A Case Study In The Hijacking Of A Movement, and a Warning For The Libertarian Party.
In the spring of 1912, Marcus Garvey sent a letter to Booker T. Washington. He informed Mr. Washington he was coming to America, and wanted to visit the Tuskegee Institute. Mr. Washington’s plan was to educate people, who would take that education back to their communities. Essentially a turn of the century method to take black renaissance viral. Marcus Garvey would eventually lead the largest movement of Black Americans to ever exist in the US. He focused on building industry, with a shipping line engaged in importing and exporting with Liberia and elsewhere. It was the self-imposed duty of these great men to build the first generation of black Americans born into freedom, and they were doing amazing work. Booker T. Washington was born a slave, and his work was not confined to reading, writing, and teaching trades.
“In the plantation districts,” he wrote later, “I found large families, including visitors when any appeared, living and sleeping in a single room. I found them living on fat pork and corn bread, and yet not infrequently I discovered in these cabins sewing machines which no one knew how to use, which had cost as much as $60, or showy clocks which had cost as much as $10 or $12, but which never told the time. I remember a cabin where there was but one fork on the table for the use of five members of the family and myself, while in the opposite corner was an organ for which the family was paying $60 in monthly installments. The truth that forced itself upon me was that these people needed not only book learning, but knowledge of how to live; they needed to know how to cultivate the soil, to husband their resources, and make the most of their opportunities.”
Garvey’s message was one of pride and economic self-sufficiency and he wanted to organize an independent nation in Africa as well. The Civil Rights Movement in those days was an entirely different animal than what replaced it in the late 1920’s. It was characterized by leaders from within their own community, private funding, and a rejection of any notions of inferiority or victimhood, that were seen as counterproductive.
“There is no force like success, and that is why the individual makes all effort to surround himself throughout life with the evidence of it; as of the individual, so should it be of the nation.” – Marcus Garvey
“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey
“Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.” – Booker T. Washington
“No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.” – Booker T. Washington
There were 3 tragic events that poisoned future race relations in the US. A tragedy of chance, one of justice, and a final one, that gives us an invaluable lesson as we chart the future of the Libertarian Party. This final tragedy was a hijacking of the Civil Rights Movement in the wake of the first two tragedies, by a group of white Marxists and their PR man, W.E.B. Du Boise. It would poison a movement, and bring forth all the fears and prophecies of doom espoused by the early Civil Rights leaders regarding the machinations of Du Boise, and those pulling his strings.
The first tragedy was the death of Booker T. Washington in November 1915, as Marcus Garvey was travelling to work with him. One can only imagine the accomplishments the two men could have seen if they could have worked more together. The second was the arrest and ultimate deportation of Garvey on trumped up charges. The work of these two men had undeniable power, and both men were vicious in their criticism of the Marxist attempts at wresting control of the movement to divert it into a tool for class warfare, of which race is but one tool in the drawer. It is somewhat awe inspiring to think of the rise of the black community in the early 20th century and the success these men had in the post-slavery landscape.
From the School’s Website:
[At the time of Washington’s death, there were 1,500 students, a $2 million endowment, 40 trades, (we would call them majors today), 100 fully-equipped buildings, and about 200 faculty. From 30 adult students in a one room shanty, we have today grown to more than 3,000 students on a campus (the main campus, farm and forest land) that includes some 5,000 acres and more than 70 buildings. Dedicated in 1922, the Booker T. Washington Monument, called “Lifting the Veil,” stands at the center of campus. The inscription at its base reads, “He lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry.”]
[Garvey’s organization, UNIA, or the Universal Negro Improvement Association, operated laundries, tailoring business, grocery stores, a printing press, a doll making company, the Negro World newspaper, a hat making establishment, a shipping company promoting international trade with the newly formed nation of Liberia and others, restaurants and a hotel. It had assets such as trucks and buildings and hundreds of employees. UNIA established 700 branches in thirty-eight states by the early 1920s. While chapters existed in the larger urban areas such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Garvey’s message reached into small towns across the country as well. In 1920, he presided at an international convention in Liberty Hall, with delegates present from 25 countries. The affair was climaxed by a parade of 50,000 through the streets of Harlem, led by Garvey.]
