Existing black nationalist groups have grown in size and new groups have formed. This growth is a response to the current climate of racial divisiveness, specifically police violence and Donald Trump’s derisive remarks about African Americans, including journalists and NFL players, and majority-black countries. Group leaders have played on people’s fear and distress to recruit new members in 2018. Leaders have also become emboldened in their rhetoric. Hashim Nzinga of the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense called Hitler a great man, and Louis Farrakhan told congregants at a February conference: “I don’t care what they put on me. The government is my enemy, the powerful Jews are my enemy, and scared to death negroes are my enemy, and weak Muslims and hypocrites are my enemy, but here I stand! Unfazed by a government that wants my life.”
Israel United in Christ, a Black Hebrew Israelite group, led an 800-person march in Tennessee on Aug. 4, 2018. Louis Farrakhan leveraged his attendance at Aretha Franklin’s funeral to legitimize himself and recruit new members by putting her on the cover of the group’s publication, The Final Call, and distributing 50,000 copies in Detroit, Michigan. The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense hosted black men’s conferences and rallied in front of the White House to denounce Trump and praise Farrakhan.
Black Nationalist groups will likely continue to expand, coordinate, recruit and unify against what they perceive as their common enemies: Jews, white people and the police.
Black nationalists, however, should not be confused with the many non-racist African-American organizations that work for social justice and the elimination of institutional racism in America. In addition, they should not be seen as equivalent to white supremacist groups – such as the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazis – in terms of their history of violence and terrorism. And, unlike white hate groups, they have made virtually no inroads into the mainstream political realm and have virtually no supporters among elected officials.
A leading example of a black nationalist group is the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan. He has never backed away from the group’s fundamental tenets, espoused by the group’s previous leader, Elijah Mohammed, that white people are inherently evil — that they are "blue-eyed devils."
Farrakhan has described Catholics and Jews, who he said practice a "gutter religion," as preying on blacks. During his Saviours’ Day Address in Chicago on Feb. 25, 2018, he declared that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and claimed that “the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” In addition, he said, “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”
The racism of a group like the Nation of Islam may be the predictable reaction to white supremacy. But if a white group espoused similar beliefs regarding African Americans and Jews and, few would have trouble describing it as racist and anti-Semitic. If we seek to expose white hate groups, we cannot be in the business of explaining away the black ones.
2018 black nationalist hate groups