Monday, March 9, 2009

Change They Can Believe in

Obama's real father, an African socialist, abandoned him. He subsequently adopted two father figures, both of them rabidly anti-American Marxists: Frank Marshall Davis and Jeremiah Wright. His political career was launched by the unrepentant communist terrorist Bill Ayers, best known for bombing the Pentagon and the Capitol. At some level, even many of the fools who voted for Obama must have suspected that "Change" would entail destroying the country he despises, starting with its capitalist economy.

Thanks Kevin Hasset


Kaleokualoha said...

What evidence do you have that Frank Marshall Davis was "rabidly anti-American"? That appears to be a non sequitur. Criticism does not make one "anti-American."

Pappy said...

Well you could start with Obama's own book, Dreams From My Father. From there you would find that Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What's more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.
I suppose your cliche` that a rapid conclusion of his level of "Anti-American" is in question. While in my mind any Anti American feeling is too much therefore "Rabid" ...

Kaleokualoha said...

You conclusion is unsubstantiated by the evidence, even considering the disinformation regarding Davis disseminated by the ironically named "Accuracy In Media" (AIM).

Just because someone joined the CPUSA does not mean they are anti-American. People from the extreme left to the extreme right can love their country, although they may have conflicting ideas of the correct path to follow.

You may also note that when Davis joined the CPUSA during WWII. the Soviet Union was an ally of the United States, not an opponent.

Edgar Tidwell, whom AIM's Cliff Kincaid cites as "an expert on the life and writings of Davis," dismisses right-wing misrepresentation of Davis's radical influence in one simple paragraph:

"Although my research indicates that Davis joined the CPUSA as a "closet member" during World War II, there is no evidence that he was a Stalinist, or even a Party member before WWII. Further, to those attempting to make the specious stand for the concrete, there is no evidence that he instructed Barack Obama in communist ideology. Frank Marshall Davis did NOT believe in overthrowing the USA. He was committed to what the nation professed to be. For him, communism was primarily an intellectual vehicle to achieve a political end-a possible tool for gaining the constitutional freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL Americans" (see ).

Webster World said...

K, Russia was not an ally out of love or respect. Only because Hitler had advanced east. And for that reason only. Life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness is based on a democratic society not that other crap.

Kaleokualoha said...

Frank Marshall Davis joined the CPUSA during WWII, just as the United States joined the Soviet Union during WWII, not because they shared the delusion of a communist utopia. Each was a marriage of convenience. Membership had its privileges. He considered membership in the CPUSA as a vehicle and tool because, according to "The New Red Negro" (cited by AIM's Cliff Kincaid as a source):

ONLY the Communist left had any significant institutional impact on African-American writing during the 1930s and 1940s. This support was crucial as the institutions that had maintained the New Negro Renaissance faded. And for better or for worse, the leading CPUSA functionaries involved in "Negro work" took a direct interest in African-American cultural production in a manner that was unusual, if not unique. Vilifying a writer for continuing to publish in CPUSA-supported publications, when they provided his only available institutional support, is completely unfair. Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Frank Marshall Davis all took advantage of this institutional support.

Further, as The New Red Negro makes clear, there was no monolithic Stalinist doctrine within the CPUSA: "This is not to say that the impact of the Communist Left on African-American writers in the 1930's and 1940's flowed from absolute unity of ideology and practical application of that ideology. As mentioned before, the CPUSA itself, despite the claims of both the party leadership and its most ardent detractors, contained various, often conflicting tendencies. This conflicts appeared within top leadership, where Earl Browder and William Z. Foster and their supporters were frequently at odds. They also surfaced in the regional leadership of important districts that were occasionally, and in the case of southern California frequently, in opposition to the national leadership. Finally, at the rank-and-file level, when leadership debates broke out into the open (as they did in 1929, 1956-1946, and 1956), the were replayed in almost every CPUSA unit, often serving as the vehicle for the expression of a wide range of "unorthodox" political beliefs (ranging from social democratic to anarcho-syndicalist."