UNIA Meeting, Oakland, Ca, 1924, American Flag Prominent
In contrast, the NAACP was founded by a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, both the descendants of abolitionists. William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell), signed the call, which was released on the centennial of Lincoln’s birth. This was no coincidence, Karl Marx himself was part of the effort to make the US Civil War about slavery. Marx wrote numerous articles supporting the Union, and even exchanged a letter with President Lincoln, and during the Civil War, Marx became one of the smartest and most influential supporters of Lincoln’s cause. While the idea of the Civil War being about Lincoln’s love for the oppressed slaves provides a convenient excuse for whitewashing the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the rape of Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah, the shelling of Vicksburg, and so many other war crimes. He left a mountain of racist quotes that prove he was as disingenuous as the charlatans condemned by Booker T. Washington. The same race pimps continue to plague American society to this very day.
“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races.”
“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board leaders such as Jacob Schiff, Jacob Billikopf, and Rabbi Stephen Wise.” The organization continued to be led by Marxists for decades, like Kivie Kaplan, a businessman and philanthropist from Boston, who served as president of the NAACP from 1966 until 1975. His death heralded the election of the first black President of the NAACP, William Cobb. To the Communist, this was not about uplifting a people or securing equal rights.
W.E.B. Du Boise was the early public voice of the organization, remaining so until his death. He would be the black public face of the group, to spread its ideology among the populace, at the behest of the Fabian Socialists and outright Communists behind the curtain. Du Bois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and he was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life. When Du Bois became editor of the Crisis magazine in 1911, he joined the Socialist Party of America at the advice of NAACP founders Mary Ovington, William English Walling and Charles Edward Russell. He was such an ardent admirer of Vladmir Lenin, he emulated him in his facial hair and style, doing a great job of looking like the Bolshevik Leader.
W.E.B. Du Boise Vladimir Lenin
Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey were propagating a simple idea, that black people were just as valuable as any other man. Du Bois was pushing a narrative that the government was the solution, and that they needed to use the power of the state to forcefully take from the rich and give it to the poor. This narrative depended on a perpetual victim class. Du Boise was practicing what would later be known as “Critical Theory“, stirring up division and hatred, focusing on grievance. He promoted an elitism we still see in modern leftist movements; Du Bois’ philosophy of the “Talented Tenth” was that a college-educated elite would chart, through their knowledge, the way for economic and cultural elevation for the black masses. His plan was to leave 90% of his people ignorant and powerless, to be led by this “black illuminati”. He wanted to leave the race pimps a group and class to be exploited, rather than promote the idea all men are created equal. He was not going to promote the idea each individual should use his own strengths to prosper. Washington believed that demonstrating one’s value and equality would remove racism and open the door for inclusion in the future, whereas Du Boise promoted using government force to create equality.
Arriving in America just as Booker T. Washington died, Marcus Garvey was also promoting the idea of individual achievement, and the idea that black people had to do the work that success and independence demanded, and, most important, they had to do that work for themselves. “If you want liberty,” claimed Garvey to a meeting held in 1921, “you yourselves must strike the blow. If you must be free, you must become so through your own effort.” A rift was developed, as Garvey and Washington saw the counterproductive and disingenuous nature of the type of “Civil Rights” movement the white liberals and their front man Du Boise were trying to usurp their efforts with. In his 1911 book, My Larger Education, Booker T. Washington described the leftists like Du Boise as “problem profiteers”:
“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”
He would often tell a metaphorical story, describing the problem of the charlatan doctor here.
“It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of those privileges.”
― Booker T. Washington,
“Great men cultivate love and only little men cherish a spirit of hatred; assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.”
― Booker T. Washington,
“Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.”
