The following is Professor Clarkes response to:

"Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars"


John Henrik Clarke

John Henrik Clarke is Professor Emeritus of African World History

(Department of Africana & Puerto Rican Studies) Hunter College, New York.

He is the author of Notes for an Afican World Revolution, Christopher Columbus

and the African Holocaust African People in World History, the editor of

Malcolm X The Man and His Times and several other works


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 sor 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 them

dare not question whether this is folklore or fact.

There are well over 300 organized 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 Comet 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.

Repeatedly I have said that Europeans are geniuses at draining the diseased

pus of their political sores on the lands of other people. What is now being

called anti. Semitism among a newly awakened Black intellectual class is

that they are beginning to took at the people referred to as Jews as Part of

the totality of European world dominance. We are not saying that the

European who is a Jew is any more of an imperialist than any other of the

Europeans, but that he is basically the same. We are not saying that the

role of the Jews in the slave trade was any different then any other

Europeans, but that it was basically the same. When they saw the opportunity

to make money in the slave trade, they took advantage of this opportunity

the same as other Europeans in the same business.

I do not choose to deal with Jesse Jackson's opportunistic appearances at

the World Jewish Congress and the statements that he made. Jesse Jackson has

his own agenda that is unrelated to the Liberation Movement of his own

people. He was catering to his Jewish audiences for reasons unrelated to

Black people and their liberation movements.

Black people are becoming increasingly conscious of people who exploit their

community and hold them in contempt We make no exceptions when these

exploiters are non-European.

In referring to present-day anti-Semitism and the attempt to trace it to

having roots in Christianity, Professor Gates shows his lack of

understanding of the manifestation of Christianity among American Blacks and

how that interpretation of this religion is part of their humanity. Their

interpretation, in no way, relates to anti-Semitism.

I wonder if Professor Gates would explain the words in the Negro spiritual:

Go down Moses ...

Tell ol'Pharaoh

To let my people go.

or the words:

Deep river,

My home is over Jordan.

This is African identification with the Biblical people of the Hebrew faith.

It would help if Professor Gates would read a towering masterpiece in three

volumes by James Fraser, The Folklore in the Old Testament and another

contemporary book, Hebrew Myths, edited by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai.

I do not think that Professor Gates completely read Michael Bradley's The

Iceman Inheritance before referring to it because in it Michael Bradley has

very little to say about the Jews. The book, in essence, is about the rise

of a certain kind of temperament that changed the world-the European

Personality. This personality has shown little or no respect for

civilizations, cultures and ways of life that it did not create. Cultures

and people that the European did not understand were declared primitive.

In the last 500 years especially, European historians have inferred, or said

outright, that the world waited in darkness for the Europeans to bring the

light. In fact, the Europeans destroyed more civilization than they ever

created. They destroyed civilizations that were already old before Europe

was born.

Michael Bradley was characterizing the Europeans as "Icemen" is not totally

incorrect, if it is incorrect at all. I wrote the Introduction to the new

edition of this book, because I considered the book to be of some

significance in explaining the origin of racism. I did not say the book was

a masterpiece of the greatest achievement in writing. It was good basic

research and bold honesty about Europeans' beginnings and the impact of

racism on the broader world. I have also written the Foreword to another

book by Michael Bradley that will be even more controversial, Chosen People

>From The Caucasus: Jewish Origins, Delusions Deceptions, and Historical in

the Slave Trade, Genocide Cultural Colonization. (Third World Press,


My writing on Black-Jewish relationships is not new. I participated in

forums on this subject in the old Harlem History Club in the 30s. In my

latest book, Notes for an African World Revolution: Africans at the

Crossroads, (Africa World Press, Trenton, 1991), Chapter Four is called

'Africa, Zionism, and Friends Without Friendship." This is an analysis of

500 years of African-Jewish relationships. I am not writing about an

historical Black-Jewish affiance, because the one often referred to is a

myth. There can be no successful alliance between weak people and strong


There have been times when it was to the best interest of the Jews to

support certain Black causes, and they have supported diem. When it was no

longer in their interest, they withdrew from diem. The Jewish people have

practiced what all people on this earth have a right to practice the

essential selfishness of survival.

