We appreciate the scholarship of Dr. Tony Martin (RIP)
Funeral arrangements for Dr. Tony Martin
TONY MARTIN has taught at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, since 1973. He was tenured in 1975 and has been a full professor of Africana Studies since 1979. Prior to coming to Wellesley he taught at the University of Michigan-Flint, the Cipriani Labour College (Trinidad) and St. Mary's College (Trinidad). He has been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, Brown University and The Colorado College. He also spent a year as an honorary research fellow at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.
Professor Martin has authored or compiled and edited eleven books, including Literary Garveyism: Garvey, Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance and the classic study of the Garvey Movement, Race First: the Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. In 1965 he qualified as a barrister-at-law at the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn (London). He did his M.A. and Ph.D. in history at Michigan State University and the B.Sc. honours degree in economics at the University of Hull (England).
Professor Martin is currently working on biographies of three Caribbean women -- Amy Ashwood Garvey, Audrey Jeffers and Trinidad's Kathleen Davis ("Auntie Kay"). He is also nearing completion of The Afro-Trinidadian: Endangered Species/Oh, What a Nation and a study of European Jewish immigration to Trinidad in the 1930's.
Incident at Wellesley College:
Jewish Attack on Black Academics
by Tony Martin
In January 1993, I was minding my own business and teaching my Wellesley College survey course on African American History when a funny thing happened. The long arm of Jewish intolerance reached into my classroom. Unknown to me, three student officers of the Jewish Hillel organization (campus B'nai B'rith stablemates of the Anti-Defamation League), sat in on my class and remained for a single period only. Their purpose was to monitor my presentation. As one of them explained in a campus meeting later, Jewish students had noticed The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews among my offerings in the school bookstore. The book documents the considerable Jewish involvement in the transatlantic African slave trade, the dissemination of which knowledge they, as Jews, considered an "anti-Semitic" and most "hateful" act.
One hour and ten minutes undercover convinced these three young Jews that I was teaching this book as a legitimate historical work. They seemed to think that it belonged rather in the realm of "hate literature."
There appears to have been some prior collusion between the Hillel students and their adult counterpart, the Anti-Defamation League, for Hillel almost immediately began passing out ADL materials targeting the book. These included, inevitably, an ADL reprint of "Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars" by Harvard University'sHenry Louis Gates, Jr., (New York Times, 20 July, 1992), African America's most notorious Judaeophile. In the weeks and months to come, Gates would be quoted in nearly every attack on my use of the book, as proof that "all" respectable, distinguished and right thinking African American scholars condemned it. The Jews unilaterally anointed Gates with the mantle of head African American scholar in charge of Black academia. He became, in their contrived and wishful thinking, the personification of the entire African American community.
The Hillel activists left my class and headed straight for the president, dean and associate dean of the college. They then went to the current chair of my own department, Africana Studies. Like their elders (for example in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, by whom Hillel operatives are formally trained in the art of deception and dirty tricks), they evinced a bulldog-like instinct for going after the jugular of their intended victims. For the last three decades of Jewish assaults on Black progress, that jugular has usually meant the economic livelihood of Black people.
By the time that four of the Hillel executive and their rabbi director came to see me they had already mobilized those they perceived of as capable of doing me grievous economic harm. Their task was made considerably less arduous by the fact that the dean of the college, incoming acting president, outgoing chair of the board of trustees, incoming chair of the board of trustees, head and deputy head of the student government, most of the faculty holding endowed chairs and a goodly portion of the tenured faculty, not to mention sundry other persons in high positions, were all Jews. The dean of the college is also on the advisory board of the Friends of Wellesley Hillel.
