Rev. Eric Lee’s convenient apology

posted at 7:55 am on April 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday I wrote about the attack on Daphna Ziman and Jews in general by Rev. Eric Lee of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King on the 40th anniversary of his assassination.  Ziman, who had just received a humanitarian award from the African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, fled in tears after Lee took the stage and blamed Jews for the plight of blacks in America.

Roger Simon has two follow-ups in one post today.   Lee attempted to give a half-baked apology/explanation, which wound up falling flat.  Later, he issued a more formal apology, but it still seems as though Lee blames others for misunderstanding him:

I unequivocally denounce any anti-Semitic sentiments, statements and behavior and assure you that such hatred is not reflective of my character and my work. Specifically, I do not believe, and the SCLC does not subscribe to the belief, that Jews control the entertainment industries or are responsible for negative characterizations of African Americans. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” My commitment is to ensuring justice is promoted for all of G-d’s people.

Well, OK, that sounds great — but this is what preceded it in the first response (emphases mine):

In a very small part of my presentation, I referenced a meeting I had with Rabbi’s and other community leaders. A Rabbi stated in that meeting that the close relationship between the African American and Jewish communities had been disconnected after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. I further referenced in my speech that my response to the Rabbi was that the Black Power Movement emerged after the assassination of Dr. King and it was a direct response to the negative characterizations of African Americans through the silver screen, TV and the music industry, industries that are influenced by many in the Jewish community. I then stated to the Rabbis that the Black Power Movement was our effort to define for ourselves our own identity rather than be defined by anyone else. I then indicated in my presentation that I told the Rabbis’ that before a genuine coalition could be rebuilt between our communities, there would have to be dialogue and efforts made to deal with the negative characterizations of African Americans.

So in the space of a few hours, he suddenly disabused himself of the belief that the entertainment industry is controlled by Joooooooos? Doesn’t that seem rather less likely than, say, he discovered that people had paid attention to his rantings and it had made him look mean-spirited and bigoted?  Recall that yesterday we discovered that Lee has participated in protests with famously anti-Semitic individuals and organizations like CAIR and Cynthia McKinney.  Does he denounce their anti-Semitism as well?

As Roger points out, negative African-American stereotypes may occur in popular culture, but it doesn’t come from the Jews, including himself.  Simon, a Hollywood veteran (which we don’t hold against him, by the way), writes that in his thirty years in the business, he has never seen anyone — Jew or Gentile — do anything but attempt to put blacks in the best light in entertainment.  I’m not sure I’d go that far as an entertainment consumer; I’d recommend Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle as an trenchant opposing viewpoint.  But in the two decades since Townsend’s film, any negative stereotypes about the black experience have found most of their reinforcement from black artists in the rap industry.

In any case, the apology from Lee seems a bit disingenuous, almost like Obama’s insistence that “nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti-Semitism than I have.”  Let’s see some action first, like disavowing CAIR and McKinney.  In fact, let’s just keep a closer eye on Reverend Lee and see what comes out of his mouth in the future.


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Kappa Alpha Psi is a real piece of work. A fraternity of free education on the taxpayer’s dollar based on being Black, storming around campus with a chip on their shoulder. It appears that Black Christianity has it’s share of preachers that find proper exegesis as being rooted in the hatred of minorities and blaming everyone but themselves for their misery. The rap music industry is a disgrace, and the Black community has itself to blame.

Hening on April 11, 2008 at 8:10 AM

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and leaves piles of duck poop everywhere…Well…

whitetop on April 11, 2008 at 8:18 AM

negative characterizations of African Americans through the silver screen, TV and the music industry, industries that are influenced by many in the Jewish community.

Stormfront guys always say the Jews are responsible with overtly positive characterization of 3rd world immigrants via Jew-controlled media as a part of their plot to ruin the White race.

Afrocentrists now say Jews are responsible for negative characterization of blacks via the media.

Those Jews are so deviant, they can do completely opposite things at the same time and using the same tools. Maybe the Jews are indeed the Master Race! Resistance is futile, dude.

Aristotle on April 11, 2008 at 8:24 AM

My commitment is to ensuring justice is promoted for all of G-d’s people.

Is God now a dirty word where you have to delete out the center?

peacenprosperity on April 11, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Just more far left lunatic clownage that Obama has chosen to surround himself with, nothing to see here.

