The Left: A Century of Fostering Racial Tension
The increasingly absurd charges of racism, like the one leveled at Rick Perry that his reference to a “black cloud” of debt referred to President Obama, or Morgan Freeman’s wholesale imputation of the Tea Party, seem to have commentators stumped -- at least those who still operate on the basis of logic and evidence. Mona Charen, for example, points to the obvious, like the support for presidential contender Herman Cain, a Tea Party favorite. I made similar observations in these pages back in 2009 when I covered a Tea Party event headlined by Cain in suburban Cobb County and then his announcement rally in May in downtown Atlanta.
At that rally last May I learned something from a gregarious black friend. Spotting my friend’s Uncle Sam hat and Cain buttons, another black man, who was hanging back to blend in with fellow black Atlantans who were at the park for other reasons, struck up a conversation. And then I learned just how much pressure black conservatives feel from fellow blacks. Why it was just about as bad as being on a college campus!
This is no accident. White radicals have been fostering this kind of infighting for nearly a hundred years. Divide and conquer — according to class, no less for blacks than for whites — has been the modus operandi of the Communist Party since at least the 1920s.
As the black middle class grew in the post World War II period, radicals had to resort to increasingly absurd claims to make the charge that things were getting worse. Ignoring the statistical evidence, they scoured the ghettoes and trotted out the criminal and down-and-out black as representative of black America. The influential white writer Norman Mailer valorized the black criminal in his 1957 pamphlet “The White Negro.” Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, the Chicago political power couple who continued their efforts to bring down America within the college classroom, use criminals and the “disadvantaged” as illustrations of the evils of our capitalist system, as I wrote about here. Of course, to criticize the profiteering spokesmen for the “disadvantaged,” like Al Sharpton, is to invite charges of racism. But it is to the benefit of their political cause that the “disadvantaged” remain disadvantaged into perpetuity.
Those who are not “disadvantaged,” who do not need their “help,” are vilified. Self-made men, the “bourgeoisie,” like Herman Cain, though they are black, are dismissed with charges of “racial self-hate” or of being pawns of the white, ruling capitalists. So while Cain might identify with the Tea Party — indeed shout it from the housetops that he supports the Tea Party — the Tea Party will be called “racist,” “reactionary,” and “fascist.” That is what Paul Street, co-author of Crashing the Tea Party, said on Progressive Radio recently; the Tea Party, according to him, has “fascist” tendencies, is “reactionary,” and, because of its largely white membership, is “racist.”
The pundits have no reason to be scratching their heads in this latest flaunting of reason. The charge of “racism” goes back a long way and can be found in now ignored literature. Consider, for example, a 1953 pamphlet by Hugh Bradley titled “Next Steps in the Struggle for Negro Freedom,” described on the title page as “Report Delivered at the National Conference of the Communist Party.”
Bradley takes it upon himself to criticize the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, claiming that president Walter White’s address “emphasized the major weaknesses and most negative features of the 44th Annual Convention of the NAACP — the capitulation by the top leadership to the Eisenhower Administration and an orgy of Red-baiting which reached a level never before equaled in any Negro gathering.”
The “explanation” for the policy, according to Bradley, “is to be found in the composition of the Convention and its leadership, made up as it was of the Negro middle class and petty-bourgeoisie.” Bradley bemoaned the fact that “[t]he Negro workers in the main were absent; progressives and Communists, in the main, were absent,” and “the only spokesmen claiming to speak for labor at the Convention were primarily a handful of Trotskyites and Social-Democrats.”
Nearly sixty years later, we have a similar base of support for Barack Obama: an elite class of progressives who speak on behalf of the (largely minority) underclass, and “labor.”
In the intervening sixty years, the progressives/communists/socialists have engaged in a propaganda war, charging those who do not agree with their agenda with racism. Their Great Society social policies have succeeded in destroying cohesive communities, as intended, so the “disadvantaged” are dependent on their wisdom in dispensing the goods confiscated from the bourgeoisie. Thus, have they marginalized the black bourgeoisie, once the backbone of black communities. The progressive elites who have completed their march into the institutions that form public opinion -- academia and the media -- have disappeared the black leaders who disagreed with such socialist goals. They would like us to forget what they said in 1953, for they want us to believe that “progressives” are forever on the cutting edge.
But what they say is nothing new. The evidence is in library archives.
Although Hugh Bradley called it “anti-Communist slander,” NAACP President White diagnosed the problem correctly: “As is always the case the Communists have rushed in whenever possible to exploit misery and unrest.”
What would he say about the words of former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”?
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