Dr. Martin's Self-Defense
In January 1993, on the eve of the Jewish onslaught against me (for teaching that Jews were implicated in the African slave trade), I already had some interest in Black-Jewish relations. It is difficult not to, if one teaches African American history. I had also done some research on Jewish refugee immigration to Trinidad in the 1930's and '40's. This research was facilitated by the cordial cooperation of Jewish informants in two Caribbean countries. United States Jews encountered in the course of the research displayed the gamut of reactions, from friendliness to suspicion to hostility. The idea of a Black man turning up at a Jewish archive to research Jewish history proved unnerving to some. (On the other hand, Jewish scholars are a familiar sight at Black archives, not only as researchers but sometimes even as staff archivists. One of the most prestigious of the Black archival repositories, the Moorland- Spingarn Collection of Howard University, is actually part-named after a Jew).
At one of the Jewish archives I visited, the lady in charge characteristically put me through the appropriate litmus test. "Do you know Len Jeffries?" she asked, with the mien of one presiding over an inquisition. "I wonder if knowing Len Jeffries automatically disqualifies me from using these archives," I mused to myself. But, like George Washington, I could not tell a lie, so I was constrained to be forthcoming. "Yes, I know him," I replied. "We are professional colleagues. I have known him for many years." She was visibly taken aback by this answer and I feared the worst.
She regained her composure, however, and the interrogation continued. "Have you read The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews?" "I have heard of it," I replied truthfully, "but I have not read it. Funny enough, though, I passed someone selling it on the sidewalk just a few minutes ago." My reading of the book was still a few months into the future, but already I could not fathom what all the fuss was about. "If it is established," I suggested to her, "that white people enslaved Africans, and if Jews were an important part of white society, then why should anyone be upset by a book that illustrates the Jewish role in the slave trade?"
My innocent question now appears to have been imbued with prophetic insight. Or maybe it was simply a case of famous last words. The fact that I cannot remember with precision what her response was, in an otherwise clearly recollected conversation, probably reflects the imprecision of her answer. She could not come up with a coherent rationale for her denunciation of the book. As I reflect in hindsight on that conversation, with the benefit of six months of the Jewish onslaught to guide me, it seems as if the major Jewish agencies issue edicts, as it were. Then the Jewish rank and file simply fall in line. "Theirs not to make reply,/Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die...." The power of the Jewish leadership over their constituency is impressive indeed, the presence of some dissenting voices notwithstanding.
But our conversation was not over yet. It was to take an even more unexpected turn. "Have you heard of the Crown Heights riots?" she enquired, referring to tensions between the Black and Hasidic Jewish communities in Brooklyn, New York. A confrontation had been triggered by the unpunished killing of young Gavin Cato and the maiming of his cousin Angela Cato by a Hasidic vehicle, as the children played on the sidewalk in front of their house. A Jewish student, Yankel Rosenbaum, was killed in the ensuing scuffles. "Yankel Rosenbaum was doing research right here," she said. "He was in here every day, reading the files, just like you. He sat at the same table where we have placed your materials." Even with my own personal Jewish onslaught still many months into the future, this revelation proved a sobering one to me. And as I ponder it with the benefit of a tempestuous hindsight, I wonder what inscrutable fate brought me to this archive, to this conversation, to Yankel Rosenbaum's table, at a time when my authorship of a book calledThe Jewish Onslaught would have seemed a bizarre improbability.
I could not know then that I would ere long be plunged into an intense reading of Jewish and Black-Jewish history, covering many lands and historical periods, as I sought to bring to my situation a more wide-ranging perspective. The onslaught of the last six months now threatens to turn me into an expert on Jewish history. For that I must thank the purveyors of intolerance with whom I have had to do battle of late.
What I offer here is an involved yet detached look at the onslaught against me, from my unique vantage point as both intended victim and historian. This is written in the heat of battle. Perhaps time, further study and more reflection may either modify or enrich the analysis offered here. But the immediacy of analysis can only be captured now.
Over the last six months I have been fairly deluged with articles, books, newspaper clippings, letters, unpublished documents and references for further perusal. As if obeying the orders of an unseen force, well-wishers (known and unknown) have seen to it that my crash course in Black-Jewish history should not be wanting in resource materials. Even the senders of hate and hostile mail have fit into the plan, for their clippings have been useful and informative.
