Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Racism Is Alive and Well

 

Saying that black Americans can’t be racist because they are an oppressed group has never been acceptable to me. You only need to look at the history of the Black Hebrew Israelites to realize that racism against white people not only exists, but it is overt, ugly and frightening. This is the group that harassed the teenagers at the March for Life.

Glenn Beck did some research on the Black Hebrew Israelites group:

Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1886. A former railroad worker named Frank Cherry established the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth for All Nations. Yes, that was the full church name. He mixed together elements of Judaism and Christianity and believed that African Americans were descendants of the original tribes of Israel. He preached that these Israelite ancestors were chased out of Babylon into central and western Africa, where they were eventually sold into slavery by the Romans. He preached that Adam, Eve, and Jesus were black. Cherry also preached that whites are inherently evil and hated by God.

The group doesn’t have an official creed: some offshoots follow the Torah, others follow the Christian Bible. They are often seen on street corners preaching their beliefs. Due to the ugliness of the YouTube video, I’m posting the link here rather than embedding it in the post.

Joy Pullman describes them this way:

Hebrew Israelites practice a theology that says God’s chosen ones — black, Hispanic and Native American people — have strayed and need to be led back to righteousness.

So they post up on street corners in big cities, usually in predominantly black communities, wearing flashy garb — purple shirts or black robes, for instance. They shout, use blunt and sometimes offensive language, and gamely engage in arguments aimed at drawing listeners near.

The New York Times tried to write an article with a “balanced view,” including their conclusion that the rise in black hate groups is due to President Trump’s presidency.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry estimates that including the offshoots of the group, there are approximately 200,000 members.

The myth that blacks and other minorities cannot be racist must stop. Clearly, not all blacks are racist; I’d venture to say that most are not. Nor are they violent or hateful in their language. We are a country that supports free speech, and that should never be compromised—unless actual threats are made. Since the Black Hebrew Israelites have threatened to cut off people’s heads and rape women, I think those threats qualify as racist. Even the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t speak well of them:

 . . . while most ‘Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.’

Sounds pretty racist to me.

There are 22 comments.

  1. Rodin Member

    The greatest lie about “racism” is that anyone must be exempt from the possibility of being racist regardless of behavior because they are a member of X group.

    • #1
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:08 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Richard Easton Member

    I encountered them in March 2015 at the Chinatown Metro stop in D.C. There are a vile group. They had obnoxious speakers and nasty signs.

    • #2
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:15 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The greatest lie about “racism” is that anyone must be exempt from the possibility of being racist regardless of behavior because they are a member of X group.

    I used to just roll my eyes at those comments, @rodin. Now I feel the need to speak up. Their blatant hatefulness and threats of violence obligate me to make the point that no one is exempt. Period.

    • #3
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I encountered them in March 2015 at the Chinatown Metro stop in D.C. There are a vile group. They had obnoxious speakers and nasty signs.

    In one respect, I hope I never run into them. From another aspect, I think it would be a powerful reinforcement to the conclusions I’ve reached.

    • #4
    • January 28, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. MarciN Member

    The “theology” of the Black Hebrew Israelites sounds like a group case of paranoid schizophrenia.

    • #5
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:15 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The “theology” of the Black Hebrew Israelites sounds like a group case of paranoid schizophrenia.

    Ah, but you are too kind, @marcin. ;-)

    • #6
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Pony Convertible Member

    Hate and Envy. They are useful, and powerful, political tools. Don’t expect them to go away in the near future.

    • #7
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:38 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Western Chauvinist Member

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    Hate and Envy. They are useful, and powerful, political tools. Don’t expect them to go away in the near future.

    Yes, and they’re tools used to “good” effect by Democrats and the Left, but I repeat. I suspect there are a lot more black racists than any of us want to think about. The whole BLM movement, for example. 

    • #8
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:51 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    Hate and Envy. They are useful, and powerful, political tools. Don’t expect them to go away in the near future.

    Yes, and they’re tools used to “good” effect by Democrats and the Left, but I repeat. I suspect there are a lot more black racists than any of us want to think about. The whole BLM movement, for example.

