Is The Secret Relationship “hate literature”?
No. It is truth literature. The release in 1991 of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1, offered the world a glimpse of how the so-called chosen people have historically related to the Blacks with whom they have come into contact. Jews, upset with the revelation, have reacted by condemning the book as “unscholarly” and “hate literature.” But at the same time many, many academic libraries have quietly bought the book and added it to their collections. At least 115 libraries around the world now have the book in their collections, including such prestigious institutions as Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis, Yeshiva University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Brown University, Stanford University, even Cambridge University in London, England, and others in Germany and New Zealand, all of which have the book on their library shelves.
Some libraries have the book but keep it locked away in a special location, requiring ID in order to see it. At one point the Brandeis University library kept it, along with other important works, in what they called “The Cage.” The Library of Congress wrote to the Nation of Islam and demanded a copy (which was supplied).
There have been more than a dozen books and dozens more articles written to try to refute The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1. One scholar called this new body of scholarship spawned by The Secret Relationship a “cottage industry.” Jewish leaders have held high-level meetings at retailers like Barnes & Noble and Borders about what to do with this bestseller. One store in California was putting one of those “refutation” books in the bags of any Black customer who bought any book on any topic. Canada was stopping The Secret Relationship at the border and labeling it “contraband.” On the official form the border agents could check one of three categories: “pornography,” “hate literature,” or “other.” They checked “other.”
Libraries list the book as “history”—not “hate literature”— and have deemed it too important to the discourse on the Black–Jewish relationship to exclude it.
Does The Secret Relationship “misquote” scholars?
This “charge” is oft-repeated, never proven. What page? What paragraph? Surely if this is so, it can IMMEDIATELY be pointed out! When pressed, the accuser withdraws the charge and puts another in its place—namely, that the book quotes the scholars accurately, but “out of context.” To illustrate the point, we present the words of Robert A. Rockaway, senior lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University:
Not only is this quotation accurate, it is the very first paragraph of Dr. Rockaway’s article in the Journal of the American Jewish Historical Society. HE chose to use this language, not the Nation of Islam scholars, who happen to AGREE with Dr. Rockaway (on this issue), and there are many sources that confirm his stunning assertions. Why Jews refuse to respect their own scholars is a mystery.
Also, the top Jewish historian in America, Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael, goes further than any of those Blacks charged with “anti-Semitism”—further than Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Dr. Tony Martin, Dr. Khallid Muhammad, even further than the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan—on the touchy issue of Jewish involvement in the Black Holocaust. Rabbi Dr. Raphael (like Dr. Rockaway) is not a member of the Nation of Islam—why, he is not even Black! He is a Jew, and the editor of American Jewish History, the journal of the American Jewish Historical Society at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. In his book Jews and Judaism in the United States: A Documentary History (New York: Behrman House, 1983), p. 14, he spoke of Jews in Brazil, where as many as 90 percent of all African slaves were shipped:
“Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.
“This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the ‘triangular trade’ that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750’s, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760’s, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent.”
“FREQUENTLY DOMINATED” is the term Rabbi Raphael used, almost a decade before the Nation of Islam published The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Raphael has never been attacked in any way for that astonishing statement. But some of the greatest Black minds of this century have been excoriated simply for quoting him. Only Jewish racism can account for this flagrant double standard.
Are the Nation of Islam scholars “anti-Semitic”?
Far from it. They happen to agree with the work of the many, many Jewish scholars and historians who have written on the subject of Blacks and Jews. Many of their statements are listed on this website. The charge of “anti-Semitism” is absurd on its face. Why the Jewish critics of The Secret Relationship have failed to acknowledge the great works of many of their own top scholars is a great mystery. Maybe they are self-hating Jews.
Does The Secret Relationship “single out” Jews?
One Jewish critic charged that the book published by the Nation of Islam “relentlessly singled out the Jews, with no mention of the many thousands of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and British merchants, shippers and colonists who were slavetraders and slaveowners.” Even the renowned television newsman David Brinkley pressed this point. Prof. Tony Martin explains in his great work The Jewish Onslaught:
In all these countries Jews constituted the merchant class and held primacy over foreign trade. As Prof. Martin stated, Jewish historians have long acknowledged that in the documentary history the term “Portuguese” is SYNONYMOUS with Jews. The Dutch invited the fleeing Portuguese Jews just to engage in trade and they promptly financed the Dutch West India Company, among other slave-dealing ventures. The French Gradis family even held a monopoly of the slave trade from the infamous Goree Island—better described by the Africans as Aushwitz.