― Booker T. Washington,
Marcus Garvey also rejected the idea of placing blame on white people, or using government force against them as a group, and believed the best way to earn the respect of racist whites was for his people to create valuable goods and services, stating – “”It seems strange and a paradox, but the only convenient friend the Negro worker or laborer has in America at the present time, is the white capitalist”. Garvey felt that communism was a “white man’s creation to solve their own political and economic problems”. He believed that the Communist Party wanted to use the African American vote “to smash and overthrow” the capitalistic white majority to “put their majority group or race still in power, not only as communists but as white men”.
“It (Communism) is a theory of economic and political reformation because it seeks to put government in the hands of an ignorant white mass who have not been able to destroy their natural prejudices towards Negroes and other non-white people. While it may be a good thing for them, it will be a bad thing for the Negroes who will fall under the government of the most ignorant, prejudiced class of the white race” – Marcus Garvey
Garvey’s plan involved letting the communists fight their own battles. African Americans needed to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented during the fight, without joining in the fight. The danger in Garvey’s mind was that the Communists sought the minority vote to overthrow and become a dominant power. He believed that they were white men who would still seek to take advantage of black Americans. Consequently, Garvey advised against supporting the Communist party, or he would be guilty of transferring government from the intelligent to the ignorant.
Just as the Libertarian Party is besieged by the left today, the Civil Rights Movement was besieged by them in the 1920’s. The leaders of the day were not civil about it. Those who question the loud and passionate denunciations made towards the left, and their operatives, in the national and state Libertarian Parties would do well to understand history. Politics was actually significantly uglier in days past, and disputes were settled in person, often ending in duels. Passions become inflamed when the future of liberty is at stake. There is nothing unique about the witch hunts of the left, who throw “Nazi” “Nationalist” and “Fascist” around as pejoratives against those they cannot defeat in a debate, if they will debate at all. Neither is the counter-criticism of Nick Sarwark, LP Chair and modern W.E.B. Du Boise prototype, or his lackeys, in the slightest bit a unique or odd phenomena. Honestly I am surprised nobody has been killed or seriously injured at this point. This is THE defining moment – only one side can win. As we shall soon learn from history, failure to defeat the left will result in unimaginable disaster that could doom multiple generations. If you aren’t willing to deal with verbal and social media battles, you may not have the stomach to complete this task, as tyrants generally put up a fight.
Garvey and Du Boise had President King, of Liberia, in the middle of the fight, and finally Du Boise was able to convince him Garvey wanted to overthrow him. The NAACP newsletter attacked Garvey’s blackness, of all things, in the March 1923 issue of The Messenger, describing his physical features as a “Jamaican Negro of unmixed stock, squat, stocky, fat and sleek with protruding jaws, and heavy jowls, small bright pig-like eyes and rather bull-dog like face. Boastful, egotistical, tyrannical, intolerant, cunning shifty, smooth and suave, avaricious and devoid of intellectual argument. ”[xi] Bagnall, the field secretary of the NAACP, then called for Garvey’s deportation to Jamaica.
Du Boise described Garvey as “A little, fat black man, ugly, but with intelligent eyes and a big head, … seated on a plank platform beside a ‘throne,’ dressed in a military uniform of the gayest mid-Victorian type. Amid the epaulettes, plumage, and swirling capes, and in the presence of a thousand or more applauding dark spectators,” the elite of the UNIA ‘were duly ‘knighted’ and raised to the ‘peerage’ as knight-commanders and dukes of the Uganda and the Niger.
Garvey was not subtle in his responses to the Marxist attacks. He said that Du Bois was an “unfortunate mulatto who bewails every day the drop of Negro blood in his veins.” Garvey charged that Du Bois arrogated the privilege of condemning and criticizing other people, but held himself up as the social unapproachable and the great I am of the Negro race. He would go on to say that Du Bois was a self-hating Negro founder of the NAACP, who preferred the company of white people. He goes on to characterize Du Bois as a light skinned mulatto who hates black people and “that he likes to dance with white people and dine with them and sometimes sleep with them” because of his way of seeing all that is black as ugly and all that is white as beautiful. Garvey called Du Bois “purely and simply a white man’s nigger” and “a little Dutch, a little French, a little Negro … a mulatto … a monstrosity”.
