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By Paul Kengor
Organized Communism has long targeted black Americans, an ongoing effort which has survived the fall of the USSR. Kudos to Peter Wilson, who here at American Thinker highlighted the manifesto of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who are in their glory with the occupation of Wall Street by their Marxist brethren and the usual assortment of easily manipulated liberal/progressive dupes -- the dependable, university-trained foot soldiers who fill the streets.
Readers of Wilson's post surely were shocked by what they read. Are there really people who believe these things? You bet there are. I deal with it constantly -- and it's nothing new at all.
Perhaps the most stunning element of the Revolutionary Communist Party's manifesto is the call for black Americans to unite into a separate, autonomous republic in the American South. Wilson cited the Revolutionary Communist Party's constitution, which called upon African-Americans to forge an autonomous region comprising "the southern part of the former imperialist United States of America." That decision would be made by a special vote in which only African-Americans would be eligible to participate.
Insane? Yes. The concept is fortunately insane to African-Americans as well as all Americans. But I'm here to tell you it isn't anything new.
From 1922-30, the Soviet Comintern and American Communist Party launched a long-term effort to relentlessly target black Americans. The Comintern ordered the American Communist Party to identify black causes in the Jim Crow South in particular. This push to recruit black Americans is one of the most salient features littered today throughout the declassified Comintern Archives on Communist Party USA (CPUSA).
U.S. government investigators learned about this effort only well after it was launched. Here, too, we can thank the anti-communist investigators that liberals still demonize and portray as slack-jawed McCarthyites: the House Committee on Un-American Activities (run by Democrats, incidentally), the Senate Judiciary Committee (also run by Democrats), J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, and Harry Truman's Office of Attorney General (also run by Democrats). Only then did we learn the full scope of what communists were up to in exploiting black Americans.
We learned that the effort began when the Soviets in 1922 approved a huge $300,000 subsidy to the American Communist Party for purposes of agitation and propaganda among black Americans. Three years later, in 1925, the Comintern selected a small group of 12 black Americans to come to Moscow for training.
That was just a warm-up. In 1930, at a Comintern conference in Moscow, a resolution was passed calling for the creation of a Soviet-directed and controlled "Negro Republic" among America's Southern states. Yes, that is correct: the Soviet Comintern, working through American communists, actually crafted plans to create a "separate Negro state," or a segregated "Negro Republic," in the South. The plan was to foment an African-American rebellion within the South, which would join forces with a workers' uprising in the North -- when the revolution was deemed ripe. Together, black Americans and communist Americans would then occupy and lay siege to the United States, reconstituting the entire nation as a Soviet sister state.
That was the strategy. The current thinking of the Revolutionary Communist Party is not all that revolutionary. These people have been around for 100 years.
For the record, testimony to this plan was provided by several former African-American communists in sworn testimony before Congress beginning in November 1939 and continuing through the 1950s. Congress published the testimony in several reports, including a major December 1954 investigation titled "The American Negro in the Communist Party."
The best source was William Odell Nowell, a heroic black American who earned the eternal enmity of his erstwhile comrades when he told Congress about the secret Soviet-directed scheme. In 1929, Nowell had been sent to Moscow as a CPUSA representative, where he participated in several meetings held by the Comintern's "Negro department." Those discussions led to the issuing of a resolution from the Comintern's executive committee to CPUSA formally establishing the program to organize black Americans into a southern "Negro Republic." Nowell testified that this "Negro state" would be under direct control of the Soviet leadership -- that is, Joseph Stalin's leadership.
Nowell was just one of many characters tasked with nothing short of a full communist revolution among black Americans. The scheme included self-styled white "progressives" from the north, such as Sol Auerbach, a Party hack who likewise trained in the USSR. Using his Party name, James S. Allen, Auerbach headed to the South in mid-July 1930 to launch a Party newspaper, the Southern Worker, to agitate and mobilize African-Americans to separate from the rest of America.Once on the ground in the South, American communists searched for political, cultural, and social causes to exploit and sow racial division. The goal was to turn these causes into full-fledged CPUSA campaigns to quietly recruit black Americans under the banner of the Soviet hammer and sickle.
Their timing was exquisite. When a genuine civil-rights tragedy, the case of the Scottsboro boys, hit in 1931, CPUSA was on site and ready for action. The comrades wasted no time converting the Scottsboro case into a major communist campaign.
And how fruitful was that effort?
It was that particular recruitment tool -- CPUSA's cynical Scottsboro campaign -- that caught the attention and began drawing into the Communist Party a young journalist and editor in Atlanta named Frank Marshall Davis, who decades later would advise a Hawaiian adolescent named Barack Obama.
Alas, that's a longer story for another day.
Do you think this stuff matters? They never go away. Whether CPUSA or the Revolutionary Communist Party, they never go away. They merely lie in wait to exploit the next crisis, whether in the Jim Crow South or in the efforts of Barack Obama and the Wall Street mob to demonize "millionaires and billionaires."
Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism and Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.