The following was extracted from an online resource maintained by the University of Hawaii. This post, and the complementary post from 1949, 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 1950
* Disclaimer: These excerpts were compiled from editorials Frank Marshall Davis had written for the Honolulu Record (http://www.hawaii.edu/uhwo/clear/HonoluluRecord1/frankblog1950.html).
January 5, 1950: Mobilizing For Civil Rights
By now, you who read this column know that my greatest interest is civil rights. There is no problem facing America that takes precedence over the granting of full and complete equality to all Americans regardless of color, religion or national origin. This is an absolute must if our nation is to be successful in selling its democracy to a world which is three-fourths colored and fully aware that white supremacy is the prevailing American attitude.
On the all-important civil rights front, we have reached a period in which traditional rights guaranteed by the constitution must be defended while we push to obtain others that should have been ours long ago under the constitution. It is not surprising that an administration which fails to get full rights for all would cynically take away those existing rights which interfere with its program. Both actions are undemocratic.
Accordingly, I am as determined to retain those rights which have been the proud possession of all Americans since the birth of the Bill of Rights as I am to get the equality to which I am entitled in our democracy. Only by preserving the first can we obtain the second. The chief victims of Truman's loyalty order, Negroes and Jews, who fought militantly for full equality, were kicked out of their federal jobs and their fellow workers cowed and intimidated because they exercised their constitutional rights of freedom of speech, association and assembly. Because they stood up for their rights they were labelled "Communists" and fired.
As a matter of fact, J. A. Rogers, noted Negro historian and columnist for the Pittsburgh Courier, largest Negro newspaper, wrote recently that he doubted whether the long Foley Square trials in New York would have been held had the Communist party been anti-Negro like the Ku Klux Klan. And is it merely coincidence that the Communist party enjoyed its highest degree of respectability in America during World War II when its previously strong fight for the rights of Negroes, Jews and other minorities was soft-pedaled?
So important is the fight for civil rights that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, often blasted as "Communist" by John Rankin and other Dixie politicians, has called a National Civil Liberties Mobilization for Washington on Jan. 15 to 17. Its purpose is to force passage—now—of civil rights legislation.
In some 16 states, Negroes hold the balance of power in a close national election. President Truman talked a good civil rights program, won the overwhelming majority of the Negro vote, and was reelected in 1948. Those who voted for him on his civil rights platform are still waiting for Truman to keep his promises. As you know, when this legislation came up last year, the President fought vigorously for its passage by going to Florida on a fishing trip.
And so the NAACP, voicing the sentiments of its 500,000 members as well as all others who believe HI real democracy, has called this conference to force action by the 81st session of Congress which has just reconvened. Organizations throughout America have promised cooperation, for here is a program which needs the widest possible support and unity if it is to succeed.
As its official call, issued last Oct. 15, states: "It is now apparent that campaign pledges to pass effective civil rights legislation have been openly and flagrantly repudiated. If this legislation is to be enacted in the second session of the 81st Congress, the people of America must be mobilized as never before to this end.
"We call upon the American people to join in a crusade to remove the stigma of discrimination and segregation from our national life. To this end, we invite the cooperation of organized labor, religious bodies of all faiths, fraternal organizations, civic organizations and other organizations and individuals who believe in civil rights for all to join with us in demanding affirmative action by the 81st Congress."
It would be a good thing if Hawaii could have representation at the mobilization, for the passage of federal civil rights legislation would be of direct benefit to the majority of the Territory's population.
For instance, take the matter of employment. Despite Hawaii's much advertised democracy, there is discrimination on the job front, with non-haoles being barred from many top-paying positions despite their qualifications. A rigidly enforced fair employment practice law would do away with such discrimination, and this kind of law is high on the list of legislation demanded by the forthcoming mobilization.
It is a foregone conclusion that the mobilization will be Red-baited by those who consider full civil rights to be the exclusive property of white supremacists, but it will take more than mere words and name-calling to halt the mounting drive for the end of second class citizenship and the realization of full equality for all.
Jackie Robinson's Prediction
The National League's most valuable player, Jackie Robinson, recalled how he predicted to his wife immediately after the election that "not much would be done" to push for passage of civil rights legislation. "Lots of people make promises for lots of reasons," he observed.
January 12, 1950: Africa is Next Door
To the people of Hawaii, Africa is a far-away place, almost another world. And yet in many ways it is as close as your next door neighbor. The Dark Continent suffers from a severe case of the disease known as colonialism which Hawaii has in a much milder form. The sole hope of the dying empires of Western Europe is intensified exploitation and continued slavery of African workers through U. S. money and munitions. There are strikes in Africa against the same kinds of conditions that cause strikes in Hawaii.
Maybe you think of Africans as black savages, half-naked, dancing to the thump-thump of tom-toms in jungle clearings, if you think of them at all. You may have gotten your impressions through the propaganda of press, radio and films, intended to sell the world on the idea that Africans are inferior and backward. It comes from the same propaganda mill that sells Mainlanders the idea that Japanese and Chinese and Filipinos and other people of different cultures and colors are also inferior and backward. Clear away the vicious propaganda, and you find the 150,000,000 Africans want peace, land, economic security, education, better health facilities, self-government and an end to domination by the white nations of the world. Their goals are the same as those of the people of Asia—a fact clearly demonstrated when the first All-Asiatic Conference was held at New Delhi, India a little over two years ago with) a large delegation from Africa. Since then India has arranged a student exchange with various sections of Africa.
World War II stepped up the global drive for independence. After V-J Day, it was obvious that the era of colonies and empire had come to an end. The day of slavery for the colored peoples of Asia and Africa was over. India has her independence; the Chinese people have wrecked the diabolical alliance of the Kuomintang with the moneyed interests of Britain and America. Indonesia, Malaya and Viet-Nam will be satisfied with nothing less than full independence; the Philippines are a sovereign nation.
