Uncommon Ground: Khalid Muhammad’s Message

Khalid Muhammad’s Message

Holocaust-disparaging statements were already a familiar segment of Khalid Muhammad’s routine well before BAHC was established. In 1981, serving as NOI’s Los Angeles Minister, and using the name Maleek Rashadden, he told an audience at Los Angeles Valley College:

The Jew was controlling. The Jew was influencing. The Jew was manipulating, while the Germans had their chest stuck out. So Hitler, another devil, rose up and started trying to crush the Jewish influence and power that had grown up right in the midst of his people in Germany. …eventually…killing millions of his white brothers, who are called Jews today.

As noted earlier, Muhammad brought similarly offensive rhetoric to BAHC’s inaugural Black African Holocaust Conference. Taking the podium as the even’t keynote speaker, Muhammad captured key elements of the Council’s ideology, and set the tone for future BAHC gatherings. “The Jews lost six million people, we lost more than 200 million during the Middle Passage alone,” he declared, according to the Amsterdam News. “This was the worst crime committed in the annals of history.” He then complained, “Nobody wants to talk about what the Jews did, they are always talking about what Hitler did to the Jews, but what did the Jews do to Hitler?”

A virtually identical message was aired by Muhammad at a speech at New Jersey’s Kean College on November 29, 1993. Wishing to expose his rhetoric to the public, ADL published excerpts of Muhammad’s talk at Kean in an advertisement in The New York Times. Among a plethora of anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, anti-Arab, racist, homophobic and misogynist comments, Muhammad argued at Kean:

Everybody always talks about Hitler exterminating six million Jews… But don’t nobody ever ask what did they do to Hitler?…They went in there, in Germany, the way they do everywhere they go, and they supplanted, they usurped, they turned around and a German, in his own country, would almost have to go to a Jew to get money. They had undermined the very fabric of the society. Now he was an arrogant, no-good, devil, bastard, Hitler, no doubt about it. He was wickedly great…. But they are wickedly great, too, brother.

At Howard University on April 19. 1994, Muhammad further belittled the devastation of the Holocaust and ridiculed its survivors. “You make me sick — always got some old crinkly wrinkled cracker that you bring up, talking about, ‘this is one of the Holocaust victims.’ Goddamn it! I’m looking at a whole audience full of Holocaust victims,” Muhammad told his audience of 2,000. Continuing, he said that the “Holocaust lasted 10 years; ours lasted 500. How can you compare, buddy? You are so arrogant.”

The line-up of speakers at Howard also included other individuals whose rhetoric has been embraced by BAHC, most notably, Professor Leonard Jeffries and Professor Tony Martin. In Jeffries’ speech, after describing the enslavement of Africans as “the most devasting holocaust ever conceived in the mind,” he dismissed the extermination of six million Jews as irrelevant. “That which occurred in Europe, the European Nazi Holocaust of the European Jew has to do with white on white crime,” Jeffries said. “It has nothing to do with African people, Asian people, Native American people.” In his own speech about the “Black Holocaust,” Professor Martin minimized the misdeeds of Africans who sold fellow blacks into slavery. Then, echoing an erroneous charge that has been leveled by Louis Farrakhan, among others, Martin argued that the behavior of these Africans was no worse than that of Zionist Jews who, he alleged, collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.