Marcus Garvey also exemplified the libertarian ethic in regards to even the most extreme ideological opponents. A century later, there is a metaphor in the way the Du Boise and Garvey handled the Ku Klux Klan. When the silent film The Birth of a Nation premiered in 1915, Du Bois and the NAACP led the fight to ban the movie. The fight was not successful, and possibly contributed to the film’s fame, but the publicity drew many new supporters to the NAACP. I am reminded of the way the LP has made people they claim to dislike famous by persecuting them.
Like Du Boise, they are failures, and perpetuate the most divisive take on any political narrative, to cast themselves as defenders of the faith, and thus, retain power. How did Marcus Garvey deal with the Klan? He went and sat down with them, at the height of their power. In early 1922, he went to Atlanta for a conference with KKK imperial giant Edward Young Clarke. The men were able to discuss their grievances, sidestepping the government all together, and find common ground and mutual interest. They decided they would meet like men and handle their disagreements rather than use government force as a weapon against each other. He was quoted afterwards, saying:
“I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play.”
In a memorandum dated 11 October 1919, J. Edgar Hoover, special assistant to the Attorney General and head of the General Intelligence Division (or “anti-radical division”)of The Bureau of Investigation or BOI (after 1935, the Federal Bureau of Investigation), wrote to Special Agent Ridgely regarding Garvey: “Unfortunately, however, he [Garvey] has not as yet violated any federal law whereby he could be proceeded against on the grounds of being an undesirable alien, from the point of view of deportation.” Sometime around November 1919, the BOI began an investigation into the activities of Garvey and the UNIA. Toward this end, the BOI hired James Edward Amos, Arthur Lowell Brent, Thomas Leon Jefferson, James Wormley Jones, and Earl E. Titus as its first five African-American agents.
The first black FBI agents were hired to destroy their own race, in a theme that continues to the modern day, ironic, considering the FBI has a “Civil Rights Division”. The idea the leftist government would lose its ability to exploit race led to the arrest of Garvey on a bogus charge . He was sentenced to 5 years in prison on June 23, 1923, for printing a picture of a ship on a pamphlet, and buying a different one after it was printed, and deported after serving a couple years of the sentence.
Following these events W.E.B. Du Boise was the last man standing, and Marxism had the unchallenged role as captain of the Civil Rights movement. His life was one of deeper immersion into the left. In 1933, after arriving at his new professorship in Atlanta, Du Bois wrote a series of articles generally supportive of Marxism. Du Bois was a member of the three-person delegation from the NAACP that attended the 1945 conference in San Francisco at which the United Nations was established. The NAACP delegation wanted the United Nations to endorse racial equality and to bring an end to the colonial era. The NAACP proposal received support from China, Russia, and India, but it was virtually ignored by the other major powers. The proposals were without substance, serving as tools to further communism under the guise of racial equality, as most of the organizations proposals were from day one.
When the Cold War commenced in the mid-1940s, the NAACP distanced itself publicly from Communists, lest its funding or reputation suffer. In 1947, however, Life magazine published a piece by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. claiming that the NAACP was heavily influenced by Communists. Ignoring the NAACP’s public relations desires, Du Bois continued to fraternize with communist sympathizers such as Paul Robeson, Howard Fast and Shirley Graham (his future second wife). The soviets explicitly rejected racial distinctions and class distinctions, leading Du Bois to conclude that the USSR was the “most hopeful country on earth.” Du Bois’s association with prominent communists made him a liability for the NAACP, especially since the FBI was starting to aggressively investigate communist sympathizers; so – by mutual agreement – he resigned from the NAACP for the second time in late 1948. After departing the NAACP, Du Bois started writing regularly for the leftist weekly newspaper the National Guardian, a relationship that would endure until 1961.
