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December 27, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-12-27

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Purely Commentary

Shocking Examples of Negro Anti-Semitism,

Distortions in Mercantile Studies Exposed

ond, against the fact that in court the
by racism. And it takes the form of ac-
judge used as "evidence" against Jones
quiescing in almost anything said by a
some of his poetry. Now, the sentence
man whose skin is black and whose voice
was severe, and I think it was outrageous
use earlier writings against a man
I have in mind the condescension of
charged with a specific offense. So far, I
those who participate in the civil-rights
agree with the 16 poets. But their letter
movement but fail to give Negroes a cen-
went on to say:
tral proof of equality: the proof of being
ready to criticize a black man just as
As revolutionary poet his revolution
readily as a white. I have in mind the
is fought with words . . . Lyres tell the
condescension of those white liberals and
Truth! . . . LeRoi is not only a black
radicals who know that the rhetoric of the
man, a Newark man, a revolutionary,
more extremist black groups is dangerous
is a conspicuous American artist im-
nonsense, yet who remain silent, offering
prisoned for his poetry .. .
not even a word of gentle disagreement,
because they feel Negroes "have to go
This is going too far: It is a defense not
through this stage." In effect, this attitude
merely of Jones, the victimized citizen,
is a more sophisticated, but hardly more
of Jones, the writer, who, as it hap-
admirable, version of the old cracker con-
pens, has written vicious anti-Semitic dia-
descension: "what can you expect from
tribes arranged as verse:
them niggers?"
Such well-intentioned solicitude results
Atheist Jews double crossers
neither in fraternity nor genuine respect,
stole our secrets crossed
the white desert white to spill
but a new talking-down to Negroes, a
turn into toops and bulgarians.
to say, for example, that Rap ("Burn,
Baby, Burn") Brown is a loudmouth, the
. They give us
black equivalent of George Wallace, who
to worship
a dead jew
does damage to millions of Negro Ameri-
and not ourselves . . .
cans. It is a failure to see in the Black
Panthers a brave but suicidal politics,
the empty jew
rather than "the vanguard of liberation"
betrays us, as he does
many well-meaning white students take it
hanging stupidly
to be. And it is a failure to distinguish
from a cross, in an oven .
between the handful of nihilistic "black
. . . The best is yet to come. On
The school tieup centered around the
militants" and the entire black commu-
how we beat you
ouster of 79 white teachers in the Negro
nity which, like all communities, has
killed you . . .*
and Puerto Rican Ocean Hill-Brownsville
many internal splits of interest and opin-
decentralized school district in Brooklyn.
I would ask Allen Ginsberg, Denise
The principal of an elementary school
Levertov, Joel Oppenheimer and Peter
A few years ago there appeared a gov-
in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of
Orlovsky, as well as the other protesting
ernment report under the signature of
Brooklyn said he is leaving the school be-
poets: It this "the Truth" that Lyres tell?
Daniel Moynihan, a liberal sociologist and
cause of threats against his family.
order to protest injustice against Jones
former undersecretary of labor.
Julius Nislow, principal of P.S. 93 for
the man, is it necessary to praise him as
(Moynihan is the Nixon appointee as
10 years, read to his teaching staff, this
a poet who indulges in these racist incite-
principal staff officer in the next admin-
unsigned letter he said he received at
istration's Cabinet-level Council on Urban
This past summer and fall, a somewhat
"We know where you live. We know
similar incident occurred at New. York
Entirely sympathetic to the goals of
that you have been having police protec-
As head of its new Afro-Amer-
tion. But if we want to get you, you know
ican Student Center, NYU appointed
analyzed the structure of black family life
we can. We know your son is a dentist,
a black teacher who had
and discussed the breakup of Negro fam-
your daughter is married and you have
written a notorious article, The Phenom-
ilies under economic pressures. Because
grandchildren and you have a daughter in
enon of the Anti-Black Jews and the
Negro fathers have difficulty in getting
college. Do you know what it feels like to
Black Anglo-Saxons: A Study in Educa-
decent jobs and thereby earning the res-
have your daughter raped?"
Perfidy. The American Jewish Con-
Nislow then said, "This is goodby, I
gress had condemned this article as
them crack under the strain. This means
am leaving."
Nazism," and with good reason: It
that black mothers often have to assume
He was involved in a clash with resi-
is blatantly anti-Semitic. It charges that
both parental roles. Or so the Moynihan
dents of the predominantly Negro com-
"the systematic coming of age of Jews
report claimed. And as a partial remedy,
munity Nov. 19, just after the end of the
who dominate and control the educational
it proposed various special allowances
teachers' strike.
bureaucracy of the New York Public
and the liberalization of welfare rules to
School System" means "death for the
help reknit black family life.
The very unfortunate controversy had
