Rumor in African American culture

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Rumor in African American culture quotes are related to the gossip, urban legends, hoaxes and conspiracy theories that are particular to the African-American culture.


  • "Jewish doctors were injecting black babies with AIDS"
  • "The AIDS virus had been invented by Jewish doctors to kill black babies"
    • Steve Cokely, 1991 on Los Angeles' KPFK-FM, of the Pacifica Radio network, responding to a caller speaking about Ed Hooper's book, The River: A journey back to the source of HIV and AIDS which pointed about many of the Doctors mentioned has Jewish surnames., . [1]
  • "(AIDS was) started by human beings to get after certain people they don't like."
    • Bill Cosby, December 4, 1991 edition of The New York Post
  • "A real-life Frankenstein started the disease. I believe AIDS has been man-made. AIDS was started by human beings - maybe even one person - in a Frankenstein sort of way to get certain people they didn't like.'"
    • Bill Cosby, 1991, National Enquirer interview
  • "I'm convinced AIDS is a government-engineered disease. They got one thing wrong, they never realized it couldn't just be contained to the groups it was intended to wipe out. So, now it's a national priority. Exactly like drugs when they escaped the urban centers into white suburbia."
    • Spike Lee, November 1992 issue of Rolling Stone
  • "Although I am a biologist, I have not done any research. I may not be able to say who developed the (HIV) virus but it was meant to wipe out the Black race"
  • "Possibly AIDS was created as a result of biological-warfare testing."
  • “Certain biowarfare weapons have been specifically designed to target and kill certain ethnic and racial groups.”
    • columnist Tony Brown
  • "As an African-American who knows something about our history, I can't rule out conspiracy as regards AIDS or crack"

New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina

  • "(The Army Corps of Engineers) deliberately designed the floodwaters to go into the 9th Ward (of New Orleans)"
    • Donele Edwards co-chair of the National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN), September 2005.
  • "It (Hurricane Katrina) didn't hit, it went down the Gulf. And nobody is asking, if it missed, where's this damn water coming from? Who shut them pumps off and who's going to investigate those two barges with dynamite on them that hit that levee"
  • "I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry."
    • Louis Farrakhan, September 12, 2005 to a Charlotte, North Carolina audience
  • "We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us!"
    • Kayne West, at a September 2, 2005 concert, on the military being deployed to help the hurricane relief effort
  • "People would be shooting at us, and we couldn't shoot back because of the families. All we could do is rush toward the flash"
    • New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass in September, 2005 to a Bridgeport Connecticut Post
  • "They have people standing out there, have been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."
    • New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin on September 6, 2005 Orprah Winfrey show

Atlantic Child Murders

  • "The possibility exists that there is a conspiracy...The FBI is concentrating on that with the utmost diligence and is making regular reports to me. It's hard for me to form and opinion without having actual evidence to base it on...But, yes, the possibility exists that there is a conspiracy."
    • President Jimmy Carter in a 1980 Ebony interview on white supremacists responsible for the Atlanta Child Murders
  • "(Dick Gregory) suggested...that the key to the Terror was in the nature of a scientific experiment. I am being deliberately vague, but the nature of the experiment was based on the possibility that the tip of the Black male sexual organ contained a substance that might be used to cure cancer."

Liz Claiborne

  • "Last week, Oprah Winfrey had Liz Claiborne on the show. I guess she wears Liz Claiborne's clothes all the time. Claiborne got on and said she didn't make clothes for black people to wear. Oprah stopped the show and told her to get her ass off the set. How you gonna get on Oprah's show and say you don't make clothes for black women? It definitely happened. Get the tape. Every black woman in America needs to go to her closet, throw that shit out, and never buy another stitch of clothes from Liz Claiborne."
    • Spike Lee, October 1992 issue of Esquire interview

Note: this is not true. Spike Lee did say the aforementioned quote, but Liz Claiborne never said anything like that on any talk show.


  • "Some kind of horrible government experiments, or some sort of sick racial thing, a plan like that of the Germans to exterminate Blacks."
    • Joyce Shaw, former member of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple, on the Jonestown massacre
  • "I believe that it is possible that Jonestown may have been a mind-control experiment. Leo Ryan's congressional visit pierced that cell and would have resulted in its exposure, and that our government, or its agent the CIA, deemed it necessary to wipe out over nine hundred American citizens to protect the secrecy of the operation."
    • Leo Ryan's aide Joseph Holsinger, 1980 lecture

Election Fraud

  • "They didn't win, and I got that from the white press. At four o'clock [on Election Day 2004], that evening, the white press said from the exit polls that [Democratic presidential nominee John] Kerry had won by a landslide and then three hours later something funny happened"
    • Dick Gregory said of Bush's eventual election victory.
  • "Never again will a million African Americans be denied the right to exercise their vote in the United States of America."
    • Sen. John Kerry, October 2004, at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, Florida.

