By Sam Hamod Guest Columnist
Article Dated 6/21/2001
No, this is not an anti-semitic article or an unjustified attack on anyone. It is an attempt to clarify what’s going on with African American demands for reparations for slavery and its aftermath: the attacks from David Horowitz, Elie Weisel and The Holocaust Corporation. This article also examines why Philip Roth in his latest novel, THE HUMAN STAIN, likens African Americans to apes and why John Entine is bringing up that old cliché that African American athletes are what they are and excel because of their genetic breeding (something akin to Hitler’s attack on African Americans after the German Olympics of 1930s). And, why is it that the U.S. media is taking a hands-off approach to these dastardly and inhumane racial slurs? Why are such writers as Roth, Weisel, Entine and other Jews suddenly turning into racists? Or have they always been racists but until now been afraid to come out in the public with it? Do they think that by attacking African Americans that the other white supremacists will forget about them and focus on African Americans, Farrakhan, Latinos and Arabs and let them alone? Perhaps.
On the other hand, there are Jewish writers such as Anthony Lewis, Steve Kowit and Naom Chomsky who want nothing to do with this new Nazism of some of their fellow Jews. Shelby Foote, who passed himself off as a plain white southerner, has now made it plain that he is a Jew, which is fine; but I, and I’m sure others, were shocked when he likened the Ku Klux Klan to the French Resistance of WW II !! Scott Simon of NPR recently inferred that though Daniel Boone and others, who were anti-Mexican racists and the spiritual children of Cortez at the Alamo, should be admired because they followed their principles and their orders; doesn’t this sound like the Jews should have admired the SS troops who killed them because they believed in their principles? !! Have these men such as Roth, Horowitz, Simon, Entine and Weisel lost their minds, or are they just echoing a long felt feeling that may have pervaded many Jews that blacks, schvartza , were and still are inferior to God’s “chosen” people? Perhaps the rise of white supremacists has allowed these men to join the other white men in condemning and attacking African Americans.
Before we go further, let me explain, I am not African American and the hue of my skin is white.
First, let us understand that over 5 times as many African Americans died in the American slave trade as died in the holocaust. But let it also be known that among those millions executed, many were not Jews but were Poles, Russians, other Slavic peoples and French, Catholics, Protestants and atheists. However, the Holocaust Corporation, as I and many Jews call it, has decided that the holocaust that happened against Africans who were the forefathers of our present African Americans, the indigenous Americans, also called the Native Americans, Amer-Indians, etc., and the driving out of 8 million Palestinians from their homes and their continued brutality at the hands of Israel, should not be called holocausts because the Jewish Holocaust Corporation has deemed only Jews could suffer a holocaust.
Not only that, but if anyone raises a question about this Holocaust Corporation or against Israel or any Jewish writer, they are called anti-semites. This is another distortion of the language and of truth. Thus, not only has this Holocaust Corporation usurped the term holocaust for themselves exclusively, but they also have stolen the linguistic definition of semitic. ACTUALLY, SEMITIC IS A LANGUAGE GROUP, NOT A RACIAL GROUP, IN FACT, IF THERE IS AN ORIGINAL GROUP, IT’S THE ABYSSINIANS WHO WERE SPEAKING AMHERIC BEFORE THERE WAS A HEBREW LANGUAGE; AT THAT TIME THERE WERE THE ARAMAIC SPEAKERS, WHO WERE ARABS AND PEOPLE LIKE ABRAHAM, AND THEN LATER JEWS. THEN, AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME, CAME ARABIC AND HEBREW——THESE ARE THE SEMITIC LANGUAGES. ONCE AGAIN, SEMITIC IS NOT A RACIAL GROUP; IT IS A LANGUAGE FAMILY MADE UP OF ARAMAIC, AMHERIC, ARABIC AND HEBREW. IT IS NOT A TERM FOR JEWS ALONE.
Also, for the sake of accuracy, Abraham spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew. So much for Hebrew being God’s language!
Now we come to David Horowitz and his recent ad in the Brown University Student Newspaper in which he gave his reasons for denying reparations to African Americans. In his allegations, he did not address any of the real reasons that African Americans sought reparations, namely, the destruction of large families who were brought to America as slaves and then split up, the deaths of so many during the passage to America, the years of slavery and brutality visited upon African Americans, then, the aftermath of slavery which was harmful discrimination that went on, and continues to this day in the workplace, in social areas, in the media and in educational testing and in educational and professional profiling against African Americans (through red-lining of loans, through racial profiling by police, through discrimination in court decisions, etc.).
