The following was extracted from an online resource maintained by the University of Hawaii. This post, and the complementary post from 1950, comprise "evidence" of Frank Marshall Davis's socialist values according to critics such as Dr. Paul Kengor. Of particular interest is Kengor's fraudulent analysis of "Free Enterprise or Socialism" on January 26, 1950: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/248877/obama%E2%80%99s-communist-mentor-paul-kengor?page=1. Rebuttal of Kengor's "analysis" is posted as comments to the National Review article.
Of perhaps equal significance is the widespread claim that the Honolulu Record was a "communist" newspaper. This was the era, of course, where labor and civil rights activities may have been automatically considered "communist." Dr. Martin Luther King was considered "communist." The smear was everywhere. The following text reveals Davis's ACTUAL values!
1949 l 1950
homepage : Frank's blog 1949
* Disclaimer: These excerpts were compiled from editorials Frank Marshall Davis had written for the Honolulu Record (http://www.hawaii.edu/uhwo/clear/HonoluluRecord1/frankblog1949.html)
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May 12, 1949: How Our Democracy Looks To Oppressed Peoples
For a nation that calls itself the champion of democracy, our stupendous stupidity is equalled only by our mountainous ego. Our actions at home and abroad are making American democracy synonymous with oppression instead of freedom.
Four years ago, we had the opportunity for world leadershipThis was near the end of World War II, a global conflict for freedom and liberation We shouted our antagonism toward the superior race theones of the Nazis.
But before the guns grew cold, we interpreted freedom, and liberation to be the exclusive possession of the imperialist governments of Europe. I have watched with growing shame for my America as our leaders nave used our golden riches to re-enslave the yellow and brown and black peoples of the world.
As the colonials see it, the Marshall plan is a device to maintain what they call "white imperialism " and no manner of slick phrases can convince them otherwise. They also see our congressional failure to pass the civil rights program as merely the domestic side of the same coin of the oppression of non-white peoples everywhere.
Billions To Bolster Empires
Tinder the Marshall plan, billions of U S dollars have been used to bolster the tottering empires of England, France, Belgium, Holland and the other western exploiters of teeming millions of humans The Dutch have used their share to make war upon the Indonesians who are guilty of wanting self-government, France and England have gotten the financial means of crushing rebellions against white Imperialism in Asia and Africa with callous disregard for the natural rights of the subject peoples, we have told Western Europe to rebuild itself through taking out tremendous profits by robbing the 150,000,000 black Africans who get only ignorance and poverty and the print of the aggressors' heels stamped hard into the face.
With our usual genius for suppressing the common people, we backed the oppressors in China. We poured in a Niagara of cash to the corrupt Kuomintang, thus insuring the enmity of millions of Chinese who thereby faced a harder fight for freedom and the end of feudalism.
These crimes we have committed in the name of democracy. They have the blessing of the makers of our bipartisan foreign policy. And if anyone thinks we can be right on the international front and wrong at home, that our aid to imperialism is not the same as our rebuff of the idea of equality for all Americans, let him remember that the bipartisan coalition that passed the Marshall plan is the same bipartisan coalition that thus far has wrecked the civil rights program.
Our national leaders may be complacent about discrimination based on color, religion or national origin, but the non-white world is not Read, for instance, the report of Lawrence C Burr, a correspondent for the Associated Negro Press writing from Madras, India. This article, appearing in Negro periodicals on the Mainland in April, said.
What the East Thinks of the West
The victory of Southern Democrats and Republicans over the right to limit debate in the Congress of the United States - Was staggering blow to American prestige in this part of the world Never having too much faith in the 'white man's' way of life, the colored peoples of the East interpreted this victory as a warning not to have too much to do with the democracies of the West.
Being in the midst of a campaign for freedom and self government, Asiatic nations want no part of a political system that perpetuates hypocritical government As a result of this fiasco, the gulf between East and West has widened rather than become more narrow.
Already Communist leaders are capitalizing on this out-moded means of keeping the Negro in virtual serfdom Russia continues to point to the fact that discrimination and segregation based on race does not exist there With Chinese Communist armies on the verge of total victory there is a very real possibility that other nations of the East will come into the orbit of Communist domination.
To Whom the Oppressed Look
I want to point out, for the benefit of the FBI, that Lawrence C Burr is not a Communist. He is a YMCA official in Madras but like most Negroes he has felt oppression and doesn't like it.
Burr also notes that Paul Robeson will be given a "royal welcome" when he visits India later this year at the invitation of Prime Minister Nehru who long sought to have Robeson come there. And then Burr adds.
'Well known for his part in the truggle for human freedom and equality through the years, Robeson will perhaps receive the greatest ovation ever accorded an American. In the minds of many Indian leaders, the noted singer symbolizes the aspirations of oppressed peoples in all sections of the world."
We may as well face it. The oppressed peoples of the world are not looking to our Wall Streeters, our' brass hats, our Trumans or our Vandenbergs for laceration. These leaders had their chance — and muffed it.
May 19, 1949:
May 26, 1949: Civil War in CIO
No longer, is the CIO the straight strong crusading organization it was at birth. Instead the controlling elements of the top leadership have departed from the path of true trade unionism to engage in a civil war, thus playing the game of the nation's powerful anti-labor forces
We see that here in Hawaii. Without this mounting civil strife in which union brother is pitted against union brother, the Citizens Committee of Hawaii would not be able to invite Phil Murray, national CIO president, here to "investigate" the ILWU headed by Harry Bridges, whom Murray would oust.
It is obvious that organized labor has been weakened by this widening gap within the ranks.
I have watched and applauded the struggles of the CIO for 14 years I have seen this fighting organization in the old days successfully combat prejudice and make itself a champion of minority peoples and working groups. Lately it has been like watching a dear friend sicken and waste away from a disease of his own choosing.
This has come since the death of Roosevelt. The controlling CIO top leadership has voluntarily tied itself to the coattails of the Truman administration which looks one way and walks another. Officially, the CIO backs the Marshall plan which bolsters European imperialism and the continued subjugation of non-white colonial peoples. Yet it is impossible to fight sincerely for equality at hornet while giving full support to oppression abroad. To show how the CIO has fallen down on its program of justice for minority groups, look at the Dixie organizing drive and its acceptance of Southern racial patterns.
