The "Black" Hebrew Israelite Controversy: A Response to The Media - by Zaccar Ben Dan (Continued)
At no point is this an attempt to assign blame to either of the groups represented that day, but rather an opportunity to consider the disparity in how the one group was depicted as opposed to the other two. One Washington Post article uses the caption “Who are the Black Israelites at the center of the viral standoff at the Lincoln Memorial?” Within the piece the phrases “high school students from a Catholic school in Kentucky,” and “a Native American elder,” are applied. One group is spoken of as it represents an entire population while the text clearly indicates that this was a distinct group of Catholic school students from a specific location, that being Kentucky. The third reference was an individual Native American, not Native Americans in general.
Whether intentionally or otherwise, these publications have failed to do their due diligence in separating this one denomination from an entire group who has dedicated themselves to a particular way of life. This irresponsible act has exposed an entire faith-based community to backlash which will result from being labeled as a “hate group.” As nefarious of an act that this is to negligently vilify an entire group just because a small vocal sect is part of the same broad faith-based community, it is even more offensive to use propaganda to exaggerate actions in a video to substantiate the negative rhetoric of these articles and news segments. This, as well as, many other events that surround the reporting of the Native American rally on January 18, 2019 testifies to irresponsible journalism at best and intentional defamation at worst.
Typically, the press ensures that all Catholic priests are not grouped as sex offenders they are diligent to refrain from making such slanderous assertions. They are sure to disjoin the Catholic priests who are being accused and who are subject to the accusations from the larger Catholic community. Furthermore, when a story is done about those who practice Judaism the precise denomination, whether Hasidic, Reformed, or otherwise is clarified. Even then they are not insensitive to group a particular sect based on the perceived misdeeds of specific individuals. Why was the Hebrew Israelite community not afforded the same courtesies granted to every other community? Have we not learned from the gross insensitivities of grouping all Muslims together and how that negative propaganda resulted in countless hate crimes against that religious group?
The news media has the obligation to report the news in a manner that is fair and objective. The recent coverage has been neither fair nor objective to the Hebrew Israelite community. This irresponsible reporting has renewed the concerns of many that Hebrew Israelites will be subject to unwarranted victimizing due to the cavalier way many of these news articles were written. For reasons unknown, `influential interests have decided to depict those who observe
the Torah – the commandments of GOD, as black supremacists and as a hate group. Propaganda is being employed, whether covertly or inadvertently, to demonize an entire population that is simply seeking to return to the heritage that has been lost to it for so long. Many have elected to continue this unorthodox approach to convey their covertly hateful report. It has continued to subconsciously oppress the faith-based ideologies of those who are different than those who hold to the widely accepted religious beliefs of this country.
So, for those who fear what they do not understand and those who claim sincere ignorance and use their platform to surreptitiously promote hate and division, please allow me to clarify a few things. The term “Black Hebrew Israelite” or any derivation that includes the term black is offensive. Black is a color that is not truly representative of any skin hue and it does not illustrate the nationality which accurately describes the Hebrew Israelite. Just as most would not use the term “white” when describing a Jewish person, “black” should not be used to describe the Hebrew Israelite. We will not allow others to describe us. Especially when that description is intended to minimize our connection to the heritage described in Torah.
Hebrew Israelites are not a hate group, our GOD and HIS Torah do not allow us to hate. Any continued mislabeling us as such will be met with swift legal action as it defames and slanders. We, as Hebrew Israelites, are seeking an immediate retraction from every reporting organization that engages in libel by either, intentionally or unintentionally, making disparaging remarks about Hebrew Israelites as a whole. This includes those that have slandered us, either verbally or in print, by labeling us as a hate group. This also includes media outlets that have failed to do their due diligence to distinguish the actions of “a half dozen” individuals from the larger Israelite community.
We are available to dialogue with any news outlet that has the genuine intention of annulling the ignorance surrounding Hebrew Israelites so that we do not continue to be disenfranchised by the media due to their lack of understanding of our community as a whole.
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