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Rabbi’s Words Connect Jewish Talmud to Anti-Black Violence, Police Killings

Student Minister Demetric Muhammad, NOI Research Group

The Bible and the Holy Qur’an describe the creation of man as a sacred act. The Holy Qur’an states that Allah (God) created man of Black mud. The Bible states that man is created in the image of God. 

In the Bible David states that “you are all gods, children of the Most High God.” David’s son Solomon states, “I am Black but beautiful, oh you daughters of Jerusalem.”

What emerges from these various scriptural passages is a picture of humanity as divine, beautiful and Black.

The image of Black people in America has always been controversial. A pure and honest examination of scripture and world history reveals a persistent negative image portrayal of Black people. In fact, the Times of Israel reported just a few days ago that the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel referred to Black people as monkeys. His office defended him by stating that the Chief Rabbi was only quoting a passage from the Talmud.

During the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s magnificent Saviours’ Day 2018 message, he cited instances that had taken place in Israel where spray-painted on churches were the graffiti words “Jesus was a monkey.” The Minister’s audience was shocked at learning of the Jewish hostility for Jesus coming out of Israel.

Most of the Minister’s audience is oblivious to the existence of the Jewish Talmud, the source where the Chief Rabbi learned to refer to Black people as monkeys.

“Jesus was a monkey” scrawled on Christian monastery in Israel.

It was the Jewish Talmud—a voluminous collection of rabbinical interpretations of the Torah—that introduced to the world the Hamitic Curse as an explanation for the origins of black skin and physical features. Even staunch critic of the Nation of Islam Harold Brackman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center tells us in his doctoral dissertation, “The Ebb and Flow of Conflict: A History of Black–Jewish Relations Through 1900,” that

There is no denying that the Babylonian Talmud was the first source to read a Negrophobic content into the episode by stressing Canaan’s fraternal connection with Cush. The Talmudic glosses of the episode added the stigma of blackness to the fate of enslavement that Noah predicted for Ham’s progeny…

The Minister also reminded his attentive Saviours’ Day audience of the many scandalous depictions of President Barack Obama by racist cartoonists, who portrayed him and his lovely wife, Michelle Obama, as monkeys or apes.

Rep. Todd Rokita

Indiana Representative Todd Rokita has sponsored a resolution that condemns our beloved Minister “for promoting ideas that create animosity and anger toward Jewish Americans and the Jewish religion.”

As a Black man, I find Congressman Rokita’s resolution ridiculous, offensive and wicked. It is especially offensive because he has never issued a resolution to condemn those who “promote ideas that create animosity and anger toward Black or African Americans.”

If he did, he would understand the sentiments being expressed by Minister Farrakhan and Black Americans who know all too well that in America no group has been the victim of “ideas that create animosity and anger” more than the American-born Black man and woman.

The record of history is clear: Minister Farrakhan’s words have never produced harm, suffering or the loss of life among the Jewish people. But the globally exported view that Jewish leaders have of Black people has been deadly!

In fact, a direct line of correlation can be drawn from the recent police killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California, to the Jewish Talmud’s views of Black people as subhuman.

In an eye-opening and groundbreaking 2014 study titled “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children we learn about how Black children, especially Black boys, are on the receiving end of harsher punishments and longer prison sentences when they enter the criminal justice system. The abstract of the study defines its scope with the following:

The social category “children” defines a group of individuals who are perceived to be distinct, with essential characteristics including innocence and the need for protection. The present research examined whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. We tested 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less “childlike” than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes.

In describing a central aspect of their research and results, the authors state:

In this research, White participants who were subliminally exposed to images of apes before watching a video of police beating a Black man were more likely to endorse that beating, despite the extremity of the violence. Participants did not, however, endorse the same beating when the suspect was White or when they had not been primed with the ape image. In a follow-up study, Goff et al. coded newspaper articles about death-eligible criminal cases in Philadelphia for ape-related metaphors. They found that the frequency of ape-related imagery predicted whether or not criminals were executed by the state. Of importance, in neither study was racial prejudice (explicit or implicit) a significant predictor. That is, dehumanization uniquely predicted violence and its endorsement.

The researchers, whose article appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, cite the histories of Emmett Till and George Stinney Jr. to highlight the importance of their study tounderstanding the all-too-frequent phenomenon of violence against Black children:

In 1944, a Black 14-year-old, George Junius Stinney Jr., became the youngest person on record in the United States to be legally executed by the state (electrocuted without the benefit of a lawyer, witnesses, or a record of confession; Jones, 2007). And, notoriously, in 1955, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till was dragged from his bed, disfigured, and lynched for allegedly whistling at a White woman (Crowe, 2003). What psychological context could explain this treatment of children?

Prior to participating in this profound research report, one of the researchers, Phillip Atiba Goff, conducted research to examine the impacts of Blacks being associated with apes and monkeys. His team of researchers produced a report titled “Not Yet Human: Implicit Knowledge, Historical Dehumanization, and Contemporary Consequences.” Among their conclusions, the researchers state:

…the implicit association between Blacks and apes can lead to greater endorsement of violence against a Black suspect than against a White suspect. Finally, in Study 6, we demonstrated that subtle media representations of Blacks as apelike are associated with jury decisions to execute Black defendants.