Indeed, I have criticized multiculturalism and Jewish control over the

education system in New York City and the education system in the United

States, in general, especially the Teachers Union. Jews have had no

compunction in fighting for a holocaust curriculum. And in many schools it

is mandated and Black students must learn about the Holocaust before they

learn about their own history.

Over the years, I have said repeatedly I am not willing to argue whether

Hitler killed 6,000,000 or six He was wrong if he only killed six I think he

committed one of the greatest crimes in history.

No human being would ever approve of this crime. If we are honest about

historical information, we would know that the mass murder and what is

referred to as the Holocaust was a small event in comparison to other mass

murder events in history. The Belgians killed three times more people than

this in the Congo. In an island near Australia called Tasmania, the British

killed every man, woman and child. In the years of the slave trade, Africa

lost, over one hundred million people. For every African captured, three

were killed. The Arab slave trade in East Africa that started a thousand

years before the European Atlantic slave trade and the Atlantic slave trade

that lasted approximately 300 years was a holocaust against African people,

which started 500 years ago and is not completely over to this day.

If the four policeman in Los Angeles had been beating a dog instead of

Rodney King, they would have been put on trial and convicted. It is time to

speak of the Great Holocaust in history. The European holocaust, I repeat,

was small in comparison to some of the others.

When Professor Gates refers to me as the paterfamilias of the Afrocentric

movement," I'm not too clear about whether this is a compliment or a thinly

veiled insult. I did not go to the dictionary to look up the words because I

never use dollar words in 25 cents situations. But, as a matter of fact, my

interest in African history and world history in general started when I was

a Baptist Sunday School teacher in Columbus, Georgia, where I grew to early

manhood. I could not find the image of my people in the Bible, so I began

the search through the literature of the world until I found them and

learned why some people considered it a necessity to leave African people

out of the respectful commentary of history. I became active in the old

Harlem History Club at the Harlem YMCA soon after arriving in New York City

at the age of 18 in 1933.

The study of African history, culture and politics and world history in

general has been the all-prevailing passion of my existence. It is something

I do, like breathing is something I do.

I think too much fuss has been made of the case of Professor Jeffries who

has said nothing that he cannot document. It is too often forgotten that

most of the information Professor Jeffiies gave on the slave trade was taken

from Jewish writers.

The book, The Grandees, by Steven Birmingham, set his search in motion. He

read large numbers of documents over and beyond that book, such as more

revealing books by Professor Ben-ram Wallace Korn: Jews and Negro Slavery in

the Old South 1789-1865, (1961), and The Early Jews of New Orleans, (1969).

The story of Aaron Lopez of Newport, Rhode Island, is too well-known to be

retold here.

Conrad Muhammad and Kahlid Kahfah are not intellectual cohorts with

Professor Jeffries. I doubt if he's met either one of them. Neither one of

these men belong to the academic community, nor is either one well read

enough to be classified as a scholar. They are mainly Moslem zealots; not

too different from zealots of other religions.

I have no argument for or against the Learned Protocols of the Elders of

Zion. I have not been able to authenticate it one way or the other. If

someone assures me that it is a piece of fiction, I am not prepared to


Professor Gates' complaint about the book, The Secret Relationship Between

Blacks and Jews seems without justification. The book is no masterpiece. It

is a competent piece of research. The documentation is good. Instead of

complaining about the footnotes, Professor Gates should read some of the

footnotes and the books they refer to; especially he should read the works

of Professor Bertram W. Korn, an able Jewish scholar whose writings about

the role of American Jews in the slave trade is most revealing. Professor

Gates should also learn that neither Blacks nor Jews can go on forever

denouncing every thing that is not in their favor.

Honest sentiment and some very able research in favor of the Jewish people

was started in the old Harlem History Club by Willis N. Huggins in the 30s.

Some of the best known of these findings were published in the Chicago

Defender and in the magazine, The African.

The following quote is from Willis N. Huggins' article, "How Wrong is

Hitler?...On the History of Jews, Black Folk and 'Aryanism?'" (Chicago

Defender, Chicago, January 28, 1939).

