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Ron Radosh

Once again it seems to be Harry Belafonte time. The MSM, shameless in its continual adoration for all celebrities who devote a good portion of their lives to defending left-wing tyrannies, is this week reminding us incessantly that the 1950s Calypso star is not only a great artist who has contributed to America’s musical heritage, but an activist whose life must be celebrated as if his singing makes him a man whose pronouncements we should heed.

This Monday night, HBO will premiere the new documentary about his life, Sing Your Song. The station, not to be outdone by the film, also prints its own exclusive interview which ironically reveals a lot about Belafonte’s complete fanatical leftism. The interviewer asks him the rhetorical question, to which we already know the answer: “Do you see any parallels between the McCarthy era and our own political climate today?” To this loaded question, Belafonte tells his audience:

I not only see America headed in the direction of great similarities to the McCarthy period and what went on in America during those crucifying days, but I see America headed to places that can go well beyond. Today we have something that is most horrific written under the banner of “homeland security.” The extremes of those laws allow any citizen to be whisked away without anyone’s knowledge, without charging the individual, and hiding them for an indefinite period of time….That is the basis of a totalitarian state.

The artist who regularly sings the praises of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and who appeared at rallies in the old Stasi state of East Germany in its heyday somehow sees those regimes as liberationist and the United States in which he lives, whose media awards him and in which he regularly speaks out about everything… is supposedly on the verge of becoming a totalitarian state.

This week also saw many TV interviews by the singer, in conjunction with his new memoir, My Song, destined for the best-seller lists. At The Daily Beast, Richard Porton presents his own lengthy interview with Belafonte. Porton thinks that it is “rather astonishing that Belafonte has been speaking his mind and courting controversy for nearly sixty years.” Noting the attacks on the singer for calling Hermain Cain a “bad apple” who “knows little about race in America,” Porton calls these untoward comments simply “pungent sound bites,” and then explains that Belafonte is really “a thoughtful man whose barbs are often tempered by nuanced observations on art, politics and race.”

Yes, like those from 2002, when Belafonte told Larry King that Secretary of State Colin Powell was the equivalent of a slave “who lived in the house” in slavery days and who “served the master,” and that Condoleezza Rice is like a Jew “doing things that were anti-Semitic and against the best interests of her people.”

Porton prefers not to challenge Belafonte, only to allow his column to serve as more publicity for the singer’s leftist views. “I developed my own DNA for social justice,” the singer explains. Elaborating on his old views about Powell and Rice, he explains: “ I think that the people who have most benefited from cheap wages for workers and segregation are those that tend to espouse, from a racial perspective, the kind of sentiments expressed by people like Cain and Colin Powell. And it’s no small wonder that most of them gravitate to the right-wing philosophy of the Republican Party. They are who they are. Besides making an unpleasant noise, they won’t amount to much. Suffice to say that anyone with influence in the Republican Party will, like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, and Condoleezza Rice, claim that black people are deluded when they talk about oppression and argue that people can magically ‘overcome’ their plight.”

As we expect, Porton does not let his readers know what Thomas, Cain and Rice have had to say in many eloquent statements about race in America. Indeed, Rice wrote her own memoir about her experiences growing up in the era of segregation, as did Clarence Thomas. But let us not fear: Belafonte also does not like Barack Obama, who, he says, has no “moral compass.” Why? Because Belafonte and other radicals thought he would enact their far left agenda instead of try to move it to center state via the path of American politics. And so Belafonte gives the president a “failing grade.” What bothers the singer is that the president thinks laws have to be passed by Congress. As he puts it: “He doesn’t need the Congress all the time.” And this from a man who sees America going totalitarian and wants leftist programs put into effect without laws passed  by the people’s house.

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