The empires of Western Europe are fighting as never before to retain a stranglehold on Africa. It is essential for the success of any war with Russia. Yet freedom for Africa is vital to freedom for all Asia; England, France and The Netherlands can get the wealth and raw materials to carry on warfare against liberation of their Asiatic colonies as long as they can exploit Africa. American Big Business prospers by controlling the imperialist cliques of Western Europe; the Atlantic Pact throws our armed might behind the empires as they attempt to crush independence movements within the colonies. And all of this continuation of virtual slavery is justified under the guise of a holy war to contain "Russian communism."
At the same time, the fire of liberation burns brighter among Africans with each success of Asiatic people to obtain self-government—thus further indicating the real closeness of Asia and Africa. And England, France, Belgium and the others are worried. So they bring out the usual cry of communism—sometimes with unexpected results.
For instance, the 2.000,000 whites who rule South Africa have 147 members of parliament but permit only three for the 8,000,000 Negroes—and these three must be white. Last year the Negroes elected two representatives. Both are Communists. According to the Rev. R. W. Stopford, an educational leader in Africa, the natives are attracted by the fact that Russia has virtually abolished illiteracy and has ended discrimination against [sic] colored peoples.
France in particular, is troubled by the rapidly growing African Democratic Union, which already has 1,000,000 members pledged to fight for liberation. Britain is keeping her eyes on the Gold Coast and the rising demands for self-government. England's imperialists fear that if things get out of hand, there will be repercussions in all of West Africa and particularly in Nigeria where there is a strong Nationalist movement. In Eastern and Central Africa, anti-European tension is so great that Sir Percy Sillitoe, Britain's chief secret service man, has been flown there from London.
In Nigeria, on the West Coast, African coal miners have been on strike with several dozen killed by the goon squads of the operators. They struck for a living wage and to end the cruelty of the bosses, in other parts of Africa there is forced labor. And the profits often find their way into the pockets of American financiers. In Nigeria, for instance, the average pay of workers is $60 a year. Lever Brothers, the soap kings, did a gross business in 1948 of $260,000,000 through the subsidiary, United Africa Co., operating mainly in Nigeria.
What I have said merely skims the surface of conditions in Africa, yet it should show a little of what is going on there. And it also indicates that the people in Africa are on the march, and that they are no different from the plain people of Asia and our own Hawaii. They are, like the Asiatics, sick of what they term "white imperialism" and will be satisfied with nothing short of an opportunity to work out their own destinies in any way that they see fit.
January 19, 1950: A Constitution for Hawaii
Hawaii has a chance to correct some of the evils from which it has long suffered by electing delegates to the constitutional convention pledged to write a document that will be for the benefit of all the people instead of a select few.
Since I have chosen Hawaii as my home, I have a personal interest in the kind of constitution we get. That goes for all for us. We've had little say-so before; we can speak up now.
It is time to recall the wise words of Abraham Lincoln in an 1856 speech as quoted in "Lincoln Collector: The Story of Oliver R. Barrett's Great Lincoln Collection," published by Harcourt, Brace:
"Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of posterity to breed tyrants; and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future, some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but the rich men, or none but white men, or none but Anglo-Saxons, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence, and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began—so that truth and justice and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man hereafter would dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built."
First of all, let us bring the Bill of Rights back to life in our constitution. It has been a casualty of the cold war, yet it is as important today as it was when it was first framed. For, to paraphrase Lincoln, we have come to the evil day when none but the supporters of our bipartisan foreign policy are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is not the kind of democracy Washington and Jefferson built in the young days of our nation; it is a dictatorship of thought absolutely repugnant to our national traditions. Let Hawaii lead the way back to Americanism. I agree with Sen. Herbert K. H. Lee's proposed section, as outlined in the daily press, banning discrimination and segregation. It reads:
"No person shall be subjected to any discrimination or segregation because of race, color, ancestry, national origin, creed, religion or personal beliefs, by any firm, corporation, association, organization or institution or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state in the exercise of any civil, military, political or economic right." And yet this stand, strong and straightforward as it is, could become a museum piece as have sections of the federal constitution, without the passage of supporting legislation providing stiff penalties for violations. I should like to see such things as a fair employment practices law which would not only end the restricting of certain jobs to haoles even though non-haoles have equal or better qualifications, but also put a stop to the dual standard of wages by which haoles and non-haoles performing identical work have different rates of pay.
Further, I would like to see a civil rights law with strong teeth, which would make it illegal and costly to bar anybody from a public place purely on the grounds of race or color. Along with this, we need to abolish restricted residential districts which set up and maintain strict racial lines.
Provision should be made for breaking up the big estates which control so much of this territory and force Hawaii to depend upon a sugar and pineapple economy. Small, independent farmers need to have access to land at a reasonable fee so that they can engage in diversified farming and thus make the people less at the mercy of the shipping industry and importing monopolies for food. For we have reached a period in our historywhen not only political and social rights need to be spelled out, but economic rights as well. President Roosevelt recognized, this fact when he announced his eight point Economic Bill of Bights: The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food, and clothing and recreation.
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
The right of every business man, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home and abroad.
The right of every family to a decent home.
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
The right to a good education. These are some of the things that must be uppermost in the minds of those we elect to frame our new constitution. This is 1950. We can get a constitution that fits the needs of the people today and in the future which can be a model for the Mainland. Or we can let ourselves be given a document that attempts to bolster the outmoded and dying colonialism of those in economic control of Hawaii. Which shall it be?
January 26, 1950: Free Enterprise or Socialism?
Before too long, our nation will have to decide whether we shall have free enterprise or socialism. At present we have neither.
I thought of this as I read last week that Rep. Wright Patman of Texas, chairman of the house small business committee, will make a report to Congress on monopoly saying in part:
"If monopoly continues at the present rate, either the giant corporations will control all our markets, the greatest share of our wealth, and eventually, our government, or the government will be forced to intervene with some form of direct regulation of business.