A huge proportion of African-American poets (and writers and intellectuals generally) remained engaged with the Communist Left and cultural institutions from at least the early 1930's until at least the early 1950's. With the partial exception of the period from the German invasion of the Soviet Union to the end of the Second World War, the CPUSA placed the issue of race and the fight against Jim Crow near the center of all its work.

The bottom line is that communist ties were the NORM for African American poets and civil right activists during that period. Such ties did not mean that they internalized Marxist values, much less Stalinist values, even if they were aware of the distinction. To them, the CPUSA provided safe harbor from the ravages of Jim Crow America.

"Joker" said...


I do believe you are suffering from a severe case of intellectual elitism. I went to have a look at your blog, but I'll have to go back later. I was too tired after reading through your first 250 words of blowing your own horn to take in the first post. Apparently you feel it necessary to provide your resume to insinuate the credibility of your insane drivel, and I'm not impressed.

I love Jeopardy! I'm a fairly well-read man myself considering I haven't finished college at my age, and I can honestly say I've never seen a Jeopardy! champion who I'd vote for if they ran for President. I've also known quite a few people over the years with enough diplomas on their walls to make it resemble a solar panel, and without the common sense to come in out of the rain.

What you have said here is basically that it's 'ok' to be part of a group that subverts Democracy, during a time of war, in order to further one's career in journalism. That's beyond obtuse. Also, please spare me the poor black man routine. Black Army officers who were elite pilots endured unheard of levels of disrespect because of their skin color - but they took it. They took it because they believed in this country and wanted to fight for freedom and a time when things would be better for them. They were MEN. They didn't go around joining commie groups so they could get published.

How incredibly selfish that is!

The idea of justifying that by saying that Russia was an "ally" of ours in WWII shows that you skipped over history when you conquered academia. May I remind you that Stalin had a non-aggression pact with Hitler before the war started? Like Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time," it was a farce. Nothing more than a tactic by both of them to stall off the inevitable, and also give them more time to prepare. Don't forget, Stalin had just about all his top Generals killed in the 30s in one of his famous purges. You sort of need to replace guys like that before waging a major war, but I digress.

Yes, just because someone joined the CPUSA, it DOES mean they are anti-American. Just as if you were to attend services in a Jewish temple, you'd find out that all the people inside the temple were (drumroll please)...that's right...Jews! Imagine? If I go down to the local Polish-American club, guess what? Yep. I find Polish-Americans there. Bloody shocking! If you participate or affiliate yourself in any way, shape, or form with the Communist Party, you are ANTI-AMERICAN. Period.

Just because the political freedom of the United States allows folks like you and Mr. Davis to side with Communism without being taken out and shot, don't think for a second you can equate exercising that freedom as being "love" for your country. Communism has been a blight on the precious human rights your ACLU pals cry about for a century now. Stalin murdered more people than Hitler ever even thought of killing, and don't tell me for one second that Mr. Frank Marshall Davis joined a group he knew nothing about.

"No evidence that he was a Stalinist..." you say. Ok, then fine, he was a Marxist then. Either makes him a Communist, but then what's in a name??

The only thing you've said here that may be realistic is the very real possibility that all the colored folk seeking refuge from white hoods behind red flags were too goddamned stupid to know the difference. But, we really can't say that can we? 'Could be construed as a racial remark, don't ya know.

I have no doubt that any surviving Tuskegee Airmen would be HIGHLY offended by your statement that turning commie was the only way to escape bad ol' Jim Crow. That's the problem with you elitist liberals, you blame every group you can, but never the individual. The man had no independent thought of his action at all, he was simply swept into currents and eddys he could not control in the torrential waters of social injustice. Right. And Ted Kennedy never took a drink.

I love writing, as is evident here. No greater joy could be granted me than a big paying career as a professional journalist or author, though as bad as I want it, it's unlikely I'll ever realize it. Please know that if a Muslim publisher were to offered me a six-figure deal right now in exchange for me becoming a Muslim, I'd make the contract into a suppository for him.