Barely a week after the publication of The Jewish Onslaught,Wellesley's new president, Diana Chapman Walsh, has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a formal denunciation of the new book. In a December 9, 1993 statement disseminated to all students, faculty, staff, alumnae and "friends of the college" she declares as follows -- "We are profoundly disturbed and saddened by Professor Martin's new book because it gratuitously attacks individuals and groups at Wellesley College through innuendo and the application of racial and religious stereotype."
Due to President Walsh's newness on campus, it can plausibly be surmised that she has relied heavily on the opinions of her advisors. The baleful influence of these shadowy figures is plainly evident in the palpable one-sidedness of the presidential proclamation, in its reliance on sweeping derogatory generalizations and in its inability to support its assertions with documentation of any sort. In all these ways and more the presidential statement is reflective of official and quasi-official approaches of the last twelve months.
Our new president has squandered a golden opportunity to bring fresh leadership and even-handed tolerance to the present controversy.
Martin on the Presidential Denunciation of The Jewish Onslaught
The Jewish Onslaught was published as a response to the unprincipled attacks, defamatory statements, assaults on my livelihood and physical threats directed against me for several months. These emanated principally from the Jewish community and its agents and were triggered by my classroom use of a work detailing Jewish involvement in the African slave trade. In The Jewish Onslaught I sought to put my subjective situation into the context of deteriorating Black-Jewish relations of recent decades. I also attempted to evaluate the tactics used against me in the context of the well-documented dirty tricks that the Jewish groups have used against me in the context of the well-documented dirty tricks that the Jewish groups have used against Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Len Jeffries, Black parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville (Brooklyn) and any number of Euro-American individuals and organizations.
The Jewish Onslaught is a book of analysis supported by normal scholarly documentation. There is not a single "stereotype" or generalization in it that is not buttressed by evidence, either from my personal experience of the last year or from the historical record. I challenge President Walsh to move from her broad derogatory generalizations to specific instances to prove otherwise.
President Walsh, like many of the Jewish spokespersons, has a problem with my "recurrent" and allegedly "gratuitous" utilization of "racial or religious identification of individuals...." This is her way of saying that Black people are not allowed to respond to Jews as Jews. Even after being attacked primarily by the Hillel Foundation, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress, Jewish Community Relations Council and every Jewish newspaper and spokesperson for miles around, I am supposed to maintain the fiction that the onslaught against me is ethnically and religiously indeterminate.
A recent article in Black Books Bulletin mentions over twenty books on Black-Jewish relations in the personal library of its author. The author is aware of only two books by Blacks on the subject. If President Walsh (and the Jewish community) are to have their way, then this will forever remain a one-way discourse. I therefore ask again, as I asked in The Jewish Onslaught, "What makes Jews so special? By what dispensation in Adam's will do they enjoy monopolistic privileges over a debate that concerns Blacks as well as Jews? Who has placed them beyond the reach of scholarly enquiry and ethnic identification?"
President Walsh claims that The Jewish Onslaught "violates the basic principles" of, among other things, the "norms of civil discourse." Yet, in her zeal to uncover "innuendo" in my work she seems to have missed the blatant lack of civility in the many articles attacking me. Is she not aware of Professor Marcellus Andrews' Wellesley News reference to me as a "racist Pied Piper?" Did no one show her his description of Wellesley's Black women as "intellectually weak and morally lazy?" Did Mary Lefkowitz, Mellon Professor in the Humanities, neglect to send President Walsh a complimentary copy of her article in Measure (No. 118, September/October 1993), wherein she maliciously and scurrilously alleged that I called a student "a white fucking bitch?" Lefkowitz alleged further that "The young woman fell down as a result of his onslaught and Martin bent over to continue his rage at her." Did President Walsh not see, in her reading of The Jewish Onslaught, the text of a racist cartoon by a Wellesley alumna in the Boston Jewish Times? The cartoonist designated Black women as "Ms. Washington" (no different than the "Hymietown" remark that Jews claimed to be so scandalized by) and seemed to suggest that Black students be taught from the works of segregationists, Ku Kluxers and pseudo-scientific racists. Did President Walsh not read the Jewish hate mail reproduced in The Jewish Onslaught ? "I hate niggers to my very bone marrow," ran a typical sentence. "Not all Jews debate apes. Some of us want them all to die." I have been a veritable oasis of civility in the present debate.
