"A special and unique relationship to Jews"
Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York: Warner Books, 1998), p. 309.
"Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.
"This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the 'triangular trade' that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750's, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760's, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760's and early 1770's dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent."
"In Charleston, Richmond and Savannah the large majority (over three-fourths) of the Jewish households contained one or more slaves; in Baltimore, only one out of three households were slaveholding; in New York, one out of eighteen....Among the slaveholding households the median number of slaves owned ranged from five in Savannah to one in New York."
"The Jews of the Joden Savanne [Surinam] were also foremost in the suppression of the successive negro revolts, from 1690 to 1722: these as a matter of fact were largely directed against them, as being the greatest slave-holders of the region."
“The first two centuries of the Black-Jewish encounter in America were highlighted by a fairly extensive record of Jewish slave-holding. Indeed, during the colonial period, in the small Jewish community of the time, almost every Jewish household of any form, North or South, possessed at least one slave.”
"In 1820, over 75 percent of all Jewish families in Charleston, Richmond, and Savannah owned slaves, employed as domestic servants; almost 40 percent of all Jewish householders in the United States owned one slave or more. There were no protests against slavery as such by Jews in the South, where they were always outnumbered at least 100 to 1....But very few Jews anywhere in the United States protested against chattel slavery on moral grounds." ~ United States Jewry, 1776-1985 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), p. 586.
"[Myer sought] formal permission to exhibit some Mohawks in Europe. Myers sailed with the Indians before the proper certificate was forthcoming from the Indian Commissioner, and had already begun to parade them in Holland and in the taverns of London when the Lords of Trade urged Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Colden in New York to have Johnson put an end to the undertaking. From all indications Myers made no money on his grand European tour, for he ended up owing the Indians money ~ or refusing to pay them. Then, as now, there was "no business like show business!"
"...though not total savages, [they] are very primitive and ignorant....[They do] nothing besides loafing and begging....They catch trout in the river, and then sell them to buy ammunition, shoot rabbits, birds, eat various roots and wild plants, also snakes, frogs, dogs, cats, and rats, and say, 'Me work no.' In conversation with several of them I found that they have no particular home and are heathens."
In turn-of-the-century San Francisco the 12-term Congressman Julius Kahn was a Jew who was affiliated with Temple Emanu El. "The oath to the Japanese," he said, "would be but a hollow mockery, an empty formality signifying nothing. We do not want that kind of citizenship, and we do not intend to have it, if we can prevent it."
"The Jews of the United States have never taken any steps whatever with regard to the slavery question. As citizens, they deem it their policy to have every one choose which ever side he may deem best to promote his own interests and the welfare of his country. They have no organization of an ecclesiastical body to represent their general views; no General Assembly, or its equivalent.
"It would seem to be realistic to conclude that any Jew who could afford to own slaves and had need for their services would do so....Jews participated in every aspect and process of the exploitation of the defenseless blacks."
"The female slave was a sex tool beneath the level of moral considerations. She was an economic good, useful, in addition to her menial labor, for breeding more slaves. To attain that purpose, the master mated her promiscuously according to his breeding plans. The master himself and his sons and other members of his household took turns with her for the increase of the family wealth, as well as for satisfaction of their extra-marital sex desires. Guests and neighbors too were invited to that luxury."
"They came with ships carrying African blacks to be sold as slaves. The traffic in slaves was a royal monopoly, and the Jews were often appointed as agents for the Crown in their sale....[They] were the largest ship chandlers in the entire Caribbean region, where the shipping business was mainly a Jewish enterprise....The ships were not only owned by Jews, but were manned by Jewish crews and sailed under the command of Jewish captains."
"The Christian inhabitants [of Brazil] were envious because the Jews owned some of the best plantations in the river valley of Pernambuco and were among the leading slave-holders and slave traders in the colony."1
1. "A Study of Brazilian Jewish History 1623-1654, Based Chiefly Upon the Findings of the Late Samuel Oppenheim," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, vol. 33 (1934), p. 63.
2. The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Port Washington, New York/London: Kennikat Press, 1937), p. 159.
"The West India Company, which monopolized imports of slaves from Africa, sold slaves at public auctions against cash payment. It happened that cash was mostly in the hands of Jews. The buyers who appeared at the auctions were almost always Jews, and because of this lack of competitors they could buy slaves at low prices. On the other hand, there also was no competition in the selling of the slaves to the plantation owners and other buyers, and most of them purchased on credit payable at the next harvest in sugar. Profits up to 300 percent of the purchase value were often realized with high interest rates....If it happened that the date of such an auction fell on a Jewish holiday the auction had to be postponed. This occurred on Friday, October 21, 1644."