Ron Brown

  • "I have no credentials and, therefore, no journalistic ethical code. So I will put forth a possible explanation of how Ron Brown was shot. Mr. Brown often spent the entire flight in his private cabin, alone. Mr. Brown could have been shot before the plane left the ground. The murderer could have exited before takeoff. With an order of 'do not disturb' to the staff, no one would have known of Brown’s fate during the flight.
    • Elizabeth Farah, December 23, 1997
  • "As you are aware, there has been recent speculation in a number of newspapers about the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. I have attached one of the letters I have received from my constituents regarding the cause of Sec. Brown's death. U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Hause, a deputy armed forces medical examiner and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, an armed forces forensic pathologist were both quoted in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review articles as saying that a wound to the Secretary's head may have been caused by a gunshot. Their allegations have sparked a firestorm of inquiries. I am not sure of what, if any, steps have been taken regarding these allegations. I would like to request that you evaluate the issues raised by the recent statements of these officers and make a determination of whether an investigation into the allegations is warranted. I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter."
    • chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to Attorney General Janet Reno on December 12, 1997
  • "The NAACP is very concerned about the ramifications of these allegations, and left unanswered and unresolved, they raise serious questions. These allegations require an explanation."
    • NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno about the rumored murder of Ron Brown.

Alleged Nicaraguan Contra connection to crack dealers

  • "(Cocaine) was virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before members of the Central Intelligence Agency's army started bringing it into South-Central in the 1980s at bargain-basement prices...(this drug network) opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles...(the Nicaraguan traffickers) met with CIA agents both before and during the time they were selling the drugs in L.A."
  • "The cocaine that was used to make the crack that flooded into L.A. in the early '80s came from the CIA's army"
    • Gary Webb on a radio talk show
  • "The evidence is growing stronger day by day that there was some CIA involvement"
  • "People in high places, knowing about it, winking, blinking, and in South Central Los Angeles, our children were dying."
    • Maxine Waters, South-Central Los Angeles's member of Congress, told a rally
  • "The only conclusion is that Ronald Reagan said yes to crack and the destruction of black lives at home to fund the killing of commies abroad."
    • Derrick Z. Jackson wrote in his Boston Globe column
  • "There is evidence inside those buildings that confirms that the CIA helped to destroy black folks. That's called genocide."
    • Dick Gregory after protesting outside the CIA headquarters
  • "C.I.A. Crack Inforcement Agency."
    • popular baseball hat slogan in Los Angeles
  • "If America had a choice they would choose a disorganized, criminal black community over an organized, radical one."
    • Kobie Kwasi Harris, chairman of the department of Afro-American studies at San Jose State University
  • "They want us to kill each other off. What they couldn't do to us in slavery, they are making us do to ourselves."
  • "If most Americans knew that our government, through the CIA, was involved in subsidizing drugs for these cities it would create a great sense of revulsion"
  • "(There's) a master plan to have mass genocide for every child born in the world, especially in Los Angeles and Compton."
    • Barbara Boudreaux of the Los Angeles school board

Jewish Conspiracy

  • "All presidents since 1932 are controlled by the Jews"
    • Louis Farrakhan
  • "Any newspaper that refused to acquiesce to controlled news was brought to its knees by withdrawing advertising. Failing this, the Jews stop the supply of news print and ink"
    • Louis Farrakhan
  • "The same year they set up the IRS, they set up the FBI. And the same year they set up the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith...It could be a coincidence... [I want] to see black intellectuals free...I want to see them not controlled by members of the Jewish community."

Oklahoma City Bombing

  • "The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men."

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • "We have never stopped believing for a moment that there was not some government complicity in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr."

Church Burnings

  • "In our country during the '50s and '60s, black churches were burned to intimidate civil rights workers. I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child."
    • Bill Clinton in his July 6, 1996 radio address
  • “It is inconceivable that this is just a cultist fad, some idea some ill-advised group of teens have concocted as a lark. Obviously, there is a conspiracy of sorts afoot and obviously, since black churches are being targeted, there is a sinister race plot in the design... The mysterious thing about these church burnings is that very few...arrests have been made.”
    • 1996 Shreveport Sun editorial

Beltway Snipers

  • "Like most Black folks, I was positively certain that the brothers were victims of a racist, right-wing conspiracy to further besmirch Black males’ often maligned image."
    • Bud Johnson, column in November 6, 2002 issue of African-American News and Issues on the Beltway Snipers.

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