"Either choice is inimical to those who believe In the American system of democratic government and free enterprise."
This statement would have sounded better if it had been made a half-century ago, for the things about which Patman warns have long been accomplished facts.
About the only free enterprise we have left is carefully guarded under lock and key in the display rooms of the Smithsonian Institution.
Tentacles of Big Business
And yet those who speak most endearingly of free enterprise, as if it were sacred and a divine right, are those who have crucified it and are trying to put it into the grave.
For instance, Alfred Sloan of General Motors announced that his gigantic company made a profit last year of $600,000,000, more than any other corporation in history. Over the years, General Motors has swallowed up or knocked out car manufacturer after car manufacturer so that today less than a handful of competitors remains. Free enterprise, eh?
Obviously, a business that can show a profit if one year of $600,000,000 is in a position to control government. When we remember that the directors and major stockholders of one industry also shape the policies of banks and other huge corporations, it is easy to see that the tentacles of Big Business control just about everything they think they need to insure continued profits.
That is why Patman's statement is in the nature of a scientist in 1950 forecasting the invention of the airplane. The control of our wealth and government by the giant corporations and the flight of aircraft are accomplished facts.
For many years now we have been living under the virtual dictatorship of Big Business which all but drove us to ruin in 1929. Itself headed for the grave, Big Business was given a new lease on life with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. An angry and hungry America was ready to turn to anybody who promised a way out of the wilderness of hard times.
Roosevelt's Biggest Enemies
By curbing the excesses of the giant corporations that had led to the economic crisis, Roosevelt was able to save the system from complete collapse. And yet the moneyed men who were bailed out by the New Deal program were our late President's biggest enemies. They have refused to see that in order to preserve their hides, they had to hand out a few drops of gravy to the common man.
This bolstering of a sick economy ended at the outset of World War II. Multi-billion-dollar expenditures for the means of killing fellow humans brought added profits and Big Business emerged stronger than ever before in history after V-J Day. What's more, there were fewer industries for mergers had fattened the already giant monopolies.
For instance, by 1947 there were 45 corporations with assets of a billion dollars or more, compared with 20 in the boom year of 1929. The senate small business committee at the end of the war revealed that 250 corporations owned two-thirds of all manufacturing facilities, and that by the middle of 1945 the 63 largest manufacturing corporations had more working capital than all manufacturing corporations combined in 1939.
With this added weight to throw around, and a President willing to do their bidding after the death of Roosevelt, our giant corporations have had things pretty much their own way. Government policy is fixed in Wall Street and transmitted through the corporation executives who have been appointed by Truman to high federal office. OPA was killed, the Marshall Plan launched and the nation placed on the brink of war economy— so that such firms as General Motors could make $600,000,000 profit while unemployment skyrocketed.
Backbone of Free Enterprise Broken
In this control by monopoly, the small businessman, the backbone of free enterprise, has been a casualty. He cannot compete against the tremendous financial reserves of the huge monopolies, and thus we find more and more forced into bankruptcy or absorbed by the monopolies. Those small businessmen who supported the Marshall Plan have been unable to get but a pittance of orders, for here it's the Big Boys Who, through their contacts with official Washington, walk off with the fat contracts.
Of course, in order to fool the public, the federal government makes a show now and then of prosecuting some of the giant trusts, but such cases often drag through the years and then die of old age or else, when there is a conviction, the penalty amounts to little more than an apologetic slap on the wrist. The full fury of the federal government is unleashed against those who have no power in Washington.
As for free enterprise, it doesn't live here any more. At the same time we have manufactured a national horror of socialism. Meanwhile, the dictatorship of the monopolies is driving us down the road to ruin.
And so, with still rising unemployment and a mounting depression, the time draws nearer when we will have to decide to oust the monopolies and restore a competing system of free enterprise, or let the government own and operate our major industries.
February 2, 1950: Why Negro History Week?
This is the 24th year that Negro History Week has been observed throughout America. If you saw the Jan. 2 issue of Life magazine, the special edition devoted to "American Life and Times, 1900-1950," you can understand why such a week is necessary.
One-tenth of the American population is Negro. The first Negro sailed to America as a pilot with Christopher Columbus In 1492. Contributions by Negroes in all fields have enriched American civilization and progress throughout the first half of this century, but if you judged by the special issue of Life you would get the idea our nation is populated almost exclusively by white folk.
In this special issue of Life, which is read by millions each week, there is a picture of Negroes shooting craps on the Boonville-New York Ferry (which reinforces the usual stereotypes), and a composograph shows a court scene from the notorious Kip Rhinelander divorce case of the 1920s. That's all.
Life, owned by the millionaire publisher, Henry Luce, continues the. conspiracy of silence against Negro achievements first entered into 300 years ago when slave trading became a big business. In an effort to blast down this Jericho of ignorance, Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926 became a modern Joshua blowing the horn of Negro History each February during the week of Lincoln's birthday.
Sets Pattern for Other People
What has happened to America's biggest minority has set the pattern for treatment of other ethnic groups. The plot to show the inferiority of non-white peoples victimizes not only Negroes but Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and the rest.
For instance, when I was in the seventh grade back in Kansas, I remember vividly a course called "American Beginnings In Europe." I learned about the English, French, Germans, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and the others from Western and Southern Europe who helped build America, but not one word was taught in public school about Negroes.
I learned about the so-called "Yellow Peril." Chinese and Japanese were painted to me as people who, because of their "inherent inferiority," could not be "assimilated" by "western civilization" and therefore they should be barred from America. They weren't like Negroes, I was taught, who had shown "real aptitude for the white man's civilization." The implication was that I should consider myself "above" Orientals.
