Industry Rule #4080

Stereotypes be like…

Black people are lazy, stupid, overly sexual, uncivilized, aggressive, domestic, loud, lewd, brutish, ape-like, eat fried chicken and watermelon, have wild unruly hair, large facial features, and are made to serve White people while seeking approval from White people.

Jewish people are greedy, crooked, overly powerful, frugal, loud, overbearing mothers, pushy, unattractive, neurotic, manipulative, with wild curly hair, big aquiline noses, and too big suits, eating bagels.

Might some of those things be true of one or two Black or Jewish people? Of course. I’m Black and I keep a watermelon in the fridge. Might many of these things be unfair and discriminatory depictions of all Black or Jewish people. You bet. What is the difference between an unfair and discriminatory stereotype about ALL people in a group and a fair cultural observation of group behavior? I would say the difference is hard to tell!

Nick Cannon, media mogul, was fired by ViacomCBS for making what were deemed anti-Semitic comments in his podcast, Cannon’s Class while interviewing former Public Enemy member Professor Griff last year. Griff left the group after making comments about Jewish people being wicked. During the podcast, the two spoke about the origin of Hebrew people, Griff’s comments, common stereotypes of Jewish people, and the history of Jewish people in American business. The follow comments by Cannon were found to be be be anti-Semitic in nature:

1. Cannon stated Black people are Hebrews and therefore cannot be anti-Semitic.

2. He compared the dominance of Jewish people in the media and entertainment as comparable to the Rothschild’s in banking. The Rothschilds have been accused of creating natural disasters, assassinating Lincoln and Kennedy, and controlling the global economy.

3. He commented it was a shame Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a powerful and positive leader, had been silenced in Facebook. Farrakhan has been labeled by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-Semitic and anti-gay.

4. Cannon stated people without melanin were lesser people, motivated by fear and insecurity, and used power and manipulation to overcome their deficiencies to those people with melanin, particularly Black people.

I won’t bother with the last two statements. Having something positive to say about a person who has made negative comments against Jewish and gay people does not equate with being against Jews or gay people. I’m not a big Farrakhan fan but I have watched a diatribe or two of his and liked THAT particular message. I am neither anti-Jewish nor anti-gay. I also disagree with censorship. If the President can call Mexicans rapists and the white supremacists can call Black people everything from monkeys to niggers without so much as a slap on the wrist, Farrakhan has the right to free speech as well. Also, while I wholeheartedly disagree any group of people is inferior to another, I do agree that fear and insecurity, along with lack of knowledge and a desire to maintain “have” status over the “have nots” motivates racist behavior and systems of policy against Black people. That’s not a Jewish people thing, that’s a White supremacist and privilege thing.

We are in an interesting time. People get fired from their jobs because of tweets and retweets. Black Twitter calls for the firing of racist White supremacists who are caught on social media or on video making discriminatory comments and exhibiting racist behavior. Yet White people who make fake police reports on Black people walking their dog or grocery shopping are left alone until we take to social media to demand action. Similarly, murders of Black people on videotape go free for months unarrested. Yet Black people who make discriminatory statements are fined or fired real quick, and the words whitening is being taken off toothpaste.

Last week, Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson was fined by the team for posting a fake Hitler quote referencing the greed of Jews and labeling Black people at the true Israelites. He further praised Farrakhan as well. When Nick Cannon’s almost year old podcast was made known to ViacomCBS they immediately fired him. At a time when police officers who murder unarmed Black people often go weeks or months before they are suspended or arrested, this swift action by ViacomCBS, a Jewish owned company, points to a level of hypocrisy in the entertainment industry that insulates Jewish people from backlash it only recently had afforded to Black people.

Here’s the truth. Semites are a group of people who came from regions where Semite languages were spoken, including the Middle East, Western Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic, Amharic (an afroasiactic language in Ethiopia), Hebrew, and Tigrinya (Ethiopian and Eritrean) are the most widely spoken of those languages. The term became synonymous with Israelis over time, who were monotheist, white Semite and non-Semite speakers. However, it was a “term of art” so to speak for anti-Jewish. Using the term Semite to historically reference Jewish people exclusively is both incorrect and like many things in history, steeped in White privilege and absent non-White influence. Semites were Arabic, African, and Israeli. Much of what is labeled anti-Semitism ignores anything that is not against White Jews. However a Black person can make anti-Semitic statements. It’s actually and unfortunately very common.