Were “prominent” Jews involved in the Black slave trade?
The Anti-Defamation League lists in their 1976 pamphlet titled American Jews: Their Story 13 pioneers of the American Jewish community—10 of whom have been definitively linked to the slave trade!
The enslavement of Africans caused the Jews no moral compunction. Many were rabbis and leaders of their Jewish synagogues. Rabbi Dr. Bertram W. Korn states in an article published by the American Jewish Historical Society: “There is no iota of evidence, no line in a letter, no stray remark which would lead us to believe that these Jews gave conscious support to the slave system out of fear of arousing anti-Jewish sentiment.” Indeed, “Jews participated in every aspect and process of the exploitation of the defenseless blacks.” Unfortunately, all the known evidence supports Rabbi Korn’s assertions.
Was the great and revered rabbi Moses Ben Maimon (Maimonides) a racist?
The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion refers to Moses Maimonides, a.k.a. Rambam, as “the symbol of the pure and orthodox faith.” His Guide of the Perplexed is considered the greatest work of Jewish religious philosophy, but his view of Blacks was Hitlerian:
Several Jewish scholars have translated the “Guide,” interpreting the above passage as referring to Black Africans:
One might also see Essays on Maimonides; An Octocentennial Volume, edited by Salo Wittmayer Baron (New York: Columbia University Press, 1941). Baron is quite explicit about the attitudes of Maimonides on slavery. On page 239, for instance, he writes, “For Maimuni [Maimonides] a slave is not fully human in matters of sex…”
Does the Nation of Islam “deny the Jewish holocaust”?
No. However, there are many, many, many Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Jews who deny the Black Holocaust and the substantial Jewish role in it.
Weren’t there many Jewish abolitionists?
Jews were almost entirely absent from the ranks of the abolitionists. So absent, in fact, that the abolitionists were miffed at their non-participation. The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society Report of 1853:
Another scholar summed it up this way: When it comes to Jewish abolitionists, they were “as rare as snail darters.” This is what Jewish author Eric Hirshler says of abolitionism:
The Northern economy depended on the slave trade and the free labor of the Africans of the plantation South. Northern textile industries needed the cotton produced by Black hands, and the Northern manufacturers needed Southern buyers for their products. Northerners were no different from Southerners in their insistence that Africans were predestined to work for them; in fact, all social, political, and religious authorities in America reinforced that notion. The nasty historical truth is that there were only a pitiful few White abolitionists, and the majority of them wanted to end slavery for many reasons that had nothing to do with loving, or even liking, Black people.
For instance, the Union’s Brigadier General John Wolcott Phelps hoped the civil war would result in the abolition of slavery—and the exportation of the slaves:
Technically, Phelps was an “abolitionist,” but had no intention whatsoever in seeing Blacks share equal rights with White Americans—it was the very farthest thing from his mind. Many Whites were abolitionists because they wanted a truly all-White country and wanted all Blacks deported. Many, many White immigrants wanted slavery to end so that they could obtain a decent wage. Slavery depressed ALL wages and represented unfair competition for White workers. They were “abolitionists,” but they hated—and we mean HATED—Black people.
And, further, many White “abolitionists” would not even allow Blacks into their meetings. Those who were sympathetic to Blacks still felt Blacks were inferior—just not deserving of the cruelty of slavery. [It is much like wanting your neighbors to stop beating their dog: you don’t want to eat, sleep, or speak with the dog or allow him to marry your daughter—you just don’t think the dog deserves to be beaten.] Many abolitionists believed that Blacks would work better on the plantations under a low-wage system. Yet others believed that slavery must be ended to save White people’s souls from becoming condemned like God condemned Blacks’. All White abolitionists would have choked to death at the idea of a Black president. By far, most abolitionists were Black.
Was Newport’s Touro Synagogue a stop on the Underground Railroad?
This is one of the many fantasies of the history of the Black–Jewish relationship. The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, was the “spiritual” home of some of the largest Jewish slave-dealers of all time. According to Jewish scholars quoted in The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, the Touro Synagogue was built by Black slaves “of some skill.”
By the early 1800s, regular services stopped and the synagogue’s doors were closed. There would not be another Jewish congregation there until 1883. The Underground Railroad was at its height between 1810 and 1850—when there was no Jewish occupancy of the Newport synagogue building.