It dawned on me one day, that White America was looking down on everybody who wasn't white, and that for self-preservation, all the colored peoples ought to reject this propaganda, get acquainted, and find a way of working together to throw off the world yoke of white supremacy. When I met my first Filipinos in Chicago and learned that in the field of employment, they often had a harder time than Negroes, I was completely convinced of the righteousness of my conclusion.
Conspiracy of Silence Everywhere
During the militant days of the CIO, organized labor began pointing out that this false attitude of superiority towards minorities helped nobody but the bosses, and that one of the best ways to respect non-whites was to learn something about them, their backgrounds and contributions to civilization. As a result, many unions held Negro History Week programs.
There are probably few people in Hawaii who know much about the history of Negroes in America, Europe and Africa. The conspiracy of silence extends everywhere. What we do have are the stereotypes cunningly preserved for the purpose of separating or keeping apart the victims of discrimination, whether these victims are religious or ethnic or labor groups. As, for instance, my original impressions of Orientals and what are probably many Oriental impressions of Negroes.
About all you find in the history books used in schools is that Negroes came here as slaves in 1619, were the cause of the Civil War, and have been a problem to America. Maybe one or two, like Booker T. Washington, will be mentioned by name. To give more consideration might tend to break down the doctrine of white supremacy, and then how could the economic dictators maintain control if they could no longer play one group against another in the best divide-and-rule tradition?
Facts Hidden From History Books
So if you learn that the first American woman to win recognition as a poet was a Negro, Phillis Wheatley; or that the first to die in the historic Boston Massacre which started the Revolutionary War was a Negro, Crispus Attucks; or that a Negro woman Deborah Gannett, was one of the 4,000 Negro soldiers fighting under General Washington; or that a Negro named Benjamin Banneker did the bulk of the surveying to lay out the city of Washington; or that a Negro inventor, Jan Matzeliger, was responsible for shoemaking machinery; or that a Negro ex-slave, Dr. George Washington Carver, is considered by many as America's greatest agricultural chemist; or that a Negro doctor, Charles Drew, is responsible for the development of the blood banks which proved so valuable in World War II, you'll have to look farther than the history books in ordinary use.
You're also not likely to read ordinarily that such world-renowned writers as Pushkin of Russia, the Dumas of France and Robert Browning of England were Negroes, or that certain of the royal families of Europe were part Negro, or that many old paintings of black folk have been discovered throughout Europe. The fact that Hannibal led a black army on Rome some 20 centuries ago is also glossed over. Yet these are events selected at random that have occurred and history cannot be wiped out. It is the purpose of Negro History Week to remind America that there are no inferior peoples.
When this lesson has sunk in and the necessity for such an observance is no more, we will then be well on the way to realizing the century of the common man.
February 9: 1950: Onward with the Hydrogen Bomb
As a nation, we mince gingerly from crisis to crisis, like an old woman using stepping stones to cross a muddy street. At the same time we glance back over our shoulders in sharp terror, as if we feared momentarily that we might be seized and held captive by that awful monster Peace.
Never before in history has there been a nation that proclaimed more loudly its love of peace and yet used its might to lash peace from the door.
When we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, we believed the world was ours. Having defeated the Axis powers on the battlefront, we were ready to show the Russians who was boss of this world.
There were quite a few Americans who thought all along that Hitler was right and that we should have been fighting Stalin in the first place.
Instead of beating our swords into ploughshares, we began whipping our uranium into atom bombs. It was a technique thought up by the dividend diplomats placed in Washington by special arrangement with Big Business. Some of the impatient go-getters were of a mind to drop a few on Moscow now and get it over with.
Rapid Manufacture of Crises
But the American people weren't ready for such drastic measures. Fresh in our minds was the fact that Russia had lost an estimated 20,000,000 people fighting the Nazis, that vast industrial areas of her land had been laid waste, and that it had taken the combined efforts of our nation and the Soviet Union working closely together to curb the greatest threat to civilization the world had ever known.
Temporarily balked but not defeated, our dividend diplomats, with the willing hands of President Truman, went into the crisis-making business. If Molotov coughed, it threatened our "security" in Iran. If Vishinsky laughed, we were "endangered" in Korea. By laying down the proper propaganda barrage, we were soon able to by-pass the United Nations and island-hop our way from the Truman Doctrine to Greece and Turkey to the Atlantic Pact. We manufacture crises so rapidly that a new one is shoved in front of us before we can examine yesterday's or the one rushed in this morning.
We have done these things, we said, rattling our atom bombs, because we love peace.
But we, too, love peace, said the men in the Kremlin. Your productive capacity was unscathed and came out of the war greater than ever before in the whole history of mankind. It will take us years to restore the losses sustained by Russian industry from the German blitz; Let's get together, talk this thing but and settle our differences amicably so that we can all go about the business of making the world safe forever from another war. Peace we want above all else, said Uncle Joe in messages to America.
Real Peace Is "Expensive Luxury"
While the hopes of our people rose at these words, our dividend diplomats recoiled in horror. If the ideological conflict between our side and the Soviets was brought to an end, what would happen to our giant corporations getting fat contracts to make materials of war and products for the anti-Communists of Europe? With no brink-of-war economy, how could General Motors make $600,000,000 in one year in the face of rising unemployment? What would our generals and admirals think? No, real peace is an expensive luxury that the big stockholders and professional soldiers can't afford.
So, trembling with fear, our dividend diplomats told us that we cannot trust the Russians when they speak of peace. Since the men in the Kremlin are Communists, they do not mean peace when they say peace because it is a typical Communist technique to fool people by always saying one thing when another is meant. So let us not be taken in. If they talk of peace, they really mean they want war. Therefore, we must redouble our efforts to face this new threat. Of course, if Moscow comes right out and says it wants war, that will not be double-talk. In that case they would be so confident of winning that they might attack by midnight. So let's keep prepared and shake our atoms even more.
Then one day President Truman announced that the Russians had the atomic bomb. Our dividend diplomats wrung their hands but the people breathed more easily. If both sides had it, the chances of a hot war were quite remote. Neither would start anything for fear of retaliation by the other. Maybe there would be peace at last.