Americans DO NOT betray their country for personal gain. That is a vague definition of treason. It's past time we made that clear again, and I do believe I have.

One would think that blacks would have learned a lesson from their involvement with the commies, which did nothing to endear them to then "white" America. Then again, their adulation for the Clinton's seems to prove otherwise.

Nothing gave me greater pleasure than watching America's "first" black President insult Jesse with his comment about him winning South Carolina in 1988. Even better? Jesse Jackson on open mike saying he wants to cut Obama's balls off! Can you feel the love? Now that's Hope and Change I can BELIEVE IT!!!

Stop sticking up for them Do Ho, they don't need anymore help. Start routing for my kids instead. I'm hoping one of my sons may one day get favored for a top level, big money job he's in no way qualified for just because he's white. If Obama succeeds with his agenda, that's actually got a fair chance of happening.

Suppose Al Sharpton would launch a protest???

Webster World said...

Damn Joker!! Well said brother. The trip did you well.

Glen said...

The ONE would simply explain: "That's not the Frank Marshall Davis I knew for 20 years."

Pappy said...

Thanks Joker, Wow nice ride too. Stop by Vegas next go around...


Kaleokualoha said...

Although contemporary criticism of Frank Marshall Davis's CPUSA activity may have merit, it enjoys the advantage of hindsight. It is more reasonable to view the choices made BY historical figures BY historical standards.

For most people emerging from the Great Depression, economic justice was more important than the perceived perils of collectivism. For African-Americans with the added burden of Jim Crow, when a black male could be lynched for whistling at a white woman, equal opportunity seemed an impossible dream. Even idealists often focus on self-preservation. Although American principles declare "all men are created equal," Jim Crow belied that "self-evident truth." For intelligent people during Jim Crow, as it was during Slavery, official policies were obviously out of line with official principles in some areas.

It is the irrefutable duty of every American to uphold the Constitution of the United States, including the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. When you are victimized by unequal protection of the laws, official practice has clearly diverged from principle. Victims had two choices: accept victimization or fight victimization. Some actually believed people should “live free or die.”

Within African-American communities, most Booker T. Washington style “accomodationists” accepted victimization with minimal protest, while civil rights activists fought victimization. This alone drew “communist” accusations, as the case of MLK Jr. demonstrates. Because they opposed Jim Crow policies of the United States, they were also subject to “anti-American” accusations. defines "anti-American" as "opposed or hostile to the United States of America, its people, its principles, or its policies," which is a rather broad area of disagreement. Because Jim Crow WAS the policy of the United States before the Civil Rights Era, anyone who opposed Jim Crow could have been considered "anti-American," just as anyone who opposed slavery or apartheid could be considered "anti-" around the world. Anyone who loves his country, yet rejects either the principles or policies of his country, could nevertheless be labeled “anti-American.”

Because American policies often conflicted with stated principles, to support one was to oppose the other - an issue that troubled people of conscience since the birth of our country. Thus anyone who supported one or the other could be considered "anti-American." Anyone who supported both was a hypocrite. Civil rights activists who challenged the gap between principle and policy were against American policy, not principle.

(BTW: Although I strongly oppose communism, many communists sincerely believe that collectivism is the salvation of the world, and can be perfected without coercion. Unlikely. But is communism “unconstitutional”? If not, it doesn’t violate the most basic American statement of principles, The Constitution of the United States of America? Communism certainly violates our economic principles, but are economic principles inviolable? Unlike Jim Crow, even communism does not appear unconstitutional.

Those who seek to change American policy in alignment with existing principle will often sponsor laws. Those who seek to change our basic principles may seek constitutional amendment. They ALL may be considered "anti-American" under the broad current definition, because they opposed either American principle or policy.

