GOOD MORNING P.O.U.! We hope you’re enjoying your weekend.
Cornel West wasn’t the only Black scholar taken to task by the late Dr. John Henrik Clarke.
In 1992, Dr. Henry Louis Gates wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times entitled “Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars, where he accused Black Americans of being more anti-Semitic than white Americans, and said Black intellectuals, like Dr. Clarke, were co-signing Black anti-Semitism. Check it out:
Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars
The New York Times OP-ED MONDAY, JULY 20, 1992
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
During the past decade, the historic relationship between African-Americans and Jewish Americans — a relationship that sponsored so many of the concrete advances of the civil rights era — showed another and less attractive face.
While anti-Semitism is generally on the wane in this country, it has been on the rise among black Americans. A recent survey finds not only that blacks are twice as likely as whites to hold anti-Semitic views but — significantly — that it is among younger and more educated blacks that anti-Semitism is most pronounced.
The trend has been deeply disquieting for many black intellectuals. But it is something most of us, as if by unstated agreement, choose not to talk about. At a time when black America is beleaguered on all sides, there is a strong temptation simply to Ignore the phenomenon or treat it as something strictly marginal. And yet to do so would be a serious mistake. As the African-American philosopher Cornel West has insisted, attention to black anti-Semitism is crucial, however discomfiting, in no small part because the moral credibility of our struggle against racism hangs in the balance.
When the Rev. Jesse Jackson, in an impassioned address at a conference of the World Jewish Congress on July 7, condemned the sordid history of anti-Semitism, he not only went some distance toward retrieving the once abandoned mantle of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s humane statesmanship, he also delivered a stern rebuke — while not specifically citing black anti-Semitism — to those black leaders who have sought to bolster their own strength through division. Mr. Jackson and others have learned that we must not allow these demagogues to turn the wellspring of memory into a renewable resource of enmity everlasting.
We must begin by recognizing what is new about the new anti-Semitism. Make no mistake: This is anti-Semitism from the top down engineered and promoted by leaders who affect to be speaking for a larger resentment. This top-down anti-Semitism, in large part the province of the better educated classes, can thus be contrasted with the anti-Semitism from below common among African-American urban communities in the 1930’s and 40’s, which followed in many ways a familiar pattern of clientelistic hostility toward the neighborhood vendor or landlord.
In our cities, hostility of this sort is now commonly directed toward Korean shop owners. But “minority” traders and shopkeepers elsewhere in the world — such as the Indians of East Africa and the Chinese of Southeast Asia — have experienced similar ethnic antagonism. Anti-Jewish sentiment can also be traced to Christian anti-Semitism, given the historic importance of Christianity in the black community.
READ THE REST HERE.
Of course, Dr. Clarke clapped back:
A Dissenting View
by John Henrik Clarke
In reference to the OP-ED of Henry Louis Gates Jr. the New York Times (Monday, July 20, 1992), entitled “Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars,” I am raising the following questions: At once, I questioned the title of Professor Gates’ article. He should never refer to anyone as a demagogue unless he’s ready to call the names of the demagogues, singular or plural, and point out the nature of their demagoguery. He should never refer to any scholar as being pseudo, unless he is ready to name the scholar and prove the pseudo nature of his or her work. To disagree with a scholar does not make the scholar a demagogue.
Most of the old and new Black scholars asking for a total reconsideration of African history, in particular, and world history, in general, are using neglected documents by radical White Scholars who are generally neglected by the White academic community.
In African history I am referring to scholars like Gerald Massey and his work, Egypt, Light of the World, (two volumes), The Book of the Beginnings, (two volumes) and Natural Genesis, (two volumes).
I am also referring to Gerald Massey’s greatest English disciple, Albert Churchward, whose book, The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, asks for a reconsideration of the role of people outside of Europe and their role in human development.
Your attention should also be called to the work, Anacalypsis, two volumes by Godfrey Higgins, published in 1837. These books deal with the dispersions of African people throughout the world.
Many of these Black scholars, whose work Professor Gates questioned, were reading works by Whites in French, German and other languages that spoke positively about African American achievement long before Mr. Gates’ parents were born.
This school of Black scholars are neither demagogues nor are they pseudos; they are the forerunners of the present propagators of Afrocentricity. They know what Professor Gates doesn’t seem to know: that African people are the most written about and the least understood people in the world.
If Professor Gates has not read the works of the White pioneer scholars about the role of African people in world history, it stands to reason that he has no understanding of the senior Black scholars such as Yosef ben-Jochannan, John G. Jackson, Cheikh Anta Diop, Jacob Carruthers, Chancellor Williams, Lao Hansberry and myself.
Professor Gates’ reference to Black anti-Semitism is an exaggeration. A new Black awareness is causing Blacks, young and old, to question everything that has any influence on their lives. We are realizing that Jewish people have an influence on our lives far out of proportion to their numbers in the population. I totally disagree with Professor Gates that anti-Semitism among Whites is on the wane in the country. Quite the contrary, I think it is increasing in this country and in the world, and Black people are not the cause of it.
What you have in this new charge of Black and Semitism against Blacks is the most pathetic of all tragedies, a scapegoat looking for a scapegoat. Because of Black Americans’ reading or misreading of the Bible, we have always had a sentimental attachment to Jewish people and, to a large extent, most of us still do. During slavery, we wanted to attach ourselves to a people who had escaped from bondage. So, the Exodus story in the Bible became more real to us than to the Jewish people. Right now, in a large number of Black Baptist churches, you can get a large number of the congregation to shed real tears of sympathy over the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace. Most of tganized White hate groups in the United States. I know of no overt attacks by the Jews being made on any of them. Yet, Jewish people have attacked Louis Farrakhan more than they have attacked the leaders of the Aryan Nation or the American Nazi Party. Are the Jews in America looking for an easy victory or the Truth? Black Americans have never been their enemy. And they, the Jews, have never been our friends unless it was to their convenience. Neo-Nazism has fully re-emerged in Germany and in other states in Europe. These are people with a nation structure and armies. Why is it that a group of weak Black Americans are getting more attention from the Jews than these powerful White forces rising against them?
I’m sorry that Professor Cornell West saw fit to make a statement about this false charge of Black anti-Semitism. I could agree with his statement if the statement were true. What Black people are realizing in this country, in the Caribbean Islands and in Africa is that the Jewish people, of European descent, are a part of the world apparatus of European control. And, in the matter of White control over the world, their position is no different than that of other Europeans. I am not saying that the Jews of Europe are more bent on world dominance than other Europeans; I am saying that they are not radically different from other Europeans in this regard. Internal disputes between the Jews and other Europeans is a form of European domestic racism. European racism has spent itself out outside of Europe. During the Nazi regime in Germany, that racism turned inward on itself and created what is referred to as The Holocaust. This was a problem started in Europe by Europeans that should have been resolved in Europe by Europeans.
READ THE REST HERE.