News & Politics

Jersey City Shooter Was One-Time Black Hebrew Israelite

David Anderson mug shot

Remember the Black Hebrew Israelites? They’re back in the news, and once again it’s bad news.

Jonathan Dienst and Brian Thompson, WNBC:

The two people who stormed a kosher grocery store in Jersey City with rifles, killing three people inside and also murdering a veteran detective, have been identified as David Anderson and Francine Graham, four law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell News 4.

Three sources say Anderson was a one-time follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a group whose members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites and may adhere to both Christian and Judaic beliefs. There was a note with religious writings in the U-Haul he and Graham allegedly drove to the scene, but a motive — including any alleged nexus to hate or terror remains under active investigation, officials say.

If the name Black Hebrew Israelites sounds familiar, that’s because members of that group were the ones who screamed bigotry at Nick Sandmann and the rest of the Covington Catholic kids at the Lincoln Memorial back in January:

As Sandmann noted a few days later:

“They called us ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘white crackers,’ ‘f*gg*ts’ and ‘incest kids.’ They also taunted an African-American student from my school by telling him that we would ‘harvest his organs.’ I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear,” Sandmann wrote.

Nice guys. And then, of course, 99% of the news outlets in the entire world tried to ruin Sandmann’s life because he was wearing a MAGA hat as he smiled awkwardly at a Native American man who was banging a drum in his face.* The Black Hebrew Israelites who started the whole thing were almost entirely ignored. They didn’t fit the narrative.

I suspect that’s what will happen with this shooting, too. There’s no way to blame Republicans or the NRA or white people or any of the other designated villains. The Black Hebrew Israelites are the wrong kind of anti-Semites. This doesn’t fit the narrative. The media will just move on to the next thing. And they’ll keep wondering why we don’t trust them.

*ICYMI, Sandmann’s defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post, which was dismissed earlier this year, is now back on. I hope he gets justice for what they did to him.