Ali al-Amin Mazrui (b. 1933) is the most celebrated intellectual of African origins in the United States. His 1,500-word official resume is a bit daunting, but here follow some highlights:
At Binghamton University, which is part of the State University of New York Mazrui is (1) Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities, professor in (2) Political Science, (3) African Studies and Philosophy, and (4) Interpretation and Culture, plus (5) director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies.
In addition, he has distinguished appointments at Cornell University, the University of Jos in Nigeria, and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. He has served as visiting scholar at Stanford, Denver, Chicago, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Bridgewater, Harvard, Colgate, McGill, Sussex, Oxford, Leeds, London, Cairo, Baghdad, Tehran, Nairobi, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and "etc."
He has authored over thirty books, from Towards a Pax Africana in 1967 to The Politics of War and the Culture of Violence in 2008. Every important newspaper in the world has carried his byline. He narrated a high-profile television series, The Africans: A Triple Heritage, for the BBC and PBS in 1986.
Miscellaneous honors include being elected an "Icon of the Twentieth Century" by Lincoln University and being nominated for a "Living Legend Award" by two African organizations. Honorary degrees have come tumbling in. He "has been involved in a number of UN projects on matters which have ranged from human rights to nuclear proliferation."
Authorities around the world, in short, inform us that professors don't come smarter or wiser than Mazrui.
But Brendan Goldman, a senior at New York University, attended a talk on "Euro-Jews and Afro-Arabs: The Semitic Divergence in History" at Columbia University by the esteemed Dr Mazrui on May 6. In his report, "Reviving Jewish Race Science at Columbia U Conference," Goldman tells how Mazrui
spent most of his time discussing the development of Jewish "genius" and "cultural impurity" in a European context. Ostensibly, Mazrui was comparing the impact of Jews on Europe to the impact of Arabs on Africa. However, he was more interested in why "Arabs lagged behind Jews in manifest genius." After admitting he knew little about Arab history and even less about Jews, Mazrui proceeded to spend his allotted time talking about the history of both peoples.
Mazrui did not flinch in asking rhetorical such questions such as "What aspects of Marxism are taken from Judaism?" He made the nuanced argument that since Karl Marx was ethnically Jewish, he clearly made "the Chosen People [into] the proletariat." Mazrui's lecture was also peppered with statements like "Jews have been at their best when they were Europeanized ... almost as if you needed a mixture of Jewishness and Europeanness [for Jewish genius]."
He also claimed that Jews as a people are insular and racist. "Arabs are far less race-conscious and ethnic-conscious than Jews are," he said. "Acceptance of race mixture was more developed in Arab culture than in Jewish culture."
Mazrui concluded the event with this gross statement:
The population of Jews in the US is 3 percent ... but [their "genius"] leads to their controlling so much power that even presidents are scared. Whether Obama will be able to escape the notion that 3 percent of the country is so powerful that the top gentile in the land cannot criticize Israel is not clear.
(1) Genius Jews, Marxist Jews, ethnic Jews, proletariat Jews, Europeanized Jews, race-conscious Jews, ethnic-conscious Jews, powerful Jews … this is classic, fetid antisemitism.
(2) Mazrui is a rank antisemite.
(3) Binghamton and Cornell universities minimally should reprimand Mazrui; better yet, they should expel him.
(4) How far has academic life descended that such drivel is considered not just respectable but estimable?
Oct. 13, 2014 update: Confirming the above analysis, CAIR praised Mazrui on his passing by calling him "an internationally acclaimed academic who influenced the thought of many prominent Muslim leaders both here and abroad."