From the perspective of the early 1940's, the broad gap between American democratic principles and reality was obvious to those victimized by Jim Crow. The even wider gap between Marxist principles and Soviet reality was not nearly as obvious. The fatal flaw of socialism (i.e., collective interest was an insufficient motivator for individual initiative) had yet to be revealed. Consequently, as outlined in "The New Red Negro," the CPUSA's draw for African-American idealists, including civil right activists, writers, and intelligentsia, was immense.

As previously posted, a huge proportion of African-American poets (and writers and intellectuals generally) remained engaged with the Communist Left and cultural institutions from at least the early 1930's until at least the early 1950's. With the partial exception of the period from the German invasion of the Soviet Union to the end of the Second World War, the CPUSA placed the issue of race and the fight against Jim Crow near the center of all its work.

Before the end of WWII, the heinous atrocities of Hitler and Stalin were not yet common knowledge in the United States, as both were quite skilled at propaganda. Even before WWII, Stalinism was rejected by CPUSA idealists who nevertheless considered the “communist utopia” to be a worthwhile goal. The predominant image of communism was not the Soviet gulag. Instead, it was the illusory "workers paradise" outlined by communist doctrine.

All people of integrity, of any color, cared about the divergence between principle and policy. They loved their country more for the principle than the practice of democracy herein. They criticized serious economic and political flaws in America, an easy task during the Great Depression.

The CPUSA promised equal rights, and was a natural draw for anyone bitter over the gap between Jim Crow and the presumptive principle that "all men are created equal." For the victims of Jim Crow, the CPUSA promised greater freedom than contemporaneous American policy. The perceived disadvantages of collectivism paled in comparison to freedom from lynching. Unbeknownst to them, the Soviets were also racist.

For writers, as opposed to other intellectuals, the draw was virtually irresistible because only the CPUSA provided institutional support. The Jim Crow era provided some opportunity for other professionals, eventually including even aviators through the Tuskegee Airmen program, but these were usually people who decided to work within the system rather than trying to change the system.

Older educated blacks may have had interest in the status quo, and internalized the accommodation strategy of Booker T. Washington. Younger blacks were usually seeking their pieces of the pie. Most blacks, regardless of education, did not seek to rock the boat through civil rights activism.

Only a special breed of gifted African-American communicators had the will and ability to directly challenge Jim Crow. These activists were often considered “communist” regardless of economic orientation, although only a fraction actually belonged to the CPUSA. According to another broad definition, any leftist may be considered “communist.”

By the standards of any era, fighting injustice is better than accommodating injustice. Activism is the tool by which a person of integrity fights injustice. Frank Marshall Davis fought injustice long before Martin Luther King, Jr., but his fight was no less sincere. Before 1954, activists such as Davis fought Jim Crow laws, while later activists fought de facto practices. Activists of both eras, including Frank Marshall Davis, were labeled “communist” although they rejected collectivist values.

By the broadest definitions, then, Frank Marshall Davis could be described as “anti-American” or “communist,” but more realistic definitions would exclude him from their scope. “Pro-American” would be a more accurate descriptor, because Davis loved America, and especially the promise of what it could be.

"Joker" said...

That was a lucid, well-thought, and intelligent response.

I still completely disagree.

The struggle against policy versus principle and hypocrisy in general will be with us always, like bad weather. Radicalism is not the answer, and no matter how large a group of other writers, academics, and people of color were involved in it does not justify it.

I cannot say that nearly being strung up at the age of 5 isn't something that would scar a person. Arguably, it would be a major influence on how a person would conduct their adult life. I do not question that FMD, et al, faced a lousy situation. I do not question that the provisions of the 14th Amendment were not adhered to en masse. I do question you using these points to excuse their conduct. I actually feel sorry for the man.

There are plenty of things I don't care for in this country and wish I could change. There is no form of rule which is without some corruption, no perfect system that will please everyone. This country more than any other allows for a wide variety of legal means for citizen protest. Being a member of a Communist organization may be legal, but that doesn't mean I support or agree with those who use that platform to send their message.