In 1944 the CTO was completely back of Henry Wallace In 1948, when he offered the only political program that made sense, the CIO leadership except for Bridges and a few others chose to play footsie with Big Business and Big Brass who set our costly brink-of-war pokey. Truman said he was against the Taft-Hartley law and for civil rights, although his actions belie his words. Despite right-wing CIO support, we have no civil rights legislation and the Taft-Hartley law is still on the books. Both have been sacrificed in order to get backing from the Republicans and Dixieorats for the Atlantic pact, and more Marshall plan funds. This is obvious to all who will take the time to see.
Many Negro unionists realize they have been deserted by the CIO right-wingers. A few weeks ago in Chicago, where the right-wing United Auto Workers CIO, led by Walter Reuther had been, trying to take over the left-led Farm, Equipment union also CIO, there was an election at the McCormick Works of International Harvester. A big majority of the 2,300 Negro workers helped FE win because they were aware that UAW promised much but had not delivered while Negroes had national office with FE.
There is a lesson in this for the CIO unionists of Hawaii. It is that their welfare will be served only by a leadership such as that of Bridges, which realizes racial equality goes hand in hand with economic equality. Until the controlling top CIO leadership returns to this policy and regains the unity which has been its driving force, the whole of organized labor will be weakened to the benefit of anti-labor forces who have never given up their dreams of busting the unions.
NAACP On Oahu
No one familiar with the long and fighting history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People should be surprised at the refusal of the committee on branches to withdraw the Oahu charter on the ground that it might be used "as a tool for local Communists and fellow travellers," in the words of Mrs. Catherine Christopher, vice president.
The NAACP does not ask a person's political faith as a prerequisite to membership Non-partisan, it demands only complete adherence to its goal of first class citizenship for all non-white people. A founder and its chief figure for many years, the distinguished Dr W E B DuBois, was one of Wallace's strongest backers last fall, one of its most prominent directors is the noted attorney, Earl B Dickerson, former president of the National Bar Association, a national officer of the National Lawyers Guild, a director of the Civil Rights Congress, and a defense attorney for Eugene Dennis, national secretary of the Communist party.
Many branch officials throughout the nation ran for office last fall on the Wallace ticket; some ran as Republicans; Walter White, executive secretary, and others were staunch Trumanites. That they still work for common goals in the NAACP.
Because of its militancy, this powerful organization of some 500,000 Americans has itself been labelled "Communist" by John Rankin and others on the floor of Congress and by Dixie governors who think democracy is the exclusive possession of white Americans.
My first poem to reach a national audience appeared in the Crisis magazine, official NAACP organ, in 1928. Since then I have written other material for the Crisis and have aided the NAACP in every way I could. I have not always agreed with the activities of many of its individual leaders, but I have never lost faith in its membership or principles.
I have been amazed and shocked by certain persons in the local branch who, if they cannot dominate the group and turn ft aside from its militant struggle for equality, would use the Communist bogey to kill it. I am glad that national officials have not bought this false bill of goods.
As for myself, I will back the local elected NAACP leadership, be it Catholic or Protestant, Republican, Democratic, Socialist or Communist so long as I am convinced that leadership will actively and sincerely fight to end discrimination and for the establishment of complete democracy in these islands.
June 2, 1949: How To Become a Communist
Apparently I have greater respect for the intelligence of the people of Hawaii than do certain local business interests I do not believe there are as many suckers in the Territory as the Hawaii Citizens' Committee seems to think.
I refer specifically to the spot radio announcements on Communism, the glorified, super-duper Red-baiting that has been polluting the ether waves, the transcriptions based on the program "Communism USA" and on unsubstantiated reports made by the notorious Tenney committee of California.
This has occurred simply because the stevedores have dared to ask for an hourly wage just 10 cents below that paid by the same companies on the West Coast.
Even though the cost of living is at least 25 per cent higher here than in the major cities of the Mainland, the waterfront workers haven't asked for 25 per cent more wages than are paid on the West Coast. They haven't even asked for the same scale. They will settle for 10 cents an hour less and since the employers have said no, they're willing to accept the decision of a board of arbitration.
But this simple and fundamental request for higher wages is looked upon with holy horror It is a "plot to wreck island economy." It has come about "on orders from Moscow." For this reasonable proposal of better pay, the leaders of the ILWU are "agents of a foreign power." The stevedore, who wants enough money to eat regularly, have sufficient clothes and a decent roof above his head is a "dupe" who "has been tricked by the Communist leadership of the union."
What the Hawaii Citizens' Committee and its backers have said, in effect, is this.
"We don't care if the cost of living is higher here than on the Mainland. We don't care if arbitration is the accepted method of settling wage disputes elsewhere in America We don't care that our wage offer would give the stevedores 30 cents, an hour less than we pay for the same kind of work on the West Coast.
"We want you to make only enough pay to keep working and reproduce others who will carry on as stevedores. If you want anything better, then you and your leaders are Communists and we shall use our rich resources to so inform the Territory and try to bust your union."
See how easy it is to become a Communist? The foolproof method for getting labeled is to ask for a bigger share in the good things, to put in a plea for a little meat instead of dry bones.
That is why I believe there are not as many suckers in the Territory as the Hawaii Citizens' Committee seems to think. I believe this strike and the vicious hate propaganda directed against the ILWU and the working people have made many persons realize for the first time that the loud cry of "subversive" and "Communist" is a device used by the haves to block the onward march of the have-nots and maintain the status quo.
This is one of the great fundamental truths of our time that comes slowly to many, but once learned is not easily forgotten. I learned it, just as have others, who will not be satisfied until democracy' becomes a fact instead of a promise. So long as I believe that my cause is just, I shall not be halted by name-calling:
It is also well to ponder the fact that borrowing and using the divisive Big Business weapon of Red-baiting has not saved working people Phil Murray, Walter Reuther, Emil Rieve and the other big guns of the CIO who control policy and are trying to weed out the left-led unions, have tried it and despite this yeoman service to the huge industrialists, the U. S Chamber of Commerce Bulletin, had this to say in March.
