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The Strange History of the Black Hebrew Israelites, as Group is Tied to Jersey City Murders

The Strange History of the Black Hebrew Israelites, as Group is Tied to Jersey City MurdersYet another apparent anti-Semitic multiple murder has hit the United States with Tuesday’s killing of four people and the subsequent deaths of the two attackers in a Jersey City, N.J. The New York Times, New York Post and other outlets reported Wednesday that the slaughter appears to be linked to a black supremacist doctrine.Mayor Steven Fulop had already said that the kosher grocery store where most of the shooting took place was intentionally singled out by the killers, suggesting a terrorist attack that specifically targeted Jews. Now law enforcement official say at least one of assailants had posted anti-Semitic comments online, and was or had been a Black Hebrew Israelite.Kosher Market Was Jersey City Shooting Suspects’ ‘Target,’ Official SaysIf so, it is the latest, and by far the most violent, incident to bring a little-known doctrine that is an outgrowth of early black nationalist thinking to widespread public attention. While people affiliated with the movement had been in the news recently for triggering the Covington students’ apparent confrontation with a native American drummer in D.C. and for walking into the Bronx Zoo’s lion enclosure, the best-known previous atrocity connected to the bizarre theology was the murder, in the late 1980s, of 14 people by killers linked closely to the South Florida-based Nation of Yahweh. The Nation’s leader, Yahweh ben Yahweh, died in 2007 after serving 11 years of a federal prison sentence for racketeering and conspiracy. The severed ears of several of the white victims were reportedly brought to Yahweh ben Yahweh as trophies.The United States and much of the rest of the world has seen a remarkable uptick in anti-Semitic propaganda and violence, especially since the 2017 march in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalist chanted “Jews will not replace us.” The Anti-Defamation League recently reported a “historically high” number of anti-Semitic incidents in the last several years, and there have been deadly attacks in that period on synagogues in Poway, Calif., and Pittsburgh, where 11 died. In addition, anti-Semitism is clearly growing in countries like Hungary and Poland, and even the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has been implicated.But political violence from black anti-Semites has been the exception, with the vast majority of such attacks coming from white nationalists. While it is true that surveys have shown higher levels of anti-Semitism among African Americans than white Americans, those attitudes have not generally led to terrorism.Black Hebrew Israelism has roots in Black Judaism, which was a generally non-racist theology that emerged in the late 19th century and was one variant of developing black nationalist ideas. Its basic belief is that American blacks are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Old Testament, and that those who today call themselves Jews are lying about being the Bible’s chosen people. Many followers believe that whites and Jews will soon be either killed or enslaved as payback from God for their role in enslaving Africans in the Americas.Although there is no central authority of Black Hebrew Israelism, as it is practiced in small disparate groups in many of the nation’s largest cities, most of the so-called Israelites see Jews as biblical imposters and the primary facilitators of so-called cultural “filth,” such as Hollywood movies. They also describe Jews as self-interested moneymakers and particular enemies of black Americans.Perhaps the most bizarre thing about Black Hebrew Israelism is the way it mirrors, with only a change in color, the ideas of Christian Identity. Identity is an important white supremacist theology practiced in many Klan groups, along with other entities like the once-important Aryan Nations. Its hardline version describes Jews as the offspring of a literal sexual union between Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, always at work on behalf of their progenitor, Satan.Black Hebrew Israelism is not the only strand of organized black anti-Semitism in America. The largest black hate group, the Nation of Islam, does not traffic in bible stories but it is heavily anti-Semitic, with its leaders offering a string of vicious comments about Jews along with falsely accusing them of being the primary purveyors of the transatlantic slave trade.Bizarrely, the Jersey attack came the same day it was reported that President Trump was expected to sign an executive order that effectively treats Jews as a “nationality” rather than a religious group — despite the undisputed fact that Jews are not a single ethnicity. The vast majority of Jews, for instance, accept that Ethiopian Jews, who are black, are in fact Jewish.Many conservative Jews applauded the idea, which would allow the federal government to withhold money from college campuses that fail to adequately combat anti-Semitic discrimination. The move is seen primarily as a way to take on the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which many Israel supporters view as fundamentally anti-Semitic.But many liberal American Jewish groups have responded negatively to the idea, suggesting that it is an attempt to stifle criticism of Israel and support for the Palestinians. The Washington Post quoted Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, saying it was meant to have a “chilling effect on free speech and to crack down on campus critics of Israel.” Another group, IfNotNow, said it was “bigoted” for playing into ancient stereotypes of Jews belonging to a kind of tribal nation, and thus promoting the “dual loyalty” charge.Trump has pushed similar ideas. In August, he accused Jewish Democrats of being “disloyal to the Jewish people… and very disloyal to Israel.” He has echoed common tropes about Jews being primarily concerned with money. In 2016, he Tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton sitting atop a pile of money with a superimposed Star of David.Black Hebrew Israelites, who may number in the thousands but are clearly not a dominant strand of African American thinking, may be the latest entrants into the world of anti-Semites willing to engage in political violence. But they are only the latest, as white nationalists, political leaders here and abroad, and any number of others take up the hatreds once thought to have died in World War II.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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The Latest: Mexico official says suspect not tied to attack