“I disavow the latest loon of the hour, yada, yada, yada.”

NoDonkey on April 11, 2008 at 8:31 AM

We now see clearly where the “real” racism and anti-semitism has settled in our nation – in the Black community and in so-called churches that subscribe to this Black liberation theology, which is heretical. A radical offshoot of Covenant theology, no doubt.
The exposure of this racist/bitter-seed of a movement is a blessing for this nation. It gives all of our good, honorable and prepared Pastors an opportunity to stand in our nations pulpits and make things right, regardless of the color of their skin pigment. That is if they’ll have the courage to do so. DD

Darvin Dowdy on April 11, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Is Eric Lee black?

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 8:34 AM

I think Lee and Wright are both white and jewish, and are succeeding at destroying the integrity of the black community from within.

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Since Liberal’s are paying to vote,
wouldn’t be easier just to pay for
a apology!

canopfor on April 11, 2008 at 8:35 AM

There seems to be a lot of black Holy People with big time problems with us white people over here minding our own business.

It’s getting interesting…

benrand on April 11, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Is God now a dirty word where you have to delete out the center?

peacenprosperity on April 11, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Some people leave out the “o” in God as a sign of respect. Almost every Jew I know and a few Christians I know do it.

Vic on April 11, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Is God now a dirty word where you have to delete out the center?

peacenprosperity on April 11, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Actually Jews do not write the write the entire name of God as a gesture of reverence and out of obediance to the Law. I think the quote was from an article written by a Jew or posted on a Jewish news site.
If I’m wrong someone please correct me on this.

Dork B. on April 11, 2008 at 8:39 AM

he discovered that people had paid attention to his rantings and it had made him look mean-spirited and bigoted?

I think it’s more likely that second apology was written by the SCLC. He was making them look bad (by revealing the truth). I would imagine they leaned on him until he agreed to sign,release the amended apology.

Not to mention: what does this say about the “apology industry”. Imagine giving your wife your first apology saying you only fooled around with the secretary because your wife had gotten so fat. When that doesn’t work, are we to believe the later/amended apology will suffice? But then, our media culture gives credit for the WORDS, not the SINCERITY.

jeanneb on April 11, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Is God now a dirty word where you have to delete out the center?

I dont know who wrote the original, but I have been to Jewish websites where out of respect for YAHWEH the middle letter “o” is deleted. Jewish World Review is an example. You can find lots of conservative political commentary at this site too. That’s where I discovered Michelle Malkin.

abcurtis on April 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM

We now see clearly where the “real” racism and anti-semitism has settled in our nation – in the Black community and in so-called churches that subscribe to this Black liberation theology, which is heretical. A radical offshoot of Covenant theology, no doubt.
The exposure of this racist/bitter-seed of a movement is a blessing for this nation. It gives all of our good, honorable and prepared Pastors an opportunity to stand in our nations pulpits and make things right, regardless of the color of their skin pigment. That is if they’ll have the courage to do so. DD
Darvin Dowdy on April 11, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Bingo Darvin Dowdy…. The creation of Obama has shed light on this most important dynamic. This is an issue that needs to be discussed and resolved, or black/white racism will once again thrive in America.

Keemo on April 11, 2008 at 8:53 AM

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and leaves piles of duck poop everywhere…Well…

whitetop on April 11, 2008 at 8:18 AM

The poor goose. An evil hawk somewhere is framing it!

OneGyT on April 11, 2008 at 8:58 AM

Bingo Darvin Dowdy…. The creation of Obama has shed light on this most important dynamic. This is an issue that needs to be discussed and resolved, or black/white racism will once again thrive in America.

Keemo on April 11, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Fine. For those that want to. This is a Presidential election, and B.Obama and his hate-mongering friends don’t get to decided which issues are high on the list of important challenges facing America.

The truth is, our society has talked about race and civil rights non-stop for 40 years. Some people got it, some people never will. Some people have benefited, some people never will.

We are not due for a new round of race relations discussions. We are about due to end them.

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Just another angry black man who would rather be a victim than a leader.

Wade on April 11, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Regarding G-d, the concern is that the Name of the Almighty should not be desecrated. That is why Jewish prayer books that are no longer used are buried rather than destroyed. That is why some observant Jews replace one letter with a hyphen in written communications. (Whether “God” is a name of God is another issue amongst Jews, both observant and non-observant.)

