Nick Cannon was dropped by ViacomCBS over “Hateful Speech” he used on his podcast Cannon’s Class. While I have noticed a number of pundits who have been attacking Cannon over his divisive remarks I think it is hypocritical for those same people to be silent about commentators such as Fox News Commentator Tucker Carlson who spews racist notions regularly. While some of Canon’s remarks are prejudiced and based on historical inaccuracies the backlash is unwarranted because Canon’s remarks are based on some actual scholarship and is a necessary conversation.
Cannon discusses with Professor Griff who was previously accused of anti-semitism in 1989. Griff in describing the accusation describes his belief that the Semitic language and people “have absolutely nothing to do with any white people,” prompting Cannon to remark “the Semitic people are black people.” The two then discuss how accusations of anti-Semitism are used by Jews to foster “division” and to demoralize Black people. They also talk about how, like a “stolen bike” it is time for Black people to reclaim the term “Semitic.” Cannon, denies the conversation is hate speech, he goes on to repudiate the authenticity of Jewish people.
What Cannon and Griff are discussing is called The Khazarian theory–which many historians and scientists believe should more accurately be called a myth— but it has been books written recently about the topic such as The Invention of the Jewish People, published in 2008—a book heavily critcized by not just historians but also geneticists. This theory is very prevalent in Five Percent teachings.
Jews Originating From Caucasus Mountains and Being More Barbaric
A number of Jews can trace their lineage to the Caucasus Mountains. However, Cannon’s theory that “When you have a person who has the lack of pigment, the lack of melanin that they know they will be annihilated, therefore they know that however they got the power, they have a lack of compassion, melanin comes with compassion,” and other remarks suggesting white people of the past were “savages” or “barbaric” that got him in the most hot water!! This is similar to the same dangerous rhetoric that has been used against blacks historically such as when blacks were called Three-Fifths of a person. No race should be described as genetically inferior in the discussion for equality. Furthermore it is worth noting that many of these concepts are derived from the Black Hebrew Israelites which The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation (ADL) have warned about the hateful ideology and violence that the group spreads.
Quoting Flawed Scholarship
In the podcast the book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume One is cited. However, Henry Louis Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University called the Nation of Islam’s book “one of the most sophisticated instances of hate literature yet compiled,” and charged that it “massively misrepresents the historical record.”
While the rhetoric that Nick Cannon is using in the podcast I personally feel wasn’t intentionally hateful or malicious, some of the beliefs that he is suggesting in the podcast are erroneous. As far as his research, Cannon backs some of his claims with flawed scholarship, but this is something that Fox News commentators such as Tucker Carlson does all the time. Cannon is entitled to voice his opinions and while I don’t believe his rhetoric to be an example of hate speech, more so a poor articulation of his beliefs. In essence Cannon could benefit from doing better research but I ultimately believe he is entitled to his free speech like so many of his white counterparts have been provided!!