Kanye West Calling Out Oppression Is Not Anti-Semitic

Addison Sarter
10 min readOct 25, 2022

Disclaimer : I do not blame all Jewish people for the role a segment of the Jewish community played in the genocide of Black people, the same way I do not blame all White people. This article does NOT support violence towards any race or religion.

“This doesn’t mean that we are anti-Jews or anti-Semitic — we’re anti-exploitation.”

- Malcolm X

Kanye West stated that Jewish businessmen have exploited him for years and that he was fed up. I don’t know the details, but when a Black person calls out racism. I believe them. Why? Because of history. Many people, including myself, have been unaware that Jewish people played a major role in the genocide of Black people for centuries. Kanye’s statement that Jewish people have historically controlled the “Black voice” is right. Before I prove how that statement was right, I will first shed on light on how a segment of the Jewish community:

  1. Participated in The Atlantic Slave Trade and enslavement of Black people. (Jewish households were disproportionately more likely to own slaves than white non-Jewish households)
  2. Were one the main oppressors of the Black community during Jim Crow (And Helped Sabotage the Civil Rights Movement)
  3. Used Their Control of the Media to Push Anti-Black Propaganda and negative stereotypes about Black people.
  4. Sabotaged efforts to end gun violence in the Black community.
  5. Controlled the “Black Voice”

I. Jewish involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade/Slavery

Jewish historian, Dr. Harold Brackman, of the Wiesenthal Center, stated in the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History :“Jews were about twice as likely to be slave owners as the average white Southerner.”

The Jewish historian Jacob Rader Marcus wrote in his book United States Jewry 1776–1985:

He stated that “In 1820, 75 percent of Jewish families in Charleston, South Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia owned slaves.”

“ In 1820 ,almost 40 percent of all Jewish households owned slaves in the United States.”

Dr. Jacob Rader was the first American born Jewish person to become a train historian.

In his 1983 book, Jews and Judaism in the United States, Rabbi Dr. Marc Lee Raphael wrote “In all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.”

Rabbi Raphael continued, “ 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”

Dr. Abraham J. Peck, of the American Jewish Archives said this:

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.”

Besides their important position in the sugar industry and in tax farming, they dominated the slave trade….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.”

Jewish historian, Dr. Harold Brackman of the Wiesenthal Center, stated that during the 1600s, “slave trading in Brazil became a ‘Jewish’ mercantile specialty in much the same way it had been in early medieval Europe.”

Jewish scholar Jonathan Schorsch wrote, “Jewish merchants routinely possessed enormous numbers of slaves temporarily before selling them off.”

The Jewish Encyclopedia:

“Jewish commercial activity” in this time included a “monopoly of the slave trade.”

The Jewish Encyclopedia: “[T]he cotton-plantations in many parts of the South were wholly in the hands of the Jews, and as a consequence slavery found its advocates among them.”

The author, Dr. Seymour B. Liebman, wrote

“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.”

Rabbi, Dr. Herbert I. Bloom

“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.”

“Slave trade [sic] was one of the most important Jewish activities here [in Surinam] as elsewhere in the colonies.”

It is worth noting that Jewish rabbis helped spread the biggest form of propaganda that was used to justify the genocide of Black people.

It was known as the “Curse of Ham.” It was that Black people were born to be slaves because they were the descendants of the character Ham in the Bible.

It is also worth nothing that two major Banks on Wall Street known as Lehman Brother’s and Goldman Sachs benefited from slavery. These two banks were started by Jewish people.

III. One Of The Main Oppressors During Jim Crow (Jewish Involvement In The Sabotage of the Civil Rights Movement)

As we know there was a system known as sharecropping, which many historians say was just another form of slavery. Sharecropping continued until the 1950’s and 1960’s. There were Jewish individuals who participated in the oppression of Black sharecroppers as well.

Mark Twain

“In the Cotton States, after the war, the simple and ignorant Negroes made the crops for the white planter on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the plantation, supplied all the Negro’s wants on credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of the Negro’s share of the present crop and of part of the share of his next one. Before long, the whites detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the Negro loved him.”

Yes there were Jewish people who were involved or supported the Civil Rights Movement. On the other hand Dr. King, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) stated how a segment of the Jewish community was one of the main oppressors of the Black community during Jim Crow. I will shed light on how it is a fair assessment to say, that a segment of the Jewish community helped sabotaged the civil rights movement and its intended results.

Decades before the start of the official “timeline” of the civil rights movement (1950's-1960), A Black Jamaican man named Marcus Garvey started one of the biggest mass movements for Blacks around the world, by creating the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). His philosophy of self-determination for the Black community was inspired by the Black American former slave, activist, and teacher, Booker T. Washington.

Marcus Garvey’s plan was similar to Zionism. Zionism was/is the belief that Jews have the right to return to Israel and build their country there.