“You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”

Jay-Z “Still Nigga”

The Black/Jewish dichotomy is brewed in real and presumed exploitation and manipulation of Black people by Jewish business men, music and entertainment moguls, and lawyers. It’s a tale as old as time. While we actually share oppression and a history of slavery, the success of Jewish people post WWII in America caused a new set of realities in our community. Jewish people were our landlords, store owners, grocers, and bankers. Then they left our neighborhoods as places to live and they simply became places to make money off of our backs, in the eyes of the Black people. That held true in the entertainment and music industries as well. In 1950, the Chess brothers, Leonard and Philip started Chess Records featuring black blues acts such as Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin Wolf, and Little Walter. Most of these artists didn’t receive any royalty payments until MCA acquired these labels and paid out back owed royalties to them and their estates. Very similarly, rap group NWA was famously taken advantage of by its manager Jerry Heller.

“Industry rule number four-thousand-and-eighty;Record company people are shady”

-A Tribe Called Quest, Check the Rhime

Jewish ownership in media is omnipresent. The Ochs Sulzberger family, which controlled the New York Times for more than a century, is of Jewish origin. Jewish-American businessman Eugene Meyer bought the Washington Post in 1933. Sam Zell who owns the Los Angeles Times is also Jewish. Robert Igor runs Disney and Sumner Redstone runs the company that fired Cannon, ViacomCBS. Top executives at Lorimar, Marvel, Warner Brothers, MGM, Spyglass, Columbia, Fox, CBS Sports, Lionsgate, CBS News, 20th Century Fox, ABC, Goldwyn, Imagine, CNN, USA Network, and Bloomberg among others are all Jewish. Similarly in music, popular names like Lyor Cohen, Clive Davis, Hans Zimmer, Barry Weiss, Phil Specter, Rick Rubin, Lou Perlman, David Geffen, and Ron Fair are just a handful of Jewish music execs. So statements that Jewish people run the media, while not totally true, certainly appear that way when a disproportionate percentage of the creative industries executives are Jewish compared with only 2% of the population. If not control, surely influence.

From news stories that highlight the negative pasts of victims of police brutality and police murder as an attempt to justify the act, to the bad contracts and exploitation of Black artists, specifically rappers, to the lack of roles forgoing to Black actors and actresses on TV and in the movies, these executives play a part. From the neighborhood slumlords taking our hundreds to the executives determining our millions, for many creative Black people, there is an unfortunate truth experienced as a result of working with record and media companies, and many of these companies are run by Jewish people. That doesn’t mean all Jewish people are exploitative but certainly these are real experiences of exploitation. Not necessarily a Jewish thing but a money and power thing.

“The grocer was a Jew, and being in debt to him was very much like being in debt to the company store. The butcher was a Jew and, yes, we certainly paid more for bad cuts of meat than other New York citizens, and we very often carried insults home, along with the meat. We bought our clothes from a Jew and, sometimes, our secondhand shoes, and the pawnbroker was a Jew–perhaps we hated him most of all… In the American context, the most ironical thing about Negro anti-Semitism is that the Negro is really condemning the Jew for having become an American white man…”

-James Baldwin, “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White”, The New York Times, 1967

While I’m in no way agreeing with everything Nick Cannon said, we don’t gain knowledge without understanding facts. Most of what he said, minus his negative commentary and opinions, is based on fact. We know what a Semite is and we can list Jewish executives who own or run media and entertainment conglomerates and give instances of when the dynamics between Jewish executives and Blacks were less than fair. Black people make up a large percentage of the musicians who are taken advantage of by bad contracts created by manipulative record companies and lawyers. Black actors and actresses often bring the box office numbers and awards, when nominated, but can’t demand the same salaries as their White counterparts. These very real realities are decided at many of the companies I listed above. While we have to be careful not to let our cultural observations and experiences become condemnation of an entire group of people, we must also speak truth to power. It truly is no fun when the rabbit got the gun!

As for Nick Cannon, he’s demanded ownership of Wild N’ Out which he created and has been offered programming time on Diddy’s Revolt channel. He’s got a net worth of around $30 million and took in $10 million last year. He is still cashing Drumline checks and owns a management company. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the rabbit!

“Brrrr-rap-pap-pap-pap-pap, it’s a choppa”

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