The Tainted Red Legacy of John Lewis
By Cliff Kincaid – July 26, 2020
The late Congressman John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol, “an honor that has been bestowed upon only a few dozen American politicians since the practice began in 1852,” notes Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire. This publication, and countless others, describe Lewis as a civil rights icon, especially because of his participation in the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, known as "Bloody Sunday.” But they ignore his public praise for the black communist Paul Robeson, the actor and singer whose fatal flaws included membership in the Moscow-funded Communist Party, love for Soviet mass murderer Joseph Stalin, and support for the Hitler-Stalin Pact that paved the way for World War II.
President Trump’s “Proclamation on the Death of John Lewis” ordered that “the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff” on various federal properties in his honor.
But does Lewis deserve it?
A politician who had a flirtation with a top Nazi or a figure sympathetic to Nazi Germany would never be accorded such an honor. Yet Lewis heaped much praise on Robeson, (1898-1976), who lied about his membership in the Moscow-funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA), in order to deceive fellow blacks about his real intentions.
Although he avoided confirmation of party membership, his record was clear from his activities, statements, and travels to Russia. A communist to his core, despite being raised in a religious family, he took advantage of the many opportunities America offered to him, including graduating from Rutgers University and Columbia University Law School, and then using his talents to express his love for Soviet Russia and its murderous dictator. He charged America with genocide.
Indeed, Robeson said American blacks would never go to war against Russia because blacks loved Russia so much. The actual statement was, “It is unthinkable that American Negroes could go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations against the Soviet Union, which in one generation has raised our people to the full dignity of mankind.” Robeson was accused by patriotic whites and blacks of inciting treason with this statement but he never backed away from it.
For his part, Lewis lent his name to Freedomways, a journal financed by communist money from China and the Soviet Union and channeled through the Communist Party USA. All of this was set forth in revelations about SOLO, an FBI operation that infiltrated the Communist Party USA and documented its relationship with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Lewis, chair of SNCC, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, gave a speech, also published in the form of a 1965 Freedomways article, about Robeson being an “inspirer of youth” and leaving a legacy of “spiritual children,” such as Lewis himself. With pride, Lewis said about Robeson, “He talked and listened to the representatives of the Communist Party.”
Freedomways called Robeson “the great forerunner,” a reference to the path he set for American blacks to follow.
In what can be called the real Russia-gate scandal, the path that was taken by Robeson and his “spiritual children” was based on the Communist Party USA illegally receiving millions of dollars from Moscow in order to stir up racial animosity in the U.S. and create a “Soviet America.”
Years later, Lewis would suddenly find the Russians to be so odious and obnoxious that he would accuse them of supporting Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election. Of course, these charges were based on the phony Trump Russia dossier peddled for partisan purposes by Hillary and the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies.
Lewis told Chuck Todd of NBC News, “I don’t see this President-elect [Donald J. Trump] as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
This is the real John Lewis -- a partisan Democrat to the end who never disavowed his praise for Paul Robeson and helped make the admirer of Stalin into a hero to black youth.
“We loved America so dearly we were ready to die for her” was one of the patriotic statements attributed to Lewis. By contrast, Lewis hero Paul Robeson and black CPUSA leader William Patterson submitted a “We Charge Genocide” petition against the United States to the United Nations in 1951. Lewis had to know this when he paid tribute to Robeson. His knowledge of Robeson’s service to the Soviet Union was evident in Lewis’s reference to Robeson seeking advice from the CPUSA.
It was John Lewis who coauthored and sponsored the legislation that created the federally-funded Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Interestingly, it includes an item, “Paul Robeson: An American Communist,” created by the CPUSA and written by party chairman Gus Hall, confirming Robeson’s CPUSA membership. The identity of Comrade Robeson, Hall said, was with a “socialist USA and the Communist movement.” He was not able to declare his party membership openly, Hall claimed, because of the “extreme repression” of the anti-communism of that period.
Asked by various official committees about his party membership, Robeson would either lie or cite the Fifth Amendment. He took advantage of America’s constitutional protections when it was in his interest to do so.
Today, the CPUSA is out in the open, after having endorsed Barack Hussein Obama for two presidential terms and issuing statements through social media platforms such as Facebook in support of such figures as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is strongly opposed to Trump and his re-election.
By appearing at the Freedomways event to pay tribute to Robeson, Lewis helped make communism acceptable in the black community. It is a terrible blot on his record that must be remembered as the American flag is lowered to half-staff in his honor. The passing of John Lewis is indeed a tragedy but his legacy, including public praise of the communist liar Robeson, is in a way a tragedy, too.
It's sad to say, but Lewis actually set back the cause of civil rights by incorporating support for a communist figure and his ideology into a great and noble cause. Lewis’s devotion to “non-violence” was tainted by his praise for Robeson, a Soviet agent and stooge. He doesn’t deserve America’s accolades.
(Note: for a longer version of this article, with references to Barack Hussein Obama and his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, please visit the PDF "From One Plantation to Another: The Tained Red Legacy of John Lewis."
*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org