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Socialist Is Code for Black?

This may very well be the dumbest thing written about this election yet:

Shame on McCain and Palin for using an old code word for black

By Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist

The “socialist” label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.

You know what “socialist” is a code word for? Socialists. Diuguid complains that Paul Robeson was smeared as a socialist. If anything, that’s a smear to socialists — Robeson was a member of the Communist Party USA, a guest of Stalin, and a lifelong apologist for Soviet atrocities. He wrote that opponents of Stalin’s terror “should be shot.” So, no, socialist isn’t too strong a word for the guy.

Likewise, Diuguid complains that W.E.B. Du Bois was smeared as a socialist. Guess who else was a member of the Communist Party USA and a recipient of the Lenin Prize? That would be Mr. Du Bois, who described Stalin as “a great man.” A. Philip Randolph may not have been as radical as the others mentioned here, but socialist would have been a more than fair description of his politics and those of organizations with which he was affiliated, including the CIO. That leaves Martin Luther King Jr., who was a naif on economic issues; the less said about his increasingly leftist politics toward the end of his life, the better, but this quote from MLK is a pretty good indicator: “There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” Would socialist be a smear for MLK? Hardly.
Note to Diuguid: If you’re going to argue the word socialist is a racist smear, don’t pick for examples two Stalinists, a socialist-leaning 1920s union radical, and a partisan of democratic socialism.


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