The Latest: Mexico official says suspect not tied to attackMexican officials say a suspect who was arrested in the border city of Agua Prieta with assault rifles was not involved in the killing of three American women and six children. Alfonso Durazo, a public security official, said Wednesday that preliminary information indicates that the suspect who was detained Tuesday is not linked to the attack. Criminal investigators in northern Mexico earlier said the suspect was under investigation for a possible connection to the killings.



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Mayor Pete Buttigieg Drops Fundraiser Tied to Laquan McDonald Coverup

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Drops Fundraiser Tied to Laquan McDonald CoverupREUTERSMayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign announced Friday that the co-host of a controversial campaign fundraiser was dropping out amid sharp public criticism over the role he played in delaying the release of a video of an infamous 2014 shooting death of a black teenage boy.The would-be co-host, Steve Patton, is a former Chicago city attorney who pushed to withhold video depicting the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald until after a contentious mayoral runoff election, more than a year after a judge had ordered the video to be released. Patton already donated $ 5,600 to Buttigieg in June—a donation that the South Bend mayor’s campaign said it would be returning. “Transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald is more important than a campaign contribution,” Chris Meagher, the Buttigieg campaign’s national press secretary, told The Daily Beast. “We are returning the money he contributed to the campaign and the money he has collected. He is no longer a co-host for the event and will not be attending.”Patton’s role in the Friday fundraiser, first reported by the Associated Press, prompted sharp criticism of Buttigieg, including from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the city’s most prominent civil rights leader, who called on the Democratic nominee to “adjust his schedule.”Buttigieg’s campaign had initially declined to comment on the story, directing the Associated Press to his “Douglass Plan” to end systemic racism.Buttigieg, who is struggling in the polls among black voters, has had difficulty trying to reconcile his sweeping proposals for deconstructing structural racism with his record as the mayor, where he fired the city’s first black police chief and has conceded that he has failed in diversifying the city’s law enforcement. South Bend’s police department is 90 percent white while the city itself is 27 percent black.In June, Buttigieg left the campaign trail following the shooting death of a black man, Eric Logan, by a white police officer. At a town hall discussing the shooting, Buttigieg was heckled by angry South Bend residents who demanded that he focus on the city’s problems with racism in its police force rather than his run for the White House.“I just want you to know that we’re not running from this,” Buttigieg said at the time. “Of course I’m upset. A man died in this city at the hands of one of the people in charge of protecting the city.”Other president campaigns were quick to jump on Patton’s participation in the fundraiser as evidence of misplaced priorities. Rob Flaherty, digital director for Buttigieg rival Beto O’Rourke, tweeted that it was “good to see that despite The Pete Pivot, he’s remaining consistent on some things.”According to Federal Election Commission filings, Patton donated $ 2,700 to O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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White House confirms it tied Ukraine aid to help in pursuing conspiracy theory on DNC hack

White House confirms it tied Ukraine aid to help in pursuing conspiracy theory on DNC hackActing White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed that the president withheld military aid from Ukraine because he wanted the country to look for a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee.