Well then, aunursa, if it’s a concern that the printed word will be desecrated, why is “God” changed to “G-d” in an internet article or blog?

I’m glad you asked that. The concern is that someone might print out the article or comment and then subsequently discard the paper. If you think that’s a particularly trivial reason, the you don’t know the Talmud.

aunursa on April 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 9:02 AM

I, for one, didn’t know that such hatred for white people was being preached in black churches around the country; that blaming all things evil on white people was a current dynamic being taught to young black Americans; and so on…

Much progress has been made over the past 40 years with regards to racism within certain communities; apparently not included in this progress is portions of black America. Ignoring this will not make it go away.

Keemo on April 11, 2008 at 9:15 AM

Eric Lee’s anti-Semitism against Jews is not news. The Black community has been far too tolerant of anti-Semitism as a whole for decades. The problem is idiots–liberal Jewish idiots–like Daphna Ziman, who continue to be shocked–shocked!–by this, and continue to throw money at these people who hate Jews. She is an idiot. And while she claims to be so pro-Israel and so concerned about this, she is a serial enabler of this kind of things, as she continues to throw money at the UN, UNICEF, and Muslim “refugees” in Kosovo. She’s yet another Jewish enabler of anti-Semites, and as a Jew and an American, I’m sick of people like her. I’ve written extensively about her and her stupidity here.

Debbie Schlussel on April 11, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Debbie Schlussel on April 11, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Precisely.

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 9:27 AM

But, I was always taught that art imitates life. Have I been led astray (again)?

OldEnglish on April 11, 2008 at 9:52 AM

From the JDL website
While statistics and studies on the subject are not readily available, the Anti-Defamation League believes that the recitation of numbers and percentages is not the answer to the false charges of Jewish “control” of the motion picture industry, or, indeed, of similar accusations involving the media, banking, finance and other businesses. Reliance on statistics alone plays into the hands of anti-Semites. Generally, Jews involve themselves in non-religious and non-political activity as individuals, not as Jews. ADL takes the position that the number of Jews involved in a particular field bears no relationship to “Jewish power” or “Jewish control” of that industry. ADL does not accept the notion that Jews in any field act in concert with other Jews similarly situated simply because they happen to be Jewish. To believe otherwise is to accept a conspiracy theory that is the anti-Semites’ stock-in-trade and relegates Jews to a kind of second-class citizenship.

In other words, American Jews have as much right as any other citizens of the United States to work in the motion picture business, in the entertainment industry, and in any other legitimate businesses. Moreover, it bears repeating that those Jews who involve themselves in the motion picture industry do so as individuals, not as representatives of their religious group or with an aim to act in some coordinated conspiratorial manner.

The true question is, are we willing to apply this same logic to other groups? I know the JDL doesn’t and judging by some of the comments, this is not the case here either. A lot of us grew up watching black TV shows in the 70’s. It just so happens that most if not all was generated by the same group of people that happen to be Jewish. It was quite obvious that the object of the shows was to perpetuate the seed of Black victimization. We did not like those shows, but that was the only example displayed until The Cosby Show aired. By then the Black victimization movement was fully entrenched in my community. They even attacked The Cosby Show as not being realistic, a true depiction of Black family life. Basically any Black person that did not follow this mindset was ostracized and in some cases killed. (Take a close look at what happened in San Francisco’s Western Addition during the late 70’s early 80’s) White liberals have fed upon this to their betterment and the further demise of the Black community. So now the Black boogie man is Rap music. The nonstop demands that young Black folks stop making and listening to this self destructive music and embrace a more positive form of expression. My son loves Rap music and his Zune is full of hours of positive uplifting, spiritual and sometime just goofy songs by a myriad of artists. Unfortunately none of these artists make to the airwaves, why? When he tells his friends about them they start listening also but the groups tends to fade out after a couple of CD’s. Why, I ask is this possible. Can’t be the music, it all sounds the same. Only difference is the lyrics, they go against the Black victim mentality and embrace our inner strength and spiritual truths. Two things the Liberals would rather we not have.

So for the rest of my life I have to prove to white people that I am not “an angry Black man”. I face this at work, in my neighborhood, pretty much any social interaction. And if I do get angry, that’s always seems to be the response regardless of the justification for my anger. Is assuming the negative until disproved racism or is assuming the positive until disproved naïve? I ask myself this almost every day and the answer keeps changing.

