Inside the Black Hebrew Israelites' World of Hate
Who, exactly, are the black supremacists who ignited the recent D.C. confrontation?
Members of a black supremacist group known as The House of Israel set off the confrontation in Washington, D.C. last week that created a national media firestorm. Many in the media, however, were all too anxious to blame the clash on white Catholic high school students from Kentucky who were in the nation’s capital to participate peacefully in the annual March for Life. The media vultures pounced on an out-of-context video clip that appeared to show the students disrespecting a Native American elder very nearby who had approached them while chanting and beating on a drum. Once a longer video emerged, however, it was clear that the black supremacists who were in the same vicinity, not the Catholic students, were the culprits. The members of The House of Israel, part of a broader movement of Black Israelites, were captured on the video insulting Native Americans as “savages” as long as they continued worshipping idols, and then insulting women who dared to argue with these self-described “real men.” After observing students from the Covington Catholic high school standing nearby, the Black Hebrew Israelites hurled vicious homophobic, racist and anti-Catholic insults at them.
The House of Israel members who precipitated the Washington, D.C. confrontation are an offshoot of a broader black religious movement that is sometimes referred to as Black Israelism or Hebrew Israelites. As described in Forward, “Hebrew Israelites are people of color, mostly African Americans, who view the biblical Israelites as their historic ancestors. For Hebrew Israelites, the transatlantic slave trade was foretold in scripture and they understand those Africans who were enslaved in the Americas as Israelites, severed from their heritage.” The movement is more than a century old.
Within the movement, there are a variety of black groups claiming Jewish roots and an historic connection to Israel. As Daniel Greenfield noted in his FrontPage column, “Some Black Hebrew groups just have their beliefs, but are friendly and pose no threat to anyone.” At the same time, however, “there are racist and hateful Black Israelite groups,” Mr. Greenfield added.
Even the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) took note of “black supremacist groups on the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement.” These black supremacists believe, in SPLC’s words, that they “are God's true chosen people because they, not the people known to the world today as Jews, are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible.” SPLC described their belief system as “basically the reversed-color mirror image of the Christian Identity theology embraced by many white supremacists.” This belief system gives its adherents license in their minds to hurl racist, anti-Semitic and other hateful invective.
The House of Israel is one of these black supremacist groups. It is headquartered in New York City but has branches in various cities. One of The House of Israel members who precipitated the Washington, D.C. confrontation calls himself “Chief Ephraim Israel.” He claimed that his group’s insults, which he admitted “sparked it all,” were the “words of God.” He added: “It was piercing. Their souls was (sic) getting ripped. They were catching darts and ninja stars all into their soul.” Chief Israel's self-proclaimed “words of God” included, among other racist and homophobic profanities aimed at the Catholic students and teachers, “a bunch of child-molesting faggots,” “dirty ass crackers," and “bunch of babies made out of incest.”
Even after the more complete picture of the confrontation became known, many in the media, who had been so quick to condemn the Catholic students, did not apologize for their rush to judgment. Some even doubled down. The students should still be held responsible for provoking the situation because they chose to wear MAGA hats, CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon opined. “The MAGA hat carries a certain connotation that provokes a conditioned reaction from many people, especially from marginalized people,” Lemon said. Never mind the death threats against the students and their families, for which the out-of-control media were partly responsible through their reckless misreporting. Cuomo excused the media’s misreporting, claiming that it can be “corrected” and that the media scrutiny “has been balanced.”
Issac Bailey, in an opinion article for CNN, claimed the “students should share in the blame.” While Bailey did not try to defend The House of Israel race-baiters and homophobes who started the confrontation, he said they were only “literal street preachers shouting into the wind.” The Hebrew Israelites, he declared, did not have the relative power of “the students from that mostly-white Catholic high school” who had aligned themselves with President Trump by wearing the MAGA hats.
Ann Peterson, a correspondent for the discredited Buzzfeed, tweeted: “One theme of the conversations over the past 24 hours = how deeply familiar this look is. It's the look of white patriarchy, of course, but that familiarity — that banality — is part of what prompts the visceral reaction. This isn't spectacular. It's life in America.” She was comparing the smiling face of Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who has figured prominently in the controversy surrounding the confrontation, with a younger version of the face of the left’s archenemy, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, went beyond criticizing the MAGA hats and so-called “white privilege.” She tweeted an unsubstantiated allegation that the Covington students were taunting the Black Israelite protesters “and led racist chants.” The tweet was removed after receiving much backlash. Omar is no stranger to engaging in hate speech herself, as when she accused the Jewish state of Israel of “evil doings.”
Here’s the bottom line. The Black Hebrew Israelite members of the House of Israel who started the confrontation last week in Washington, D.C. are the real preachers of hate worthy of condemnation. They are the ones who spewed racist, sexist, and homophobic vitriol as well as their anti-Catholic insults. Yet the left, which claims to stand up for certain allegedly victimized groups attacked by the House of Israel militants, such as Native Americans, women and gays, have largely given these hate-mongers a pass. They have done so to keep the spotlight on the Covington Catholic High School students as poster boys for the left’s white privilege, toxic masculinity, anti-Trump and anti-Catholic narratives. The left is willing to excuse the House of Israel black supremacists for their hateful rhetoric as supposedly justifiable payback for the horrible "oppression" their distant ancestors were said to have experienced. Once again, we see a vivid demonstration of what I have called the Progressives’ Republic of Virtue.