What is the REAL JEWISH position on Black Civil Rights?

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“When we were working in Chicago, we had numerous rent strikes on the West Side, and it was unfortunately true that, in most instances, the persons we had to conduct these strikes against were Jewish landlords. There was a time when the West Side of Chicago was a Jewish ghetto, and when the Jewish community started moving out into other areas, they still owned the property there, and all of the problems of the landlord came into being. “We were living in a slum apartment owned by a Jew and a number of others, and we had to have a rent strike. We were paying $94 for four run-down, shabby rooms, and we would go out on our open housing marches on Gage Park and other places and we discovered that whites with five sanitary, nice, new rooms, apartments with five rooms, were paying only $78 a month. We were paying 20 percent tax. “The Negro ends up paying a color tax, and this has happened in instances where Negroes actually confronted Jews as the landlord or the storekeeper. The irrational statements that have been made are the result of these confrontations.”

Andrew Goodman [of Goodman, Shwerner, and Chaney]

“…it is true that the white man (and by this I mean Christian civilization in general) has proved himself to be the most depraved devil imaginable in his attitudes towards the Negro race….The source and cause of this need for reaction can be attributed to white contempt and neglect. The historical contempt that the white race held for the Negroes has created a group of rootless degraded people. The current neglect of the problem can only irritate this deplorable state of affairs. The Black Muslims should constitute a warning to our society, a warning that must be heeded if we are to preserve the society. The road to freedom must be uphill, even if it is arduous and frustrating. A people must have dignity and identity. If they can’t do it peacefully, they will do it defensively.”

Goodman, a truly good man, went to Mississippi representing himself and attributes his activism to his socialist background, having never practiced Judaism in his own home. The scholars apparently agreed, devoting NO SPACE and NO ENTRY to Goodman or Schwerner in the Encyclopedia Judaica.

A memorandum addressed to Civil Rights leaders authored by White Jewish Rabbi David Saperstein and marked “Confidential and Personal” threatened Jewish reprisals if Minister Farrakhan were allowed to speak at the 1993 March on Washington. Though invited to speak Minister Farrakhan was dis-invited at the last minute by organizers based on this memo. Here are excerpts from the August 13, 1993 memo:

CONFIDENTIAL AND PERSONAL To: Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Rev. Walter Fauntroy, Bill Lucy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, William Gibson, Rev. Ben Chavis, Lane Kirkland From: Rabbi David Saperstein cc: Rabbi Alexander Schindler, Lawrence Rubin …In the past 24 hours, however, two major problems have arisen. The first is that I understand that a tentative decision was made yesterday to invite Rev. Louis Farrakhan. I do not need to tell you what a devastating blow this would be to the solidarity of the coalition supporting the March. While he participated in 1983, that was before all of the blow-up over his extreme statements generally, and his anti-Semitic statements in particular, beginning with his “Judaism is a gutter religion.” For a decade, these problems have escalated….I thought this issue was resolved in 1988 when the decision was made not to invite him. The controversy over Rev. Farrakhan’s participation will overwhelm the entire March. The media’s obsession with such controversies, and Black-Jewish tensions particularly (around Rev. Farrakhan above all) will become the major story of the March. The substance of your talks and what the March represents will be totally drowned out. Obviously, all of the Jewish groups, (and, I suspect, other groups) will be forced to withdraw from participation in the March….I am exceedingly disappointed, considering how closely I have worked with all of you over the years and how strongly you must have known the Jewish community would react to these decisions, that these decisions were not only made without my participation and ability to share my community’s concerns, but without even the courtesy of prior consultation. This feels like a major breach of good faith. Please reach me at my office 202-387-2800 or my home 202-263-4375 any time that is convenient for you to discuss this further.

What About Jewish Control of Black Community Commerce? Long before Minister Farrakhan made any reference to this phenomenon Jack Nusan Porter, a Jewish sociologist was very clear about it in his article entitled “Mr. Goldberg and John Henry: The Relationship Between Afro-Americans and American Jews”:

“The common stereotype of Jews owning the businesses in Black ghettos is based on solid evidence, not fantasy. Jews in the East and Midwest own a disproportionate number of businesses in Black areas. [Two Jewish researchers have shown] that some 40 percent of the stores are owned by Jews. [Another] study of 458 merchants in 15 cities (14 of the largest plus Gary, Indiana but not including Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, or any other Southern city) had the following religious breakdown of retail merchants: 37.9% were Jewish; 36.0% were Protestant; and 22.9% were Catholic… The breakdown by religion, when race is considered, increases the number: 51.3% of the white merchants are Jewish; 18.7% are Protestant; and 27.0% are Catholic.”

Israeli scholar charges Jews with Dr. King were ‘racists’

A new book by Jewish scholar, Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, casts doubt on rabbis in the Civil Rights Movement: “Surely one is driven to the hypothesis that quite a few of Martin Luther King’s rabbinical supporters were either anti-Black racists who supported him for tactical reasons of Jewish interest…or were accomplished hypocrites, to the point of schizophrenia, capable of passing very rapidly from a hidden enjoyment of rabid racism to a proclaimed attachment to an anti-racist struggle  and back  and back again.”

The NAACP and Joel E. Spingarn

 Jewish leader Joel E. Spingarn (1875-1939) was the chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP for many years. The coveted Spingarn Medal, given yearly by the NAACP, was established by him in 1914. According to recent revelations by the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper he was also a spy for the United States Army. Spingarn was hired in May of 1918 and given the rank of major in the Military Intelligence Division (MID). Spingarn and a Black agent ran “a small unit of undercover agents” who were looking for “proof of subversion.” The MID opened 100,000 pieces of mail a week and monitored Black publications. According to the Appeal: “The documents show Spingarn, who remained NAACP chairman during his tenure at MID, used his post to obtain critical information for MID, such as a list of the organization’s 32,000 members.

About Civil Rights: A Rabbi, 1956

“What our friends in the North do not fully appreciate is the fact that there is no difference between most of the Jews and their Christian neighbors in their attitudes toward the Negro. This is not a by-product of antisemitism, but an honest conviction. For these Jews desegregation presents not merely a school problem, but also a problem of the mixing of races.”

Brown vs Board Era

A group of Little Rock Jewish leaders exerted social and economic pressure within the Little Rock Jewish community to keep the Jews from becoming involved in the crisis. There are two characterizations of these Jewish leaders’ methods. A Jewish liberal, active in efforts to reopen the schools, described the situation: “A group of Jewish business and professional men-including prominent lawyers and merchants-set themselves up as a censorship group for the Jewish community.”…its mere existence had a silencing effect on the Jewish community. Little Rock rabbi, Ira Sanders, observed that, The Jewish people have always been lackadaisical when confronted with a social problem. The Jewish leaders, as well as other community leaders, were committed to the status quo. Although the Jewish community knew that segregation was wrong, the only Jews that took the lead in desegregation were those outside the local Jewish community.


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