When the news broke in the American Press on July 15th that the Italians


ready to go tread "The Aryan Path," it evoked as much laughter as the world


get when news comes from Germany that Max Schmeling has been cast out of the

"Aryan Fold" because "anonymous scientists" have discovered that he has a

grandfather named Goldberg. "Political Aryanism," according to a prominent

Nazi leader, "aims to turn its ire against Jews, Gypsies and the Negro


Since Jews are able to take care of their part of this "sentence" and,

doubtless, the Gypsy does not give a hoot I should like to summarize the

reactions of black folk to the new "Aryan Wave."

If we should look at the records we would see that the early Aryan

language-groups stemmed from the black Dravidians who occupied southern

India in remote times. 'Me two peoples mingled freely. Thus, the so-called

Indo-European movements around 2,500 B.C., were basically migrations of a

Negroid folk which pooled itself in southern southeastern and southwestern

Europe, around 2,000 B.C. Indeed black African races, The Grimaldi" had

already covered most of Europe as early as 20,000 B.C. They left a secondary

African base for art in ancient Hellas (Greece) and a primary AM, can base

for color in Austria, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

Willis N. Huggins also wrote a series of articles on the African origin of

Adolf Hitler's racist symbols.

In my opinion, I think both Blacks and Jews are often arguing about the

right thing the wrong way. Jews who lived in slave trading countries

participated in the slave trade as citizens of the respective country.

Slavery was a business, a dirty business, but still a business. Business

people engage in any business where profit can be made. The same thing is

true about business people living in colonial countries in relationship to

African people. I pla

ce no special blame on Jewish people who are white

Europeans. I offer no special vindication, either. Their behavior in

relationship to non-Europeans is basically the same as other Europeans. The

internal difference and difficulties that Jews have had within the White

family does not alter or change what I have just said.

What Professor Gates, the Jews and some people referred to as "Black

Conservatives" fail to understand is that the African people throughout the

world have suffered a special catastrophe over and above that of other

people of the world. When Europeans rose in the 15th and 16th century,

started the slave trade, colonized history and information about history,

they also colonized the image Of God They took away from millions of people

the image of their original God-concept and replaced him or her by a god

conceived in Europe. Again, I ask Professor Gates and other Black

conservatives to try to understand that for 500 years we have lived in a

European-conceived intellectual universe. I am willing to acknowledge that I

am influenced by this conception, but I am, at least, at war against it

because I realize that it is not only detrimental to my people, it is

detrimental to the whole world. Professor Gates and other Black

conservatives are the crawling dogs to this new design to continue European

world dominance.

Professor Gates is snide in his assumption that "We can rarely bring

ourselves to forgive those who have helped us." The truth is the contrary.

African people have always over-rewarded those who have helped them, often

to their detriment. I wish he would explain the nature of the help and the

time it was given. All people that have come among us have taken more than

they have given and have eventually done us more harm than good. If you

forgive the modesty, I refer you to my pamphlet, Black, White Alliances: A

Historical Perspective (Third World Press, Chicago, 1971).

Professor Gates keeps referring to an historical alliance between Blacks and

Jews. I wish he would be more precise and say when this historical alliance

occurred. I have been a teacher of African World History most of my life and

a student of history in general. I know of no evidence indicating such an

alliance. The earliest opportunity for a coalition between Blacks and Jews

came in 1675 B.C., when an African people called the Egyptians took in the

sons and daughters of Abraham, who were fleeing from hunger and starvation

in Western Asia. After receiving food, clothing and shelter as well as the

foundation for Judaic culture, language and religion, the majority of these

a guests" joined the invaders, the Hyksos (or Shepherd Kings) rather than

form an alliance to defend the country of their African benefactors. They

had found a greater acceptance in Africans than Africans have ever found in

a European-dominated country. With this visit to Africa, the people who

would later be known as Jews conspicuously entered world history.

