Jew-Hatred as History
Bigotry as History
Posted: December 31, 2001
The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One, prepared and published by the Nation of Islam's "Historical Research Department,"... attempt[s] to prove that "the most prominent of the Jewish pilgrim fathers used kidnapped Black Africans disproportionately more than any other ethnic or religious group in New World history." (p. vii) The authors fabricate and distort historical fact for the sole purpose of demonizing and victimizing Jews as a group.
Anti-Semitic Stereotypes Revisited
This anti-Semitic agenda -- the real "secret" of The Secret Relationship -- becomes apparent from the Introduction's first paragraph. There the authors write, "...no single group of people have faced blanket expulsion in so many places around the world as frequently as have the Jews." (p. vii) For most historians, the mere fact of "blanket expulsion," whereby Jews were forced to leave their homes for no other reason than the "crime" of being Jewish, would testify to the continual presence of anti-Semitism. The Nation of Islam's Historical Research Department, however provides a laundry list of excuses through which to justify these expulsions. They write, "The pattern and the charges are familiar: monopolizations, usury, 'sharp practices,' selling 'cheap' goods, frequent bankruptcies, etc...." (p. vii)
Blaming Only the Jews
The authors... ignore or conceal the overwhelming fact that the scale of involvement of non-Jewish groups and institutions from throughout Europe, as well as northern and sub-Saharan Africa, in the slave trade rendered that of individual Jews almost negligible.
Moreover, this extensive list of "charges" is not only accepted as justification for the expulsion of Jews, it is used to set the stage for a grander "Jewish" crime: "Jews have been conclusively linked to the greatest criminal endeavor ever undertaken against an entire race of people...the Black African Holocaust.... The effects of this unspeakable tragedy are still being felt among the peoples of the world at this very hour." (p. vii) The authors' statement, which is part of The Secret Relationship's central argument, rationalizes anti-Semitic scapegoating and ignores or conceals the overwhelming fact that the scale of involvement of non-Jewish groups and institutions from throughout Europe, as well as northern and sub-Saharan Africa, in the slave trade rendered that of individual Jews almost negligible.
No single government or people organized the institution of slavery; over the five hundred year history of European colonization and exploitation of the New World and Africa, every group that interacted with the colonial powers participated to some degree in the slave trade. Scapegoating a particular minority with the charge of "disproportionate prominence" reflects ignorance of this basic fact.
What is truly perverse, however, is the authors' willingness not only to justify the hostility which the dominant powers of Europe felt toward Jews, but also to excuse the obviously central role these institutional powers themselves played in the slave trade. For example, the authors write, "The Jews' participation in the slave trade, particularly their trafficking in non-Jewish slaves, incited the moral indignation of Europe's Gentile population. The Europeans reacted by taxing the Jews and some were expelled from their host countries." (p. 10) This statement implies that slavery is somehow a Jewish invention, and that non-Jews reacted against this practice because it offended their sense of morality. This is nonsense. In fact, slavery existed in many societies – among them, pre-modern Europe - from ancient times until the 20th century, and the motivation for taxing and expelling Jews was religious persecution and economic exploitation, not sympathy for the victims of slavery or abhorrence of its practice.