Jewish Dominance and Exploitation
of the Black Civil Rights Movement

Many observers argue that the presumed Jewish altruism and social activism in the American civil rights movement of the 1960's had baser motives. Benjamin Ginsberg argues that the multicultural coalitions spearheaded by Jews in the civil rights era "was a political tactic" to "undermine the power" of those establishment social forces that hindered further Jewish socio-economic advancement. [GINSBERG, p. 125] In 1975 Hasia Dinner wrote a PhD thesis about the way that "Jewish support for black causes was a way for Jews to broaden their own rights without becoming conspicuous by advocating their group interests." [FEINGOLD, p. 130] "Jewish leaders," wrote Diner, "representing different socio-economic classes, ideologies, and cultural experiences committed themselves to black betterment and gave time, money, and energy to black organizations. The spectrum was so wide and the involvement so extensive that one must conclude that these leaders acted out of peculiarly Jewish motives ... [My] book demonstrates that Jewish ends were secured by involvement with blacks." [DINER, p. xiv, xii]

(Similarly, Jewish author Peter Novick notes the changing Jewish strategy in using massive Jewish attack against generic prejudice as a tool in fending off specific anti-Jewish hostility:

"In recent decades, the leading Jewish organizations have invoked the Holocaust to argue that anti-Semitism is a distinctively virulent and murderous form of hatred. But in the first postwar decades their emphasis -- powerfully reinforced by contemporary scholarly opinion -- was on the common psychological roots of all forms of prejudice. Their research, educational, and political action programs consistently minimized diffrences between different targets of discrimination. If prejudice and discrimination were all of a piece, they reasoned that they could serve the cause of Jewish self-defense as well by attacking prejudice and discrimination against blacks as by tackling anti-Semitism directly.") [NOVICK., P., 1999, p. 116]

"The Jewish struggle for equality and fair treatment," says Jonathan Kaufman, "was linked to the struggles of Blacks for greater opportunity. It was not a struggle of equals; Jews did not consider their plight equal to that of Blacks. But they recognized in the Black struggle for civil rights elements that could benefit them and conditions with which they sympathized." [MARTIN, p. 131] Hence, perhaps three-quarters of the funding for the three major civil rights organizations -- the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, The Congress of Racial Equality, and Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference is attributed to Jewish sponsorship. [MARTIN, p. 132]

"Any support of human rights in general by Jews," says Israel Shahak, "which does not include the support of human rights of non-Jews whose rights are being violated by [Israel] is deceitful ... [Jewish] support of Blacks in the South was motivated only by consideration of Jewish self-interest." [SHAHAK, p. 103] "The major role [that Jews] once played in the civil rights movement," says Charles Liebman and Stephen Cohen, "[is a] myth ... [that] enhances the self-image of a Jew as a caring and sensitive minority selflessly contributing to improve the lot of other minorities." [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 17] "Among the many myths life and history have imposed on Negroes," wrote Black author Harold Cruse in 1967, "... is the myth that the Negroes' best friend is the Jew." [CRUSE, p. 476]

For years W.E.B. DuBois was the only Black officer in the NAACP, which was largely directed, funded, and controlled in its early decades by Jews like Henry Moskowitz and Joel Spingarn. [ARSON, p. 140] (In 1913 Spingarn announced a yearly award named after himself, the "Spingarn Medal," for the "highest and noblest achievement of an American Negro." [DINER, p. 138] ) In a later era, and another Black organization, the Southern Leadership Christian Conference, a Jew -- Stanley Levison -- even wrote Martin Luther King's speeches for him. [MARTIN, p. 132] Levison has been described as one of King's "closest personal advisers." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 66] This voice of "Christian Leadership," Levison, was also discovered by the FBI to have been a former Communist party member. [KAUFMAN, J., p. 66] Another Jew, Marvin Rich, was the "chief fundraiser and key speech writer for the Congress of Racial Equality -- CORE", [GINZBURG, p. 145] and his position was later filled by another Jewish attorney, Alan Gartner. In the 1960s, "in CORE, younger and more militant members blocked efforts by [James] Farmer to name one of his Jewish advisers president of CORE, insisting the post be filled with a black." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 76] In the same era, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Will Maslow, was also a CORE national board member. (He resigned in outrage when one African-American CORE official, Clifford Brown, angrily declared that Hitler hadn't "killed enough" Jews). [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 327]