Marcus Garvey was working towards getting Black people to return to Africa and establishing a country for those of the African Diaspora, within Africa. Ironically, Zionists initially considered building a country for Jewish people in Africa (Uganda), opposed to the current location in Israel. Marcus Garvey wanted Black people to build our own institutions. He started Black businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, and a toy company that made Black dolls.

His most important venture was the Black Starline, which was going to be used as a way to transport goods , get blacks involved in the global economy, and use the ship to transport black people back to Africa. Garvey wanted to form a nation for Black people in Africa.

Joe Spingarn a Jewish white man who helped found the NAACP led a campaign to have Marcus Garvey deported from America.

In 1928 Marcus Garvey was framed by the FBI for fraud with his ship. After the trial he told a journalist this:

“When they wanted to get me they had a Jewish Judge try me, and a Jewish prosecutor. I would have been freed, but two Jews on the jury held out against me ten hours and succeeded in convicting me, whereupon the Jewish judge gave me the maximum penalty.”

Had Marcus Garvey’s plans not been sabotaged, there may not have been a need for the Civil Rights Movement or more recently, the “Black Lives Matter movement (not the organization.)

In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. explained how Jewish people were one of the main oppressors of the Black people during Jim Crow.

“When we were working in Chicago, we had numerous rent strikes on the West Side, and it was unfortunately true that, in most instances, the persons we had to conduct these strikes against were Jewish landlords. There was a time when the West Side of Chicago was a Jewish ghetto, and when the Jewish community started moving out into other areas, they still owned the property there, and all of the problems of the landlord came into being.”

“We were living in a slum apartment owned by a Jew and a number of others, and we had to have a rent strike. We were paying $94 for four rundown, shabby rooms, and we would go out on our open housing marches on Gage Park and other places and we discovered that whites with five sanitary, nice, new rooms, apartments with five rooms, were paying only $78 a month. We were paying 20 percent tax.”

James Baldwin

“When we were growing up in Harlem our demoralizing series of landlords were Jewish, and we hated them. We hated them because they were terrible landlords, and did not take care of the building. A coat of paint, a broken window, a stopped sink, a stopped toilet, a sagging floor, a broken ceiling, a dangerous stairwell, the question of garbage disposal, the question of heat and cold, of roaches and rats — all questions of life and death for the poor, and especially for those with children — we had to cope with all of these as best we could. Our parents were lashed to futureless jobs, in order to pay the outrageous rent. We knew that the landlord treated us this way only because we were colored, and he knew that we could not move out.”

“The grocer was a Jew, and being in debt to him was very much like being in debt to the company store. The butcher was a Jew and, yes, we certainly paid more for bad cuts of meat than other New York citizens, and we very often carried insults home, along with the meat. We bought our clothes from a Jew and, sometimes, our secondhand shoes, and the pawnbroker was a Jew — perhaps we hated him most of all. The merchants along 125th Street were Jewish — at least many of them were; I don’t know if Grant’s or Woolworth’s are Jewish names — and I well remember that it was only after the Harlem riot of 1935 that Negroes were allowed to earn a little money in some of the stores where they spent so much.”

Malcolm X stated how if Jewish people were really allies they would advise and help us to control the real estate and businesses in our community. Instead they maintained their control of the real estate and businesses in our community. By doing so they extracted wealth from our communities and transferred it back to their communities, which is colonialism. This helped keep our communities poor.

Malcolm X also stated how Jewish individuals controlled Black organizations such as the NAACP. The civil rights organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began to realize that what Malcolm X was saying was true. They kicked out white liberal and white Jewish people from their organization and began leading towards “Black Power.”

(Kwame Ture Stokely Carmichael who became the leader of SNCC and helped popularize “Black Power” stated that the major enemy to our unity is Zionism. I tell you this as a result of over 30 years of constant struggle to unify our people.

In Malcolm X’ s 1963 “Message To The Grassroots” speech, he spoke on how the Jewish man named Stephen Collier, helped control and sabotage the March on Washington. It was supposed to be a grass roots revolution but it was weakened by the control of white/white Jewish “allies.” Activists were limited to what they could say. John Lewis had to change his militant speech and James Baldwin was prevented from speaking at the march.

Malcolm X

“We’re anti-exploitation and in this country the Jews have been located in the so-called Negro community as merchants and businessmen for so long that they feel guilty when you mention that the exploiters of Negroes are Jews. This doesn’t mean that we are anti-Jews or anti-Semitic — we’re anti-exploitation.”

-Malcolm X

“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.”

Source: “-Mr. Goldberg and John Henry: The Relationship Between Afro-Americans and American Jews”

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission), which investigated the causes of the 1967 race riots, found that Jews owned about 30% of the stores in black neighborhoods like Harlem and Watts and that many of the largest stores were owned by Jews and/or had Jewish-sounding names. (Jonathan Kaufman, Broken Alliance: The Turbulent Times between Blacks and Jews in America. New York: Penguin Books, 1988., p. 137).

For Part 2, Please Click The Link Below.

https://medium.com/p/699cef8a1883/edit

--

--