Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scam, fraud: Alex Haley lied about "Roots"


He lied about all of it. There was no Kunta Kinte. The whole thing was fiction which was designed to make America look as guilty and as horrible as possible - partially, I suspect, because Haley knew that a guilty and horrible America would sell.

After publication, the fraud was proven from three separate directions:

1. The author of "The African" settled a lawsuit with Haley before the verdict was rendered. Court testimony clearly showed that Haley plagiarized and rewrote large sections of "The African" inside the text of "Roots". The judge, who did not want to see such a public icon and hero destroyed, strongly urged Haley to settle the lawsuit before a verdict was rendered.
2. Genealogical researchers discovered Haley's fraud.
3. After Haley's death, a researcher going through Haley's papers discovered the fraud.

The truth of Haley's fraud got out from these persons to a media which uniformly minimized and played down Haley's fraud.

Jack Cashill examines the details. Excerpt:
"There was no Kunta Kinte," says Nobile bluntly.

Nobile and an African-American coauthor put a book proposal together on the subject [of Haley's deception], but as Nobile ruefully admits, "Nobody wanted to touch it." A Lexis search shows shockingly little follow-up by the media, major or minor.

The New York Times buried the issue in a page 18 "Book Notes" column. There, in discussing whether Haley's new book, Alex Haley's Queen, should be shelved under fiction or nonfiction, the Times had exactly this to say about the controversy: "Two weeks ago, the charges about the authenticity of Roots and the integrity of Mr. Haley were raised anew in an investigative article by Philip Nobile in The Village Voice. Members of the Haley family have rebutted the accusations." And that was that.

Not surprisingly, the Pulitzer people did not ask for their award back, and the book and video have remained a staple in history classes across America. Nobile blames Roots's seeming immunity on his progressive colleagues. "They were all too scared, or dishonest," he writes, "to admit to the public that the most famous black writer had lied about his ancestry."


Sometimes, it seems our nation is so insulated from truth, is so inundated with fantasy, that I simply have no idea how our culture coheres and thrives.


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10 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Wow! Is it possible that I have been living under a rock? I was completely unaware of the controversy surrounding this wonderful story.

Anonymous said...

Will to tell you the truth it does not matter. It was hundreds of Kunta's. Just because the person is not real does not mean the story was fake. And for many people Roots let people see slavery. Reason is because they did teach this in school. Just like this website won't let me post this.

Anonymous said...

With or without "roots" and its fraud,the truth is that most of what we`ve been taught about slavery by jewish hollywood is a lie.This includes much of what is found in spielberg`s "amistad".The accounts of slavery have been almost entirely spun to present african slavery as only a white christian enterprise and to exaggerate its abuses and its prevalence in early america.It has also purposely omitted many facts about slavery not considered politically-correct,namely that only a small percentage of white americans and southerners owned slaves,and that many slave-owners were black.This in addition to the minimized fact that africans enslaved africans long before they were purchased by others.No mention is made of the substantial jewish involvement in the slave trade either,nor is any reference made to the large numbers of whites who were enslaved(including child laborers)in and outside north america.These facts have been purposely left out of the historical picture of slavery,and its still that way today;and i cant help thinking that the jewish people have distorted slavery to reflect badly on white christians(who they clearly dislike)and maybe even to obscure their own people`s involvement in the slave trade.

Anonymous said...

why do you honkies try to hide the truth and expose the nonsense

Linx2daPast said...

To the individual who spoke about small amounts of whites owning slaves, and blacks also owning slaves and Jewish involvement in the slave trade and the enslavement of early whites. Is showing true ignorance, there are small amounts of truth attached to these claims, but they are broad and without factual support, thereby mixing truth with lies. Let me start from the beginning of the time line and sequentially explain each of your points. First off, yes there was slavery in Africa, however it was a practice similar to european indentured servitude. Also, it was mostly women, it was not done on a large scale for business and profit purposes. Not to mention,that their culture names, history, language, were not taken and it was never passed down to the children.

Next, it was mentioned that whites were enslaved as well, this is true infact the word slave comes from the word Slav...which were a group of people enslaved by the Romans. However, that is ancient times, and the europeans, had indentured servants who came over to work the land in the Americas first along side the Native Americans, who were first enslaved. But there wasnt enough people willing to make to come over to the new world to be indentured servants. The Native Americans were not robust enough to handle the diseases of the europeans, and either fled or dies, so a new work force was needed.

Also mentioned was the involvement of Jews in the slave trade, yes they did finance a lot of the ships, and were involved in transporting and smuggling slaves.

In addition you mentioned America was being made to look bad because of slavery, well the fact is we do, because with the exception of Brazil we kept slavery going the longest, 30 more years than Great Britain and France, and even longer than that for Spanish colonies. Then after slavery, we implemented Jim Crow and continued to have a systematic version of racism, rivaled by only that of South Africa's Apartheid. This brand of racism lead us through segregation, and the violent times of the civil rights movement, and a disenfranchisement and marginalization of a whole race of people that have been in America since before its inception as the U.S.