But ours is a resourceful land. Unless we have a threat better than the other fellow's, the crisis making business might go bankrupt, thus forcing us to cut our war budget, and you know what that would do to the incomes of the poor millionaires. Therefore, we will create a hydrogen bomb to shake at Russia, and then we can keep on making shiny new crises on a mass production basis. After all, there's always the chance that the American people will agree to war—for the sake of peace, of course!—while we have an H-bomb and before the Soviets can make one of their own.
But if the Soviets steal enough secrets (by reading What Every Young Nuclear Physicist Should Know) and get an H-bomb at the same time or even before we test ours, we shall have reached another stalemate, and the boys will have to think up a weapon guaranteed to destroy everything—that is, everything, not marked with the Stars and Stripes—in one global explosion.
Peace, it's wonderful! But let's stay out of its slimy clutches!
February 16, 1950: Pattern for Subversion
When Judge Medina sentenced the defense lawyers for contempt, following the conviction of the Communist leaders in New York last year, I said in the RECORD that this was a dangerous device at the disposal of any prejudiced court to intimidate the entire legal profession. It was a technique which could be used not only against counsel for Communists - real or fancied—but attorneys representing members of any minority group.
Shortly afterward, the trial of Harry Bridges opened in California and, as you know, a page was borrowed from the Foley Square proceedings and the lawyers for Bridges have been cited for contempt, their sentences to begin at the conclusion of the case.
With these two precedents established, a New Jersey judge has gone a step farther. He has denied six Negroes the right to be defended in court by counsel of their own choosing.
The case is that of the Trenton Six, the facts of which should be familiar to RECORD readers. Because they were Negroes, they were arrested, tortured into confessing, and sentenced to die for the murder of a storekeeper which it would have been impossible for them to have committed. They were saved from a legal lynching only by the intervention of the Civil Rights Congress which carried their appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court and had the verdict set aside.
Judge Takes Away Right
CRC provided new counsel in the retrial to replace the court-appointed lawyers who had made only a half-hearted defense. The CRC attorneys are O. John Rogge, former assistant attorney general of the U. S.; Emanuel H. Bloch and William L. Patterson, CRC executive secretary.
But Mercer County Judge Charles P. Hutchinson, whose conduct of the first trial was called "tainted with error" by the state supreme court, has refused to allow these attorneys to represent the defendants. He has done this in the face of the fact that five of the six have signed statements asking to be defended only by Rogge, Bloch and Patterson.
Our laws state that a person has a right to be represented in court by counsel of his own choosing. It is this right which Judge Hutchinson seeks arbitrarily and ruthlessly to take away. An injunction to restrain him has been asked in Federal Court.
Meanwhile, the new trial, scheduled for February 6, has been indefinitely postponed. The six frame-up victims are still in jail.
These three cases have one big fact in common: the defendants are all members of minority groups. The Communist party is a minority group in America; Harry Bridges is head of the ILWU, also a minority group; the Trenton Six are members of the nation's biggest ethnic minority, the Negro people.
Action of the judges in these three cases, if not checked by an aroused American public, means that the time is almost at hand when no member of a minority group can be sure of being adequately defended in a case where hysteria has been whipped up against him. The judge would have the option of either refusing to allow the defendants to select adequate counsel, or of jailing the lawyer along with his client. Either way, it is dictatorship and a complete subversion of democracy.
In the Name of Democracy
The sixth amendment to the federal constitution guarantees to each the right of a fair trial and the assistance of counsel. This amendment has not been repealed. So long as it is a part of the highest law of the land, we must insist on its observance.
Yet those who are busiest undermining democracy do so in the name of democracy. Today American democracy has completely conflicting sets of meanings. The judges in all three cases mentioned here would consider it an insult if their Americanism was questioned.
Speaking of Americanism and its varied interpretations let me tell you about an incident which happened last month in New York, at the Second Annual Awards dinner of the Sports Magazine, held at the Hotel Astor. Jackie Robinson and Ray "Sugar" Robinson were present as guests of honor.
Handshakes and a Roundhouse
One of the speakers was Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers who gave Jackie his chance in the big leagues. Rickey appealed for racial equality, mentioned that the Negro had proven his ability in all fields of sports and said that the time is rapidly approaching when nobody would think of the racial question in America.
As the last speaker, Rickey was receiving handshakes when an irate white guest pushed forward and exclaimed:
"As an American I want to tell you that was the worst speech I ever heard." He then shoved Rickey with both hands and aimed a roundhouse right at the surprised baseball magnate's jaw. Rickey drew back and the blow bounced harmlessly off his chest. The assailant then hurried away without his identity becoming known.
The point of this story is that here were two men, both claiming equal pride in their Americanism. Obviously, both can't be right. But it is such distorted conceptions of Americanism as that of Rickey's assailant that have been given aid and comfort by the actions of many public officials, including certain judges. They are the real threats to genuine democracy.
February 23, 1950: Reinecke Aids the Racists
It was a sad surprise to read Dr. John Reinecke's letter in last week's RECORD about my column on Negro History Week: No matter what his intent, his ideas ally him with the most vicious enemies of Negroes and other minority groups. In that letter he joins forces with the white supremacists who, for economic reasons, have perpetuated a conspiracy intended to maintain the exploitation of non-white peoples.
I do not say this was conscious on Dr. Reinecke's part. The effect, however, is the same. The victim is just as dead when killed accidentally on a foggy night by a motorist as when ambushed and murdered by an assassin.
Dr. Reinecke says that to some American Negroes, "nobodies like Crispus Attacks are made heroes." This insistence on either ignoring key Negro figures entirely or else dismissing them as "nobodies" is one of the major devices for continuing the myth of Negro inferiority. As an antidote for this poison, Negroes have for 24 years observed Negro History Week.