If Jewish survivors of the Hitlerian holocaust should be compensated, Japanese Americans compensated, Native Americans compensated, why not African Americans whose suffering was much longer, more devastating, and more cruel than the other ethnic groups who were compensated? Horowitz never answers this question in his attacks on African Americans and their quest for compensation. Incidentally, though he cries about the holocaust, Horowitz never sheds one tear for the suffering of the Palestinians whose land was taken for his holocaust survivors to create Israel. Weisel, Roth, Horowitz all use double standards in their moral judgements; thus, from their writings, it appears that they believe that anyone who is not a Jew should be seen as inferior (except for the white supremacists who scare the hell out of most decent Jews, and maybe even Weisel and company).
But, since most of the media is owned by Zionist leaning owners, these media monsters of venom and hatred, like Horowitz, Weisel and other pro-Zionist columnists will continue to have their way with little opposition allowed in the mass media because of the Zionist control the media. Sarnoff of NBC, Paley of CBS, Goldensohn of ABC and Friendly of NPR, and the families that own and control The NY Times and The Washington Post were, and are, strongly pro-Zionist, and in most cases were of Ashkenazim backgrounds (so they had little cultural understanding for the Sephardic Jews or Arabs who actually populated the Middle East and Palestine for the past 3000 years).
Why is it that Elie Weisel, who won a Nobel Prize for his humanitarian work has been at the forefront of stopping African Americans and Palestinians from claiming their just place as holocaust victims? The phrase, “Never Again,” that is the motto of the Holocaust Museum is supposed to be for mankind, but somehow, it pertains only to Jews and to the holocaust corporation and its supporters. So we ask, how hollow is “Never Again ” if it applies only to one ethnic group, when suffering is more widespread and allegedly this museum was to be a boon to mankind, not just for those who suffered in the holocaust.
But then again, history is strange. Often the poor whites in the south were more cruel to the blacks than the wealthier whites, because these poor whites identified with the richer and more prominent whites and they felt they were carrying out their wishes because of the southern rhetoric used by so many of the wealthier southern whites. This does not excuse the wealthier whites, even to this day. Sadly enough, Ted Turner had a message at Thanksgiving some years back at the Atlanta Airport to the effect that he missed the days of “My Old Kentucky Home” and he has had the music from GONE WITH THE WIND played as a memento to the old South , two insults and hurts to African Americans.
Look at Scott Simon, never allowing such articulate experts on the Middle East such as Edward Said or myself on his NPR weekend programs because we speak with no accent, don’t lose our temper, don’t shout and are effective at conveying the Arab, Palestinian and Islamic message about unfairness in the Middle East. Scott and I belonged to the Watergate Health Club and we often spoke, but though I requested it, he would never invite me on his progams though he knew of my status as a professor, former Director of The Islamic Center of Washington, DC and a scholar on the Middle East.
It is the same when you turn on PBS programs: it has become the Shelby Foote and Ken Burns’ view of history assisted by Henry Louis Gates,Jr.. A friend of mine saw the documentary about Gen. Stonewall Jackson, and his response was that it was so overloaded with sentiment that he almost forgot (though he’s black) that Jackson was fighting to defend slavery!
It is clear that NPR and PBS are not for all of us, but for a chosen few, such as Scott Simon, Shelby Foote, Ken Burns,and Daniel Shorr. Where are the African Americans, the Arab Americans, the Latino Americans, the Native Americans on the daily and weekly shows? Certainly we have many trained in journalism and broadcasting, but we cannot break the monopoly; not even for commentary or those little ditties that complain about the world of pots and pans and about “How I lost my virginity at 17, ” etc. etc. ad nauseum, when there are more important issues to deal with in racism in jazz, racism in politics, racism in education and testing, and so much more–but these weaklings chuckle it off as, “we need a little humor”–which is true, but then again, they are supposed to be “news” not entertainment. Also, why is it that they don’t have an African American speaking about racism in Africa, or an Arab also reporting on the problems between Palestinians and Israel? (Why do 90% of these reporters “just happen” to be Jewish?) Certainly, there must be some other qualified, educated broadcasters in America.