Another such Black civil rights group was the National Urban League, greatly funded by the Sears-Roebuck magnate, Julius Rosenwald. Edwin Seligman ("descended from one of the wealthiest and most prestigious Jewish families"), was the first chairman of the organization. Its first Executive Board included Abraham Lefkowitz and Felix Adler -- later joined by Seligman's brother George and Ella Sachs Plotz. In 1932, six Jews "served as officials" at the Urban League's Chicago branch. [DINER, p. 186] Following Jewish philanthropic donations, Salmon O. Levinson began directorship of the Abraham Lincoln Center (a social work center for Blacks and whites) in 1917. [DINER, p. 181] Jacob Billikopf, also Jewish, became chairman of Howard University, a Black college, in 1935. Fisk University also had influential Jewish board members. To this day, Rabbi David Saperstein serves as an NAACP board member. "By the mid-1960s," says Jonathan Kaufman, "Jewish contributions made up three-quarters of the money raised by SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], CORE, and SCLC. So important were contributions from Jews to SCLC, Jesse Jackson recalled later, that for a time King's advisers debated whether they should call the group simply the Southern Leadership Conference, eliminating the reference to 'Christian.' In phone conversations with King, Bayard Rustin, one of King's top advisers, would remind him to include references in his speeches to the 'Judeo-Christian tradition.'" [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 66]

Jewish actor Theodore Bikel, a Zionist activist, was once "one of SNCC's most prominent supporters." [VOLKMAN, p. 215] Howard Zinn was also a Jewish SNCC "adviser." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 67] SNCC African-American leader Stokely Carmichael's "first demonstration was a pro-Israel rally held in front of the United Nations by the Young Socialist League." (He later became very vocally anti-Zionist). Another SNCC Black leader, Robert Moses, "had gone to the Jewish socialist camp, Camp Wo-Chi-Ca, as a child and befriended many Jews from radical and socialist homes." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 67]

What about the Southern Poverty Law Center, famed fighter for the impoverished and African-American rights, especially in the South? It is based in Montgomery, Alabama, and in 1996 the local Montgomery Advertiser printed an embarrassing expose about the Center. The salary, noted the paper, for SPLC president and CEO (as well as SPLC co-founder) Joseph Levin was $137,798 a year. Not bad for a fighter on behalf of those mired in poverty. The Center's Legal Director, Richard Cohen, made $151,420. But that's not all. The Advertiser further noted that "One thing remains a constant at the nation's wealthiest civil rights charity, the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center: All the top-paid, top-level management jobs are held by whites." [RICHARDSON, S., 8-29, p. D7] [No notation of the percentage of Jews within this "white" nomenclature is noted] In SPLC's 25-year history "no black person has held a top-level management position, and only one black staffer has ever been among the top five paid positions." In SPLC's team of five lawyers, one was African-American. [RICHARDSON, S., 8-29-96, p. D7]

The next year, an editorial writer, Rose Sanders, expressed outrage in the same newspaper that the SPLC publicly condemned Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam (a hero in large parts of the Black community) as a racist. She pointed out the hypocrisy of the charge, noting that "Joseph Levin says he is not a bigot, but how does he explain the bigotry evidenced by the employment practices at the Poverty Law Center? An example of the Center's racial prejudice is illustrated by its racial tolerance program. The program did not have a single black employee. No black person helped shape or design the program." [SANDERS, R., 9-22-97, p. 7A] The granddaddy of Black civil rights organizations, the NAACP, "took shape" at the estate ("Troutbeck") of Joel Spingarn who became its Board Chairman in 1915. He served in this position until 1929 when he became, instead, the president, til 1939. He was succeeded by his brother Arthur (for many years head of the NAACP's Legal Committee) till 1966, when another Jew, Kivie Kaplan, "a millionaire manufacturer of patent leather," [HILLEL/LEVINE, p. 127] took over. "By 1968," note Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon, "the perceived paternalistic leadership style of Kaplan and other prominent Jews in the civil rights movement was coming under increasingly sharp attack. Activists called for his resignation; Kaplan refused." [HILLEL/ HARMON, p. 127] Only with Kaplan's death in 1975 did the NAACP -- 64 years after its founding -- have the opportunity to elect its first Black president. [GOLDBERG, p. 24]

"Litigation," notes Hasia Diner, "was the Association's most potent weapon ... Many of those lawyers and legal advisors were Jews. In fact, Jews made their greatest impact on the Association in this area." [DINER, p. 128] Jewish lawyer Nathan Margold's 1929 "report became the bible of the NAACP's legal efforts." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 91] Jack Greenberg headed the 1960s-era NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In 1982, still at the helm, a Black student coalition at Harvard protested Jewish paternalism and the fact that a white Jew "was heading the country's premier black legal organization." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 119-121] Joel Spingarn, who served as both the NAACP Chairman of the Board and as a major in the U.S. Military Intelligence Department (MID) during World War I, was revealed in recent years by the Memphis Commercial Appeal to have "used his [NAACP] post to obtain critical information for MID." [MARTIN, p. 49] Another such "liberal" Jew on the NAACP membership rolls included Judge Julian Mack (of the U.S. Court of Appeals), the first President of the American Jewish Congress. Mack was also president of the Zionist Organization of America from 1918 to 1921. He and Louis Brandeis, notes Thomas Kolsky, "dominated American Zionism from 1914 to 1921 and also in the 1930s." [KOLSKY, T., p. 26]