Just about the only thing you said that I agree with is that those who seek to effect change do so through the process of legislation. I would not go so far as to say that because a proposed law or Amendment seeks to bring policy in line with principle would make those who proposed and supported it "un-American." FMD sponsoring a bill to eliminate Jim Crow laws as a US Citizen is fine. Doing so as a member of the CPUSA is not. Ignorance of Stalin's atrocities, or of Communism's "fatal flaw" as you call it, is no excuse in my eyes for participation.

Applying your logic would be like saying William Ayers bombed government buildings because he loved his country. That is simply insane, and I am still amazed he is allowed to hold a position today which allows him to poison the minds of our youth with his treasonous venom. If I was running the show, I'd have made sure him and his girlfriend took at least a week to die - all the while in unspeakable agony. Failure to punish treason begets treason.

You liberal folks think that we should all have the right to burn the flag of our country in protest, as some sort of perverted extension of our right to freedom of speech and expression. When I think of the over 1 million who have died, and the countless more who have shed blood for that flag to be able to fly, my blood boils. I think that desecrating the US flag should not only be punished by execution, but it should be nationally televised in prime time to send a clear message that it absolutely will not be tolerated. Certain lines cannot be crossed in the name of protest.

That's the problem with you liberal folks, you take the concept of liberty so far that you don't want there to be any rules at all. Your means to an end sees no condemnation of your actions in contemporary thought, or as part of a history lesson. Mr. Davis is remembered as a Communist, and he did little to effect any real change for blacks in this country. Take a look at the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education, and tell me how many of them were members of the CPUSA. Isn't it amazing how when people proceed in the proper legal manner, real change can be effected in the United States, without consorting with a foreign power? (Yes, CPUSA was under the direct control of Moscow, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not.)

No, Mr. K, Frank Marshall Davis did not love America, he hated it. He hated it because it was largely white, and he was black. He continued to espouse his radical views even after it became apparent that things were beginning to change for the better for blacks in this country. People like Frank Marshall Davis could never be made happy. I don't believe had he lived to see Saint Barack's coronation that it would have cured all his ills.

The legacy of white hatred among radical blacks is evident in the behavior of the good Reverend Wright, and his "God damn America" speeches. Even though that reverse racism in the form of "affirmative" action has made this country a virtual playground for blacks to get ahead, he is still not happy. Even though blacks continue to be patronized by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton, Rev. Wright and his kind lash out not at them, but the United States as a whole. As a result, the actions of Wright
and others like him only serve to inhibit the very causes they claim to champion. Now with one of their own in the White House, you will see that they are still not happy, and they never will be. Wright, Jackson, and Sharpton will contine to sow the seedss of hate in the guise of beating the drum for equality for as long as there are fools who will give them money and camera time.

Were Frank Marshall Davis alive today I think he'd be shoulder-to-shoulder with these jackasses. They will never stop hammering us with the oppressed black man rhetoric. They will never allow us to move on from the days when restrooms were White and Colored. Even though most of the people who enacted, enforced, and supported Jim Crow are long dead, the radical black keeps it alive. The purpose is not to further the cause of equality for blacks, but rather to gain power and attention for themselves.

Mr. Davis was not "labeled" a communist. Nobody calls me a Jew for the simple fact that I am not of the Jewish faith. Mr. Davis was called a Communist because he was indeed, a Communist. You need to admit that there is no such thing as a member of CPUSA who actually "rejected collectivist values." That would be like me saying I supported Ronald Reagan, but I rejected conservative values.

The argument just doesn't pass the Litmus test.

Kaleokualoha said...

More to come but this jumped out:

"Applying your logic would be like saying William Ayers bombed government buildings because he loved his country. That is simply insane, and I am still amazed he is allowed to hold a position today which allows him to poison the minds of our youth with his treasonous venom."

RESPONSE: I disagree. Ayers advocated and practiced violence, while Frank Marshall Davis and the CPUSA did not. No comparison. Further: Is there any evidence, or is it pure non sequitur speculation, that Ayer tries to "poison the minds of our youth with his treasonous venom"?