From the 1830s through the 1850s, the building’s Quaker caretaker offered the use of the empty structure to the free Africans living in Newport. The building became an Underground Railroad stop because, as Keith Stokes—who is also co-chair of the Society of Friends of Touro Synagogue—says, “People wouldn’t think of checking on an empty, vacant building. And it was conveniently located in the center of the free black community.”
Newport’s commercial importance equaled that of Boston and Philadelphia, and surpassed New York and Charleston (S. C.). By 1750, Newport sent many more ships into international and coastal trade than New York or Boston. Up to 18 vessels from the West Indies arrived in Newport in one day. In fact, Max J. Kohler (in a publication of the American Jewish Historical Society) argues, “The Jewish merchants were not merely the capitalists who furnished the wherewithal for this trade, but their enterprise created the trade itself, introduced new arts and industries involved, and furnished the trade connections through their co-religionists in different foreign ports with which the relations were formed.” Jewish merchants were so prosperous and successful in those endeavors that when they left Newport, the prosperity of that city left with them.
Were Jews “disproportionately” involved in slavery?
If by slavery one means slave-owning, the slave trade, the slave system, and the marketing of the products of slave labor, the answer is a qualified YES. That is because Jews were involved in slavery in significant numbers in various places at various times since ancient times. If one’s focus is the Americas, the United States, the European colonies, the west coast of Africa, the Caribbean, the answer is YES, Jews were involved in all aspects of slavery but to varying degrees. Critics of The Secret Relationship have often chosen to address one aspect or the other in their efforts to cherry pick the combination of factors and circumstances that minimize the Jewish role. An example is Eli Faber’s book Setting the Record Straight, which deals almost exclusively with the involvement of British Jews in the slave trade. Available documentation shows that British Jews were minimally involved in the trade, though their Portuguese and Dutch brethren were ears deep in the despicable commerce. Also, the question of ownership is deceptive in the commerce of Black slaves. The owner of the local appliance store, for example, may have 100 refrigerators in his warehouse, but he can state truthfully on any census form that he only “owns” 1 refrigerator in his home. Jewish apologists have seized on this nuance to claim that Jews in Jamaica, for example, “owned” less than 1 percent of the Black slaves on the island in a given period. They deceptively ignore the role their ancestors played in wholesaling, stockpiling, and retailing Black human beings to the plantation owners in the sugar, cotton, and other trades.
The Caribbean was a major center of slave traffic and abuse (and is the place where Jewish traders profited mightily). Nine out of ten Africans went to Brazil, where the Jewish involvement in sugar plantations was extraordinary. See the entry for “sugar” in the Encyclopedia Judaica.
Some argue that there were “too few” Jews to have a substantial role in the slave trade. But this argument is only selectively applied. For instance, Jews were less than 2 percent of the population but are credited with having financed 70-90 percent of the civil rights movement, as well as comprising an estimated 50-60 percent of the “freedom riders.” So here is direct evidence of tiny numbers dominating a large market. By and large, Jews brag about this dominance when referring to their “positive efforts,” as in the civil rights movement, and only use the “too few” argument when the subject is unflattering, as in Jewish slave-ownership/slave-trading.
Though Jews represented a tiny percentage of the White population in the Americas, one important Jewish scholar says they “frequently dominated” the slave trade. Another example is the Gradis family of France, which probably represented .00001 percent of European slave shippers but had a 100 percent monopoly of trade to and from the infamous Goree Island—the Auschwitz of the Black Holocaust.
And just among the Jews, what was their involvement in slavery? Let us take Isaac Emmanuel’s statement: “Almost every Jew [in the Netherland Antilles] bought from one to nine slaves for his personal use or for eventual resale. Prominent among such purchasers were the cantors David Pardo in 1701 and David Lopez Fonseca in 1705, and the physician Isaacq da Costa in 1705.” Of the Jews in the major slave-trading depot of Curacoa, Emmanuel writes: “the shipping business was mainly a Jewish enterprise.”
Throughout the historical record, no hint of moral indignation on the part of Jews appears concerning the enslavement of Black African people. Dr. Korn states, “There is no iota of evidence, no line in a letter, no stray remark which would lead us to believe that these Jews gave conscious support to the slave system out of fear of arousing anti-Jewish sentiment.” Brandeis’ Dr. Stephen Whitfield wrote that “one wonders whether they skipped the passages in the Passover Haggadah that extol freedom after the torment of Egyptian bondage.”