IO pamphlets, the Economic Outlook and the CIO News regularly carry a heavy cargo of hates and slurs toward employers, toward our way of life, in the form of words and cartoons.
"CIO leaders, while not Communists themselves, are continuing the Marxist ideology. Profits and profit motives are under constant attack in the CIO literature, while the wage motive is endorsed. "
This proves my point that working people gam nothing by Red-baiting. They may not be called Communists, but if they want higher pay and better working conditions, they will be labelled Marxists and will be fought just as bitterly as ever.
Here's a question for the Citizens' Committee Is the huge Ford Motor Co, bigger than any or all island industry, to be considered a partner in subversion? because it agreed to arbitrage its dispute with the United Auto Workers, a CIO union?
Who Is "Frank Davis?"
I lay no claim to being the only Frank Davis in existence. But it is a little odd that in the recent ILWU-Business radio forum over KULA, a loaded anti-union question about Negro stevedores on the West-Coast should have been directed to Jack Kawano and sent in by somebody who called himself "Frank Davis."
If there is such a person, come to the office of the HONOLULU RECORD arid identify yourself. I'd like to meet you. Otherwise, some of us may have the idea that it was another of the cozy little propaganda ideas of the Hawaii Citizens' Committee. You wouldn't want that to happen, would you?
From 1939 to 1948, corporate profits increased 423 per cent before taxes. Total wage and salary payments went up 194 per cent.
June 9, 1949: For Charles J. Pietseh
The high priests of privilege would have us believe that huge profits for the mighty stockholders and pennies for the lest of us are the ideals of America. They would tie together democracy and free enterprise—which actually was murdered decades ago by the strangling fingers of the monopolies and trusts—and feed us the lie that the fight of working people for higher wages is "un-American."
This fantastic theory goes hand in hand with a radio broadcast recently over KGU by Charles J Pietseh, well known real estate broker, who informed his listeners that "human rights and property rights are identically the same. " I do not know where you live, you who read this column. But I am thinking now of the slums of Honolulu, of Chicago, New York and New Orleans. I see in my mind rain driving through rotting walls and ceilings, disease breeding community bath rooms and outhouses with the clogged toilets running over, of humans sardined five and six to a room.
I think further of higher death rates, of juvenile delinquency, of complete dejection and hopelessness, of crime and social disorders which share these miserable hovels I think of fellow humans living in these slums, not by choice, but because they aren't paid enough money to do better in this land of plenty. I think also that when these people unite in unions and ask for wages that will enable them to break away from these conditions, as the stevedores have done, they get kicked in the teeth and are pointed out as "subversive."
Who owns this property which makes a mockery of human dignity? Who has the right to collect rent from these pest holes that are too far gone to repair? Does Pietsch deny that the right of absentee landlords to collect rent on rundown property is not superior to and completely opposed to the right of humans to have decent housing?
It is the slum owner who insists on continuing the right to collect rent from his ratholes and degrade humanity. The big real estate people, shouting the cry of property rights, have used then tremendous power and resources against the extension of human rights by battling every government attempt at slum clearance.
It happened here in Honolulu, Mr. Pietseh. The Territorial legislature had before it Senate Bill 592 which would have provided for condemnation and redevelopment of blighted areas. But it was emasculated. The measure as passed permits the Territorial government to merely plan for redevelopment and maybe use some federal funds if and when they are available. We shall have our slums for at least another two years. The absentee landlords will continue to collect rents from, fellow humans who have no choice but to exist, breed, sicken and die in these filthy reminders of the superiority of property rights over human rights.
But of course these slum dwellers should buy their own homes, according to Mr. Pietseh, who happens to be in the business of selling homes. That, he said, is "a bulwark against communism." And, I might add, it also helps the income through commissions of those who deal in real estate, even though 100 per cent home ownership would kill the profits of the slum owners.
Actually, it's like the period just prior to the French evolution when the queen was told the people were starving because they had no bread "Very well," she said, "then let them eat cake ".
The slum dwellers, these victims of property rights, can't buy homes for the same reason they can't quit the slums no money. If the stevedores, said by the waterfront employers to be the "highest paid for their kind of work in the Territory" earn only enough to maintain minimum health standards, how can the ordinary worker save enough for a down payment on a home of his own? Where will they get the cake to eat?
A family of five must earn $260 net monthly to maintain minimum health standards, according to a recent survey. How many families of five have this income? How many would draw this much, pay if those employers, who could afford this rate, shared more with their employes instead of giving property rights precedence over human rights? How much must a family earn above the minimum in order to put aside enough to make a down payment on a house and thus establish the Pietseh "bulwark against communism?"
And, finally, don't many people turn to communism because the owners of slum property live in big mansions and use their rental income to help fight low cost housing? Because they haven't got the money to own homes due to the low wages paid by the wealthy corporations who resist every legitimate plea for higher pay?
Since Mr. Pietseh seemed to know all the, answers on his radio program, surely these questions will give him no trouble. I'll be waiting for his reply.
June 16, 1949: Murder in Guam
Was Pvt. Herman P. Dennis, Negro air force private, convicted in Guam for the murder of Ruth Farnsworth, white civilian worker, or because he dared to question the armed forces' long-established and anti-democratic policy of race separation?
I do not pretend to know all the facts. But I am sickeningly aware of the way in which Negroes have been brutalized and even legally murdered for crimes they never committed. They have been framed because they opposed white supremacy or to serve as examples by which to hold others in subjugation.
Such instances have occurred all over the Mainland, under the very noses of fair-minded whites and strong organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Civil, Rights Congress. It took an aroused nation to block the legal lynching of the nine innocent Scottsboro boys in Alabama; the frameup against the Trenton Six in New Jersey is still being fought.
If such rough deals are pulled in the continental U.S., what is to prevent the railroading of guiltless Negroes to death in such isolated areas as the island of Guam where the military is in control and there are no organizations to protect the lives of the intended victims?
I hold no brief for the killers of Miss Farnsworth. I believe the guilty, no matter who, should be punished. But I do not want the legal slaughter of scapegoats to cover somebody else's crime.
