Believing conspiracy theories must be comforting.
Conspiracy theorists construct a venomous fantasy of an overwhelming threat, and they’re believed because they give the believer certainty about who the enemy is.
Believing a conspiracy theory is weakness, a betrayal of your mind’s potential to rationally determine what is truth and what is fantasy.
Recently, we witnessed television host Nick Cannon, retired NBA player Stephen Jackson, and other African American celebrities attend a speech by that famous fireball-spitting, lying, fantasist demagogue Louis Farrakhan, who fronts the Nation of Islam — defined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Farrakhan told that audience the Jewish people “are Satan,” “the enemy of God” and “worthy of chastisement.”
Over the decades, Farrakhan has said this about the Jewish people:
• “The Jews control this great nation.”
• “You practice lying, cheating, stealing, and murder and war-mongering.”
• “The Jews are the worst enemy of Blacks.”
• “If you choose to crucify me, Allah will crucify you.”
Earlier this year, in June, the rapper Ice Cube — a follower of Farrakhan — posted on Twitter a drawing of old Jewish men counting money and playing Monopoly on the backs of shirtless Black men who are bending forward with their heads almost between their knees, so the game of making millions by oppressing African Americans can continue until the end of time.
Unless, the drawing’s caption implies, the Black man stands up to the Jewish oppressor.
All this is a license to hurt or kill Jews. If you’re “Satan,” you don’t have the right to live in decent society.
Jackson, the NBA player, said on Instagram that “Jews are the richest people.”
This would be news to my late father — a small business owner — and my mother, a hospital dietitian, who exhausted themselves to feed their squabbling boys.
Or my grandpa, a Russian immigrant, who had to drop out of school in the eighth grade to go work after his father died.
The Nation of Islam claims the Jewish people have controlled the slave trade, Congress, the banks, the media. That’s a lot of work for a tiny minority of 15 million.
And the Jews did all this despite the fact we got murdered by the Nazis, massacred in Russian pogroms, and intermittently slaughtered in Christian Europe during the Middle Ages.
Along with his admiration of Farrakhan, Ice Cube is a fan of Martin Luther King. He wrote on Twitter, he “was a non-violent peaceful man who taught non-violence.”
Maybe Ice Cube doesn’t know, but Martin Luther King had an important ally in the American Jewish community. Jewish teenagers made up about half the young people who went to Mississippi in 1964 to register African American voters during the Freedom Summer.
In June 1964, two young Jewish men — Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman — along with an African American man, James Chaney, were kidnapped and killed, then buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi by the KKK for trying to register voters.
Also that June, 16 rabbis helped Dr. King try to integrate a whites-only motel in St. Augustine, Florida. The rabbis marched with King and other protesters, while white citizens in town stood on the sidewalk holding baseball bats, broken bottles and other weapons, screaming that the rabbis were “n-lovers.”
After that, the rabbis prayed in the motel parking lot. Local police arrested them.
The 16 rabbis, all held in one hot and humid little cell during a Florida summer, wrote a letter, “Why We Went.” They humbly wrote: “In the battle against racism, we have participated in only a skirmish.”
Also, the wrote, “We came because we realized that injustice in St. Augustine — as anywhere else — diminishes the humanity of each of us. We came to stand with our brothers.”
In partnership with Booker T. Washington, a Jewish philanthropist named Julius Rosenwald helped finance the establishment of public schools for African Americans in the South in the early 1900s when government wouldn’t provide the funds for minority education. The Jewish community helped found the NAACP.
Does this sound like the synagogue of Satan to you?
Rabbi Hillel said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the entire Torah.”
Ice Cube, Nick Cannon, Stephen Jackson and company: take note.