Historically speaking, the relationship between Jewish-Americans and African-Americans is one forged by the desecrated bodies found in places like Auschwitz (Poland), Money (Mississippi), Buchenwald (Germany), Birmingham (Alabama), Dachau (Germany), Springfield (Illinois), and particularly Philadelphia (Mississippi). Even a cursory examination of the storied histories of these two populations will unveil a most unfortunate connection represented by the word, Holocaust.
One would naturally expect that two populations that have been on the receiving end of diabolical plans intended to exterminate them would find some semblance of common ground during future endeavors. Make no mistake about it, both of the referenced populations have an unobstructed view of the principal threat that unfettered racial bigotry poses to humankind. It is this understanding that facilitated a mutually-beneficial coalition between African-American and Jewish-Americans during the modern Civil Rights Movement. The alluded to relationship was publicly displayed with the abduction and murder of Mickey Schwerner (Jewish), James Chaney (African-American), and Andrew Goodman (White) in Philadelphia, Mississippi. An F.B.I. investigation would prove that the source of the three civil rights workers disappearance was none other than the Ku Klux Klan, America’s first terrorist organization. As morbid as it may sound, those were better days for the relationship between Blacks and Jews as the current relationship between Blacks and Jews no longer resembles previous moments of mutual respect and cooperation.
It is no stretch to term the current relationship as adversarial, if not outright hostile. It is common to find African-Americans who consider Jews economically exploitive and solely motivated by self-interests that trump their religiosity. At the present moment, many African-Americans hate Jews with a ferocity that reminds one of that possessed by the Nazi’s.
It is the alluded to decades-long deterioration of Black/Jewish relations that many historians trace to Alan Bakke’s attack on Affirmative Action initiatives that best explains the African-American community’s reaction to Anti-Defamation League criticism hurled at Jay-Z regarding lyrics found on his song The Story of O.J.
In case you missed the latest attempt by The Anti-Defamation League (A.D.L.) to protect turf that they have carved out during fanatical efforts to ward off all attacks against the Jewish community via their standard charge of anti-Semitism occurred as a result of the following lyrics.
“You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit!!!!! You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s reaction to the above lyrics once again displays an irrationality by Jewish leaders. The alluded to anger is most commonly expressed via a cautionary veiled threat to those that they have taken issue with. Consider for a moment an A.D.L. representatives response to Jay-Z’s lyric.
“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money. The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish ‘control’ of the banks and finance.”
For neutral parties, the above response casts the A.D.L. and those it represents in such a negative light that one has to wonder if they care about either their image or appearing rational. One does not need to look very far to find those who agree that the Jewish community’s hyper-sensitivity has made them impossible to get along with under any circumstance that is not voluminously beneficial to their interests.
Fortunately, there is significant opposition to the A.D.L. on this matter. In a recent Instagram posting, Guy Oseary, a person of Jewish descent, relates that Jay-Z is “attempting to use the Jewish people in an exaggerated way to showcase a community of people that are thought to have made wise business decisions. As an example of what is possible and achievable.” Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons also weighed in on this matter in the following manner. “Mischief makers would like to take Jay’s statements about the culture and practices that exist within some parts of the Jewish community (notice I say some). The fact is this culture that promotes good business and financial well-being is and has been a guiding light to the black and specifically the hip-hop community.”
If the A.D.L. is not more judicious about issuing the all-too-familiar charge of “anti-Semitism” they will one day find themselves with as much credibility as ‘the boy who cried wolf.’ More troubling is that this attack on Jay-Z unintentionally reaffirms the beliefs of a critical mass of Black America; that belief being that the Jewish community intends to do all that they can to extend the economic dysfunction and confusion endemic within the Black Community as it is a cornerstone of their contemporary financial health and an integral part of the future inheritance that future generations will inherit.
Ultimately, African-Americans are left with the realization that not only has the historical relationship between Blacks and Jews largely dissolved but also Capitalism is a competitive game that is best played by an organized collective that understands every single decision, even one as seemingly inconsequential as where you dine, is a meaningful financial statement with extended consequences.
Let me be clear on this matter. I do not blame the Jews for capitalizing on the multi-generational economic disorganization that has marred Black America for decades, my issue is with my community that has made the conscious decision to forego proven financial strategies in favor of such silliness as “throwin’ away money at a strip club” or ignoring substantive financial matters such as home ownership and credit. Make no mistake about it, the catalyst to and the solution for this issue will be found in the same location, the Black Community.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017