Let's discuss this one first. Thanks!

Kaleokualoha said...

More to come but this jumped out:

"Applying your logic would be like saying William Ayers bombed government buildings because he loved his country. That is simply insane, and I am still amazed he is allowed to hold a position today which allows him to poison the minds of our youth with his treasonous venom."

RESPONSE: I disagree. Ayers advocated and practiced violence, while Frank Marshall Davis and the CPUSA did not. No comparison. I thought the CPUSA was operating within the law. I'm rather confident that J. Edgar Hoover would have prosecuted any illegal activity, right?

Further: Is there any evidence, or is it pure non sequitur speculation, that Ayer tries to "poison the minds of our youth with his treasonous venom"?

Let's discuss this one first. Thanks!

"Joker" said...

First: Paps, I hope you don't mind Mr. K and I using this thread of yours as our debating forum. Just say the word when you've had enough.

Mr. K: You have a point. Perhaps it is not fair to offer a violent example (Ayers) as a comparison to a passive one (Davis). Whether or not the CPUSA was operating within the law is debatable. Although Davis himself was not charged, between 1949 and 1957 some 140 leading members of CPUSA were indicted/charged as a result of HUAC hearings, and many convicted for violations of the Smith Act of 1940. The SCOTUS made several rulings in the late 1950's overturning convictions as being unconstitutional. It is ironic that so many of these "non-violent" American Communists were prosecuted and convicted, and in contrast the extremely "violent" Bill Ayers was not. For reasons I am unclear of, the Federal Government dropped its charges against him in 1973 citing "national security." We may never know the real story there. Perhaps Ayers had photos of J. Edgar in a pink tutu on his knees in front of Clyde Tolson and he was scared to death of him. There's your non-sequitur.

As far as Mr. Ayers carrying on his vitriol towards the country he's been so successful in, I guess technically it is speculation on my part, but hardly an absurd turn of plot. Currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I am assuming by the very title of his job that he teaches, and that the majority of his students would qualify as youths by definition. Perhaps young adults would have been the proper term to use. Judging from Mr. Ayers recent comments to the media, his views don't seem to have changed. He's an admitted radical and Communist, and for all intents and purposes, an unconvicted felon. The man is a waste of skin. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want any of my kids sitting in his class.

In terms of "evidence," I guess since I can't find a report of one of his students committing an act of treason in the name of Bill Ayers and "the movement," you could say there isn't any. Of course we can always fall back on the saying, "If a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Mr. Ayers violent past, his association with a wide variety of convicted felons, Commies, and just about every form of low-life you can define speaks for itself. I think it's safe to assume that he's not going to be planting positive views of the United States in the minds of those he lectures. In fact, the only thing I can think of in his defense is that our Universities are jammed with such an overwhelming majority of tenured professors who are far left liberals, picking on Ayers seems almost unfair.

It is no wonder that so many of the younger generation were so blindly in favor of Obama for President. I may not be able to prove it, but I believe in my heart that they were fed a totally leftist agenda in college. We don't even need to discuss the main stream media. I don't know what's worse today, being a conservative on a college campus, or being one in Hollywood.

What I do know is that left of center politics are nearly always wrong. The ACLU is a disgrace, and should be disbanded, with all it's "card carriers" put on a one-way flight to go live with Hugo Chavez. Any topic you'd care to discuss, abortion, religion, gay marriage, welfare, socialized medicine, you name it - I'll give you a common sense solution to it - and refute any liberal view points with facts instead of idealism or empty rhetoric.

I enjoy debating very much, and you Mr. K are the most worthy opponent I've had in quite some time. Unlike most liberals I argue with, you present intelligent points instead of stomping your feet and firing off the same tired liberal second-hand phrases and slogans. I find it quite refreshing.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is a house of cards, and I'm the wrecking ball. Fire away, and please, don't hold back.

Kaleokualoha said...

