Jersey City gunman was a Black Hebrew Israelite


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Jersey City gunman was a Black Hebrew Israelite, so don’t expect to hear much more about the shooting

It was only January when certain journalists went way out on a limb to give friendly news coverage to the racist and anti-Semitic Black Hebrew Israelite cult. This very odd editorial decision seemed to come in the service of better sticking it to the high school students from Covington Catholic — boys whom the Black Hebrew Israelites had taunted on the national mall, inciting what became a famous incident.

So, now that one of the black nationalist cult’s former members stands accused of a deadly shoot-out with police, possibly in an act of anti-Semitic terrorism targeting a Kosher grocery market in Jersey City, we are probably not going to hear much talk about the Black Hebrew Israelites in the broader context of radicalization and gun violence. That would be a personal and professional embarrassment for a lot of reporters and editors, some of whom are currently in the middle of defending against lawsuits by the Covington teens.

The New York Times, for example, published an entire profile in January describing the Black Hebrew Israelites and their tactics in friendly, playful terms, including “gamely engage,” “blunt and sometimes offensive,” and “attention-grabbing,” but all for the purpose of “drawing listeners near.” The profile is even sure to mention that a popular rapper once mentioned the group by name in a song.

A report published separately by the Washington Post likewise mentions the rapper incident. It does not, however, take any time to lay out the cult’s well-known history of racism and anti-Semitism. All that the report says is that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have labeled the Black Hebrew Israelites as a “hate group” for its “inflammatory messages about white, LGBT and Jewish people.” That’s it. The Jan. 22 Washington Post story said also of the Covington episode that the Black Hebrew Israelites presence at the Lincoln Memorial “was, for the group, quite mundane,” adding further that “Israelite street preaching in parts of D.C., Philadelphia and New York is commonplace, a familiar if odd accent to city life.”

It is still possible Tuesday’s shooting spree inspires a broader conversation about gun violence and the dangers posed by radical hate groups like the Black Hebrew Israelites. But don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, the Covington teenagers, falsely portrayed as hateful bigots in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, are not known to have shot anyone — at least not in the last 11 months.

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