There were no eyewitnesses to the abduction and murder of the girl around 8:30 p. m. last Dec. 11. But following the practice long established on the Mainland where the Negro must be terrorized into continuing his inferior status as a second class citizen, military police rounded up. Negro suspects and charged two brothers, Herman P. and Calvin Dennis, air force privates, and Sgt. Robert W. Burns with the rape-slaying. Herman P. Dennis, first to go on trial, told the court martial he was subjected to a brutal third degree and threatened by the M. P.'s with lynching unless he confessed. Pleading his innocence, Dennis denied he had even seen Miss Farnsworth the night of the slaying and swore he was at a movie when the murder occurred. His testimony was corroborated by Cpl. Moss H. Scroggins of Baltimore, who told of seeing Dennis as he left the air force theater eight miles from the slaying site about 9 p. m. The prosecution declared Miss Farnsworth's assailants had entered her gift shop about 8:30.
But what was undoubtedly just as important in this case composed of thin and circumstantial evidence was the prosecution's contention that Dennis had spoken out against race separation in Guam's quite limited social life. The military, as you know, loves its jim-crow. To oppose this system is almost as serious a crime as murder. This defiance of American social patterns may have weighted the scales against the soldier.
Anyway, Pvt. Herman P. Dennis was convicted. There are rumors that the actual slayers of Miss Farnsworth are known on Guam, but they are to go free if the crime can be pinned on somebody else. In other words, the Guam case has some of the smell of Hawaii's famous Massie case of the early 1930s.
When one recalls the hard, historic pattern of Negro oppression and the denial of that democracy in practice which we talk about so loudly, there is sufficient reason for questioning the murder charges against the three black soldiers.
It is painfully clear that segregation and discrimination to maintain white supremacy are the real policies of the governing apparatus. Truman has given only lip service to his own civil rights program; his real energy has been expended in getting acceptance of the Atlantic pact, more Marshall plan funds and other legislation which help maintain European empires at the expense of exploited dark colonial peoples.
Out of this unrelenting terrorizing of Negroes has grown the oppression of other minority groups such as Jews, Orientals, Latin-America bor [text missing]. This strategy, designed to mainta [text missing] quo, depends upon the technique of [text missing] tims divided on the false basis of co [text missing] national origin, economic status and [text missing] liefs. And so we have Taft-Hartley, [text missing] clusion, jimcrow laws, un-American [text missing] and colonial attitudes toward the non- [text missing] ers of Hawaii.
Thus the Guam case has vital m [text missing] Hawaii. It cannot be dismiss [text mi] involving three members of an ethnic group neither populous nor well understood in the Territory. If these men are innocent, their conviction must be understood as another link in the chain of oppression forged by the haves around the necks of the have-nots as a blow against those of us who want an end to the inequities of the status quo and who seek the equality of real democracy. That is why I, for one, want to know more about the Guam case. I do not think their guilt has been fully established and will welcome the facts in the case. If they actually are guilty, let them be punished for rape-murder instead of the crime of being Negroes and fighting against a policy that perpetuates white supremacy.
June 23, 1949: Hawaii's Loyalty Oath
With Hawaii trying so hard to become a state, I suppose it is only natural to find the Territory behaving like some of the Mainland common wealths. I refer specifically to the loyalty oath passed by the legislature and which must be taken by some 15,000 Territorial employes before next Dec. 31.
Here is the oath of allegiance to which they must swear:
I do solemnly swear and declare, on oath that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I am not now nor have I been at any time within the five years preceding the taking of this oath a Communist or a member of the Communist party; that I have not at any time within the five years preceding the taking of this oath held membership in, paid assessments, dues or made contribution to any organization or any political party which advocates the overthrow of the constitutional form of government of the United States or any change in the government of the United States except as provided by its Constitution; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
I am no lawyer, but I seriously question the legality of such an oath under the federal Constitution. I think, further, that one could be strongly anti-Communist, and still consider this oath not only an affront to personal liberties but also unconstitutional and just plain stupid.
Since a solemn promise is made to support and defend the Constitution and laws, it means that Territorial employes must give up their traditional American right to oppose any statute passed by congress with which they might disagree. Opposition by any Territorial employe, even though a trade union member, to the Taft-Hartley law, is therefore disloyal. The same goes for any other legislation, no matter how unfair, which happens to have been passed in Washington.
The oath, in effect, gives an air of untouchable sacredness to both the Constitution and acts of Congress never intended by the Founding Fathers of our nation. Throughout our history, men have fought for the repeal of laws they thought unjust and oppressive. Even a constitutional amendment that of forcing prohibition upon America, has been banished because the majority of the people vocally opposed this legal monstrosity. Yet the loyalty oath would take away this historic right from a large section of the population. That, it seems to me, is unconstitutional.
As for the denial of membership in the Communist party, this is based on the assumption that this organization is "subversive," "un-American" and "against the best interest of the nation." However, the truth of this premise has not been established and will not be until so declared by the U.S. Supreme Court. Until the Communist party is legally decreed illegal, and a subversive conspiracy, it is due to have the same status as any other political party.
the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, guarantee to each individual freedom of thought, association, speech and assembly. This is the constitutional basis on which O. John Rogge, former assistant U.S. attorney general, has attacked the legality of Truman's loyalty order for all federal workers. If the Truman loyalty order is unconstitutional, as many non-Communists firmly believe, the Territorial oath of allegiance is likewise unconstitutional.
It was never intended that any man or group of men, having the power, would so misuse that power to undermine the fundamental concept of our democracy and arbitrarily decide how men should think and with whom they should associate. The Constitution may not be suspended, even by legislators.
As a matter of fact, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule upon the legality of legislation similar to the Territory's loyalty oath. While the Constitution is obviously what the nine justices say it is, I doubt that they will become victims of the prevailing hysteria and render a decision violating what many of us have been taught from childhood was the true spirit of American democracy. But the sooner the issue is settled, the better it will be for all of us.
