True Propogandists Ignore 7 October
There is nothing new about authoritarians seeking to undermine capitalism and democracy. Jason L. Riley tells readers in the WSJ how in the 1930s black luminaries (Langston Hughes and the scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, to name two) were lured to the Soviet Union where they were luxuriously feted by Joseph Stalin before being sent home to sing the glories of life under communism.
In another example, the accomplished black actor and singer, Paul Robinson, traveled to Russia in 1934. Stalin had just engineered a famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, explains Mr. Riley
During his visit, Robeson gave an interview to the American Communist Party newspaper, the Daily Worker. “I was not prepared for the happiness I see on every face in Moscow,” Robeson said. “I was aware there was no starvation here, but I was not prepared for the bounding life; the feeling of abundance and freedom that I find here, wherever I turn.” In 1952, the Soviet Union awarded Robeson the Stalin Peace Prize.
Not every mainstream civil rights leader fell for the authoritarian guise.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a staunch anticommunist, as were such organizations as the NAACP and the National Urban League.
As head of the NAACP’s legal team, Thurgood Marshall rejected the notion that the Soviet system offered a better life for blacks, and he even worked with the FBI to expose communist infiltrators. Communists “are all sweetness and light these days, trying to persuade us to join their front organizations,” Marshall once told an audience. “We must continue to make it clear that there is no place in this organization for communists or those who follow the communist line.”
Stalin Is Dead
The cold war is long gone. but totalitarian regimes still see propaganda opportunities in America’s racial unrest, continues Mr. Riley.
After Michael Brown’s death in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin told “60 Minutes” that the U.S. had no right to criticize how he handled dissidents, given “the problem in Ferguson.” State-run media outlets in China ran countless stories on the George Floyd protests, and Chinese newspapers criticized the U.S. government for failing to address racial inequality.
Plenty of Stooges to Go Around
Nor is there any shortage today of black leftists willing to play the role of stooge.
New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones has called Cuba the “most equal” country in the Western Hemisphere. BLM activists have defended Hamas’s attack on Israel, and Marc Lamont Hill has taken issue with the media’s “framing” Hamas “as a terrorist organization rather than a government, rather than a democratically elected government and/or political party.”
Last week, the mullahs even got an assist from the celebrated author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who gave an interview to the left-wing news program “Democracy Now!”
Mr. Coates said that he visited the Palestinian territories with some other writers earlier this year and was “given a tour by our Palestinian guide.” He went on to compare the Israelis to white supremacists and the Palestinians to black Americans living under segregation. “I understood the anger. I understood the sense of humiliation that comes when people subject you to just manifold oppression, to genocide.” he added. “I come from the descendants of 250 years of enslavement.”
And like a good propagandist he left out any mention of Hamas or the attacks of Oct. 7.