This scientific study brings to light the danger of the Talmudic dehumanization of Black people that the Israeli chief rabbi articulated. And long before the Chief Rabbi of Israel, the revered twelfth-century rabbi Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed—considered the “greatest work of Jewish religious philosophy”—reinforced the racism of the Talmud when he said Black Africans were “irrational animals,” “lower than the rank of man but higher than the rank of the apes.” Whether it is classifying Blacks as subhuman “strange creatures” or associating black skin with a divine curse, the Talmudic view of Black people is bizarre, ignoble and grotesque. For Black people, it is a deadly view.

The danger of the Talmudic view of Black people becomes especially important when we consider the globally exported and highly influential entertainment and pop culture industry of America. At the center of American popular culture is the motion picture industry, better known as Hollywood. Author Neal Gabler discusses thehistory of Hollywood in his book An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. Prof. Gabler’s description of the Jewish founding, control and influence of Hollywood is illuminating. He writes:

What is amazing is the extent to which they succeeded in promulgating this fiction throughout the world. By making a “shadow” America, one which idealized every old glorifying bromide about the country, the Hollywood Jews created a powerful cluster of images and ideas—so powerful that, in a sense, they colonized the American imagination….Ultimately, American values came to be defined largely by the movies the Jews made.

As to what role the Talmud has played in the creation of this “powerful cluster of images and ideas” that have “colonized the American imagination, we reference the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk.   In his book This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life, he wrote:

The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion.  Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe — whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists — we follow the Talmud.  It is our common law.

The powerful images and ideas that include the Talmudic dehumanization of Black people have been referenced and described by screenwriter Dalton Trumbo when he wrote:

[Hollywood made] tarts of the Negro’s daughters, crap shooters of his sons, obsequious Uncle Toms of his fathers, superstitious and grotesque crones of his mothers, strutting peacocks of his successful men, psalm-singing mountebanks of his priests, and Barnum and Bailey side-shows of his religion.

Jewish authors Barry Schwartz and Robert Disch, of the book White Racism: Its History, Pathology, and Practice, point exclusively to Hollywood as the fount from which the sewage of anti-Black racism and dehumanization have flowed and infected the world:

This statement should surprise no one, since Hollywood, more than any other institution, has been responsible for the glorification of the South, past and present, and for creating the image of black inferiority. It created the lying, stealing, childish, eyeball-rolling, feet-shuffling, sex-obsessed, teeth-showing, dice-shooting black male, and told the world this was the real Negro in the U.S.A. It invented the Negro “mammy” whose breasts were always large enough to suckle an entire nation, and who always loved old massa’s chilluns more than she loved her own. The men of Fake-town have brainwashed America and the entire world with the brush of white supremacy.

According to a report titled Diversity in Film and Television, authored by the diversity-monitoring entity called Media Scope, scientific studies have proven that the constant exposure to dehumanizing images of Black people in the media negatively impacts how whites view Blacks.  The Media Scope report states:

Considerable public concern has arisen over the issue of media diversity, as it is generally accepted that mass media has strong social and psychological effects on viewers. Film and television, for example, provide many children with their first exposure to people of other races, ethnicities, religions and cultures. What they see onscreen, therefore, can impact their attitudes about the treatment of others. One study found, for instance, that two years of viewing Sesame Street by European-American preschoolers was associated with more positive attitudes toward African and Latino Americans. Another study found that white children exposed to a negative television portrayal of African-Americans had a negative change in attitude toward blacks.

These disrespectful images of Black people, which permeate all forms of entertainment, serve a hidden role in psychologically programming the hatred of Black people into the thinking of all who are exposed to them. Hard-wired, now, into the thinking of even some in the Black community is the Hollywood-created, Talmudic-based image of Black humanity as subhuman, evil and shameful.

The negative stereotypes and images of Black people that have long been staples of Hollywood movie production are mirror reflections of the Jewish Talmud’s “ideas that create animosity and anger toward Black or African Americans.” Research studies have proven the dangerous effect of those views. Yet Congressman Rokita has done nothing to interfere with the proliferation of these ideas that remain in Hollywood and the music industry.

The significance of what we have presented in this essay is the role that the Talmudic view of Black people has played in what happened to Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, DeAunta Terrell Farrow and most recently Stephon Clark. All of these were young Black males who were murdered by either police or a private citizen who looked at these beautiful young men and saw them as older, menacing and threatening. And now we understand how these corrupt images of Black males got into the minds of their murderers.

I say that if Congressman Rokita will not sponsor a resolution to condemn all who promote “ideas that create animosity and anger toward Black or African Americans,” he proves that his sensitivity to dangerous ideas only applies to the Jewish community. He proves that at the heart of his condemnation of Minister Farrakhan is his hatred of the Minister for loving the long-vilified and dehumanized Black people enough to challenge all who mean us harm!