July 7, 1949 : Butler’s Beliefs
As I read Butler's report on why statehood should be denied Hawaii, I re-called that only a few weeks ago Dr. Ralph Bunche, world, renowned United Nations Palestine mediator, turned down an offer from President Truman to become an assistant secretary of state, highest diplomatic post ever offered an American Negro.
Butler's report says Communism is a menace. It is unlawful because of its aims, among them major changes in our present pattern of living, the senator declares. I re-called that Dr. Bunche turned down the job because it would mean living in Washington, where as a Negro, he would be subjected to jim crow and discrimination, no matter what his standing in government circles.
That is, I think a biting commentary on our democracy. Butler, Rankin, the American Legion leadership and similar champions of the status quo can tailor you a bright new Red menace to fit any situation; but they have not even, one timid word to say against lynching, segregation, the poll tax, restricted employment opportunities or the labor-crippling Taft-Hartley law.
In fact, efforts to change the second-class citizenship of minorities are labelled as "Communist plots." You lay yourself open to name-calling for even protesting jim crow. I was not at all surprised to read in a Mainland newspaper that some Dixiecrat had called Dr. Bunche a Communist for his comments on Washington.
If Butler were genuinely interested in democracy, his report would have mentioned the colonial status of islanders, the wage differential between haoles and non-haoles which the current waterfront strike has underlined; restricted jobs and restricted residential areas, and the color bar against various non-haole groups in certain public places. He might have suggested that Hawaii get rid of these conditions before statehood, for they are contrary to the spirit and intent of the federal constitution. They are the real menace to democracy in Hawaii.
I don't know about you, but I personally, am tired of the wolf cry of Communism raised by those in power to justify their refusal to grant equality, whether to a territory, a minority group, or an individual. And I am not alone in this stand. Increasing numbers of Americans are becoming angered when they are thrown the same old smelly Red herring each time they ask for a helping of democracy.
Recently in New York, the Rev. Thomas S. Harten, for many years one of the most noted Negro pastors, told the Baptist Ministers' Conference that racists are the basic enemies of the country.
"I say to America," the Rev. Harten said, "that before she preaches to Russia or to any other nation, she must remove the mote from her own eye, and clean up the dirt in her own backyard." I shall pray to God that the 11 Communists now on trial be exonerated. I shall ask my congregation to join me and get others to do likewise. "If there are any traitors to this country, I call men who deprive a human being of his citizenship and God-given rights, traitors to the country and to the flag."
For the benefit of the FBI, which is still unable to find the lynchers of those four Negroes in little Monroe County, Georgia, three years ago, the Rev. Harten's remarks were carried in the New York Amsterdam News of March 26.
There are some who have been frightened into silence by the attacks of the Butlers. But there are others who, like the Rev. Harten, feel their cause is just and are ready to face crucifixion, if need be, for what they believe in. They have no fear of the Pontius Pilates of 1949. And for every one who falls, a dozen, rise to take his place.
It will be a glorious day for America when our leaders decide to give the constitution firm flesh and strong bones and make it a living reality instead of the curiosity they now would have it be. Then there will be no need for the angry cries of a Rev. Harten; the nation will not be forced to forego the services of a talented Negro like Dr. Bunche, who cannot stand the jim crow pattern of living in the national capital. And, of course, the Butlers will be all washed up.
July 7, 1949 : Made on the Mainland
I was in Hawaii only a few weeks before I saw that the treatment of non-haoles here followed the broad outlines of the Mainland treatment of Negroes. The current longshore strike has made this brutally clear.
White Stateside employers traditionally have paid Negro workers less than haoles for the same jobs. This takes place even in some areas where there are trade unions. Strikes have been called by some, of the more militant labor organizations over refusal to upgrade Negroes who were performing the same jobs as haoles working beside them.
I cannot believe there would be this wide gap between the wages of West Coast and Territory longshoremen if white stevedores were the base of the Hawaii rank and file as they are at the other end of the line.
Opinions expressed by haole women on the anti-union picket line emphasize this fact. Some have frankly stated they did not want "them" to have more pay because it would raise "their" standard of living to equal that of many whites. This way of thinking is all too familiar to those aware of Negro-white relations on the Mainland. The striking stevedores actually have two battles. They must not only fight the traditional fight of organized labor against anti-union employers, but they must also wage war against the common prejudices aimed at the non-haoles of America.
It is no mere accident that the women's anti-union picket line has been overwhelmingly haole, or that haoles have been conspicuous by their rarity on the stevedores' lines. This merely follows the usual path of division on the basis of color, of haoles working together to slap down those non-whites who have the audacity to demand equality.
Those courageous haoles who have marched with the strikers have been immediately classed as "Communists," although by doing this, the name-callers make it appear that only the Communists believe in democracy. This is the same propaganda used on the Mainland in an effort to discredit those who join forces with Negroes in their struggle for equality. For even speaking out in favor of a civil rights program giving fair treatment to Negroes, last election President Truman was termed "Communistic" by the Dixiecrats. Thus the hammer of American discrimination bludgeons not only Negroes, but all colored peoples, including those of Japanese,Chinese, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian and Latin-American descent. It also hits Jews, who are popularly but erroneously considered to be a "race."For one victimized group to consider itself superior to others and thus isolate itself, weakens what should be a united front to crush discrimination. It plays directly into the hands of the racists who smoothly set one group against another in order to rule both—the old game of divide and conquer.
In these columns I often refer to Negroes, although they are only a tiny fraction of the island population. Nevertheless, I use such references because the second-class, inferior treatment of the 15,000,000 American Negroes, the nation's largest minority, sets the pattern for the treatment of all other colored peoples. Because of this there can be no lasting solution to the problem of racism until anti-Negro discrimination, the foundation for prejudiced treatment of other ethnic minorities, is wiped out. The Oriental, Polynesian and Latin peoples cannot themselves get full, first-class citizenship until jim crow is dead and buried.
If color discrimination were not the national policy of the real rulers of America, there would be no wage differential between West Coast and Hawaiian stevedores; no two rates of pay for haoles and non-haoles performing identical work in the islands; no restricted jobs and restricted residential areas, and certain public places which ban colored patronage. This pattern is the result of anti-Negro practices logically extended to other non-whites.