    I hate to say it, but I have people who may not be personally racist, but think white people are. I think this may apply to many blacks, but I have no numbers to back that up. Wouldn’t that be racist?

    • #9
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Bob Wainwright Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The “theology” of the Black Hebrew Israelites sounds like a group case of paranoid schizophrenia.

    When you believe something that is as groundless as their beliefs about their genealogy, at some level you must know it isn’t true, and a conflict develops in your subconscious that drives you nuts. Their racism spews forth as a means of drowning out that little voice in their heads that tells them that what they believe is BS. 

    • #10
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. kelsurprise, drama queen Member

    I had a run-in with the Black Hebrew Israelites here in New York, the first year I moved here.

    I’d seen them in passing a few times but never stopped to listen to whatever they were yelling about (just wondered where they got the cool costumes). Had some time to kill in Times Square one morning, so when some friends and I saw a crowd standing around some BHI guys, we walked up to listen for a bit and look at their crude posters, claiming that “white vermin” were just the result of a mad scientist’s experiment gone awry.

    One of them was screaming into a microphone about how the white men would all soon be slaughtered and their women raped and enslaved “just as the bible foretold”, “and there will be a great ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth‘ — the bible tells us — wailing and gnashing of teeth!” he preached — except he kept pronouncing the “g” in gnashing, so I laughed. 

    And that’s when he zeroed in on me. He pointed his finger in my face and yelled into the mic about how my time was coming and I should be raped — violently and repeatedly.

    I can’t remember the exact exchange of words that took place after that but it basically came down to my asking “What’d I do to you?” and his repeating that my “crime” was being white. Since this happened in the early ’90s, right when hate crime legislation was a popular cause du jour, I told my friends I wanted to find a cop, immediately and file a report — I didn’t care how “frivolous” it seemed — I wanted this guy on the record for threatening and menacing me in front of a crowd of witnesses, based solely on my race. 

    Their cooler heads prevailed and they pulled me away, while the guy kept screaming at me until I was out of earshot.

    In my entire previous lifetime before moving here, growing up in an allegedly racist and red state, I’d never seen or heard anyone just set up on a street corner and spew hatred like that at any other race. Those guys are vile. 

     

    • #11
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    This does not sound very different than Black Liberation Theology, though the Black Hebrew Israelites sound even more nutty and extreme to me.

    Here’s a link to Wikipedia on Black Liberation Theology. President Obama’s pastor and spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, was in the Black Liberation Theology camp. It does seem to differ from the Black Hebrew Israelites in the following respects:

    (1) Black Liberation Theology does not appear to claim that blacks are the literal descendants of the ancient Israelites. It does claim to be their spiritual descendants, and identifies particularly with the Exodus narrative.

    (2) Black Liberation Theology includes significant aspects of both Communism and Malcolm X-style Black Power ideology.

    • #12
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The “theology” of the Black Hebrew Israelites sounds like a group case of paranoid schizophrenia.

    When you believe something that is as groundless as their beliefs about their genealogy, at some level you must know it isn’t true, and a conflict develops in your subconscious that drives you nuts. Their racism spews forth as a means of drowning out that little voice in their heads that tells them that what they believe is BS.

    I wonder if there is evidence to back up the idea that self-compelling a contradictory belief is a source of madness, or perhaps that the effort expended to hold such a belief makes that belief much stronger against outside contradiction. It sure sounds right, and may be part of what makes cultists cultists. 

    • #13
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:59 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    I had a run-in with the Black Hebrew Israelites here in New York, the first year I moved here.

    I’d seen them in passing a few times but never stopped to listen to whatever they were yelling about (just wondered where they got the cool costumes). Had some time to kill in Times Square one morning, so when some friends and I saw a crowd standing around some BHI guys, we walked up to listen for a bit and look at their crude posters, claiming that “white vermin” were just the result of a mad scientist’s experiment gone awry.

