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Despite recent anti-Semitic comments, Jews and Black people have long been allies. I was talking to a Black friend this week about a recent string of anti-Semitic tweets from Black celebrities when he hit me with a question that caught me by surprise.

“When did Jews become the enemy of Black people?”
My quick answer: Never.
You might not know that, however, if you’ve seen a string of anti-Semitic comments from entertainer Nick Cannon, NFL wide receiver DeSean Jackson and former NBA player Stephen Jackson. All three later offered apologies for their comments, which evoked the anti-Semitic pronouncements of Minister Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam. The Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned both Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, calling their rhetoric “deeply racist” and “anti-Semitic.”

The comments by Cannon and the two Jacksons caused a stir and puzzled some who wondered how people who have presumably been victims of racism could voice prejudice towards another minority group. Luminaries such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a column asking why there wasn’t more outrage over the remarks.

These stories about supposed Black-Jewish tensions fit a pattern. They hibernate and then re-emerge every couple of years to feed a perception that there is pervasive anti-Semitism in the Black community or some historical “tension” between Black people and Jews.

But that perception is bogus. No one should let the uninformed musings of a few Black celebrities convince us otherwise. Talk to many people who know the history of both groups and they will tell you the same.
Ravi Perry, an activist and chairman of the political science department at Howard University, rejects the notion that there is a rising tide of anti-Semitism among Black people or some new tension between the two groups.  Read More

Related news: Nick Cannon apologizes for his ‘hurtful and divisive words’ toward the Jewish community
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