Because the road is so much easier when you conform, I have tremendous respect for those haoles who have the radical belief that the U. S. Constitution means what it says and that democracy should be the common possession of all instead of the private property of a select few with cash and a pale skin. By taking sides with the strikers and speaking out against injustice, many have jeopardized their whole economic future in the Territory. Some haoles do so out of a strong sense of fair play; other haoles have learned that prejudice, whether against Negroes, Jews, Orientals or organized labor, has economic roots. It means bigger profits for those on top when they can keep the rest of us divided.
It is a tragedy that some of the colored victims of discrimination, for personal gain, follow the line laid down by the racists. They take their 30 pieces of silver in the form of a job and then do the bidding of their masters. There are Judases among Negroes as well as among Orientals and Polynesians.
As for myself, I cannot take the easy way out so long as the monster of prejudice roams the land. Despite the thicker veneer of democracy, underneath I find the same problems here that exist in Chicago and Atlanta. The surface may have changed, but the framework remains the same.
In New York and St. Louis the victims of prejudice may be Negroes and Jews and Spanish-speaking Americans. Out here, the list has been increased and made more complex because of the physical fact that haoles are an actual minority of the population and therefore they must be more subtle than in Boston or Omaha.But when you get to the bottom, it's still the same old pattern of discrimination, of maintaining white supremacy. It is a way of thinking that has no place in a democracy. Racism has got to go.
August 4, 1949: Role of the RECORD
Despite the confusing propaganda aimed to deceive the American people into supporting a new world war, if need be, to bail Big Business out of a depression, and despite the tactics of the thought police through probes and loyalty orders to make us all conform to a belief in the status quo, there are still strong voices giving leadership to those who believe in peace and true democracy.
In New York there is the National Guardian, closely linked to the Progressive, party headed by Henry Wallace, and more community isolated from the Mainland. It is important as a rallying ground for those of us in Hawaii who want no new war, who want a better life for the common man, and an end to discrimination. The RECORD has given this area leadership in these critical times.
The RECORD, and papers like it on the Mainland, stands as a barrier to the sinister and selfish plans of Big Business for the continuation of high profits, at home and abroad, at the expense of humanity. Naturally, it is not popular among those who act as errand boys or are dupes of the slick propaganda of the gigantic trusts and monopolies. It is therefore, forced to depend upon the plain people it serves, rather than upon advertising subsidies from those in control of the economy.
In a day of rising reaction, of liberals being scared into silence by un-American committees and the weapon of Red-baiting, of repressive anti-labor legislation such as Taft-Hartley and attempts at union busting, it is encouraging to know that there are Americans so imbued with the traditions of democracy and fair play that they have fearlessly maintained their independence of thought. It was such as these who in Illinois defeated the Broyles bills, patterned after the repressive Hitler measures in Germany; have exposed Jack Tenney in California for the bigot that he is; are resisting the dangerous regimentation of the loyalty oaths, and are trying through public meetings to find ways of healing our differences with Russia without the costly and crazy bipartisan policy dictated by Big Business and Big Brass.
One of the rare but forceful voices cutting through the prevailing insanity of today is that of Dr. Robert Hutchins, chancellor of the University of Chicago and one of the world's most renowned educators.
Blasting the mounting anti-Communist hysteria as he addressed graduating students in June, Dr. Hutchins said: "The dragnet philosophy of the witch-hunters is down with criticism, down with protests, down with unpopular opinions, down with independent thought."
Yet the history and tradition of our country make it perfectly clear that the essence of the American way of life is its hospitality to criticism, protest, unpopular opinions and independent thought.
The cloak and stiletto work that is now going on will not merely mean that many persons will suffer for acts that they did not commit, or for acts that were legal when committed, or for no acts at all.
Far worse is the end result which will be that critics, even of the mildest sort, will be frightened into silence. Stupidity and injustice will go unchallenged because no one will dare to speak against them. To persecute people into conformity by the non-legal methods popular today is little better than doing it by purges and pogroms.
Speaking of the loyalty oaths for teachers and the dismissals of professors without regard for their competence, the educator said: "We do not throw people into jail because they are alleged to differ with the official ogma. We throw them out of work and do our best to create the impression that they are subversive and hence dangerous not only: to the state, but also to everybody who comes near them."
Labeling some thing or some man Communist because Communists happen to favor it or agree with him, that easy process by which one disposes of different views by applying a dirty name to them, involves the negation of thought of any kind. If it had been applied consistently in American history, it would have deprived us of some ideas and some men that we are proud to think characteristically American.
"For example, the Communist Manifesto demands free education for all. Are we therefore, to recant and renounce the American doctrine of free education for all?" Speaking of the cold war, Dr. Hutchins said: "It has never been shown that there are so many spies and traitors in this country, or that the external danger is so great and imminent that we have to divert the entire attention of our people into one great repressive preoccupation, into one great counter-revolution in which the freedoms of our citizens must be thrown overboard as too burdensome for the floundering ship of state to carry." This is probably the first time you read of this significant speech, and then you read it only in this copy of the RECORD, which again points to the value of this paper in the sharp struggle, against growing fascism here in America. For if fascism and World War III are to be averted such publications as the RECORD will play a leading role in their defeat.
August 11, 1949: Paul Robeson's Stand
Two distinguished Americans are leading the resistance movement against the drive of Big Business toward World War III as a way out of the new depression and for preservation of tremendous profits through global domination. They are Henry A. Wallace, former vice president, and Paul Robeson, singer and actor.
You don't hear much about Wallace in the islands. Out here he gets the silent treatment. On the Mainland he is lambasted or ignored. Recently the propaganda guns of the warmongers have been turned on Robeson, and the errand boys of Big Business, who live on the crumbs tossed by the trusts and monopolies, have taken up the cry.
The intensive effort to discredit Robeson and render his leadership ineffective, thus confusing his followers and making them potential supporters of the suicidal and selfish policies of Big Business, began during the World Peace Conference at Paris in April. With vicious inaccuracy, Paul was quoted by the daily press services as saying that "American Negroes would never go to war against Russia."
