I just watched the following Youtube video by David Duke:
I couldn’t find part two, but I had a few quick thoughts on the matter I wanted to share with y’all.
First of all, nobody alive today should be apologizing for American slavery. Just as whites needn’t apologize for the long-ago actions of a few, so too should Jews not have to.
Taking Duke’s statistics at face value, I can think of two reasons that slave ownership would have been higher among Jews:
1) Jews were wealthier and more of them could afford slaves
2) Jews have a moral defect that persists to this day
I think it’s a combination of these two factors. Speaking from personal experience and my own observations, the Jewish moral defect is actually two defects. The first is a more general moral defect that afflicts religious people of all faiths. When people are given a code to live their lives by, over time they equate adherence to that code as “morality” and violation of that code as “immorality.” That is to say, any action would surely have been prohibited by God if it were truly immoral. The fact that Scripture endorses slavery must mean that there is nothing wrong with it. In this worldview, there is little room for moral scruples outside of what has already been condemned by the word of God. We find a similar attitude in today’s America regarding the law. So many new laws have been passed that there is often an assumption that anything that is legal must also be moral. If it were truly immoral, “they” would surely have already passed a law against it. In either case, it’s a childish way to live one’s life. I think this is the moral defect that was at work in the times of slavery.
Some rabbis recognized this problem and tried to address it. The result was the Musar movement in 19th century Eastern Europe. Books of musar are studied in yeshivas to this day. In a sense, they serve as an artificial conscience and I think they are helpful. I don’t think they can make a bad person good, but they do serve to remind those on the edge that there is a wider morality. Had the musar movement taken root among the wealthy Sephardic Jews of early America, it’s likely that they would have been less active in the slave trade.
The second Jewish moral defect is more relevant today. Judaism served as our moral compass for many centuries. When that compass was taken away, but the moral compass of the dominant, Christian, majority had not yet had time to take root, it created a moral void. This is one reason Jews have been so prominent in the more trashy aspects of Western culture, including the movie industry. We often find ourselves living in a moral no-man’s land. The first half of the 20th century saw millions of Jews being estranged from their ancestral culture. This is also the time when secular Jewish debauchery reached its peak, with those who had reached leadership positions lingering to this day. Today, even though the root cause of the darkness has diminished, we still suffer from a new status quo that it created. Liberalism has imposed its own infantile form of morality upon society, a “morality” that brings more harm than good. Meanwhile, traditional morality feebly struggles to find its footing again. Hopefully, a meaningful moral code, other than Islam, will assert itself before the damage is too great.
By the way, the text displayed on Duke’s video is from the Book of Esther. I’m not sure how that pertains to slavery; he should have used something more pertinent in my opinion – unless he’s equating himself with Haman (which would be rather funny).