Belittling Outgrowth of Slave Trade
This complete neglect or belittling of Negro historical figures has its roots in the slave trade. When slavery was introduced into America on a wide scale in 1619 and developed into a big business bringing in millions of dollars in annual profits, it was necessary to find a way of reconciling this evil with the tenets of Christianity which considered all men as brothers.
So the spokesmen for the slave traders invented the myth of African inferiority. Black people were sub-human, had no history, no culture, no civilization, they said, and thus it was really a blessing for them to come in contact with the white man's civilization and Christianity. They ignored completely the highly developed cultures of Africa, the ancient empires and huge walled cities of Benin, Zeg Zeg, Zimawe and the rest. Dr. Reinecke should read "The Myth of the Negro Past" by Dr. Melville Merskovits and "African Heroes and Heroines" by Dr. Carter G. Woodson.
After the Civil War, the whites, who had been taught their own superiority, were thrown into economic competition with the ex-slaves for jobs. In order to keep black and white workers fighting each other instead of uniting to better their mutual conditions, the doctrine of black inferiority was even more rigidly followed. The Ku Klux Klan came into existence. Negro labor was used as a threat against white labor by employers to keep wages low and profits high. Remember the huge fortunes built up in the latter half of the past century? The technique was the same as that of the slavery era—insisting that the Negro had no historical background, ignoring the facts and belittling as "nobodies" those who could not be completely ignored. And this is the vicious anti-democratic doctrine which Dr. Reinecke supports.
What determines whether a personage is "nobody" or "somebody?" Physical possessions? Skin color? His contribution to the society in which he lives? Specifically, why is Crispus Attucks a "nobody" in Dr. Reinecke's eyes? Is it because a high priest of white supremacy has said so?
Attucks Is a Symbol
True, Crispus Attucks did not own land and slaves (was it necessary to hold other humans in bondage to be "somebody"?) as did many of the white heroes of the Revolutionary period. In fact, Crispus Attucks, being black, suffered from even more prejudice and restrictions and denial of opportunity than the Negroes of today. Actually, he was a seaman whose ship was in port at the time. But that is not the point.
The point is that on this historic day, Attucks learned of the proposed demonstration against British oppression and voluntarily joined with the demonstrators. He stood in the forefront of those who wanted freedom. He was the first to die—not the second or the twelfth, but the first—in the Boston Massacre which, historians say, launched the struggle that meant American liberation. There is a monument in Boston erected to the memory of these martyrs. In the list of engraved names, that of Crispus Attacks leads all the rest.
Attucks is a symbol of the oft-forgotten fact that Negroes" have shed their blood in all of America's struggles for liberty. To belittle him is to insult all Negroes and friends of freedom, and to give aid and comfort to those forces determined to continue Negro oppression.
Dr. Reinecke also disputes my mention of Hannibal and his black army. He again supports the white supremacy historians who, for reasons already mentioned, would have us believe that no event in ancient history involved anybody who had ethnic kinship with the "inferior" peoples from whom the slaves were taken.
A historical figure might be 10 shades darker than midnight and have thick lips, a broad nose and kinky hair (which describes many of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt) but if he cannot be ignored or belittled, then he is a "white" African. Ironically enough, here in America, if the slightest trace of African ancestry can be found in a person with blond hair and blue eyes, then that person is a "Negro."
Color Prejudice Recent Development
And yet old chronicles and archeological [sic] discoveries prove that black Africans were common in Spain and the rest of Europe centuries before Caesar. Alexander had black troops; Homer writes of a black general, friend of Ulysses, in the Trojan war.
Race and color prejudice are recent developments in history; formerly we had religious and national prejudices. Anthropologists say mankind can be divided only arbitrarily and for convenience into white, yellow and black races, which overlap; and that color, hair, skeletal structure, etc., were determined by climate, geography, soil, environment, etc., working over long periods of years.
Did North Africans, the majority of whom are "blacker" than most American Negroes, suddenly become "white Africans" under Hannibal for the convenience of white supremacy historians 2,000 years later?
In view of these facts, which should be known to a man of Dr. Reinecke's scholastic achievement, why does he reject logic and science for Dixiecrat doctrines designed to keep Negroes in an inferior position? If he is as great a liberal as his reputation indicates, why is it he does not join in the fight against the publicists for white supremacy who are the bitter enemies of genuine democracy?
March 2, 1950: Left of Center
Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, I am proud of being left of center in the best American tradition. Because I reject thought control and witchhunts as a subversion of democracy, and since I have the unpopular idea that our Constitution means what it says, certain people consider me a "dangerous radical" who must be "closely watched."
And yet my strongest utterances sound like the timid talk of a colorfast conservative when I read the words and public speeches of many of our most beloved Americans.
Never have I dreamed of going as far left as Abraham Lincoln, founder of the Republican party, who at his first inaugural said:
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or, their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
And if that is not enough to label Lincoln, ' consider what else he said in the same inaugural address:
"If, by mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution—certainly would if such right were a vital one."
Preferred Dangerous Liberty
In a letter to Col. Smith in 1787, Thomas Jefferson said: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
Speaking of Sharp's Rebellion, Jefferson stated: "I prefer dangerous liberty rather than quiet servitude. It prevents the degeneracy of government and nourishes a general attention to public affairs. I hold that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world, as storms in the physical." But we have descended to such a low level in our history that a person becomes cannon fodder for the un-American committees merely by repeating the words of Lincoln and Jefferson. Unless your thoughts are stamped in big letters: "Approved today in Washington," you are an "enemy of democracy."
This is so because, as Woodrow Wilson said: "The masters of the government of the United States are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States.
"The government, which was designed for the people, has gotten into the hands of bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy."