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Mayor in Mexico tied to a truck and dragged through streets for ‘failing to fulfill campaign promises’

Mayor in Mexico tied to a truck and dragged through streets for ‘failing to fulfill campaign promises’Angry farmers in Mexico abducted the mayor of their village and dragged him through the streets after claiming he went back on key campaign promises.Police intervened to free Jorge Luis Escandón Hernández, who suffered no major injuries after the ordeal.



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'They're forming like roaches.' The 6 tropical storms whirling at once have tied a record

'They're forming like roaches.' The 6 tropical storms whirling at once have tied a recordIt's hurricane season, but this is ridiculous. The six storms whirling this week in the Atlantic and Pacific set a record, forecasters reported.



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America's 'democratic experiment' is inextricably tied to the history of slavery

America's 'democratic experiment' is inextricably tied to the history of slaveryThe year 1619 laid out rough boundaries of citizenship, freedom, and democracy that are still being policed‘What we politely refer to as the ‘legacy’ of slavery is a political and economic system built on racial exploitation and the theft of black labor.’ Photograph: Carlos Barría/ReutersThis year marks 400 years since enslaved Africans from Angola were forcibly brought to Jamestown, Virginia. This forced migration of black bodies on to what would become the United States of America represents the intertwined origin story of racial slavery and democracy. This year also marks what would have been the 90th birthday of Martin Luther King, the most well-known mobilizer of the civil rights movement’s heroic period between 1954 and 1965.While Americans are quick to recognize Jamestown as the first episode of a continuing democratic experiment, the nation remains less willing to confront the way in which racial slavery proved crucial to the flourishing of American capitalism, democratic freedoms, and racial identity. The year 1619 laid out rough boundaries of citizenship, freedom, and democracy that are still being policed in our own time.Although we hardly remember this today, King often discussed how the imposing shadow of slavery impacted the civil rights struggle, perhaps most notably on 28 August 1963, during the March on Washington.Addressing a quarter of a million people in front of the Lincoln Memorial, King acknowledged racial slavery’s uncanny hold on the American imagination. A century earlier, Abraham Lincoln, whom King called “a great American”, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet 100 years later, black people remained marginalized from the American dream. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation,” King said, African Americans had received a “bad check” – one that the nation would have to pay in full to overcome the tragic dimensions of a racial past that continued to constrain its future.King longed to reconcile the fundamental contradiction of American democratic traditions: the existence of racial slavery alongside individual freedom and liberty. What King interpreted as a contradiction, Malcolm X recognized as ironic symmetry. According to Malcolm, racial slavery in America helped to undergird a system of racial democracy that became the exclusive provision of whites.In his stinging denunciations of white supremacy and his bold support for revolutionary violence against anti-black racism, Malcolm often invoked African Americans’ experience of 400 years of racial oppression. 2019 is the exact anniversary of the date that Malcolm often extolled in speeches, televised debates, and jaw-rattling interviews.Both Malcolm and Martin understood the intimate connection between the struggle for black dignity and citizenship during the civil rights and Black Power era and the movement to end racial slavery in the nineteenth century.Perhaps no single figure more elegantly represents that century’s struggle over racial slavery, freedom, and citizenship than Frederick Douglass, whose reputation has swelled in the aftermath of the historian David Blight’s recent Pulitzer-winning biography.A former enslaved African American from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, Douglass narrated his escape from slavery to freedom as a journey emblematic of the nation’s entire democratic experiment. A brilliant writer and public speaker, Douglass became the 19th century’s most-photographed American, the nation’s leading abolitionist, and a proponent of the violent overthrow of slavery by any means necessary. Douglass, no less than Abraham Lincoln, came to represent the freedom dreams that animated not only the struggle for black citizenship but the destiny of democracy.Racial slavery – a ruthless system of bondage closely tied to the rise of global capitalism – collapsed in 1865 only after the deaths of over 700,000 Americans in the civil war. Black soldiers’ patriotism in the face of white supremacy was only begrudgingly, if ever, acknowledged by northern politicians. New constitutional amendments designed to settle the debate over black freedom by abolishing slavery and establishing birthright citizenship and the vote competed with the rise of political, economic, and racial terror against black Americans.Reconstruction between 1865 and 1896 found black women and men on the cutting edge of new interracial democratic experiments that helped to establish public education, historically black colleges, churches, businesses, civic groups, and mutual aid societies and elect black officials. Yet those triumphs were challenged by violence, political betrayal, and legal and legislative assaults on black citizenship. In 1896, the supreme court’s Plessy v Ferguson decision made segregation the law of the land and ushered in a dark period of history.Contemporary black-led social movements such as Black Lives Matter confront not only the racial ghosts of the Jim Crow south memorialized in popular culture. They face the larger specter of racial slavery that our society often still refuses to acknowledge. What we politely refer to as the “legacy” of slavery represents the evolution of a political and economic system built on racial exploitation, the theft of black labor, and the demonization and dehumanization of black bodies.What is all the more remarkable is the way in which black folk have embraced an expansive vision of democracy even when the nation refused to recognize it as legitimate. Ida B Wells, the 19th-century anti-lynching crusader, was a trailblazing social justice activist whose work anticipated the rise of mass incarceration in America. Ella Jo Baker, the founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), understood the sit-in movement to be less about gaining access to white lunch counters than about eradicating oppressive and anti-democratic systems that had flourished since the bullwhip days of antebellum slavery.Similarly, King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail extolled the heroism of black schoolchildren jailed for violating Jim Crow laws in Alabama. Those young people, King argued, would be one day recognized as heroes for having transported the entire nation back to those “great wells of democracy” that were dug deep by the founding fathers.The relationship between slavery and freedom and our contemporary understanding of this history remains at the core of the American democratic experiment, one that has global reverberations for a sprawling communities of indigenous and immigrant people around the world who, in the best of times, have looked to America as a beacon of liberty. Barack Obama’s extraordinary rise to the presidency in 2009 burnished the United States as a symbol of racially transcendent freedom even as Trump has tempered such celebrations as premature.Perhaps the most important lesson from Jamestown for the present is the indefatigable nature of the black freedom struggle. Courageous individual acts of resistance during slavery inspired collective rebellions that transformed American democracy. Yet this change, as we are painfully experiencing today, remains fraught with the weight of a history rooted in racial slavery. Contemporary debates over racial privilege, white supremacy, and identity politics flow from political, economic, and social relations that have become normalized by our history but are far from normal.Confronting slavery’s indelible impact on conceptions of freedom, citizenship, and democracy offers us essential tools for confronting our contemporary age – what might be considered a Third Reconstruction – where efforts to embrace racial justice and an expansive vision of democracy compete alongside movements for racial bigotry rooted in ancient hatreds dressed up in new clothes. * Peniel E Joseph is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin



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Prosecutors: Kansas drug network tied to Chicago dismantled

Prosecutors: Kansas drug network tied to Chicago dismantledAuthorities said Wednesday that they’ve dismantled a major drug-trafficking operation in northeast Kansas responsible for a college student’s fatal overdose in 2017, resulting in criminal charges against more than 50 people. Federal and local officials said they’ve been investigating trafficking in heroin, methamphetamines, the powerful opioid fentanyl and other drugs in the Manhattan area for three years. A federal grand jury issued 13 indictments last week charging 54 people with conspiring to distribute illegal drugs, illegally using guns and Facebook Messenger to further drug trafficking, and other crimes.



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Saudi woman activist rejects release deal tied to denying torture: family

Saudi woman activist rejects release deal tied to denying torture: familyProminent Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has rejected a proposal to secure her release from prison in exchange for a video statement denying reports she was tortured in custody, her family said on Tuesday. Hathloul, along with at least a dozen other women’s rights activists, were arrested over a year ago as Saudi Arabia ended a ban on women driving cars, which many of the detainees had long campaigned for. Some of the women appeared in court earlier this year to face charges related to human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats, but the trial has not convened in months.



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Poll: Biden, Warren lead, while Sanders and Harris tied in 3rd place

Poll: Biden, Warren lead, while Sanders and Harris tied in 3rd placeSen. Bernie Sanders has slipped from his second-place standing in several recent polls. In a new NBC News/WSJ poll, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has claimed second place behind Joe Biden.



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