With Jews holding the purse strings to many ostensibly Black organizations, in 1976 Black activist Julian Bond sought the directorship of the NAACP. Although critical of Israel, Bond found it necessary to sign a yearly "Black Americans in Support of Israel (BASIC)" statement "if he was to have any chance of winning the NAACP position, given the powerful influence of Jews within the organization." [GINZBURG, p. 169] In the early years of the NAACP, adds Hasia Diner, "heavy Jewish involvement may explain why the [NAACP] conference passed the 'Russian Resolution,' which protested the expulsion of Jews from the city of Kiev, Russia." [DINER, p. 136] Later, African Americans like William Pollard, Deputy Director of the NAACP, took "many trips" to Israel, although socialization to the Jewish/Israeli perspectives was not always completely successful. [STARR, J., 1990, p. 251]

Clues to the nature of Spingarn's NAACP may be gleaned from the following quotes from B. Joyce Ross, author of J.E. Spingarn and the Rise of the NAACP:

* "Spingarn's failure to relinquish the power he wielded in the NAACP comprised one of the greatest paradoxes of his career." [p. 69]

* "Spingarn's familiarity with New York's most reputable financial institutions and his expertise in the management of stocks and bonds enabled him to become one of the key formulators of the NAACP's financial policy." [p. 57] (He also had a "special influence" at publishers Harcourt, Brace and a "special relationship" at Alfred Knopf). [LEWIS, p. 562]

* 'The NAACP became a closed corporation ... [resulting in] a tremendous narrowing of the broad base of authority suggested by the Association's constitutional structure, with a concomitant tendency toward a self-perpetuating Board of Directors." [p. 52]

* "The central office's tight control of the branches meant essentially that a few New York administrators determined NAACP policy on a nationwide scale." [p. 58-59]

* "[W.E.B. Du Bois], the only Black executive officer [until 1916] contended that it was absolutely necessary that he have a large measure of autonomy lest the Association with its preponderance of white executives, should become a white dominated organization with Negroes as mere helpers ... From an administrative standpoint [Du Bois'] demand for autonomy was a potential threat to the organization's basic unity." [p. 61-62]

* Even though W. E. Du Bois, one of the foremost Black leaders of the day, received a full salary from the Association for his services, he frequently was obliged to solicit personal loans from Spingarn." [ p. 57] The early Black nationalist Marcus Garvey "stormed out of the NAACP's headquarters in 1917, 'dumbfounded' by the apparent domination of whites." These included Board Chairman Joel Spingarn, his brother Arthur who was pro bono counsel, Herbert Lehman of the Executive Committee, Arthur Sachs, Herbert Seligmann - director of public relations, and his secretary Martha Gruening. [LEWIS, p. 553] (A particularly curious instance occurred in 1962-63 when the labor union expert at the NAACP, a Jew named Herbert Hill, led an attack on the -- largely Jewish -- International Ladies Garment workers union, for racism ["discrimination."] [GLAZER/MOYNIHAN, p. 178]

Other NAACP activists included Felix Frankfurter ("an active Zionist who is credited with drafting the Balfour Declaration, the 1918 statement of the British government favoring the establishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine" and Herman Lehman who "was also a Zionist and lent a hand in the Palestine Economic Corporation. Among Louis Marshall's "primary activities" included "serving as president of the American Jewish Committee." Herman Moskowitz "worked ardently in the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Social Service Association." [DINER, p. 123]

In later years Marcus Garvey ran into trouble with the law concerning his part-ownership of a steam line business. "I am being punished for the crime of the Jew Silverstone [an agent of the Black Star line]," he complained, "I was persecuted by Maxwell Mattuck, another Jew, and I am to be sentenced by Judge Julian Mack, the eminent jurist [and an NAACP board member]. Truly, I may say, 'I am going to Jericho and fell among thieves.'" [MAGIDA, p. 166]

"One is driven to the hypothesis," says Israel Shahak, "that quite a few of Martin Luther King's rabbinical supporters were either anti-Black racists who supported him for tactical reasons (wishing to win black support for American Jewry and for Israel) or were accomplished hypocrites." [SHAHAK, p. 26] "[Jewish] loyalists," declared Thelma Thomas Dalevy, president of the mostly Black Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1979, "are not compatible with the struggle of black Americans for equal opportunity under the law. Indeed, we question whether their loyalties are first with the state of Israel or the United States." [STANFIELD, p. 1849]

Yet, "Jews cannot afford to engage in or tolerate political tactics or public rhetoric that seriously threatens to discredit blacks," observes Benjamin Ginzburg, "This is one of the major reasons that Jewish racism, often expressed privately, seldom manifests itself publicly. African-Americans are simply too important to the legitimacy of the American domestic state. If Jews engage in attacks on blacks or permit doubts to be raised about the merits of their political claims, then Jews are, in effect, undermining a major moral prop supporting the institutions from which they themselves derive enormous benefits and through which they exercise considerable power." [GINZBURG, p. 153]


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