Ira Rosenwaike, whose Jewish population studies have been published in the major Jewish historical journals, has analyzed Lee Soltow’s 1971 population studies of American Jewry in the 1800s. Rosenwaike does not dispute Soltow’s startling findings: “Soltow estimates that 36 percent of the 625,000 families in the South in 1830 were slaveholders. Of the 322 household heads identified in the present study as [Jewish] residents of the same states at this enumeration, a considerably larger proportion—75 percent—were owners of one or more slaves.”
“In Charleston, Richmond, and Savannah,” he continues, “the overwhelming proportion (over four-fifths) of the Jewish households contained one or more slaves; in New Orleans over three-fifths were slaveholders; in Baltimore, less than one-fifth.” Nationwide, “Probably close to two-fifths of the Jewish families of 1820 owned slaves…” Rosenwaike, Bertram W. Korn, and Malcolm Stern are among the Jewish scholars who have studied American Jewish population data. All their results confirm the pervasive involvement of Jews in Black slavery. Dr. Korn analyzes the available census data:
And this, again, is only in America—not in South America or the Caribbean, where Jewish slave-trading was extraordinary. That many of these were merchants who knowingly served the slave economy is also understated. The Negro History Bulletin was remarkably clear on that point:
Weren’t Africans responsible for the slave trade?
Jewish scholars, stung by the revelations of heavy Jewish involvement in Black slavery, have often sought to escape responsibility by claiming that “Africans sold each other into the slave trade.” And, yes, there is an interesting history surrounding that claim.
But first, those who raise the issue face a serious moral conundrum: Is their argument that the slave trade was OK because “blacks” were involved? If they were lawyers using this reasoning as a murder “defense,” it would sound like this: “There have been other murders and murderers, so my client is therefore innocent.” Any attorney who made such a case would be laughed out of even an American courtroom. But it is seen as perfectly plausible in the slave-trade argument.
Second, this argument only exists when Black slavery is the subject, and never in any other historical context. There were whole councils of Jewish Germans called Judenrat who actually worked to fill with their fellow Jews boxcars heading for concentration camps—they even wore special Nazi-like uniforms! Some Jews informed on others in the concentration camps, and at least one Jew is known to have been an executioner. There were AT LEAST 77 NAZI OFFICERS who are known to have been Jews, many thousands more, no doubt, in the enlisted corps. There were even some Jews who negotiated with the Nazi terrorists to save themselves at the expense of other less wealthy Jews (see The Transfer Agreement, by Edwin Black). Yet none of this has created ANY lessening of the Nazis’ responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust. NO ONE ever says that Jews “were responsible” for the Jewish Holocaust. This is only raised in relation to the Black Holocaust—and then only by Jews. We have here another racist double standard.
With regard to Black participation in the slave trade, one must look very carefully at the charge. In Africa (Cape Verde to be exact), Portuguese Jewish slave merchants kidnapped and raped African women, forced them to have their children, and then set up these bastards—called “lancados”—as slave traders in the Jewish family business (see Richard A. Lobban’s work on the subject). Deceptive White scholars have called these Jewish “mulatto” slave traders “Africans.” In White history books they are viewed as “Africans”; Blacks view them, rightly, as Portuguese, given their racial and cultural distance from African society and its practiced norms of thousands of years.
The “black” slave-owners in America have similarly been deceptively defined by White pseudo-scholars. At the time of slavery, there was a protected class of “mulattos,” whose function was to control the activities of full-blooded African slaves. They were known as house slaves or mammies or overseers or some other “authorized” class of quasi-slave. They were classified as “colored” and were a legally distinct group with a specific role in the slave system. All slave colonies administered by Europeans consciously created this class for their own protection, but in America the “mulattos” and “colored” were all collapsed into the “Negro” class after emancipation. In other words, they were the brainwashed, domesticated negroes who—by intense training—felt themselves more White than Black!
Many, many other so-called “black” slave owners were near–Whites who “bought” their families out of slavery in places where “free” Blacks were outlawed. On the tax and census rolls of the city or county, these light-skinned Blacks are considered “owners” of their own families! White racist scholars seeking to deceive ignorant Blacks consider the deceptive language of such records to be valid and parrot the term without the slightest challenge.