I agree with Justice Holmes, as quoted by President Walsh -- "The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." The Jewish onslaught has consistently striven to stifle the "competition of the market" by its defamatory rantings and its demands for my dismissal. The present presidential proclamation regrettably ranges itself alongside this ignoble campaign.
But "the competition of the market" has yet managed to assert itself, as can be seen in the steadily shifting positions of the onslaught. From an initial denial that Jews had any role in African slavery at all, there slowly emerged a reluctant admission of minor and peripheral involvement. As the debate intensified and the Jewish denial of the undeniable threatened to expose its adherents to ridicule, the Washington Post (first among major newspapers, to the best of my knowledge), was finally permitted to admit the full extent of Jewish culpability. In a carefully staged (and not at all pro-Black article) of October 17, 1993 the deniers of Jewish involvement in the African holocaust were shown to be as wrong as they could be.
The present controversy demands honest dialogue, not crude attempts at demonization. If President Walsh desires to extricate herself from the hole into which she has fallen, let her collaborate with me (and with interested students), on the convening at Wellesley College of a serious scholarly conference on the role of Jews in the African slave trade. She can invite Skip Gates, Cornel West and anyone else acceptable to the Jewish establishment to argue their case. I will nominate an equal number of scholars to defend the perspective which I endorse. The spirit of Justice Holmes will be lifted.
As my mother used to say, "One hand can't clap." As Ray Charles was wont to soulfully sing, "It takes two to tango."
Anti Martin Hatred
Amherst · An Internet computer message suggested the arming of Jews to kill Blacks immediately following a scholarly address on Black history to the University of Massachusetts community. This threat of violence appeared in the Discussion Group for the National Faculty Network, a collection of college professors throughout the United States. The message was posted to the network the night of the lecture in which Wellesley College professor Tony Martin outlined the oppressive structure of the African slave trade. The computer mailbox address indicated that the writer is a Jewish professor at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts who attended the event:
And how do we stop these anti-semites from speaking? I doubt there is a way to stop them from speaking. They are more numerous and more prepared to use raw brute force. Even if you could take them to court and win an injuction against these bastards, it will just be seized upon by the rest of the blacks as further evidence of a Jewish conspiracy against blacks."
According to campus police, the gathering, sponsored by the Black student organization, was completely peaceful and the participants were law-abiding. Martin is the author of thirteen books and numerous articles and is the world's foremost expert on the Marcus Garvey movement. According to sources, Professor Martin was immediately informed of the threat but would not comment on security operations.
Jew Stalks Black professor
Russian-Jewish stalker claiming to be "on a mission" threatened to attack Professor Tony Martin at his Wellesley College office. Martin, whose best-selling book The Jewish Onslaught examines the role of organized Jewry in a slanderous attack on Afrocentricity, was unharmed and not present during the April 21 incident.
A "profusely sweating" Alexander Nechaevsky, 34, told campus police that after viewing a televised lecture by Dr. Martin he found him to be "rude and a racist" and came to "confront" him about his views. In the lecture Martin outlined the Jewish origin of the Hamitic Myth which claims that Black humans are cursed black by God and which provided justification for the African slave trade.
Nechaevsky ranted that "he was not a Jewish wimp and that he was from Russia where they know how to handle things." He then conversed at length with a Jewish professor who has led the campus onslaught against Martin.
Martin said that he is not surprised at the attack. "Part of the Jewish onslaught against Black thinkers is to create an atmosphere of intolerance which leads to violent confrontations."
Police ejected Nechaevsky and banned him from Wellesley College property. Later, Martin's office received telephone threats saying that "Tony Martin better watch his step."