"[I]t remains a fact which cannot be gainsaid that in his own native home, and generally throughout the world, the unfortunate negro is indeed the meanest of slaves. Much had been said respecting the inferiority of his intellectual powers, and that no man of his race has ever inscribed his name on the Parthenon of human excellence, either mental or moral."
"The Jew is the heir of the slave-baron in Dougherty [Georgia]; and as we ride westward, by wide stretching cornfields and stubby orchards of peach and pear, we see on all sides within the circle of dark forest a Land of Canaan. Here and there are tales of projects for moneygetting, born in the swift days of Reconstruction'improvement' companies, wine companies, mills and factories; nearly all failed, and the Jew fell heir."
"[T]he Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals. To my mind they do not have the rank of men, but have among the beings a rank lower than the rank of man but higher than the rank of apes. For they have the external shape and lineaments of a man and a faculty of discernment that is superior to that of the apes."
"We know not how to speak in the same breath of the Negro and the Israelite. The very names have startlingly opposite sounds one representing all that is debased and inferior in the hopeless barbarity and heathenism of six thousand years the other, the days when Jehovah conferred on our fathers the glorious equality which led the Eternal to converse with them, and allow them to enjoy the communion of angels. Thus the abandoned fanatics insult the choice of God himself, in endeavoring to reverse the inferiority which he stamped on the African, to make him the compeer, even in bondage, of His chosen people.
"There is no parallel between such races. Humanity from pole to pole would scout such a comparison. The Hebrew was originally free and the charter of his liberty was inspired by his Creator. The Negro was never free and his bondage in Africa was simply duplicated in a milder form when he was imported here....The judicious in all the earth agree that to proclaim the African equal to the surrounding races, would be a farce which would lead the civilized conservatism of the world to denounce the outrage."
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."
"There is liberty under the name of slavery. A field negro has his cottage, his wife, and children, his easy task, his little patch of corn and potatoes, his garden and fruit, which are his revenue and property. The house servant has handsome clothing, his luxurious meals, his admitted privacy, a kind master, and an indulgent and frequently fond mistress."
"For a number of years a tendency has manifested itself in American life toward the caricaturing and defaming of Jews on the stage, in moving pictures. The effect of this on the unthinking public has been to create an untrue and injurious impression of an entire people and to expose the Jew to undeserved contempt, and ridicule. The caricatures center around some idiosyncrasy of the few which, by the thoughtless public, is often taken as a pivotal characteristic of the entire people..."
"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."
Author of Hollywood's Image of the Jew:
"Today, most people associate the blackface tradition with minstrel shows, and more particularly with Al Jolson. In actuality, many Jewish performers gained early and continued success using it. Sophie Tucker was billed as the 'World Renowned Coon Shouter' or more euphemistically as the 'Manipulator of Coon Melodies.'
"Eddie Cantor played Salome in drag and blackface, while George Burns often toured with an even more comically stylized blackface than Jolson's. Later George Jessel often joined Eddie Cantor on stage in various blackface routines.."Indeed, it is too easy to ignore the derogatory aspects of such activities, the unconscious racism accepted and nourished by such cruel parodies, by citing historical contexts. The undisguised elements of ridicule in such blackface portrayals by Jews mimicking the outlandish stereotypes of blacks now looks suspiciously like one group's desperate need to assert its own superiority by mimicking another. Such a motivation while perhaps unconscious is nonetheless hard to ignore."
"It's all run by Jews, even Disney. That's funny, because Walt Disney was a terrible reactionary. If he found out that Jeffrey Katzenberg were running his company, he'd be spinning in his grave. That's a wonderful bit of poetic justice."
Rastus: Whuffo' yo' 'jeculate yoself to me in dat onery manner?
Cicero: Whoffo'? Nigguh, who do yo' calkerate yo' is?
Rastus: Yo' nigguh! mah family am quality folks an' ahm a pusson of rank.
Cicero: Huh! ah'll have yo' triflin', Rastus, to know that ah'm ranker than you is.
"...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.
“Most Blacks seem more concerned with separatism as a means toward goals of group identity, group pride, and local control, and as an intervening stage leading to the self-respect, autonomy, and power believed to be prerequisite before meaningful integration within a truly pluralistic society can occur.
“In theory, these concepts are part of a philosophical commitment with which few Jews could quarrel. In fact, a persuasive argument might be presented to demonstrate how even a similar tactical approach to Jewish survival has been successfully applied and has resulted in the current positive position and status of the American Jewish community. However, Black attempts to operationalize these concepts have raised sharply the question of the degree to which Jews here and now remain committed to that philosophical stance.”
