By Paul Kengor
I’ve stayed out of the Ferguson controversy. These racial conflagrations are awful, and I learned long ago that any conservative who wades in, even with the best intentions, is eviscerated by the political left. Liberals have decided that all conservatives in their ideological universe need to be racists, and they passionately resist letting anything convince them otherwise.
I don’t know enough to know who, exactly, is to blame in Ferguson. That said, here is something I do know, and that I think would benefit readers as they assess the growing animosities in Missouri:
I’ve long studied the antics of the American Communist Party, from literally the very beginning. I’ve sat in archives and stared at the first documents American Communists excitedly sent from their offices at 1219 Blue Island Avenue in Chicago to Soviet Comintern headquarters in Moscow. I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading old copies of the Soviet-funded and Soviet-directed Daily Worker. I’ve read countless memoirs by Communists who joined the party, ran it, or even spied for Moscow. I daily check the websites of Communist Party groups.
All of that is background to this fact – well-known to anyone who has carefully watched the Communist Party: Communists have long vigorously targeted black Americans for their causes and interests. Adequately laying that out here is impossible, but in my book on Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, titled “The Communist,” I show this at length. Let me restate a few relevant examples:
At a 1930 Comintern conference in Moscow, a resolution was passed calling for the creation of a Soviet-controlled “Soviet Negro Republic” among America’s Southern states. That’s correct – the Soviet Comintern, working through American Communists, crafted plans to create a segregated “separate Negro state” in the South. The Soviet goal was to foment an African-American uprising within the South, which, in turn, would join with a workers’ uprising in the North. When the revolution was deemed ripe, the two forces would seize and reconstitute America as a Soviet sister state.
Crazy, yes, but true. Comintern funds were allocated for the purpose, and prominent African-Americans in the Communist Party went to Moscow for instruction.
That’s one case. Here’s another, which bears more acutely on the Ferguson situation:
On March 25, 1931, two white women, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, were said to have been raped by nine black teens along the railroad from Chattanooga to Memphis. The boys had hopped a train ride that day, as had the two girls, who were with two white boys. A fight broke out, with the white boys tossed off the train, leaving the white girls and black boys together. The white boys informed the nearest stationmaster that they had been in a gang fight with the black boys. At the next stop, a town called Paint Rock, Alabama, a militia/posse took the law into their hands and “arrested” the black boys, transporting them to jail cells in nearby Scottsboro. The charge was that they had raped the white girls.
As news spread, enraged whites gathered outside the jail, ready to form a lynch job. Local authorities promised the seething vigilantes that justice would be hastily served, guaranteeing quick trials and verdicts. On cue, five days later, on March 30, 1931, an all-white jury indicted the nine boys.
The events that followed were disastrous. The case of the Scottsboro Boys became a serious miscarriage of justice. And here, American Communists saw a delicious opportunity to swoop in. They attempted to hijack the case and the cause of the Scottsboro Boys.
It must be understood that Communists are superb at agitating, instigating and organizing. Liberals constantly yap that we shouldn’t worry about their communist friends because communists represent such a small minority. Nonsense. Communists have never needed millions to create the chaos and foment the unrest they thrive upon. They are skilled propagandists. They conceive and coordinate tightly, smartly orchestrated campaigns that work wondrously in duping liberals. They’re really good at raising lots of hell without a lot of members.
In the case of Scottsboro, the goal was not only to attract black Americans to the Communist Party – and liberals, “progressives” and various “social justice” types – but, most of all, to portray the United States as an inherently racist, unfair and nefarious nation where cases like Scottsboro are the norm. Only communism and the ideals of the far left could spare America from its malicious, repressive system.
And here’s a nice historical kicker: It was the Scottsboro case that attracted Frank Marshall Davis, future mentor to Barack Obama, to the Communist Party. How’s that for a rich political parallel?
That brings me to Ferguson. For the Communist Party, the goal remains virtually identical. The priority once again is to place America in the crosshairs, riling up as many emotions and collaborators as possible in the process. The black victim in Ferguson, like the black victims in Scottsboro, is a pawn to be used for larger goals.
I suspected from the outset that American Communists would do this. I started reading reports of their involvement in Ferguson several days ago, but the sources (mainly on the far right) were not completely credible. That has changed. As I write, every single lead article in the rotating carousel at People’s World (the successor to the Daily Worker) is dedicated to Ferguson. It’s rare that all are devoted to the same topic. Beyond the four in the rotating window, there are more scattered articles (and photos) across the website.
Moreover, the official Communist Party USA website has Ferguson as its lead, with a piece tellingly titled, “Let us turn grief and anger into action and change.” This piece has pushed aside the other leads that have been there for several weeks – reports from CPUSA’s annual convention.
And finally, video is coming in showing Communist activity at Ferguson. Late Wednesday afternoon, The Blaze sent out an email with the subhead, “Communists in Ferguson.” It includes links to video of Communist agitators.
In short, American Communists have descended upon Ferguson. It’s nothing short of a literal call to action. No surprise.
Alas, let me be very clear and not misunderstood, even as liberals will want to misunderstand me: I’m not saying or even remotely suggesting that Ferguson is a Communist conspiracy. Please. I’m not saying that outraged African-Americans protesting there are doing so as Communist dupes. They are motivated by sincere perceptions of a racial injustice. And if an injustice has occurred, they should be protesting, regardless of which motley political characters show up to join them.
What I am saying is that we can again expect communists to exploit this issue for their own agenda. They’ve done so in the past, especially with cases like Scottsboro, and they’re now doing so again. And don’t underestimate the chaos, confusion and bad feelings that they can advance behind the scenes.
Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.” He also is the author of “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.”