ADL REPORT CITES HISTORICAL DISTORTIONS AND ANTI-JEWISH
AGENDA IN WELLESLEY PROFESSOR'S BOOK
New York, NY, October 13, 1995...Wellesley Professor Anthony "Tony"
C. Martin, one of the featured speakers at a pre-Million Man March conference
that blames white racism for the plight of blacks in America, is the subject
of a just-released report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According
to the ADL, Martin deliberately distorts historical facts, concocts pernicious
lies and promotes an anti-Jewish agenda in his book, The Jewish Onslaught:
Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront.
In a new report, Academic Bigotry: Professor Tony Martin's Anti-Jewish Onslaught,
ADL charges that Professor Martin tries to stigmatize Jews involved in Black
causes by repeating the lie that Jews dominated the slave trade and are
to blame for the "Hamitic Myth," a biblical distortion used to
justify the African slave trade. According to ADL, the book is nothing more
than a companion volume to the Nation of Islam's (NOI) anti-Semitic tome,
The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.
"The book insults every Jew who ever participated in the civil rights
movement by equating them with the slave owners of the antebellum South,"
said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Martin's intellectual
deception has led to mistrust and friction between Black and Jewish students
on campus. That's why we are trying to set the record straight," Foxman
Martin, a tenured professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley, assigned the
NOI book in the spring of 1993 as a primary textbook on African-American
history, causing a storm of protest from students, faculty and Jewish organizations,
including ADL. The Jewish Onslaught, written by Martin in response to the
criticism he received, is described by ADL as the longest of a series of
anti-Semitic writings and statements by Martin.
Prefacing the ADL report is a statement by the prestigious American Historical
Association, saying: "The AHA deplores any misuse of history that distorts
the historical record to demonize or demean a particular racial, ethnic,
or cultural group. The Association therefore condemns as false any statement
alleging that Jews played a disproportionate role in the exploitation of
slave labor or in the Atlantic slave trade...Never more than a tiny fraction
of the white population, they [Jews] never formed more than a minuscule
proportion of slaveholders."
Quotes and excerpts from the work of respected scholars who oppose Martin's
hatemongering are included in the 33-page ADL report. Among them, Professor
Selwyn R. Cudjoe, chairperson of Martin's department at Wellesley, who called
the trend of pseudo-scholarship exemplified by Martin's book, "Gangsta
history, meant to demean and to defame others and to bring them into disrepute,
rather than to enlighten and to lead us to a more complex and sophisticated
understanding of social phenomena. It ought to be labeled anti-Semitic."
In its critique of Martin's book, ADL exposes serious errors of scholarship
and fact in addition to his misrepresentation of Jewish participation in
the slave trade, including:
_ Accusing Joel Spingarn, a Jewish leader and philanthropist, who chaired
the NAACP during World War I, of spying on the organization for the U.S.
Army's Military Intelligence Department. ADL research revealed that Spingarn
and others, including prominent African Americans, provided information
to assess the extent of German propaganda efforts in the black community.
Martin's book mentions only Spingarn's participation and tries to link it
to a Jewish conspiracy against blacks. He makes no mention that the Army
officer who instigated the investigation was not Jewish and that he recruited
the leader of the leading black educational facility of the day, the Tuskegee
Institute, and a prominent Nashville African-American minister along with
_ Charging that the 1977 Bakke decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court
declared medical school admissions system unconstitutional because it was
based on racial quotas, was part of the Jewish conspiracy to oppress blacks.
Although Jewish organizations, including ADL, filed amicus briefs on behalf
of Bakke, Martin's paranoid style of attributing the Court's ruling to Jewish
power is false. Neither Bakke nor any of the other principals involved in
the decision were Jewish.
Underscoring the attention Martin has received in terms of media coverage
and speaking engagements, the ADL publication asserts: "The book has
made him the center of a debate about academic freedom and responsibility
that is national in scope." The controversy has helped Martin cross
over from speaking appearances before only Afrocentric circles to receiving
an invitation to address the annual convention of the Holocaust- denying
Institute for Historical Review. Martin eventually declined to address the
"If Professor Martin has achieved fame, and with it an audience for
his historical theories, he has done so at the expense of truth and intellectual
integrity," the ADL report concludes.
Prepared by the Research and Evaluation Department of the ADL Civil Rights
Division, the report is being widely distributed to educators, writers,
college campus groups, Jewish community organizations and the media.EDITORS NOTE: The report is available on-line on Nexis search
code USNWR and from the ADL Public Relations Department.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.