It has been put even more bluntly. Speaking to, the American Legion National Convention in 1935, Gov. Earle of Pennsylvania declared:
"I warn you that our civilization is in danger if we heed the deceptive cries of special privilege, if we permit our men of great wealth to send us on a wild goose chase after so-called radicals while they continue to plunder the people .... We are constantly told of the evils of Socialism and Communism. The label is applied to every man, woman and child who dares to say a word which does not have the approval of Wall Street."
Little that I say has the approval of Big Business. As I said at the start, I am left of center. It is the only course open to me if I, as a non-haole, want equality with white America.
If I were conservative, that would mean automatically that I think we have gone too far in trying to break the yoke of color bondage and that I am in favor of greater discrimination against me, not less.
Branded a "Danger To Democracy"
If I were a middle-of-the-roader, that would mean I am quite satisfied with things as they are, that while I did not want to return to the day of fewer citizenship rights, also neither would I want to crack any more barriers. In other words, I would be quite content with the status quo.
But since I am left of center, that means that I reject completely the idea of white supremacy and second-class citizenship for non-haole peoples. It means that I want full civil rights, equal job opportunities and the other rights guaranteed by the Constitution but denied by officials sworn to uphold it. Yet, if I insist on democracy, I am branded a "danger to democracy."
Speaking of the plight of the colored Americans eight years after Pearl Harbor, Columnist Joseph D. Bibb wrote recently in the Pittsburgh Courier, the nation's largest Negro newspaper:
"Mobs in big Northern cities encircle and contain him in the ghettoes. He cannot obtain a decent home. He has been separated from his job. If he complains, he is branded as a Red engaged in subversive operations . . . Eight years after Pearl Harbor, if a colored American groans and wails against his burdens, and strains at his yoke, they brand him as an agent of Moscow."
But I, personally, have no intention of being silenced by a label. I do not intend to be frightened into submission to the status quo. So long as I feel that I am right, I shall continue to lift my voice. As the famous poet, James Russell Lowell, put it: "They are slaves who fear to speak For the fallen and the weak; They are slaves who will not choose Hatred, scoffing and abuse Rather than in silence shrink From the truth they needs must think:
They are slaves who dare not be in the right with two or three."
March 9, 1950: A Japanese American Judge
In an editorial entitled "Race Is Not a Proper Qualification for a Judge" appearing March 1, the Star-Bulletin took issue with the Japanese American Citizens' League which asked that an American of Japanese ancestry be appointed to fill the pending vacancy on the Hawaii circuit bench.
According to the afternoon daily, this smacks of "making race a qualification for judgeship." The editorial goes on: "To set not because the "most fundamental principles of Americanism" are not observed and because race has been consistently set up as "a qualification for a judge" that Mike Masaoka of the JACL has called upon Washington to correct this condition? People of Japanese ancestry are the largest single element in Hawaii's polyglot population. Among them are many lawyers. Yet not one has been appointed to the bench in Hawaii. Have the judges been selected purely because of their qualifications? If so, the conclusion is inescapable that there are no AJAs capable of serving on the bench, thus proving the "inferiority" o the Oriental to whites.
But if the AJAs are not "just naturally inferior," among the lawyers there must have been a few whose qualifications for judgeship equalled those of haoles who were appointed to the bench. That being so, why has none been selected? Could it be solely because they belonged to a different race?
This talk of "selection on qualification" in this instance is merely a way of maintaining discrimination. If the "theory of government as expressed in the Constitution" had been lived up to, there would be no need for asking that discrimination against qualified Japanese Americans be ended. Instead, there would be JA judges on the Hawaiian bench.
Those who accept the argument offered by the Star-Bulletin do a disservice to democracy and block the progress of non-haole peoples in their fight for full equality.
After all, who decides the question of qualifications in Washington? Japanese Americans who, as a national minority, have little influence in the federal government? Or the majority of haoles who control the government but who can see little merit in anything non-haole and who make concessions mainly for political reasons?
Position of Minorities Similar
The fact is, with our present nationwide attitudes on color and race, even the most qualified members of minority groups will seldom receive due recognition without pressure. When there is an end to race and color discrimination, then we can talk about recognition purely on the basis of ability. But so long as a capable person is overlooked purely because he is of a different race or religion and therefore a "nobody," then it is up to those who want democracy to insist that a member of a minority group be given the recognition that otherwise might be denied.
I cannot emphasize too strongly the similarities between the status of the Negro people and the AJAs and other ethnic minorities. Discrimination against one sets the pattern for discrimination against all. The experiences of one group in the common fight against white supremacy should be understood by others; all should join hands in any move to eradicate this evil.
Today there are three Negro federal judges, appointed by Washington. This is comparatively recent, despite the fact that, for decades there have been outstanding Negro lawyers blessed with judicial talent. But these three were named to the federal court only when Negroes became more insistent and organized in their demands for recognition in this field. It was the result of continued and mounting pressure.
Wide Support for the naming of a qualified AJA to the bench in Hawaii would be bound to impress Washington. It would be not only an expression of practical democracy, but would certainly build goodwill for the political group responsible for this forward step.
Because I am a member, of a group that for more than 300 years has suffered discrimination in America, and know what it means, I'm back of this fight by the JACL for an end to discrimination in this field. I want to see every color barrier smashed, and I hope that supporters of a Japanese American judge for the circuit court in Hawaii will not be silenced by the Star-Bulletin position on this burning issue.
Note To Dr. Reinecke
Dr. John Reinecke's letter in last week's RECORD merely proves how deep are the roots of of [sic] white supremacy even in some of those who have the greatest reputations as liberals. Only a white supremacist would presume that he could look down from a lofty perch and decide Just who should be considered as heroes and who was to be classed as "nobodies" by a group struggling to burst the tight bonds of discrimination and second class citizenship. What but a faith in and acceptance of the myths designed to maintain the belief of Negro inferiority would cause Dr. Reinecke to belittle and discard the data presented by J. A. Rogers, who has spent his life traveling throughout the world doing research and gathering documentary evidence to back up his disclosures?
