By Demetric Muhammad
On May 11, 2013, the poor and the oppressed of the world celebrated the 80th birth anniversary of their champion, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The beloved leader and charismatic minister for the downtrodden received well-wishes and happy birthdays from all over the globe. But while many of us were prayerfully thanking the Almighty God for the long life of one of His anointed servants, the enemies of the resurrection and rise of the world’s poor and oppressed boiled with rage and venom, being moved even to hurl racist propaganda at the 80-year-old truth-teller.
Specifically, Dr. Harold Brackman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center posted an ugly diatribe against Minister Louis Farrakhan on the Louis D. Brandeis Center’s webpage. But Brackman and his fellow so-called anti anti-Semite crusaders are legendary for their record of circulating negative publicity against Black leaders and passing off propaganda as scholarship.
In 1994 as Brackman attacked the Nation of Islam’s book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews vol. 1, he wrote in the New York Times, under the heading “Jews Had Negligible Role in Slave Trade.” As a result he was mocked and condemned by Jewish writer Lenni Brenner. When the ADL’s Marc Caplan came against the NOI by writing the pamphlet “Jew Hatred as History,” he was also soundly condemned by Brenner. According to Brenner’s article published in the New Amsterdam News, “the Brackman and Caplan works demonstrate that, for all their monkey-chatter about serious scholarship, they are incapable of it. Again and again we see them minimizing the Jewish role or, as with Caplan vis-a-vis the B’nai B’rith, evading the facts in true fanatic fashion.”
Brenner criticized Brackman for haranguing the Nation of Islam while actually falsifying quotes from The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1 (TSRv1). Brenner writes: “I reviewed Brackman in the October 3, 1992 edition of New Amsterdam News and documented that he had cobbled together what he claimed was a quote from The Secret Relationship from two sentences dozens of pages apart and that he had even reversed their order. Then, genius that he is, Brackman wrote the paper, confessing his impropriety…” Brenner further destroys Harold Brackman’s (Simon Wiesenthal Center) and Marc Caplan’s (ADL) scholarly credibility when he says,
“Nevertheless, all serious Jewish scholars emphasize that Southern Jewry was nearly unanimous in support of slavery, and that only an insignificant percentage of Northern Jews were abolitionists. German-Jewish immigrants were prominent in the cotton trade between the South and Britain, which was brokered in New York. The city’s rich Jews would have nothing to do with a faction that threatened the exploitative base of their lucrative traffic. The ADL’s mendacity regarding this aspect of Jewish history is best seen or, more precisely, best not seen, in Caplan’s silence regarding the posture of the B’nai B’rith fraternal lodges on the slavery issue. The Secret Relationship cites Bertram Korn, a universally well-regarded Jewish historian: ‘B’nai B’rith…ignored the South–North turmoil in the pre-war years.’ (TSRv1, p. 155) Southern members of the B’nai B’rith were pro-slavery, so its national leaders kept silent about the burning question of the day in the interest of organizational unity. The ADL was founded in 1913 as a branch of B’nai B’rith, to which it is still affiliated.”
What so thoroughly condemns Harold Brackman are his own words that make him sound more like a member of the Nation of Islam Research Group than a fellow at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Brackman’s explosive 1977 doctoral dissertation on the history of Black–Jewish relations literally shines a bright light on the mysterious origins of the genocidal legendary belief and philosophy known as the Curse of Ham. The Curse of Ham is part of the Bible’s narrative regarding the Prophet Noah and his decreeing a divine curse on his son Ham’s offspring. According to the Farrakhan-bashing Brackman, “There is no denying that the Babylonian Talmud was the first source to read a Negrophobic content into the [Noachic] episode. . . .The Talmudic glosses of the episode added the stigma of blackness to the fate of enslavement that Noah predicted for Ham’s progeny…” (“The Ebb and Flow of Conflict: A History of Black–Jewish Relations Through 1900, Part 1,” pages 79-81).
This is a ground-breaking revelation that, since exposed by the Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam, Brackman has tried to run from, even going so far as to blame the Muslims for creating the myth that Blackness was a part of the punitive conditions of the Curse of Ham. Yet the religion of Islam prohibits the practice of enslaving human beings: the enslavement of any human being is diametrically opposed to and completely antithetical to the teachings and dictates Islam’s sacred texts. Thus any Muslim participating in the slave trade is in violation of his religion, his actions divorced from the teachings of the religion of Islam itself. This is not the case where Jewish slavers are concerned. As Brackman’s dissertation makes plain, Jewish slavers could maneuver within the global slavocracy just as they might in any other industry—with the complete blessings of the Talmud. And this is a critical distinction. But don’t just take my word for it; let’s examine more of Brackman’s important dissertation.
The following excerpts from Harold Brackman’s 1977 doctoral dissertation have been made available via the Nation of Islam Research Group’s website at http://noirg.org/confessions-of-harold-brackman/
On Page 46 Brackman takes up the subject of Slavery in Jewish Law:
“Two legal fictions were evolved which legitimated slave trading without openly repudiating precedent. The first of these actually seized on a provision of the Talmudic slave law itself. For in ruling out forced circumcision, the Sages had declared that, under certain circumstances, a master could purchase a heathen bondsman, retain him for up to a year in hopes of gaining his consent to the operation, but then resell him outside the Jewish fold if such consent was not finally given. Half a millennia after the Talmudic era had drawn to a close; one geonic responsa stretched this proviso into a blanket sanction for slave trading by Jews. Answering a question raised by an unnamed Jewish community where most slaves were apparently held as speculative investments, it endorsed the practice of reselling to Gentiles any and all of those who during such a period of trial ownership demonstrated an unwillingness to live up to the rudimentary moral obligations which the Jewish law imposed on them.”
On page 268 Brackman takes up the subject of Southern Jews as Slave Owners:
“One in four Southern Jews held slaves — exactly the same proportion that held for all Southern whites. They actively participated in the internal slave trade, owning three of Richmond’s seventy, and four of Charleston’s forty-four, slave-auctioning emporiums. They produced the full panoply of classic Southern types — from plantation overseer to plantation mistress to plantation-owning practi[ti]oner of the aristocratic refinements of interracial sex, and from temporizing Unionist Whig to fire-eating Democratic politician to embittered poor white hating nothing so much as free Blacks…Charleston’s Congregation Beth Elohim, the first American Reform congregation, was also the first to raise an explicit membership bar against ‘people of color.’”
Years later, Brackman, in his 2008 article for the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, wrote: “Jews were about twice as likely to be slave owners as the average white Southerner.” (The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2, 2d ed., page 23)
On page 6 of his dissertation Brackman writes on Jews and Slavery:
“For the American Jews, too, the twentieth-century encounter with Blacks grew out of long past roots which, however, remain very alive with contemporary implications…They had owned slaves —black slaves — in Brazil, and their ancestors had lived for a thousand years…Moreover, they were heirs of a distinctive Jewish law of slavery that continued to develop in its own right and shape underlying attitudes up through the Karo-Isserles Code of the sixteenth century and also a distinctive Jewish lore of race relations with its own special mix of unflattering allusions to the color and character of dark-skinned Africans…”
As a follower of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan I greatly appreciate Mr. Brackman’s words that permit us to clear the Minister of the false charge of anti-Semitism. His words provide for us the much-needed ability to demonstrate to a truth-seeking public, the harmony between the words of leading Jewish scholars and the impassioned liberation message of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Thank you, Dr. Brackman.
Demetric Muhammad is a student minister and member of the Nation of Islam Research Group on-line at http://noirg.org/. Reach him at www.researchminister.com.