Zaire67 on April 11, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Is assuming the negative until disproved racism or is assuming the positive until disproved naïve? I ask myself this almost every day and the answer keeps changing.

Zaire67 on April 11, 2008 at 10:02 AM

It it’s a Dem, they feel sorry for you because you are a perpetual and blameless victim. If it’s a lib, they feel obligated to fix your situation for you. In either case, they don’t see you, only ur color.

If it’s a conservative, they don’t think anything about you at all, unless they happen to know you. And then they decide if they like you or not.

JiangxiDad on April 11, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Seriously, angry preachers be it black, white, or green will alarm most outside observers. Why don’t more people understand this?

Everyone else has to understand THEIR pain in order to be more comfortable with preachers shouting, hooting, and juicing their body language.

Where’s Eddie Murphy when you really need him to act out of his 5 characters from “Coming to America”? Wait, the preacher was played by Arsenio Hall. OK. Where’s Arsenio?

gabriel sutherland on April 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Is Lee a Black?

No, he’s light brown. And I’m not “White”–I’m kinda beige with pink undertones. I’ve never met anyone who is “Yellow”. We ought to use terms like Caucasian & Negro instead, but Negro has been banned from use for anyone except Negroes (as in the NAACP).

jgapinoy on April 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM

If liberal Jews, especially those in New York, couldn’t figure out there’s a problem in the African-American community after the 1968 Ocean Hill-Brownsville school battle — where militant blacks demanded the removal of all Jewish control from “their” neighborhood school district in Brooklyn — they’re not going to figure it out (or want to figure it out) 40 years later.

But for Obama, the problem is there are enough other people out there who see and hear this stuff and who are turned off by the hatred. Bill Clinton won in 1992 in part because, after a dozen years out of the White House, the radical left in the Democratic Party was willing to shut their pie holes during the campaign to avoid scaring people back to George H.W. Bush. Obama’s got to muzzle people like Wright and Lee, but it both may be too late for that thanks to DVDs and the Internet, and this is a different group of radical activists, who apparently are caught in the grip of their own empowerment through Barak’s success to say what they actually believe from time to time.

jon1979 on April 11, 2008 at 10:21 AM

So for the rest of my life I have to prove to white people that I am not “an angry Black man”. I face this at work, in my neighborhood, pretty much any social interaction. And if I do get angry, that’s always seems to be the response regardless of the justification for my anger. Is assuming the negative until disproved racism or is assuming the positive until disproved naïve? I ask myself this almost every day and the answer keeps changing.

Zaire67 on April 11, 2008 at 10:02 AM

That statement tells me the root of your problem. You do see white people as being both different and superior, otherwise you would not feel the need to gain their approval. Be yourself, and if they can’t accept you for what you are, that’s their problem, not yours.

OldEnglish on April 11, 2008 at 10:35 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how Blacks and liberal Jews flock to the DEM party. This party does nothing but fan the flames of racism in this country, and has been doing it for years. The last thing the DEMS want is for the black people to become independent thinkers. Than they won’t need gov’t to bail them out.

pueblo1032 on April 11, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Where is the transcript of what he actually said in the speech, sermon, or whatever? Was he accurate in his first issued apology, or was there more said? If he said no more than he claims in the apology, then it appears all he said was that there is a disproportional amount of Jews in the movie business and that he was unhappy with the portrayal of blacks in movies. The first is easily determined and the second is subjective.

Is there a Zionist plot to portray blacks in a certain light, or is it that Jews in Hollywood, while acting individually, portray blacks in a certain way because they all tend to share similar views and ideology? Group think in Hollywood, who would have guessed.

DFCtomm on April 11, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Obama fever is flushing them out of the cracks like a bunch of bugs, and they are spilling their guts out

This election gets unpleasanter and unpleasanter, but the agony is prolonged by the do-gooder who is so busy examining their personal guilt they cannot see how they facilitate a greater evil

When you nominate yourself to apologize for group guilt you have validated group prejudice

entagor on April 11, 2008 at 11:27 AM

OldEnglish on April 11, 2008 at 10:35 AM

It’s not about a feeling of superiority or inferiority. And it’s definitely not the need for anyone’s approval. It’s about being able to work and live in an environment where everyone is thought of and treated as equals. Where everyone’s ideas and expressions are taken at face value, and placed in context of the discussion or situation. Not the “typical” response of “__________”(you fill in the blank).

