Who are Black Hebrew Israelites? Extremist group gathers outside Barclays Center to support Kyrie Irving

The Black Hebrew Israelites had handed out propaganda brochures during a Nets' game on November 9, when Kyrie Irving was still under suspension

Who are Black Hebrew Israelites? Extremist group gathers outside Barclays Center to support Kyrie Irving
Members of the Black Hebrew Israelites gathered outside the Barclays Center to support Kyrie Irving, who made a comeback after his suspension on November 4 (PlainJaneDee_/Twitter; Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: A large group of Black Hebrew Israelites gathered in front of Barclays Center on Sunday, November 20, to support Kyrie Irving's return to the game after his suspension on November 4 for publicizing an antisemitic film, 'Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America' on social media and reportedly refused to apologize.

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They gathered during a game where the Brookyln Nets were against the Memphis Grizzlies. They handed out brochures containing propaganda during a Knicks vs Nets game on November 9 as well. Jaylen Brown ran into trouble for tweeting a video of Black Hebrew Israelites thinking that they were the supporters of Irving, reported CBS Sports.

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However, he deleted the tweet and then stated, "I was not aware of what specific group that was outside of Barclay’s Center tonight. I was celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie to the court, first glance I thought it was a known fraternity the (C/Que’s) Omega psi phi (step’n) showing support."


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Who are the Black Hebrew Israelites?

The Black Hebrew Israelites is an extremist group section of African Americans who believe that they were the descendants of the ancient Israelites. However, some sub-groups believe that Native and Latin Americans were descendants of the Israelites. According to congress.gov, thousands of men and women joined the extremist group of the Hebrew Israelite movement. The group is based on a Black nationalist theology that dates back to the 19th century. They believed that African Americans were "God's true chosen people." Initially, they were neither racist nor antisemitic. However, within this extremist group, there is a sect that propagates the idea that Jews were "devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personifed, deserving only death or slavery." 

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Speaking about the group, White supremacist leader Tom Metzger said, "They're the black counterparts of us." The group also propagates the belief that mainstream Jews were the descendants of Satan.

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According to adl.org, this group believed they were members of the Twelve Tribes based on biblical interpretation. It was also considered similar to Judaism and believed Jews had no right to Israel as a homeland. They adhere to a strict hierarchal structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. They wear long robes, religious garb or shirts with a logo of the faction.

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