The Hate That Hate Produced

Inside the Black and Jewish Fight Clubs at the Anti-KKK Rally


INDEED, ORGANIZERS of the anti-Klan rally had hoped that New Yorkers would be united against race hate. That was the objective. But when frustrated black protesters began to vent their rage against Jews and whites, veteran conciliators began to wonder who African Americans believe their real enemies are. Just when bewildered observers were concluding that the skirmishes signaled a setback for the fragile black-Jewish political alliance, a daring Klan sympathizer yelled "Fire!" in the crowded street theater. A multiracial mob—some of whom had been arguing bitterly—jumped on the woman and began to kick and punch her. Some spat on her.

"She said she was the KKK. She hated Puerto Ricans and the 'black animals,"' recalled Yigal Yavin, the Israeli who'd squared off with the Hebrew Israelites. Another witness said he heard the woman shout, "Heil Hitler!" and curse at Jews. For a moment, people noticed, blacks and Jews were allies again, countering the KKK hate rhetoric with a righteous beatdown. Who said blacks and Jews can't work together? 


Additional reporting: Danielle Douglas

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