Tag Archives: Holocaust

Discussing the Holocaust: How a Simple Discussion Shows Why We Must Supplement Our Children’s Intellectual Diet

It has been stated that children are sponges that absorb everything around them regardless of its truthfulness or accuracy. While being interviewed by a reporter regarding the flap between Jay-Z and the Anti Defamation League, my son was sitting close by listening to the discussion. Once it ended, he offered the following. “My teacher taught us about the Holocaust.” As a History Professor, I am always interested in hearing how such important topics are addressed by K-12 educators. I must share that although I was interested in what my son was about to share, I realized what he had been taught before he spoke.

I was unsurprised when my brilliant son shared that the Holocaust occurred during World War II with the Nazi’s killing Jews. Even the expectation of such a grossly slanted depiction of the historical record did not prevent me from cringing. The alluded to negative response was less about my son and more about the impact that such misinformation would have on the minds of American school children.

I have always taken issue with discussions of genocide or “The Holocaust” for one simple reason; it appears that the Jewish community has trademarked the concepts and words for their exclusive and highly beneficial use. When speaking about the most common use of the term “Holocaust” most dictionaries define it as follows.

Holocaust: Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale.

In many ways, it is ironic that I, a former fellow at the United States Holocaust Museum, have spent untold hours combating those who strategically seek to cordon off the word Holocaust in regards to its non-religious usage for the Jewish community. Despite their vehement and always volatile protestations, it is clear that although the mass slaughter of persons of Jewish descent is a crime against humanity that should never be forgotten, we must also realize that such an occurrence was not a one-time occurrence. Although I have no interest in comparing genocides, American teachers are remiss when they fail to discuss the multiple and simultaneously occurring Holocausts that laid the foundation for Western Civilization. Most notably, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the extermination of Indigenous Americans across the North American continent as well as throughout the Caribbean. In many ways, the removal of historical atrocities against non-white populations sits at the core of why there is so little sympathy for the contemporary plight of the aggrieved populations. Without an understanding of Manifest Destiny — the belief of Anglo-Saxons that their expansion across the entire North American continent was both justified and inevitable ‘by any means necessary’ — it is impossible to understand the current plight of the Indigenous population. The ‘white-washing’ of history in this matter allows for whites to believe that the Indigenous Population’s primary problem results from personal failings such as alcoholism and not the actions of marauding whites who had neither a care for their humanity nor their survival.

It is for this reason that it is imperative that we supplement the academic diet that our children are being force-fed on a daily basis in American schools. Because if we don’t they will develop a perspective singularly rooted in a fallacious belief that the reason we have not is that we have not worked hard enough. And as you well know, nothing could be further from the truth because no one has worked harder than African people to build this nation called America.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

What the A.D.L. Attack on Jay-Z Reveals about the Current State of Blacks and Jews Historical Relationship

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

 

In Honor of Christopher Columbus

As soon as I (Christopher Columbus) arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold?….

In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and arawak-1destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….

Las Casas tells how the Spaniards “grew more conceited every day” and after a while refused to walk any distance. They “rode the backs of Indians if they were in a hurry” or were carried on hammocks by Indians running in relays. “In this case they also had Indians carry large leaves to shade them from the sun and others to fan them with goose wings.”

Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.” Las Casas tells how “two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys.”

The Indians’ attempts to defend themselves failed. And when they ran off into the hills they were found and killed. So, Las Casas reports, “they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help.” He describes their work in the mines:

… mountains are stripped from top to bottom and bottom to top a arawakthousand times; they dig, split rocks, move stones, and carry dirt on their backs to wash it in the rivers, while those who wash gold stay in the water all the time with their backs bent so constantly it breaks them; and when water invades the mines, the most arduous task of all is to dry the mines by scooping up pansful of water and throwing it up outside….

After each six or eight months’ work in the mines, which was the time required of each crew to dig enough gold for melting, up to a third of the men died.

While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants.

Thus husbands and wives were together only once every eight or ten months and when they met they were so exhausted and depressed on arawak-2both sides … they ceased to procreate. As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7000 children died in three months. Some mothers even drowned their babies from sheer desperation…. in this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk . .. and in a short time this land which was so great, so powerful and fertile … was depopulated. … My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write. …

When he arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, Las Casas says, “there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it….”

Howard Zinn

A People’s History of the United States (Chapter I)