Cruse Speaks

Blacks and Jews in America today are not "natural allies," because their interests diverge, Howard Cruse, professor of history at the University of Michigan, told an audience of 40 at the Law School Monday night.

Although Cruse said both Jews and Blacks are outcasts from the dominant group in the United States, "Jews were able to prosper as a group, whereas blacks were not." He asked, "How can you link them, then, in light of their very different experiences?"

Cruse added that many people believe all minority groups are natural allies, but that in reality Blacks have no allies in the United States and harbor "no illusions about so-called allies or friends."

The relationship between blacks and Jews began in the 19th century with the Zionist movement of the Jews and the back-to-Africa move of the blacks, although the two "developed along different patterns," Cruse said.

The formation of Israel in 1948 made many blacks ask why most Americans could accept immigration and repatriation by Jews but not by blacks.


Earl T. Richardson, president of Harvard Black Law Students Association (HBLSA), which sponsored Cruse's lecture, said Monday that "the discussion was very open and thought provoking."

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