minds and souls of our Black children."
become also a debate over the extent of
Now it was entirely possible to argue
anti-Semitism in the school issue and the
against the Moynihan report in a serious
Embarrassed by the protests this ap-
spread of hatred for Jews among Negroes,
and decent way. One could say that Moy-
pointment caused, the NYU administra-
and Prof. Irving Howe posed the question
nihan.had failed to see the uniqueness of
tion worked out a face-saving device for
"Should Negroes Be Above Criticism?" in
Negro social patterns, different from those
keeping Hatchett on its administrative
an important article in the Saturday Evening
of the white middle class but still valuable
staff. A bit later, after he had attacked
Post in which he pleaded for equality—for
to the black. One could argue that the
Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon and
equal status for both whites and blacks,
matriarchal structure of some Negro fam-
Albert Shanker as "racist bastards," the
thereby emphasizing the injustice of de-
ilies had psychic resources Moynihan
administration fired him. Whereupon,
mands for preferences for either group.
failed to recognize.
some of the radical students at NYU,
Such a position is vital at this time in view
including no doubt a number of Jewish
But that isn't what happened. Moyni-
of demands that Negroes be admitted to
students, went on strike to support Hat-
han was subjected to a torrent of abuse
universities regardless of their cultural
not only by Negro leaders but by white
standards; that Negroes be added to the
intellectuals as well. It was as if, some-
Suppose the tables had been turned.
faculties—without indicating that qualified
how, to discuss the Negro family in public
Suppose the NYU administration, with
men and women are available for all the
were a breach of good manners. What
a parallel absence of tact, had appointed
jobs demanded. Howe concluded his plea
these whites were saying in effect, without
Lester Maddox or George Wallace to head
with this assertion:
realizing how deeply condescending they
an Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Human
Relations. Would activist students then
"What is needed in the United States is
have fought for a white racist with the
not white gestures of self-humiliation and
visible damage resulting from that op-
same vigor with which they defended a
condescension; what is needed are large-
pression was an enemy of the Negroes.
black racist? And let us, for the sake of
scale programs for economic improvement,
argument, assume that some issue of aca-
for tearing down the slums—all those con-
the new condescension is the increasing
demic freedom is involved here—though I
crete measures that can bring pride and
do not think it is, since Hatchett was ap-
health to the ghettos. Perhaps some of the
Jewish, to rush to the defense of certain
pointed not to the faculty but simply as
things I've attacked here are unavoid-
well-known blacks who steadily indulge in
an administrator. Might not the students
able, part of the cost we must pay for the
defended Hatchett have expressed, at
heritage of racial meanness. Yet in the
very least, strong public distaste for
long run certainly, and the short run
they simply behave as if it were irrele-
his anti-Semitic article and declared that
probably, it is better for whites to speak
vant, or a minor flaw that has to be
they were supporting him in spite of it?
to blacks honestly and critically than to
But to have made such elementary dis-
turn into white liberal equivalents of
tinctions would have meant going against
Some time back, LeRoi Jones was in-
Stepin Fetchit. The one sure way to en-
the current fashions of academic life.
volved in a clash with the Newark police,
force the values of equality is for whites
to start treating Negroes as real equals."
It is in a reaction to these conditions that
the police had framed him by planting
Of the utmost significance in the article
revolvers in his car. Given the notorious Prof. Howe appealed for a striving for
equal status based on genuine
by Prof. Howe is his analysis of the problem
brutality of the police toward black men,
of "condescension." He states on this score:
I believe this might have happened; given achievement and meritorious participation
• • •
the notorious frequency with which Jones in all facets of American life, both con-
. . There has begun to appear in the
indulges in the rhetoric of violence, I be- tending forces enjoying equality as it is
U.S. a new kind of condescension . • . that
live he might have been carrying a gun understood, in life, in action, in the diction-
is morally ... unattractive. This new con-
illegally. But I don't know.
s • s
descension derives from good will and
After Jones was sentenced, there ap-
The entire problem involving the unne-
sympathy. It is most prevalent among
peared in the New York Review of Books
white liberals and radicals, and among in-
(April 25, 1968) a letter signed by 16 cessary conflict between whites and blacks
tellectuals and academics—precisely those
American poets protesting, first, against is so grave that it calls for further elabora-
segments of the population least tainted
the severity of Jones' sentence and, sec- tion. The issue assumes the aspects of a
tragedy ,whey itinvolves.the charge of anti-
2—Friday, December 27, 1968
"Sernitisioi. 'It became necegsary earlier this

