Skip to comments.Paul Robeson finally getting his due
Posted on 01/19/2004 8:23:49 AM PST by Sir_Humphrey
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As always, thanks in advance for your help.
Uh . . . BARF.
The guy was an America-hating scumbag.
It is a disgrace that anybody would "honor" this fool, even if the honor is just a gesture to pander to a minority community.
A flat out lie.
In the words of Paul Robeson: "To be free -to walk the good American earth as equal citizens, to live without fear, to enjoy the fruits of our toil to give our children every opportunity in life - that dream which we have held so long in our hearts is today the destiny that we hold in our hands."
Paul Robeson doesnt deserve a postage stamp
Area Congressman Bobby Rush (D-2nd) chose April Fools Day to introduce a concurrent resolution asking the U.S. Postal Service to honor Paul Robeson with a stamp. If that were to ever happen, the joke would be on the majority of citizens not familiar with the life of Mr. Robeson.
Perhaps I shouldnt complain too much. Certainly the Honorable Rush, who used to busy himself with a leadership role in that fraternal organization known as the Black Panthers, could be up to much more mischief than just trying to catch the attention of the Postal Service.
Mr. Rushs resolution notes that Paul Robeson graduated from Rutgers University in 1919, with letters in basketball, baseball, discus, shot put, football, and javelin, and, more importantly, was a member of both the Phi Beta Kappa and Cap and Skull honor societies at Rutgers University. He then graduated from Columbia Law School in 1923, but found the legal profession so resistant to African-American lawyers that he embarked on a career in the theater and arts which brought him world renown.
All that is generally agreed on. But then Mr. Rushs resolution claims Paul Robeson became an advocate for the rights of African-Americans and other oppressed people, and in so doing sacrificed his career as a world-renowned actor and singer.
That part of the Robeson story is subject to interpretation. More importantly, Congressman Rush has ignored the salient point that, if Paul Robeson werent a Communist, he did a spectacular impression of being one. Some in the media portray Robeson as a victim of that great old standby, McCarthyism. According to an article in Sundays Tribune, Robesons leftist sympathies made him one of the countrys most despised figures during the McCarthy era. This inaccuracy has been repeated so many times its assumed a credibility it doesnt merit. In 1976, when Mr. Robeson died, Time wrote that hed been condemned at home in the McCarthy era. Ive explained this more than once, but lets give it one more try: Joe McCarthy didnt launch his anti-Communist crusade until 1950. All the stuff that transpired before, such as the Hollywood 10, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings, and even Paul Robesons declining popularity, had nothing to do with that dastardly Republican senator.
Mr. Robesons troubles started well before 1950. In 1943 he spoke of the great power of the Russian people a power born of unity, of legally enforced equality, of opportunity for all the millions within its borders, regardless of race, creed, nationality or sex. Obviously the world of Joseph Stalin, a man who murdered 30 to 40 million people, was OK because he was an Equal Opportunity butcher. The admiration was mutual and a few years later Paul Robeson was awarded a Peace Prize from Stalin. In 1946 Robeson appeared before HUAC and denied he was a Communist. The following year he took the Fifth Amendment when asked if he were a Red. Maybe he just didnt recollect.
Robesons sympathy if not downright enthusiasm - for Communism led to an understandable decline in his popularity. In 1947, a scheduled appearance was cancelled in Peoria when the mayor refused to let Robeson perform in city hall. A month after that in Albany, New York, Robeson was denied permission to hold a concert in a high school auditorium.
Long active in the World Peace Council and other Communist front organizations, Robeson had his passport cancelled in 1950 by Dean Achesons State Department when the entertainer refused to sign an affidavit stating he wasnt a Communist. Increasingly unpopular in the U.S., Robeson had come to depend on his overseas engagements. His annual income, which had been over $100,00 in 1947, dropped to $3,000.
Paul Robeson did sacrifice a successful career, but not, as Bobby Rush would have us believe, to became an advocate for the rights of African-Americans and other oppressed people. No, Robeson sacrificed his career to Communism. Peoples Weekly World is a publication of the Communist Party, U.S.A. In an article appearing earlier this month, Paul Robeson is described as a Marxist-Leninist. These folks should certainly know. A few sentences later, its explained that, As a Communist, Robeson knew the working class was the locomotive of history.
Congressman Rush will without a doubt be shocked, shocked, to know that Peoples Daily World likes his idea of putting Paul Robeson on a stamp: We call upon the entire peoples movement to raise a deafening cry that will ring through every protest and demonstration, through every motion of progressive humanity saying, Honor Robeson. We demand it!
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
As a Penn State alumnus, I've always resented that the University named their multicultural center after this anti-American marxist. To the best of my knowledge, he had absolutely no connection to Penn State's heritage whatsoever. If they wanted to honor a famous African-American, I think George Washington Carver would have been a better choice. While I don't think there's a direct link there either, you can at least construct a "connect-the-dots" association to the school's longstanding reputation for excellence in agricultural studies as a Land Grant College.
George Washington Carver is an excellent role model to honor,
but IMHO, Robeson is an embarrassment.
The big problem was he loved Joseph Stalin more!
The leftwing extremists who decide these things probably believe they've pacified the masses by balancing a stamp honoring a pro-Stalinist with one that honored Trotsky's girlfriend Frida Kahlo (http://www.fbuch.com/fridakahlo.htm). Note that it was Stalin who arranged for Trotsky's murder.
It's really surprising that Dennis Hastert hasn't yet done something about the composition of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.
With the correct membership there is no doubt that American stamps could honor African-Americans who were never groveled at the feet of one of history's all-time mass murderers, or Mexican-Americans who actually lived in America and had contributed something to the world other than a bit of sex with major Communists of her day.
Somebody who knows Dennis ought to give him a call and see why he's been so supportive of these Communist themed stamps.
Thoughts on Winning the Stalin Peace Prize by Paul Robeson, January 1953.
I disagree - for justice to be served, the traitorous bastard should have fried...
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