    One of them was screaming into a microphone about how the white men would all soon be slaughtered and their women raped and enslaved “just as the bible foretold”, “and there will be a great ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth‘ — the bible tells us — wailing and gnashing of teeth!” he preached — except he kept pronouncing the “g” in gnashing, so I laughed.

    And that’s when he zeroed in on me. He pointed his finger in my face and yelled into the mic about how my time was coming and I should be raped — violently and repeatedly.

    I can’t remember the exact exchange of words that took place after that but it basically came down to my asking “What’d I do to you?” and his repeating that my “crime” was being white. Since this happened in the early ’90s, right when hate crime legislation was a popular cause du jour, I told my friends I wanted to find a cop, immediately and file a report — I didn’t care how “frivolous” it seemed — I wanted this guy on the record for threatening and menacing me in front of a crowd of witnesses, based solely on my race.

    Their cooler heads prevailed and they pulled me away, while the guy kept screaming at me until I was out of earshot.

    In my entire previous lifetime before moving here, growing up in an allegedly racist and red state, I’d never seen or heard anyone just set up on a street corner and spew hatred like that at any other race. Those guys are vile.

     

    Horrible, @kelsurprise! You are one brave woman. These people are domestic terrorists. I’m glad you came out of the encounter in one piece. 

    • #14
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):
    He pointed his finger in my face and yelled into the mic about how my time was coming and I should be raped — violently and repeatedly.

    And I say this is violence, yet some here on Ricochet would counter, “No, it’s not violence if it’s only words.”

    Bull____ . . .

    • #15
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    @arizonapatriot, these kinds of groups draw liberally from anything that suits their agenda. There’s no set creed.

    • #16
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The “theology” of the Black Hebrew Israelites sounds like a group case of paranoid schizophrenia.

    When you believe something that is as groundless as their beliefs about their genealogy, at some level you must know it isn’t true, and a conflict develops in your subconscious that drives you nuts. Their racism spews forth as a means of drowning out that little voice in their heads that tells them that what they believe is BS.

    I wonder if there is evidence to back up the idea that self-compelling a contradictory belief is a source of madness, or perhaps that the effort expended to hold such a belief makes that belief much stronger against outside contradiction. It sure sounds right, and may be part of what makes cultists cultists.

    Sounds credible to me, @tba

    • #17
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:09 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    All that exalts a man and all that degrades a man is available to all men. 

    Claims that black people aren’t capable of the same things that other races can do sound so 18th century. 

    • #18
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:14 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    All that exalts a man and all that degrades a man is available to all men.

    Claims that black people aren’t capable of the same things that other races can do sound so 18th century.

    • #19
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:45 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    • #20
    • January 29, 2019, at 10:05 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Oh my gosh, Henry, that’s awesome!! Perfect! I hope everyone checks this out. Thank you for putting it up.

     

    • #21
    • January 29, 2019, at 10:12 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Sisyphus Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    All that exalts a man and all that degrades a man is available to all men.

    Claims that black people aren’t capable of the same things that other races can do sound so 18th century.

    Yeah, the race clowns are still leaning on the old gag that blacks can’t be racist because they have no power in racist America. Absolutely straight faced, even when the POTUS was a black man.

    As a child I traveled frequently in the South, and the scars of Jim Crow were still fresh. It was in the body language, it was in the architecture, then it was in court directed school bussing, and soon it was in hiring quotas. 

    When grievance is the path to power, grievances will be found. When we pay for something, we get more of it.

    At the same time, if you were born with a marker that once indicated social inferiority and some few responded to you with real, objective prejudice, how hard would it be not to see that prejudice generally? The anticipation that any new contact might also have a prejudicial element keeps prejudice on the mind, in the subtext, even where it is not objectively manifested. 

    Politicians with no serious policies to offer will play the identity politics game, picking at the scabs until there are fresh scars, right into political office. And then pump up the grievance meter mongering hate against any target that refuses to play the grievance game and kowtow to the hate mongers. 

    It is unlikely to end in this lifetime.

    • #22
    • January 29, 2019, at 2:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes