Uncommon Ground: Conclusion


In a recent issue of Reform Judaism magazine, Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and the current president of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, condemned Black anti-Semitism and the growing rift that it is causing between the Black and Jewish communities:

Jewish Americans provided strong support and often encouraged sacrifices for the cause of racial equality during the civil rights movement. They suffered threats, beatings, and jailing alongside their Black brothers and sisters…. As far as I am concerned, any African-American who betrays this noble heritage of solidarity to wallow in the vile shadows of anti-Semitism is a puppet of the Klan and other hate groups who spout the same venom. Both preach a toxic creed of bigotry, intolerance, and prejudice. Both depend on ignorance and fear for their survival.

But when organizations like the Black African Holocaust Council spew the anti-Semitic propaganda of white supremacy, altering it only in their removal of all anti-Black components, they can no longer be classified as mere “puppet[s].” By regurgitating the hate speech and conspiracy theories of Neo-Nazis, these groups are knowingly feeding “tried-and-true” anti-Semitism to their supporters. And as ludicrous as these theories may appear to most, for those individuals who view themselves as victims and who wish to pin the blame on someone else, they are all too appealing.

It is offensive that fifty years after the liberation of Europe from the Nazis, Americans must still confront neo-Nazi propaganda, neo-Nazi beliefs, from fellow Americans. That some African-Americans — themselves the objects of so much mean prejudice and oppression — would now become the vehicle for expressions of ignorance that are racist, anti-democratic, and pernicious at their core exceeds offensiveness; it is an outrage.

The extremism highlighted by this report presents to all Americans opposed to racism and bigotry a sizeable responsibility: to be ever-vigilant as to the dangers that arise when haters unite.