Martin Peretz on the ‘Cultural Deficiencies’ of Blacks

Martin Peretz, owner/editor of the New Republic, has come under fire recently for his anti-Muslim comments–leading to protests at Harvard, where Peretz is scheduled to be honored with an endowed chair in social studies named for him.

Peretz’s bigotry has been well-known for years–and is not confined to Muslims or Arabs, though those may be the most frequent targets of his prejudice. Here’s a remark made by Peretz at a forum on black/Jewish relations in 1994 (New York Newsday, 3/28/94; Washington Post, 3/28/94; cited in Extra!, 3-4/96):

So many people in the black population are afflicted by deficiencies, and I mean cultural deficiencies, which Jews, for example, didn’t…. I would guess that in the ghetto a lot of mothers don’t appreciate the importance of schooling.

UPDATE: Sourcing clarified; one missing word restored.

UPDATE 2: See “Double Your Standard: Repudiation, Forgiveness and Martin Peretz” (Extra!, 9-10/94) by Alexander Cockburn for reactions and non-reactions to Peretz’s comments.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.