“Negro slavery in the United States was completely unlike slavery in any other part of the globe and in any other period of history, for slavery completely severed the Negro from his past and from his culture. And make no mistake about it, Negroes did come from societies with cultures of a very high order.) This never happened to the Jews; neither slavery nor persecution destroyed our history, or religion, or our culture."
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."
"There is a time to love and a time to hate; whoever does not hate when he should does not deserve to love when he should, does not deserve to love when he is able. Perhaps, had we learned to hate more during the years of ordeal, fate itself would have taken fright. The Germans did their best to teach us, but we were poor pupils in the discipline of hate...
"Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate ~ healthy, virile hate ~ for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead."
Hitler HATED Black people. His comments are included for the reader to compare to the many Jewish notables discussed here. Here is a sampling of Adolf Hitler's beliefs about the Black African:"It does not dawn upon this depraved bourgeois world that here one has actually to do with a sin against all reason; that it is a criminal absurdity to train a born half-ape until one believes a lawyer has been made of him, while millions of members of the highest culture race have to remain in entirely unworthy positions; that it is a sin against the will of the eternal Creator to let hundreds and hundreds of thousands of His most talented beings degenerate in the proletarian swamp of today, while Hottentots and Zulu Kafirs are trained for intellectual vocations. For it is training, exactly as that of the poodle, and not a scientific 'education'."
"In the most critical hour of our people, in the moment when we, practically abandoned by all the world, made defenseless by our own fault, have to watch France setting out to occupy new territories, while African negroes rape our women and children,..."
"The black disgrace works havoc on the Rhine. Women, girls and children pay for the bestial negroes' lust with their death. An uninterrupted stream of poison and disease flows into the blood of our people. Moroccan syphilis drives thousands of victims towards a cruel death..."
"All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died off through blood poisoning."
"...and one seeks compensation by success with Hottentots and Zulu Kafirs, with the blessing of the Church. While our European peoples, the Lord be praised and thanked, fall into a state of physical and moral leprosy, the pious missionary wanders to Central Africa and establishes negro missions, till there our 'higher culture' will have turned healthy, though primitive and inferior, human children into a foul breed of bastards."
"What we see before us of human culture today, the results of art, science, and techniques, is almost exclusively the creative produce of the Aryan....Without this possibility of utilizing inferior men, the Aryan would never have been able to take the first steps towards his later culture; exactly as, without the help of various suitable animals which he knew how to tame, he would never have arrived at a technology which now allows him to do without these very animals. The words 'Der Mohr hat seine Schuldigkeit getan, er kann gehen' (The Moor has done his duty, he may go) has [sic] unfortunately too deep a meaning."
"After the first World War, Jewish Gangsters became major figures in the American underworld and played prominent roles in the creation and extension of organized crime in the United States. During Prohibition fifty percent of the leading bootleggers were Jews, and Jewish criminals financed and directed much of the nations narcotics traffic. Jews also dominated illicit activities in a number of America's largest cities, including Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia."
"The Jew never went sitting in and crawling in and sliding in and freedom riding, like he teaches and helps Negroes to do. The Jews stood up, and stood together, and they used their ultimate power, the economic weapon."That's exactly what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to teach black men to do.The Jews pooled their money and bought hotels that barred them. They bought Atlantic City and Miami Beach and anything else they wanted."Who owns Hollywood? Who runs the garment industry, the largest industry in New York City? But the Jew that's advising the Negro joins the NAACP, CORE, the Urban League, and others. With money donations, the Jew gains control, then he sends the black man doing all this wading in, boring in, even burying in ~ everything but buying in. Never shows him how to set up factories and hotels. Never advises him how to own what he wants. No, when there's something worth owning, the Jew's got it.”
After the formal presentation, a member of the audience asked a question about Southern Jewish participation in the debate on slavery. As I remember it, Franklin replied that he did not know too much about the subject. I recall very clearly one of the Hillel regulars remarking that since many of the early Southern Jews were Sephardim who had fled Spanish and Portuguese persecution, they must have been sympathetic to the plight of Black slaves.
Franklin and I, in effect, were condoning a benign historical myth: that the shared liberal agenda of twentieth-century Blacks and Jews has a pedigree going back through the entire remembered past. Avodim hayinu! We, the Jews, had also experienced history on the side of the enslaved and always cried out in anguish against the oppression of the enslavers.
For much more on this topic, see The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1.