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Ron Dalton Jr. Faces Off with South African Jewish Board of Deputies Over Documentary Ban - Heated Meeting Sparks Controversy Over Freedom of Expression

Ron Dalton Jr. Stands Firm Against SAJBD’s Documentary Ban Attempt

By Sister June, STAFF WRITER
Published on June 30, 2024

Unpacking Dalton's Meeting with the South African Jewish Board of Deputees

Reading Time: 4 minutes

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (June 26, 2024) — In a significant development, Ron Dalton Jr., the creator behind the documentary “Hebrews to Negroes,” recently met with representatives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) at the head office of the South African Film & Publication Board. The meeting, held on June 25, 2024, aimed to address the ongoing attempts to ban Dalton’s documentary in South Africa, which has been labeled antisemitic by its critics.

Background and Context

Ron Dalton Jr., known for his documentary “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” has been at the center of heated debates since NBA player Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to the movie in 2022. The documentary, which debuted on Amazon Prime Video on December 20, 2018, with a runtime of 208 minutes, asserts that African Americans are of Hebrew descent. This claim has drawn sharp criticism, particularly from Jewish organizations, who argue that it perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Dalton, however, firmly denies these allegations, asserting that his work is rooted in historical research and aimed at empowering the Black community.

In 2022, Amazon’s CEO announced that the company would not remove the documentary from its store or include a disclaimer about its discriminatory viewpoints, relying instead on customer reviews for content moderation. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy defended the decision, stating that Amazon respects the diverse viewpoints of its hundreds of millions of customers.

Understanding the SAJBD

According to its website, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), established in 1903 and based in Johannesburg, is the umbrella representative body and civil rights lobby for the South African Jewish community. It claims to promote the safety and welfare of South African Jewry, combat antisemitism in all its forms, and build bridges of friendship and understanding between Jews and the broader South African population. The SAJBD’s members include elected officials and community leaders who are governed by a Board.

5-Hour Livestream Recap

Ron Dalton Jr. detailed his recent confrontation with the SAJBD during a five-hour livestream on the Ashanda at Large YouTube channel. This extensive broadcast, which included Ashanda, Lorvins (Son of Shemites), and Dalton, served as a platform for him to share insights and recount the proceedings of the meeting. Dalton’s own YouTube channel was shut down following the Kyrie Irving controversy, so he primarily uses Ashanda’s channel as an outlet for his long-form messages.

As Dalton stated during the livestream,

“We are using Ashanda’s channel to get the message out there, and we won’t be silenced.”

Yahudah Living is committed to serving its readers by summarizing the key points from this extensive livestream, offering a concise recap so readers don’t need to watch the entire five-hour video. You can watch the full Livestream here.

Meeting Highlights

According to Dalton, during the meeting with the SAJBD, he passionately defended his documentary, arguing that it is a crucial tool for educating and awakening the Black diaspora about their true heritage.

“The film is not intended to incite hatred but to promote understanding and self-awareness.” — Ron Dalton Jr.

Dalton shared that the SAJBD representatives were largely silent during his presentation, which he interpreted as a lack of substantial counterarguments.

“I addressed every point they raised, and there was an eerie silence. It was clear they didn’t have solid ground to stand on.”— Ron Dalton Jr.

He also highlighted several key points from his defense:

    • Educational Purpose: Dalton stressed the documentary’s role in educating people about historical truths and correcting misconceptions about Black identity.
    • Freedom of Expression: He argued that attempts to ban the film are an infringement on freedom of expression and an attempt to silence a necessary discourse.
    • Historical Context: Dalton presented historical evidence to support his claims, underscoring that the documentary is based on thorough research.
    • Diverse Perspectives: Dalton discussed the importance of allowing diverse perspectives in historical narratives.

Additionally, Dalton emphasized the broader importance of historical accuracy, the right to self-identify, and the role of media in shaping public perception. He argued that banning the documentary would set a dangerous precedent for censoring minority viewpoints and stifling important conversations about race and identity.

Public Reaction and Future Implications

The meeting has sparked significant public interest, particularly within the Hebrew Israelite community and among supporters of Dalton’s work.

On June 23, 2024, Dalton tweeted,

“The showdown between Ron Dalton (Hebrews to Negroes) vs the South African Jewish Board of Deputies is going down June 25, 2024, at the head office for the South African Film & Publications Board. What do the rich Jews of SA want? To make it a crime to watch my movie. So much fear.”

Dalton’s supporters have rallied around him, viewing the meeting as a pivotal moment in the fight for freedom of expression and the right to self-identify. The outcome of this confrontation could have far-reaching implications for the distribution of his documentary in South Africa and beyond.

Dalton’s Relocation to South Africa

Ron Dalton Jr. himself currently lives in South Africa, a move he made in 2022 which he discusses in a detailed interview with Jay Cameron of Maximum Impact. Dalton cited both personal and strategic reasons for his move, including the escalating socio-economic challenges in the United States and his desire to spread his message more effectively in Africa.

He mentioned,

“The best chance of survival for my family long-term was to move back to the continent and get out of this American westernized lifestyle.”

Continuing the Battle

The confrontation between Ron Dalton Jr. and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies is far from over. As both sides prepare for the next round of this legal and ideological battle, the stakes continue to rise, drawing attention from across the globe. Dalton’s determination to defend his work and the principles of freedom of expression will undoubtedly keep this issue in the public eye for the foreseeable future.

“The best chance of survival for my family long-term was to move back to the continent and get out of this American westernized lifestyle.” — Ron Dalton Jr.

Despite the extensive discussions, the meeting did not resolve the core issues, leaving both parties at an impasse. The SAJBD remains firm in its stance against the documentary, while Dalton continues to assert his right to share his perspectives. As the debate continues, Dalton remains active on social media, using his platforms to advocate for his work and counteract what he perceives as unjust censorship. His Twitter handle, @hebrews2negroes, has amassed over 20,000 followers since its creation in October 2022, serving as a testament to his growing influence and the resonance of his message.

For more information on Ron Dalton Jr. and his work, visit The Negro Network.

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This article was written by Sister June, dedicated to bringing the latest news and stories to the Set Apart Community. Published on June 30, 2024.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your comments below!

Sister June

Sister June

June, the Founder of Yahudah Living and All Praises Radio, is passionate about connecting people within the Set Apart Walk to valuable resources and each other. With a love for Yah, writing, and a background as the editor of her college newspaper, she now reports on news for Yashrael! When she's not editing videos or content for the radio or YouTube, you can find her enjoying family time, baking, canning, gardening, running her web agency and volunteering as the Administrator for her assembly.

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