"You need to admit that there is no such thing as a member of CPUSA who actually "rejected collectivist values."

RESPONSE: As a matter of fact, some people joined the CPUSA because membership had its privileges, such as professional and social opportunities. Before the Cold War, membership did not attain the negativity it would later gain. "The New Red Negro" goes into more detail.

In both the Soviet Union and PRC, people joined the Communist Party because membership was necessary for professional success. Membership within some organizations is often important to success.

I believe the record shows that the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, rejected collectivist values. Undoubtedly there were many others.

Frank Marshall Davis believed in the free enterprise system of a mixed economy. He was a capitalist himself, as he owned two paper companies in Hawaii and later sold advertising specialties.

Even today people join some organizations, such as churches and the YMCA, without internalizing their core values because membership has its advantages. I believe everyone will agree that many so-called "Christians" have not internalized Christian values.

"Joker" said...

Ok, you got me with Gorby. I should not have blanketed the issue so much, and will grant you some latitude there. I suppose it is possible that FMD and others may have sought CPUSA membership without necessarily being hard-core commies. As far as Christians go, I'm not a fan of religious zealots of any kind, especially those of the so-called "religious right." That is one part of the Republican party I think we could do without.

I still don't think FMD's membership in CPUSA is anything to be proud of though. Understood, yes. Not used to completely identify the man, OK. In retrospect, the disadvantages of "guilt by association" seem to outweigh the advantages of membership circa 1940. I also find it hard to continue to lambaste FMD about mere membership, when full-blown far-left moonbats like Sean Penn are around today. He has no excuse for being a commie, as today we all know full well just what it is that communism represents. Yet not only is he one, the treasonous bastard is damned proud of it.

Now, here's the $64,000.00 question: Based on what you said in defense of FMD in terms of A, membership in certain organizations has advantages at times, and B, such membership does not necessarily mean total devotion to 100% of said organizations agenda, how do you explain "Sheets" Byrd???

One of the very flowers of the Democratic Party, Byrd has insisted that he joined the KKK not because he was a full-blown racist, but because the KKK was also anti-communist, which was what really drew him in. Others have debunked this argument saying that at that time (WWII) Russia was our ally and that real anti-communism in America did not emerge until 1947 - long after Byrd's wearing of the white robes.

In 1948, when Truman wanted to officially integrate the US Armed Forces, good old Sheets said the following:

"I will never submit to fight beneath that banner (the American flag) with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

Sounds pretty racist to me. Yet, if you use your argument, just because he was in the KKK, doesn't necessarily mean he was a racist. I don't know about you, but I would not defend Byrd's membership for any reason. You can see why many others don't wish to extend that courtesy to FMD for his participation in CPUSA.

Two sides to every coin.

Kaleokualoha said...

Thanks for your reply.

It is reasonable to assume that organization members assume their organization's values, but it is important to distinguish between the organization's original core values and their subsequent perversion by others. Have members internalized the original values, perverted values, or neither?

Only when presented with mitigating circumstances can such memberships be reassessed. For example, many teenagers in Hawaii joined YMCA clubs for the social opportunities, although these teenagers were not Christian. Throughout history people joined churches because it was expected of them, even if they rejected church values.

One could argue that the core value of Marxism is collectivism, and the core value of the KKK is white supremacy; it is therefore reasonable to assume that members internalize these values. When members articulate these values, it provides compelling evidence. When their behavior suggests otherwise, it creates reasonable doubt.

Some could argue that Stalinism perverted the core values of Marxism, just as the Spanish Inquisition and pedophile priests perverted the core values of Christianity. The KKK, on the other hand, was founded to restore white supremacy in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Its reason for being is white supremacy, although it may promote other values such as anti-communism.

On the other hand, few people are truly incorrigible. Just as most people can be saved in Christianity, people can be converted from destructive value systems including racism and communism. The steadily decreasing number of Americans who object to interracial dating, which is perhaps the most sensitive barometer of racial prejudice, attests to our progress.