Despite generations of experience common to Negroes of being caricatured by the daily press, despite the common knowledge that the white newspaper can seldom be trusted to print truthful accounts of events concerning Negroes, there were many of the "professional Negro leaders" who took the published report as gospel truth and rushed into print to vilify one of the most famous men of our time, regardless of color. They were like faithful dogs, trying to curry favor with their masters.
But what has been most encouraging to the fighters for peace has been the reaction of the Negro people who, acting on the same distorted reports, have rejected the "me too, boss" attitudes of their so-called leaders and have written letters to the Mainland press, both Negro and white, supporting the alleged stand of Robeson.
What Paul said, however, is different from what the press services reported. Instead of saying that "American Negroes would never go to war against Russia," he said that Negroes would not "join in a war of aggression against Russia." There's all the difference in the world between those statements. The 1,800 delegates from 52 nations at the Paris conference, including Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, world famous scholar and a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Paul himself have denied the first report and confirmed the accuracy of the second statement.
Here is what else Robeson had to say:
"The emphasis on what I said in Paris was on the struggle for peace, not on anybody going to war against anybody.
"Go and ask the Negro workers in the cotton plantations of Alabama, the sugar plantations in Louisiana, the tobacco fields in South Arkansas, ask the workers in the banana plantations or the sugar workers in the West Indies, ask the African farmers who have been dispossessed of their land in the South Africa of Malan, ask the Africans wherever you find them on their continent:
"Will they fight for peace so that new ways can be opened up for a life of freedom for hundreds of millions and not for just the few; will they fight for peace and collaboration with the Soviet Union and the new democracies; will they join the forces of peace or be drawn into a war in the interest of the senators who have just filibustered them out of their civil rights; will they join Malan in South Africa who, just like Hitler, is threatening to destroy 8,000,000 Africans and hundreds of thousands of Indians through hunger and terror; will they join their oppressors or will they fight for peace?"
To these words may be added those of Mrs. Eslanda Goode Robeson, his wife, who told a Wallace Peace Rally held recently in Madison Square Garden, New York:
"I know that every sensible Negro in this country, professional leaders notwithstanding, feels that if he must fight any future war for democracy, the proper place to begin such a fight is right here."'
That, frankly, is the attitude of many of America's 15,000,000 Negroes, whose oppressive treatment has set the pattern for discrimination against other non-white groups, not only on the Mainland but in other possessions arid dominated areas such as the Hawaiian Islands.
Disillusionment has followed both world wars of this century, sold to America as "crusades for democracy." The Negro was promised equality after World War I and instead got a wave of lynchings, riots, and revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Even though World War II was a duel to the death against the kind of fascist racism most Negroes taste with their daily bread, there were those who remembered the unkept promises of 1917 and preferred bearing arms against the Bilbos and Rankins of the South than against Hitler.
That is why Paul Robeson says that the bulk of the Negro people will not be inclined to support any aggressive war planned by Big Business against the Soviet Union or any other nation which is known to have abolished jim crow and color discrimination. There is no desire among the Negro masses to strengthen the hands of their own oppressors. The feeling is growing if there must be fighting, let it be against the Dixiecrats, the northern perpetrators of such raw deals as the frame-up of the Trenton Six in New Jersey, and those who use the happenstance of color to restrict job opportunities and housing.
That is why efforts to discredit Paul among the plain people have fallen flat, and also why all the big guns of thought control, including the aptly named un-American committee, have been turned against him. No aggressive war planned by Big Business can be successful without the support of the 15,000,000 American Negroes, one tenth of the population. It should be obvious by now that mere words won't get Negro support; it can be forced only through guns and the absolute terrorism of fascism. Therefore, the fight for peace and against fascism has as its natural allies the Negro people and, with them, the other non-whites who stand in a similar position.
August 18, 1949: Labor Weakens Itself
I have been forced, reluctantly, to the opinion that when Franklin D. Roosevelt was buried, the intelligence of many of our most powerful labor leaders was laid to rest with him. That is the kindest explanation I know for the suicidal folly that is now official policy of the top national CIO leadership. When the CIO was created about 15 years ago, it was believed that its aggressive, realistic program would liberalize the hidebound AFL conservatives. For a time this was true, but today we find Phil Murray and Co. slipping into the same thought patterns so recently condemned, as typical of Bill Green and associates: This has been a deep disappointment to those of us who looked upon the CIO to give real guidance to the working people.
Currently, the CIO officially backs the double-talking Truman administration with its program for World War III, if necessary, to bail Big Business out of a depression. Murray and his boys have allied themselves with the gigantic trusts and monopolies, thus strengthening the hands of those who have been organized labor's bitterest enemies. At the same time, the CIO has been sinfully weakened as the alliance became stronger. It just doesn't make sense. For it is impossible to strengthen reaction and at the same time fight it. Had the CIO leadership held to its original principles instead of virtually offering the organization as a sitting target for the powerful union busters who have master-minded the nation's brink-of-war program, we would have no Taft-Hartley law nor the. divisive Red-baiting tactics which so weaken organized labor that it cannot adequately protect itself from outside attacks.
The Wagner Act came into being in 1935 under Roosevelt. Its purpose was to prevent employers from using their economic power to keep their workers from organizing. As for the strength of Big Business, the Temporary National Economic Committee of the U. S. Senate, set up in 1938, reported: "Corporations in modern times are economic states with power in many instances fully as great as that of political states of the American union."
Remember, this report was made prior to World War II, which saw mergers and the creation of new financial empires far more powerful than any which had previously existed. Unions basically, are the allies of the general public in keeping these "economic states" from growing so strong they can defy all efforts toward public control.
Here in Hawaii the ILWU is the barrier to complete dictatorship over the Territory by the Big Five, but on the Mainland many right-wing unions have lost the will to resist. They have forgotten they cannot side with both the "economic states" and the public. So the top leadership of organized labor backed the Truman doctrine in Greece and Turkey and then the Marshall plan based upon the continuation of colonial slavery by the ruling classes of Western Europe, even though imperialism, through the exploitation of cheap labor, lowers the living standards of workers in capitalistic countries.
