Black Mayor Repudiates Jackson’s Defamatory Remarks About Jews
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Black Mayor Repudiates Jackson’s Defamatory Remarks About Jews

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Mayor Kenneth Gibson of Newark, N.J., who is the head of the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Presidential campaign in that state, has repudiated Jackson’s defamatory remarks about Jews as “Hymies” and New York as “Hymie-town” and the warning by Black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan that if Jews “harm this brother (Jackson) … this will be the last one you harm.”

In a letter to Nathan Perlmutter, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Gibson said “I emphatically deplore the Jesse Jackson insulting references to the Jewish people. I’m sure you realize that Black people are able to think for themselves and the great majority of us do not subscribe to negative ethnic, racial or religious references and speeches.”


Gibson stated that “It is very frustrating to me as a supporter of Jesse Jackson’s campaign to have read and hear of his insensitivities, ignorance or possibly worse. I have tried to talk to him personally by phone since the admitted derogatory references to Jews but was only able to talk to a campaign leader. I expressed my serious concerns about those remarks and I intend to discuss these issues” with Jackson.

Regarding “the implied threats” by Farrakhan, Gibson wrote that these “do not represent the thinking of myself or other Blacks who know the difference between righteousness and rhetoric.” Farrakhan made the threats while addressing a Chicago throng, with Jackson at his side.

The Newark Mayor wrote his letter after he read a copy of Perlmutter’s column on Jackson’s “Hymie” reference to Jews. The newspaper column, which welcomed Jackson’s apology for his remarks, called for his “clear-cut censure” of Farrakhan’s remarks. Gibson stated: “Your reasoned and reserved response to these incidents are commendable. I’m not sure if I could be as reserved in my response if I were in your position.”


Noting that several years ago during a visit to Poland he was taken on a tour of the former site of the Auschwitz concentration camp and that while in Israel recently he visited Yad Vashem, Gibson stated:

“I didn’t need to visit Auschwitz or the Memorial in Israel to become sensitive to what happened under the Nazi leadership in Europe. I didn’t need these visits to know that too many world and national leaders sat quietly in their positions while those atrocities were being executed. I appreciate your understanding that the utterances of one Black person do not reflect the thinking of all Black people.”

Gibson concluded his letter by stating: “So once again we have another division between historical allies. What happened to the liberal and civil rights alliance between Blacks and Jews? What can be done to improve those relationships?

“I respectfully suggest that you and other national Jewish leaders meet with Blacks in national leadership positions to hopefully rededicate all of us to the basic principles by which we worked a few years ago. If there is anything I could do to help, please call upon me.”

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