsed the
propaganda of Holocaust denial. The publication also reviews
the career of Robert Brock, an African-American extremist who
has regularly made common cause with white racists and
anti-Semites -- particularly Holocaust deniers -- and who has
evidently established contacts with BAHC lecturers Leonard
Jeffries and Khalid Muhammad.

The report also details the endorsement of Black separatists
and their anti-Jewish rhetoric by white extremists, from
American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell in the
1960s to White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger, among
others, in the present day. The nature of this support has
ranged from joint meetings and rallies to the use of Black
anti-Semitic propaganda, sometimes uncredited, in white hate
group phone messages and publications.

More fundamentally, however, this publication seeks to
provide further evidence that Black and white extremists share
an agenda reflecting greater similarity than is commonly
supposed. Part of this similarity derives from the common
motivations the two movements share: racial separatism and
racial supremacy. Though each group claims to advocate a
society independent of the other, their rhetoric in fact
demonstrates how much the two depend on one another -- as
scapegoats and as focal points in the creation of identity. As
the noted scholar and philosopher Cornel West has written of
the Nation of Islam: "The basic aim of Black Muslim theology
-- with its distinct Black supremacist account of the origins
of white people -- was to counter white supremacy. Yet this
preoccupation with white supremacy still allowed white people
to serve as the principal point of reference. That which
fundamentally motivates one still dictates the terms of what
one thinks and does -- so the motivation of a Black
supremacist doctrine reveals how obsessed one is with white
supremacy...." (Cornel West, "Malcolm X and Black Rage," _Race
Matters_, 1993, p. 99)

As much as the two movements share mirror-image mythologies
and a common goal of racial purity (better described by
Professor West as a fear of the "cultural hybrid character" of
modern American life), they also share a hatred and fear of
Jews. Frequently, this demonization of Jews is attributed to
the Jews' "racial impurity"; as the British propagandist
Arnold Leese wrote in the 1930s, using the same
pseudo-scientific vocabulary as the Nazis, "The Jews are ... a
mixture of races, and the racial constituent which is most
frequently to be found among them is the Armenoid, or, as it
is sometimes called, Hither Asiatic. The other races which
have contributed most to Jewish types...are the Mongoloid,
Negroid, Oreintal and ...Alpine."

This xenophobic jargon notwithstanding, the ostensible
justification for the anti-Semitism of racial separatists is
the role Jews have played in integrationist movements. This
fixation on Jewish involvement with civil rights has been a
staple of contemporary propagandists since Henry Ford's
seminal _The International Jew_, which blamed racial tensions
in the South on Jews who financed "so-called 'Negro welfare
societies'" and sold "nigger gin." Such a position was echoed
by Ford's contemporary, the Black nationalist leader Marcus
Garvey, who denounced Jews involved with the NAACP as "spies
for the rest of the white race"; the Ku Klux Klan from the
1920s to the present has similarly justified its anti-Semitism
by blaming Jews for the downfall of white hegemony. In general
terms, virtually every significant racial-segregationist
movement in this century has scapegoated and vilified Jews in
its rhetoric and ideology.

Groups such as the Black African Holocaust Council typically
draw their support from the most alienated and disenfranchised
segment of the Black community. The Black African Holocaust
Council and its cohorts seek to exploit this despair by
promoting a retreat from the concept of integration in favor
of an ideology which would distract its adherents from the
genuine problems of their community and focus their attention
on ignorant and malicious accusations against Jews made by
hatemongers, both Black and white. All Americans committed to
pluralism and democracy should be aware of movements which
potentially imperil these ideals by promoting the poison of
bigotry. (Anti-Defamation League, 1-3)

                     Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. Uncommon Ground: The Black African
Holocaust Council and Other Links Between Black and White
Extremists. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1994


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.