Today, production and real wages in the Marshall plan countries are still below pre-war levels and there is rising unemployment in Western Europe as well as America. Meanwhile, profits remain terrifically high.
By going down the line with the bipartisan warmongers and swooning at the proper times to the slick siren songs of the Truman gang, labor is now saddled with Taft-Hartley, which got its ideological leadership from White.
House anti-union action in the threatened rail strike of a couple of years ago. The witch-hunting of the federal government set the pace for witch-hunting within the CIO.
Last year, Wallace and the Progressive Party warned organized labor that it could expect no relief from Taft-Hartley or the excesses of Big Business if it supported the two parties of Wall Street, the Republicans and the Democrats. But those who had gone down the line for Wallace as Roosevelt's running mate in 1944 now would have nothing to do with him and tried to kick out those who backed their former fair-haired boy.
Since the 81st Congress went in last January, the prophesies of the Wallaceites have become painfully true. A GOP Congress passed Taft-Hartley and a Democratic Congress has failed to repeal it. The living standards of American workers have dropped and jobless ness has risen.
Management's key weapon of Red-baiting, which pits union brother against union brother, has weakened the whole trade union movement, thus automatically increasing the dictatorship of Big Business. Instead of leading the fight for peace and security and opposing profit-grabbing and world domination by the billion-dollar corporations, the top leadership of organized labor still swoons to the siren songs of the Truman gang.
But there are bright spots on the dark labor horizon Among them are the refusal of such unions as ILWU, Marine Cooks and Stewards, Farm Equipment United, Electrical Workers, Mine, Mill and Smelter, and a few others to march to self-destruction with Murray, Walter Reuther, Emil Rieve and the rest of the labor traitors.
There is also growing dissatisfaction among rank-and-filers who followed their leaders' advice and voted for Truman, only to have Taft-Hartley still chained to their necks, the warmongering Atlantic Pact, a continued high cost of living and layoffs. Those who have gone along and eliminated the so-called Communists from leadership have learned the hard way that management is no more inclined to give a living wage to a "purged" union than to one which will have no part of the anti-Communist hysteria. How long the mentally feeble leadership, under these conditions, will be able to keep its errand boy job for Wall Street is a matter for conjecture.
Truth is, the Bill Greens and Phil Murrays no longer have the psychology of labor. They think like corporation presidents, peddling labor instead of autos or radios. Yet, if we are to have peace, prosperity, equality and real democracy, organized labor must reject the aid to imperialism given by Green, Murray and Co. and become militantly independent.
August 25, 1949: How to Block Both
We Americans have no yearning for war despite the propaganda barrage intended to whip up hysteria. Leading scientists and military experts have warned that nobody can win the next global conflict, despite the pipe dreams of our Big Business and Big Brass.
Even more horrible than the atom bomb are the new techniques of bacteriological warfare — a method of mass destruction not limited to a nation with the stockpile and know-how of. converting uranium into atomic energy. I have no desire to give my life to maintain high profits for Standard Oil. I have no intention of making the world safe for John Rankin of Mississippi. I shall not help England and France keep millions of my colored brothers in Africa and Asia in colonial slavery. Yet that is what our dividend diplomats ask of you and me when they demand our support of the bi-partisan Marshall plan, Atlantic pact and a shooting war, if necessary, to bail us out of depression.
To block World War III we must block the mounting depression. The two are inseparable. I love America so much that I want to fight to save it from planned folly. I am confident we can end the threat of the worst depression the world has ever known, we can halt the rush to destroy civilization through a new world war, if enough sincere and patriotic Americans demand a reversal in the present disaster-inviting policies of government dictated by Big Business.
Higher wages for labor are basic to blocking the depression. The murder of OPA and high prices have caused real wages to decline steadily since V-J Day, while corporation profits have exceeded even the stratospheric totals of World War II years. The high cost of living prevents the workers from buying more than a fraction of what they produce. Big Business, with its tremendously expanded productive capacity, cannot dispose of all its merchandise. Under the Marshall plan, subsidized goods were dumped overseas, but this merely worsened labor conditions in England and France, thus sharpening the economic crisis abroad.
Layoffs have followed here at home, thus further reducing the number of potential buyers. A glance at the profit sheets shows that greatly increased rates of pay could be granted and prices of commodities drastically cut, thus making it possible for more people to purchase merchandise now in over-supply.
Shorter work weeks and higher minimum pay also should be established, thus providing jobs and a living wage for the 5,000,000 jobless and the 10,000,000 or more part-time workers, thereby furthering the purchasing power of the general public. Currently, 75 cents of each tax dollar is spent for the cold war and in payment for World War II. We spend billions of dollars annually in buying armaments and in training the biggest peace-time military force our nation has ever known, as well as intervening in the internal affairs of other nations to keep their governments flunkies of Wall Street. The bulk of these huge funds finds its way into the pockets of our gigantic trusts and monopolies.
Instead this money should be spent for the benefit of the people instead of the corporations. These taxes should be used for public works projects, increased social security benefits, health insurance, education and low-cost housing. Billions poured down the rat-hole in China to aid the corrupt Nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek could have completely eliminated the slums in a number of major American cities, not only providing decent housing but employment in the construction of this housing.
Trade with Russia, Eastern. Europe and Liberated China should be demanded, thus creating additional jobs in U. S. industry and halting lay-offs. Our government has declared an embargo on exports to the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the other nations eager to do business with America. Thus workers are laid off and factories closed down—while millions of people stand waiting to buy the products of these factories. We have turned our backs on cash customers willing and able to spend several billions annually.
At the same time, we must insist that America as well as all other nations, live up to both the letter and the spirit of the United Nations. We must reject all war alliances such as the Atlantic pact, fake "recovery programs" such as the Marshall plan, and unilateral action of any kind aimed at a member nation. Let us insist upon an honest and sincere return to the principles written into the UN charter and subscribed to by the government of each signatory nation.
This, briefly, is the kind of program we must fight for if a hopeless depression and the global suicide of a new world war are to be averted. But it will not be granted voluntarily by the Truman administration and the bi-partisans, busy trying to find a way to conquer the world for Big Business.
All of us who face loss of our jobs as times get harder, who have been forced to lower our living