Red-Scare Propaganda 1960s: “Revolution Underway” (Black Communist Revolutionaries)
As the documentary came to my attention, some compared it to today. I thought I should share it, but with commentary.
DOCUMENTARY REPORT ON BLACK COMMUNIST REVOLUTIONARIES
COMMENTARY ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY AND THE PRESENT-DAY
“Revolution Underway” is a preserved documentary report on Black Communist revolutionary activities during planned riots throughout 20 states in the 1960s. The efforts of the Black Communist revolutionaries were often admittedly, “Anti-American,” rather than a mere critique of colonialism, imperialism and the lack of civil rights. You are free to think of it in whatever way you choose, although in my opinion, I would not use “Revolution Underway” as a means to entirely compare to our present-day; thereby de-legitimize the very real issues of police brutality, militarized police, racism, and so forth. Given that our politics operates entirely now like sports-teams and religions, Conservatives reject anything their Left-counterpart believe and vice versa. Then, people claim to be freethinkers? How can that be so? As surely, in these times, the classic red scare propaganda aims at destroying or obstructing all revolutionary and civil rights action, whether it is expressed peacefully or violently, or through and by Communist ideologues or Democrats and left-progressives. Atleast, this should be kept in mind. For the Conservatives, the protests of our time are the machinations of an Anti-American coup through-and-through, and the hard-bullet and the tear gas is for them, a justified measure. This is modern Conservatism — left to the last generation’s children and thirty-year old men “meme’ing” and mocking protesters from the comfort of their homes. In Conservative media, everyone on the Left are considered the same — Communists and Socialists; and certainly because some individuals and organizations give them the justifications for their hysterical arguments. As for me, it always goes too far, when one’s rationale and view of history leads them to the idea, whether on the Right or Left, that America ought to be destroyed, as said in a recent blog post.
You might also be interested in Black Rebellion: Why The Man in the High Castle Season 4 isn’t Soviet Propaganda | Hans Zimmer: Mountains Tribute. With that being said, enjoy.
I cannot always justify rebellion, specifically in its uncontrollable state of extremity and irrationality. Once, when I criticized the “Black Lives Matter movement” years ago, it was out of genuine concern in regards to its donors and influences driving its machinations. For this, I always remember someone who had come to look up to me write, “Negro, what did I just read.” Something to this effect, in which I was made to seem incompetent before all my friends, as everyone had been trying to intervene or rebut my arguments. I was not only disturbed that no one had read the data and the names of donors and the Leninist-leanings of its founders I had posted, but more distraught I was being discredited in the eyes of people that had been long-time friends. Being that I was entirely surrounded by liberal colleagues, the tensions of the time brought an abrupt end to friendships, and incredibly angered me, so I sought for others that might understand. Then, my exploration through the spaces of Conservatives frankly further disgusted me, and I self-isolated. In these times, there was no room for nuance. I say these things, because I do not want the wrong people using things I say as justification for their beliefs about each other. I do not want to participate or contribute to the political extremes or polarization. Hopefully, I help those endangered political species (especially in the middle) excluded due to the polarization; and help many of us to regain control of the field of American politics, the culture, and the conversation. The Conservative seems not to want to factor things into their historical perspective, for the Communist effort was merely considered a means to infiltrate America from within. But in ignoring genuine issues and conflicts, which led to Blacks from diverse locales and backgrounds becoming radicalized, they attempt to replace their revolutionary influences with inadequate solutions. They intend to find Blacks to tell other Blacks to sit and shut up. The attitudes then have not changed much now.
I am not a socialist, but atleast, from a scholarly and historical perspective, I think it is vital to understand the effort and role of American Communists that sought to radicalize yet help Blacks in the fight for racial equality, when and where they needed it. I particularly like this book of Erik S. McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism.
This understanding is also exemplified for example, in a 2010 interview between NPR host Michael Martin and Robin Kelley (American Historian of the University of Oxford and Author, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression).
Prof. KELLEY: “In 1928, the communist position internationally was that African-Americans in the South have the right to self-determination. Meaning: they have the right to create their own nation in the South. In this position that came out of Moscow, it came from other black communists around the globe.
And with that idea in mind, they sent two organizers to Alabama and they went to Birmingham. And they chose Birmingham because it was probably the most industrialized city in the South. And they went there thinking they would organize white workers. And from white workers, black workers would follow. But no white workers had come forward.
And so, the first two organizers was a guy named James Julio(ph), who was a Sicilian worker who had migrated to Alabama, and another guy named Tom Johnson(ph), and together they went out looking for white workers and black workers came.
And black workers came in fairly large numbers right away because to them, they had a memory of reconstruction, the memory of the Civil War. And in that kind of collective memory, they were told that one day the Yankees will come back and finish the fight. Well, when they saw these white communists, they said, oh, good, the Yankees are here. We cant wait to join.
MARTIN: What was the Communist Partys message at that time and why were these black folks so attracted to it?
Prof. KELLEY: Well, there were three things they focused on. One, because it was during the Great Depression, their primary focus was the unemployed. And so their demands were, we want either work or some kind of support from the government. The second thing was, in 1931, we had the famous Scottsboro case, where nine young black men were arrested falsely for raping two white women and they end up going to jail.
Well, these cases happen all the time where black men are falsely accused. The difference was that the Communist Party made the Scottsboro issue an international issue. They put it in the newspapers. They spread the word all over the globe in different languages. And these unknown figures, some of them became a kind of (unintelligible).
And finally, the third thing was basic civil rights: the right to vote, the right to sit on juries, you know, the right to not be Jim Crowed or segregated. These things certainly drew out black working people.”