Whether it be Salon.com, which features Horowitz and his ilk, NBC, Harper’s, The NY Times, NPR, it’s all the same, politics by Scott Simon and Daniel Shorr on weekends, the “freedom of speech” often of hatemongers or politicians from the far right, followed by some tepid “centerists” allowed to allegedly “balance things out.”–while those of us who could truly balance things out are kept off the air. As one commentator put it, “the elitists in the U.S. media see blacks and Arabs as the same, it’s just that the Arabs are “sand-niggers,” and the blacks are “jungle-niggers.” If they didn’t see us this way, why would they treat our people and our concerns as badly as they do?
FREEDOM OF SPEECH Ah,that’s an interesting idea, one that’s preached about continually in the media when they want to have their position heard–but if you disagree with the editorial position of a television on newspapers outlet–you’ll rarely, if ever, be heard from. Yes, you may have freedom to speak your mind, but you certainly won’t get heard through the major media because they won’t put you on the air or allow your material to be printed in their pages. The problem is much like that in ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell: “Some are more equal than others.” This group, that includes people like Horowitz, Weisel, Abraham Fox of the B’nai Brith, Roth, Entine, are “more equal ” than the rest of us.
As one scholar put it, “Do you think The NY Times would ever run an anti-holocaust compensation ad? But you know they’d run one that was against compensation for African Americans.” Do you think they’d run an ad showing Israeli atrocities against Palestinian children and their funerals? Let’s get serious; freedom of speech is a ploy to protect those who are in power against those who disagree with them; it keeps them in power over the rest of us who have no major media power. Major media power is what gives you political power in the world.
The Lutherans point out that there are “sins of commission and sins of ommission.” These major media outlets and their lackeys, the Horowitz’es, Weisels, etc. commit, and the rest are excluded–thus, they are guilty of the sin of ommission by not allowing our voices to be published or heard. Thus, they are the ones who are destroying the true intent of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that speaks of “Freedom of Speech”; just as the southerners have always ignored the Bill of Rights and basic Christianity when it came to blacks by not allowing them to be seen as a full human being!
The other problem we face in the U.S. at this time is that there aren’t many Helen Thomas’s or Mike Wallace’s or Lowell Bermann’s around–most of the current crop of “journalists” don’t have the guts to really go after injustices-they’d rather be invited to a politician’s dinner table, as is the case with so many Washington correspondents, play tennis with the President, as was the case with several tv correspondents, or be invited “down to the ranch” as is going on now with the Bush administration.
Martin Luther King, Schwerner, Goodman and all those black and white martyrs must be turning over in their graves at this time with this new racism that is flourishing in America. It is not just from those who speak with racist tones, but also those who keep the true voices out of circulation in the mass media–why weren’t there more real jazz musicians on Ken Burns’ show, why Stanley Crouch (as commentator?) and not Ahmad Jamal or Oscar Peterson or Ishmael Reed–why so much of that Gatesian type musician, Wynton Marsalis; every good trumpet player knows that Wynton is fantastic technically, but that he can’t even blow in the same room as Wallace Roney on trumpet or his brother Branford on sax. So whether it’s politics unmasked, or politics as covered in cultural shows by exclusion, it is the same. Thus, it was just that the U.S. was kicked off the UN Human Rights Commission and even kicked off the UN Narcotics Control Commission (because we’ve been remiss in both areas).
I have often been embarrassed when America has chided and criticized other nations for their racial and human rights violations–because, though we may not be as bad as some, we are no angels in our behavior toward our minorities and we often turn one minority against another in order to allow the ruling group to stay in power; this is often done through the media. We have also now shown a proper representation in our media of important stories or ethnic groups. In the present situation, the rights of African Americans to have compensation for their years of suffering, past and present, has been given short shrift by the media and the media and many of its leading spokesmen have even spoken against these just reparations. It is doubly sad that so many of these spokesmen are Jewish. They use Hitler’s methods against African Americans and against Palestinians and excuse it by saying, “we’ve suffered–don’t tell me about your suffering because it’s not as bad.” Bah, humbug.
As they used to say in the 60s, IT IS TIME.