Just why does Dr. Reinecke consider his judgment superior, to that of Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, a Negro long ranked as one of the world's greatest scholars and historians and who two years ago was honored, by a national magazine as one of the nation's greatest living Americans? Why does Dr. Reinecke prefer the views of anti-Negro historians about Hannibal and his army to the logic and the historical writings of the non-prejudiced? Why, except for his support of the doctrine of white supremacy?
March 16, 1950: More CIO Bankruptcy
New evidence is piling up to prove conclusively that the CIO top leadership is rapidly deserting the fight for minority rights and is ganging up with reaction to work against the best interests of working people.
The ouster of those unions who still believe in democracy cannot be viewed as something separate and isolated, but fits into the whole ugly picture of the sell-out by the Murray-Reuther gang who are the dictators of the CIO.
For years the CIO has stood out front among those groups demanding civil rights and full equality for all Americans regardless of creed or color or national origin. Today there is still lip service, but you must judge by deeds, not words.
Recently, Negro newspapers throughout the Mainland carried a news article which began:
"Have CIO and other labor leaders made 'another' backdoor deal to bypass civil rights legislation in this session of Congress?
Civil Rights Not Mentioned
"That is the burning question arising from the big southern 'harmony' conference here several days ago. This was the biggest Dixie turnout since the national elections, and the after-thought of what transpired there is shocking to some Negroes both in and out of the labor movement.
"Representatives of the CIO, AFL and Railway Labor unions journeyed south with top administration leaders in an effort to garner support for the administration's program in this session of Congress. But if these champions of the 'laboring masses' went south to woo Dixie support for the Truman program, they made it clear that they did not include civil rights in their demands."
Sharing the platform with the Dixiecrats were Jack Kroll, CIO political action head; Joseph Keenan, APL official and C. T. Anderson of the Railway Labor Political League. Not one of them spoke one word for civil rights, says the article, and it continues:
"The CIO in particular has been exceedingly vocal in the North over the past years, and in the union's younger days it blazed a trail through the south. However, suspicions of a 'new attitude' began to arise when Negro papers reported the CIO Textile Workers convention some three years ago. At that convention, the union's president, Emile Rieve, reportedly blocked a resolution favorable to civil rights. He was quoted as saying the resolution might offend some members of the union. Rieve is one of the CIO's top policy makers today."
Equal Rights Indivisible
I might add that three years ago was when the CIO began giving support to the Truman Doctrine and its meddling in the internal affairs of Greece and Turkey. The outgrowth of the Truman Doctrine is the ClO-backed Atlantic Pact and its support for imperialism and denial of equality to the millions of Asian and African colonial subjects. In other words, you can't suppress equal rights abroad and support equal rights at home. And thus the CIO has sacrificed the fight for civil liberties in America.
There's still more evidence. The CIO recently ousted the United Public Workers. President Abram Flaxer said his union was kicked out partly because of its fight against segregation in the federal government, partly because the UPW opposed certain administration issues, and partly because it has embarrassed the National CIO by challenging certain of its actions.
For example, UPW criticized National CIO for supporting John Sparkman of Alabama for senator, even though Sparkman campaigned on a white supremacy issue and is an ardent foe of civil rights. The National CIO also backed Virgil Chapman of Kentucky, although this senator favors the Taft-Hartley law.
Top Brass Morally Corrupt
I might add that the fight against discrimination is dear to the heart of UPW. One-third of its entire membership is Negro.
Here in Hawaii, the vast majority are also non-haole. But winning full equality for non-whites is no longer of real importance to the National CIO leadership.
In fact, the Murray-Reuther-Rieve gang is so morally corrupt that it accepted the invitation of the American Legion to attend the recent "All-American Conference" in New York to form a "united front against Communism." Six widely known liberal national organizations were honored by not being invited: The American Civil Rights Union, Americans for Democratic Action, American Jewish Congress, American Veterans Committee, National Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was invited but declined in a letter which blasted the national jim crow policy of the American Legion.
But not so the National CIO: And if anybody still doubts the bankruptcy of its leadership, let him read the remarks of James B. Carey, secretary-treasurer of the CIO, who declared he was ready to join hands "even with fascists" in the fight against communism.
That's the ugly picture of the once-militant labor organization now grown weak, flabby and corrupt. Until the National CIO leadership can be brought back to the straight road of sound trade unionism, it will be a sign of intellectual cleanliness to be among those unions ousted from the CIO.
March 23, 1950: “Congress Considers “Communist Control”
If Senators Mundt and Ferguson and Congressman Nixon had ever fought for enactment into law of Truman's civil rights program, if they had backed a strong FEPC act or any other legislation ending the second-class status of non-haoles, or if they had thrown their strength on behalf of labor against the Taft-Hartley law I would not be nearly so suspicious of their new bills aimed at "communism."
As it is, their so-called "Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950," now before both branches of Congress, means that they are setting up a weapon that can be used to cripple and completely halt the fight of unions for higher wages and better working conditions, and can abruptly end the campaign of minority groups against discrimination.
In fact, the proposed legislation, known in the Senate as S2311 and in the House as HR7595, is so dangerous to our traditional democratic processes that such an organization as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, known for its anti-Communist policy, has warned:
"If these bills become law, organizations such as ours will be prevented from carrying on a fight to win full rights for the Negro people."
How the Act Works
Just what does this act do that makes it such a personal threat to you and me and to our democracy in general?
It empowers the President to appoint a three-man Subversive Activities Control Board with virtually unlimited dictatorial power. They will determine whether an organization is a "Communist political organization" or a "Communist front" group. All members of the first group would be forced to register, and all officers of the second. Failure to comply would mean heavy fines and jail terms.
One of the standards for Judging whether an organization is a "Communist front" is "the extent to which the positions taken do not deviate from those of any Communist political organization, Communist foreign government, or the world Communist movement."