You are also right, not only so called white christians were involved in slavery but arab muslims were as well, but they didnt bring them to another continent or colony and use them for industrial purposes. The unfortunate reality is that Roots was a fraud, and that the Atrocities that it showed however are not fraudulent, and were quite minimized...check out some of the real notes of slave masters and slaves and read their memoirs, lets not even forget public lynchings which occurred well after slavery, where white christian families would come and have a picnic as they hanged some nigger.

As far as the Black slave owner goes, that did exist but was a very rare case, and a lot of time if you researched it, you would see that it was people who became free and decided to buy their family members, so that eventually they could set them free, it was a way to protect them, because even as free blacks during slavery, it was still dangerous and some people who were free were illegally enslaved.

They key is to read and research, as opposed to just spouting off information that you have no real knowledge off

Marianne said...

The person who commented about 'Jewish Hollywood 'probably has emotional problems. I agree with the one who said it doesn't matter as there were loads of Kintes.

Haley definitely lifted some stuff from 'the African'. Otherwise we don't know if he was a fraud or self- deceived. We just don't know if he really heard his great aunts recounting their history. Only he could know that.

It doesn't seem all that likely. Because of brutal separation of families for trading, a good number of people did no even know who their parents were. The fictional Topsy could not believe she had ever had any.Marsha Hunt said that before liberation, her ancestors might as well have dropped from the sky. There were no records.

Adult adoptees also feel as if they had dropped from outer space. Those of us who later find our roots can find this a healing experience. When this it is not possible, it is tempting to tell ourselves a story about where we came from.Many end up believing their own inventions. It may be an irritating trait but 'the family romance' is a symptom of a deep psychological wound. It deserves sympathy.

A boy brought up by distant substitute parents in Switzerland made up a story that he had survived the holocaust. It was irresponsible, a gift to holocaust deniers, but it was more complcated than fraud.

The truth about 'Roots' is irrelevant to how African American history should be viewed or if anyone should feel guilty about it.Haley may have made mistakes as many family historians do.

He said that Toby aka Kunta Kinte had a daughter Kizzy. He glosses her name as a Gambian verb. It seems to me that it could well be short for Kezia, a biblical name from the book of Job. It was not so uncommon in the eighteenth century, especialy among slaves.

Some say that the slave Toby was in America while Kunta Kinte was in Africa and that Kizzy was not even born until ten years after Toby's death.

I don't have enough information to judge. But it is possible to take a charitable and nuanced approach to this mix up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not worried about America being so ignorant of, or insulated by, the truth. I'm worried, because people waste their anger and passion on things like this...when there are much bigger issues at hand. People are being sold into slavery. Babies are being murdered. People are starving.Time spent and energy wasted being upset that an author lied in his writings...that equals time and energy that could be used to do so much more for something that actually matters.

Damien said...

The truth is in ths plagerizing. Think about this Alex Haley wrote a book and story about what most black americans would find as almost impossible to accomplish an historical account of a family tree. The ability of someone to put together something was systematically destroyed for 99% of the African slave population was fasinating to watch. It was as if Kunta Kinta did escape the genocidal plan of erasing African Americans to their African ancestors. Now as has been revealed no one was able to escape this diabolical plot. It goes to show just how horrific the treatment of Africans in America as a slave was and if any one thinks though a fraud but does dismiss the brutality that took place during slavery. Just check the Black Code laws, the Fugutive slave act written in the United States constitution, and the meaning behind the 3/5s of a man also written in the United States constution. Those not afraid to read should read Souls of Black Folks by WEB Dubois and a book called Worse than Slavery called Parchment Farms. These books show the diabolical plot that took place after slavery to continue to capitalize off of the ex slave by using the loop hole in the 13th amendment except as punishment for a crime whereas duly convicted. Jim Crow laws made sure that there be a system to convert the former humble slave into a threating menace to society whose only fit for incarceration which fueled the cheap prison labor leasing system. The reconstruction of the south could not have been made possible without this prison leasing system. The judicial system took over as the master overseer of African Americans who now account for a traditionally over represented prison population throughout the United States which has its roots tied to African Slaves. The fictional movie Life with Eddie Murphy and Martin shed light on that system. This system is used around the world. After slavery in African a tax was levied on every able body man which would force him to work on a plantation or in mine. If he refused he was arrested and put to work on that plantation or mine as a prisoner until his debt was paid. There is your Roots.

Anonymous said...

I believe the powers that be chose him to do the story, because even as bad as the story sounds to whites and blacks alike, to beat other authors to the punch,a less harsher truth needed to be established among the masses. There are other stories out there, some still in development, that would make ROOTS look like nothing. They avoided so many issues that would horrify most white people today, and it would surpass the sympathy for the Jews if it were told. Im talking homosexual rape, child rape and satanic rituals, children used as alligator bait, cutting a pregnant woman open and feeding the embryo to hogs, human leather, boiling and burning slaves,it gets so bad that a lot of people cant deal with it. something had to be put in place to pacify and soften the blow, and not cause another wave of hatred among the races. I know a guy who is coming out with the verifiable truth, and its not going to be nice, but anything that doesn't resemble ROOTS wont be taken seriously.