Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Socialist -- the old newfangled code word for "B-L-A-C-K"
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.
J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.
Those freedom fighters included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the Civil Rights Movement; W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1909 helped found the NAACP which is still the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization; Paul Robeson, a famous singer, actor and political activist who in the 1930s became involved in national and international movements for better labor relations, peace and racial justice; and A. Philip Randolph, who founded and was the longtime head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leading advocate for civil rights for African Americans.
McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It set whites apart from those deemed unAmerican and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare.
Shame on McCain and Palin.