Jonah Goldberg updates a Boomer/Gen-X Saturday morning video chestnut: “The new Schoolhouse Rock cartoon: ‘Conjunction: a word that connects a racist attack and Barack Obama'”:
This week, an editorial writer for the Kansas City Star denounced John McCain and Sarah Palin for suggesting that Obama is a socialist because he wants to “spread the wealth around.” Don’t they understand that “socialist” has always been a racist codeword used by bigots like J. Edgar Hoover to demonize black activists like W.E.B. Du Bois?
A couple problems: First, as best I can remember, Marx, Engels, Lenin, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington do not usually get a lot of attention during Black History Month. Second, as writer Michael Moynihan recently noted, Du Bois wasn’t merely a socialist, he was a Stalinist! (Du Bois was not entirely unsympathetic to the Nazis, either.) [Paul Robeson was also pretty keen on Uncle Joe–Ed] Besides, when did “socialist” stop being an anti-Semitic codeword for Jew? Maybe when the left started going batty over “neocons.”
I’m pretty sure I received the memo replacing the outdated terminology a while back from the liberal Bletchley Park.