Much as one would like to think of the
black-white tension in this country as near-
ing the end of a serious conflict, it continues
and in some respects is escalating. The
demands for separatism have not helped
the situation a bit, and the frequent sit-ins
in colleges by students who call for an in-
crease in the black membership of univer-
sity faculties and for introduction of black
culture courses—much as it is often justified
—add to the turmoil.
It is a tragic situation that has added to
the prejudices, suspicions, fears and in-
creased animosities, and while, admittedly,
only a small percentage of the Negro popu-
lation is believed to be supporting the
extremists, this one extreme has led to
another—and to stubbornness in white ranks
that has added to racism.
It is necessary that the issue should be
faced frankly and sincerely, in the hope of
assuring a confrontation that will lead to
understanding of the issues by both ele-
ments. But the pressures that create fears
have militated against such a positive dia-
logue, and it is becoming necessary to plead
with all elements to assist in encouraging
good relations.
There is no doubt that the situation in
the schools, especially in New York, has
aggravated conditions. An AP report on the
New York situation pointed to the serious-
ness of the conflict and contained this dis-
turbing note:

By Philip

month for spokesmen for the Negro and
Jewish communities to review the issues,
and this joint statement was issued:
"As religious leaders and as men of faith
we have a primary responsibiliy to cultivate
a sensitivity to the deprivations and to the
hopes and aspirations of our fellow human
"We oppose violence, whether it be the
violence of a system which reprives the
poor of their share of God's blessings on
this earth or whether it be the violence that
is the bitter fruit of frustration and hope-
Preceding that important meeting at
which there was a search for accord be-
tween the two groups, charges of anti-
Semitism were denied in this vigorous state-
ment that was issued by 13 Negro Protes-
tant ministers:

"This charge is utterly fallacious and
represents a gross exaggeration and mis-
representation of the facts," their state-
ment said.
"We decry and denounce any state•
meats emanating from the black commit-
nity that bear the slightest hint of anti-
Semitism. Any word of this kind in no
way reflects the attitude of our people.
Any person who has concluded that a tide
of anti-Semitism is sweeping the black
community is terribly naive."

Nevetheless, the problem is growing
rather than diminishing, and a study that
was conducted by Johns Hopkins University
and resulted in a published statement pre-
pared by Richard Berk, a graduate student
in the university's department of social re-
lations, has caused concern and compelled
the preparation of a lengthy reply by Mrs.
Lucy S. Dawidowicz, in behalf of the Amer-
ican Jewish Committee. In her summary
Mrs. Dawidowicz pointed to studies made in
three universities and her analyses indicate,
in part:

In July, 1968, the National Advisory
Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner
Commission) published three supplement.
al studies to its Report of March 1968.
The Michigan University study, "Racial
Attitudes in Fifteen American Cities,"
surveyed the attitudes of over 5,000 Ne
groes and whites in 15 major American
cities on issues of race, discrimination
and violence. The study found that most
Negroes preferred racial integration is
separatism, though teen-agers were some-
what more likely than older people to
prefer separatism. Only one third of
Negroes saw whites as well-intentioned,
while the rest saw them as hostile or
merely indifferent. Whites, for their part,
did not perceive discrimination against
Negroes to be as serious as Negroes per-
ceived it to be. But most white people
were prepared to supPort, and be taxed
for, government programs to help Ne•
groes, at least as the price for racial
peace . . .
The Columbia University study; "Who
Riots?" found that the rioters in 10 major
cities that had suffered major disorders
were a small but significant minority of
the Negro population, who were "tacitly
supported by at least a large minority of
the Negro community."
The Johns Hopkins University study,
"Between Black and White," attempted
to evaluate the attitudes and practical of
people who provide basic service in Negro
communities: police, employers, me,.
chants, teachers, public-welfare workers
and politicians. This study found, in ne
cordance with its hypotheses, that Negros/
were poorly served by these institutions,
whose personnel were "insensitive to the
objectively discriminated-against position
of urban Negroes." The many defects of
this study may be the result partly of
severe time pressures, but they are large
ly the consequence of biased concentric
tions and lack of familiarity with the
institutions studied. The chapter on merg
chants, which in substance and method
fails to meet an acceptable standard of
scholarship, gratuitously singles out Jews
as a group, while accusing merchants as
a group of unethical practices.


Mrs. Dawidowicz took exception especiadr
ly to the references in the Johns Hopkinll
study to Jewish merchants. Disputing the
allegations in the graduate student's lengthy
dissertation, she declared:
"Though all respondents in the Johns
Hopkins study were asked their religion,
the data were used only in the chapters on
merchants and public-welfare worker&
Among the welfare workers Jews were 0
(Continued.en Page 32) .. -

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