If anything, you’d think that black Americans might choose to walk a mile in Jews’ shoes. The two ethnicities, after all, share a common bond of persecution.
Yet, as conservative commentator Larry Elder, himself a black man, pointed out in 2002, a survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League “found blacks three to four times more likely than non-blacks to be anti-Semitic.” He continued:
Black Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., urges America to rethink its support of Israel. Reverend Jesse Jackson, who once called Jews “Hymie” and New York City “Hymie-town,” now demands that George Bush ensure the safety of Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat.
The Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan recently likened the “plight” of black Americans to that of the Palestinians, noting blacks “were in the same position.” Farrakhan also exaggerates the Jewish role in slavery, and once called Hitler a “great man” and Judaism a “gutter religion.”
This was before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, a student of critical race theory whose admitted mentor was a devoutly anti-Semitic preacher. None of this of course prevented him from being sworn in as the nation’s forty-fourth president.
All of which leads back to the title question of this post, which arose for me following the recent publication in the the New York Times’s Sunday Book Review of an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.
Typical of such interviews, the author was asked “What books are on your nightstand?” Among the titles Walker named was David Icke’s “And the Truth Shall Set You Free.” An alarm went off in the minds of Times readers and should have gone off in the interviewer’s because Icke is a Holocaust denier and the book, as Richard Cohen observes in the Washington Post, “is so repellently anti-Semitic that Icke’s usual publisher wouldn’t touch it.”
Alice Walker not only touched the book but is now implicitly recommending it to her own readers.
But this is no surprise. As Cohen notes further on:
Walker, who last year posted the poem “It Is Our (Frightful) Duty To Study The Talmud” on her blog, is … the genuine anti-Semitic article. Apparently informed by her odd reading of the ancient Jewish text [The Protocols of the Elders of Zion], Walker’s 2017 poem asked some questions: “Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews?” “Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse? Are young boys fair game for rape?”
When angry Times readers pointed up the interviewer’s dereliction in not so much as mentioning Walker’s blatant bigotry, the paper’s response was chilling. Book Review Editor Pamela Paul explained:
We never question people on their choices. The people’s answers are a reflection of their opinions, tastes and judgment. … We’ve also faced criticism when a writer only named white authors, or male authors.
So according to the Paul, anti-Semitism is an “opinion” or a “judgment.” And Walker’s endorsement of an anti-Semitic book is no different from a white author endorsing a white book.
And the New York Times is OK with this?