Also, the term slavery itself has been corrupted to include every labor system, no matter its nature or severity. In some “slave systems” the slave had full legal rights, could negotiate the terms of his labor, including the time and compensation; some “slaves” could sue in court, could inherit property; some could ultimately take over his master’s business, even marry the master’s daughter. In one so-called slave society, it was believed that “when one gains a slave, he gains a son.” The “slave” had to eat and sleep in the same manner as the master. NONE of that characterized American/New World slavery! And yet they are ALL called “slaves.” The debasement of the slave’s humanity and his commercialization were new ominous elements of cruelty associated with the enslavement of the African and the Indian in European colonies.
The preeminent Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, went to Africa for PBS and asked an African working in a ditch if he were a “slave.” The man matter-of-factly said “yes,” giving Gates a true sense that he had uncovered a modern-day tragedy—until the man stated that he would be paid on Friday.
Prior to the European presence, African “slaves” were being sent to foreign countries in a type of work-exchange system—more akin to apprenticeship than anything else. Given that the shockingly brutal European innovation in slavery was unknown to the societies Europeans historically menaced, the Africans who supplied the White traders were not expecting their workers to be fed into a system of permanent and brutal, irredeemable enslavement.
Every society has its disaffected members, but they are kept by internal means from disrupting the society as a whole. Societies in Africa and the Americas had existed for thousands of years without the wholesale destruction that occurred just a few years after European contact. The European strategy of control was to seek out these disaffected miscreants and artificially elevate them among their own people—despite what the people felt about them. Here in America, they came to be known as “Uncle Toms”—the hated self-hater, usually sporting a résumé of actions honored and rewarded by Whites. In Africa, those types were well funded and supplied with weaponry, becoming agents of European colonization and enslavement. U.S. history is filled with examples of this type of puppetry. Whereas Blacks would have renounced them, Whites call them heroes.
There is also the obvious question of Who Benefited? Clearly, Europeans far and away received ALL the profits of the slave trade. The slave trade devastated the African continent, weakened it, and made it vulnerable to continued, endless European exploitation.
Does The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1, claim that Jews were “genetically predisposed” to being in the slave trade?
A once reputable Jewish journalist, Ted Koppel, showed a picture of the book on his ABC show Nightline and made that ridiculous claim with a straight face. He cited nothing—not a sentence, a paragraph, or a word; he just made the statement as fact. It, of course, is both a lie and a fantastically stupid falsehood—irrationalism and hysteria posing as objective journalism—yet a person with the stature of Ted Koppel put that nonsense over the public airwaves. No Jewish critics of the book repudiated Koppel’s calculated ruse.
Is The Secret Relationship “shoddy” scholarship?
All the Jewish sources collected and quoted in the Nation of Islam’s 334-page The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1, are there for all to see and evaluate. The book uses Jewish wills, rabbinical sermons, runaway slave and slave auction notices, slave-sale advertisements, port records, court records, and private correspondence among its array of source materials. Even with this wide-ranging use of Jewish documentation, University of Chicago African Studies professor and Jew Ralph A. Austen has written—accurately—that “[t]he authors of The Secret Relationship underestimate the structural importance of the Jews in the early stages of the New World slave trade.”
The fact that Jews were essential participants in slavery’s/the slave trade’s formation, growth, maintenance, and profitability is no longer open to serious debate.
Why don’t you spend your time helping Blacks instead of “attacking” Jews?
A funny thing happened on the way to Black freedom. All the strongest Black leaders in history were charged with “anti-Semitism” when they made statements critical of Jewish actions. But only Blacks who advocated an economic approach toward building Black autonomy were so targeted. This is not so surprising when one considers that Jews built their massive wealth on the backs of Black slave labor, and on the disorganized Black economy. Any one who might come to organize Black buying power for the purpose of building a Black economic infrastructure becomes a direct enemy of those who profit from its disarray.
“Anti-Semitism” is therefore used by a people who feel they are about to lose their fat cash cow—the wealth-generating labor of Black people and their spending power. When, for instance, Minister Farrakhan tells a whole race of people to stop drinking, smoking, and supporting degrading Hollywood movies; to homeschool; to garden instead of buying processed foods; and to set up banks and circulate wealth among Blacks, a whole lot of White people—especially Jews—get very upset. The “anti-Semitism” charge is the phony claim of thieves caught red-handed.
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