Case in point: In the early 90’s I worked in a hi-tech firm in Milpitas, CA and sometimes my boss would call me in from the field to perform tedious tasks at odd times of the day as though they must be completed immediately. After several weeks of this, It finally dawned on me he was always laying off an employee while I was in the office performing such tasks. The office manager seemed to notice the same thing. Then it all began to make sense; At that time I was 6’3”, 255 pounds, athletic Black man. It truly seemed to me he was expecting me to protect him by kicking into angry Blackman mode if an employee went postal after being fired. I wouldn’t have thought this except I was the only Black person working in that office. And after I questioned him, he admitted that this was in fact the case.

The problem wasn’t that I would not have been willing and able to do so if asked. It was the assumption that I was able to do so if the situation arose simply because who I am. For all he knew I could have been a big mama’s boy who at any sign of trouble would have been the first one out the door. And its important to point out that there were other white male employees that matched me physically at that office who were never placed in that situation.

Zaire67 on April 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Zaire67 on April 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM

But that is my point, your boss had a problem, not you. Nothing you could do or say would have made him think differently. The stereotype he imposed upon you may have been founded on truth in other situations in his life, but, his mistake was in assuming that all (large) Black men were the same.

As an aside, it has been my experience that small men, of any shade, are more aggressive than tall ones (the small man syndrome).

OldEnglish on April 11, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Attack in public, apologize in private.

The art of the moral coward.

Lockstein13 on April 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM

We ought to use terms like Caucasian & Negro instead, but Negro has been banned from use for anyone except Negroes (as in the NAACP).

jgapinoy on April 11, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Negro means black in spanish. It’s the same term.

By the time I get through this rant, someone else should have pointed that out.

***
Here’s a memo to all you guys and gals out there who are now trying to justify your own racism by pointing to the racism of Rev. Wright and other bigots.

If that’s the format we’re following, then I should be racist against whites, because there are just as many if not more (numerically, not proportionally) racists as there are of any other group.

***
And as far as suggesting that black on white racism is a problem beyond white on black racism. BWAHAHAHAHA There is no equivalent word for “nigger” that applies to white people. There is no equivalent in world history that mirrors the experience of blacks in America. The phrase “Go back to Europe” never took hold as cultural catchphrase.

My ancestory has deeper roots in this country than most families. This is my country.

I gaurantee that if Republicans make the mistake of twisting these issues into political weapons, it will backfire. It always does. And then we’ll really have something to whine about.

A lot of commenters herein put forth this holier-than-thou posturing. It’s apparent to me based on some of the language that some of you are and always have been racist. Using a sermon of some wild-eyed pastor whom you’ve never met nor been affected by as fuel for your racial angst is totally obvious.

***
The Democratic Party panders to minorities. The Republican Party offends them.
***
John McWhorter will be the next of the annointed ones to be tossed to the curb by Republicans, particularly white males.
***
Anger is not a strong foundation for sound reasoning. How mad are you about race? How sound is your reasoning?

The Race Card on April 11, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Attack in public, apologize in private.

The art of the moral coward.

Lockstein13 on April 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Until you have heard this man, Rev. Eric Lee, speak you cannot imagine how annoying he is. He literally ruined a local MLK event with his racial provocation and whining.

The Race Card on April 11, 2008 at 2:38 PM

. . . to his rantings and it had made him look mean-spirited and bigoted

should read:

“. . . to his and it revealed him for being the mean-spirited and bigoted person he is.”

BLOC on April 11, 2008 at 4:29 PM

The Race Card on April 11, 2008 at 2:36 PM

You are correct, the word, “nigger”, is merely a contemptuous corruption of the word, negro. As for the word, “honky”, it has no derivation.

OldEnglish on April 11, 2008 at 6:48 PM

This idiot isn’t even worth talking about. He’s an ignorant, insignificant, nobody with a big mouth. His 15 minutes are about up. The big dummy should just step aside and close his ignorant mouth.

UnEasyRider on April 11, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Ah, yes, the old “I opposed Jews before I was for them.” What a POS.

second digit on April 11, 2008 at 7:53 PM