Professor Gates, Cornel West and other Black conservatives use beautiful

words, sometimes to say nothing, sometimes to say what has already been said

and sometimes to say what is not in debate. They display their ignorance of

European history and history in general. They decry any form of Black

nationalism and often call it racism without knowing that for the last 500

years the world has been controlled by European or White nationalism.

African self-assertion, the demand for a proper curriculum in the schools-a

demand that we stop praising a liar and a faker like Christopher Columbus

who discovered absolutely nothing-threatens an apparatus of European control

set in motion by the Atlantic slave trade and continued with colonialism

that ultimately laid the basis for present-day monopoly capitalism. No

matter what Europeans say they believe religiously, politically or

culturally, their main objective in the world is control. Everything that

has ever been developed in the European mind was meant to facilitate mind

control of the world. There are no exceptions, Left or Right politically.

Black conservatives are really frustrated slaves crawling back to the

plantation, figuratively, letting their master know that they are willing to

go back into bondage. One needs to question their words because, as slaves

and enemies of their people, they will say what they are told to say and do

what they are told to do. The Black conservatives have nothing to conserve

except their miserable obscurity and their tragic cowardice. These

pathetically lost creatures and avid White behind kissers don't have the

nerve to be African or Black.

To be African or Black with the understanding of all of its ramifications

is, in itself, a commitment to the unification and uplift of all African

people on the face of this earth. It is a commitment, also, to take Pan,

Africanism beyond its narrow base of Black nationalism to a concept of an

African world union.

When the real tragedy of Black-Jewish relations is finally identified, I

think it will be the dictionary and how we have misused its words. Here is a

case where semantics change depending on who is listening and what they are

listening for. Your listener will often hear what you did not say and

stubbornly ignore what you said. The present controversy around Black and

Jewish relations is a good example of a poor and unimaginative use of words.

What exactly do we mean by Black-Jewish relations? From these words we have

no way of knowing that there are Blacks who are also Jews-members of the

Hebrew faith.

There is a genuine conflict between Black and Jewish people, and this

conflict has international implications. We can not deal with this conflict

honestly until we call it by its correct name and examine its origin and

development African people the world over have no culture or religious fight

with Jewish people. We come out of pluralistic societies, of our own making,

where we lived side by side with a multiplicity of cultures and religions,

most of the time in peace. Cultural and religious tolerance is part of our

heritage as a people. If we were disposed to be against any culture or

religion, it would probably not be Jewish culture and religion that had part

of its early development in Africa.

Now that I have eliminated culture and religion as the basis of the

Black-Jewish conflict, precisely what is the conflict about? It is about

power and the emerging expectations of most of the world's people who until

recently were mainly ruled by Europeans or people of European extraction.

The one thing the conflict is not about is anti-Semitism. There is a

world-wide Black-White conflict which is part of the broader conflict

between European and non-European people. African people are on one side of

that conflict, and the people we refer to as Jews are on the other side.

When I use the words Jews or Jewish people, I am referring to White people

of European descent, whose culture, development and political loyalty is

European. This political loyalty to Europe and the part that Jewish people

still play in maintaining European world-wide power, and not anti-Semitism,

is the basis of the conflict between us. This conflict will become more

fierce and tragic as non-European people challenge the power of European

people all over the world.

With urgency I invite you to read Yosef A.A. benJochannan's book, We the

Black Jews and the book by John G. Jackson, Christianity Before Christ. I

believe that Placks and Jews need a genuine partnership. Before one can be

built both of them have to be honest in admitting that they have no

partnership now. Figuratively speaking, the partnership between a horse and

a rider is neither a partnership or an agreement.

Today the Jews are aligning themselves with the forces of White supremacy

that is diametrically opposed to the interest of most of mankind. I think

they have made a political mistake of disastrous proportions, and I compare

their present political position with the period of Joseph and his brothers

in Egypt and the period and time that followed the loss of political

connections with the Egyptian Court that Joseph made for them.

And I wonder will their present position lead to another time when a king

will arise, figuratively speaking, who politically knew not Joseph.


Kwesi Ohene Aquil

Midwest Region President

Association For The Study of Classical African Civilizations

This article was presented to TheBlackList
by  Langston

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