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Communist background of the American Civil Liberties Union
By Charles A. Morse
The latest outrage involving the ACLU, covered by columnist Gregory J. Hand in Enter Stage Right (7/2), is the rescinding of an invitation to Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas to debate ACLU President Nadine Strossen at the Davis-Levin First Amendment Conference in Hawaii this summer. Not by any means an isolated incident, this is the latest in a long tradition of outrages going back to the founding of the organization and should be viewed in that context. A brief examination of the Communist background of the ACLU sheds light on an agenda that seems to champion isolated portions of the Constitution for self-serving purposes. They often take the Constitution out of context so as to champion strange cases that seem to favor an outcome that reinforces authoritarian government control. They more often than not favor the dictatorial concept of appointed Judges creating legislation from the bench.
Daphne Barbee-Wooten, wrote to her fellow directors on the Hawaii ACLU board the following regarding Thomas;
"Uncle Tom," was an old Communist term to describe any African-American who either opposed the Communist agenda or who had become "bourgeois," or, heaven forbid, economically successful. This is exactly what Barbee-Wooten meant by calling the Supreme Court Justice an Uncle Tom. This unctuous hypocrite has, no doubt, benefited more than amply from the economic system she seeks to tear down for others, particularly for members of her own race. How ironic that Barbee-Wooten would be making decisions over a first amendment conference, presumably, dealing with free speech issues. Ironic for the rest of us, no problem for the dialectical left.
Fellow board member Eric Ferrer, while discussing the Thomas invitation, called Thomas "an anti-Christ, a Hitler." As an American, and as a Jew, I am offended by a comparison of Clarence Thomas to Hitler. Such idiocy requires no further comment. What's interesting, however, is the hysterical hate this man expresses for what Thomas represents which are American ideals of achievement and success. Like his ACLU colleague, he must be consumed with an unbending hatred for this Republic of ours, a Republic that has afforded him a standard of living that, no doubt, most of the rest of us could only dream of achieving.
Anarchist Roger Baldwin founded the ACLU in 1919, after his release from prison where he served a sentence for draft evasion, at a party attended by Socialist Party notable Norman Thomas, future Communist Party chairman Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and Soviet agent Agnes Smedley. In 1920, Rev. Harry Ward, the Red Dean of the Union Theological Seminary was Chairman, Baldwin was director, and Communist publisher Louis Budenz, who would later go on to testify against Communism, director of publicity. Other Communist and radical founders included William Z. Foster, author of "Toward Soviet America," Harold J. Laski, Morris Hilquit, A.J.Muste, Scott Nearing, Eugene V. Debs, and John Dewey. The 1930's membership would include such radicals and change agents as Vito Marcantonio, Haywood Broun, Corliss Lamont, and Bishop G. Bromley Oxnan. The 1940's roll would include George S. Counts, Norman Cousins, Melvyn Douglas, Robert M. Hutchins, and Freda Kirchwey. Most prominent American luminaries of the left were, and are, members of the ACLU.
On January 17, 1931, the Special House (of Representatives) Committee to Investigate Communist Activities in the United States issued a report which stated the following:
In 1935, Baldwin wrote the following in his college yearbook:
Space won't allow further examination of the mountains of fascinating material regarding the ACLU, so a follow-up article would be in the offing at a future date. Suffice it to say that there is no reason to assume that the principles and goals of the ACLU, set in place by its founders, have changed much over the years. They have simply become much more polished and cagey in their presentation. This most recent insult to our Supreme Court Justice, and, clearly, to our form of government, is a clear example of the mask temporarily slipping off to reveal a glimpse of the true face of the ACLU.
Chuck Morse is the author of "Why I'm a Right-Wing Extremist" to be released in September.
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