He was put on trial for opposition to the Korean War. This may appear honorable on the surface to anti-interventionist Libertarians, but the devil is in the details, and how motive makes as powerful a statement as action. Du Bois affiliated himself with a leftist organization, the National Council of Arts, Sciences and Professions, and he traveled to Moscow as its representative to speak at the All-Soviet Peace Conference in late 1949. He railed against military actions, such as the Korean War, which he viewed as efforts by imperialist whites to maintain colored people in a submissive state. For Du Boise, it was always Communism underneath the false front. When Stalin died in 1953, Du Bois wrote a eulogy characterizing Stalin as “simple, calm, and courageous”, and lauding him for being the “first [to] set Russia on the road to conquer race prejudice and make one nation out of its 140 groups without destroying their individuality”.
Du Boise officially joined the Communist Party in October 1961, at the age of 93. Around that time, he wrote: “I believe in communism. I mean by communism, a planned way of life in the production of wealth and work designed for building a state whose object is the highest welfare of its people and not merely the profit of a part.” He was the classic useful idiot and agitator, and the work of Garvey and Washington was forgotten by the time Du Bois helped to submit petitions to the UN concerning discrimination against African Americans. These culminated in the report and petition called “We Charge Genocide“, submitted in 1951 with the Civil Rights Congress. “We Charge Genocide” accuses the US of systematically sanctioning murders and inflicting harm against African Americans and therefore committing genocide.
The mainstream media would like us to remember the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as evidence of triumph, without any mention of the Great Society and the “New Plantation“. During the 1960’s there was a short resurgence in true black leadership. Malcolm X rose to prominence, echoing the words of Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington. The doctor of Washington’s parable, and the “Talented Tenth” of W.E.B. Du Boise, were the subject of the timeless speech by Malcolm X, known as the parable of the “House Negro and the Field Negro“.
Roy Wilkins, one of the few true Civil Rights leaders within the NAACP in that era, denounced suspected and actual communists within the civil rights movement. He had been criticized by some on the left of the civil rights movement, such as Daisy Bates, Paul Robeson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Robert F. Williams, and Fred Shuttlesworth, for his cautious approach, his suspicion of grassroots organizations, and his conciliatory attitude towards white anticommunism.
The left got lucky with Booker T. Washington’s high blood pressure, and used their friends in government to get rid of Marcus Garvey. By the time we were graced with Malcolm, they had advanced far enough to give him the bullet, the same bullet that awaits us all if the Libertarian movement fails, co-opted by the left, and our cause goes the way of the American Civil Rights Movement.
To illustrate the consequences of failure, let us examine what we lost when Communists co-opted the American Civil Rights Movement. Since the “War on Poverty” began, we have extorted 15-17 trillion dollars from our fellow Americans. In 1968, 85% of black children had a 2 parent household. Today 25% are raised by both parents, due to a cash ransom, paid for with the proceeds of extortion, as a reward to expel the contributing male. The Great Society is as accurate a description of the legislation as the Patriot Act would be decades later. Replacing a vibrant black culture that would crush white supremacy with the force of valuable goods and services, sold by honorable and respectable people, even more so because of obstacles overcome, the politics of envy reigned supreme. What is the affirmative action sold by the Marxist NAACP? White supremacy, the idea that black Americans are incapable of competing in the free market. Contrast it to the words of Marcus Garvey:
“Any leadership that teaches you to depend upon another race, is a leadership that will enslave you”
“They have no more right to dishonor you and discredit you in manhood than you have in dealing with them. Honor them when they honor you. Disregard and disrespect them when they treat you vilely. Their arrogance is but skin deep, an assumption that has no foundation in morals or in law. They have sprung from the same family tree in obscurity as we have……then why should we be ashamed of ourselves….why should we be discouraged if somebody laughs at us today? Who is to tell what tomorrow will bring forth? Did they not laugh at Christ, Moses, Mohammed? Was there once not a Carthage, Greece, and Rome? So we see and have changes everyday, so pray, work, be steadfast, and do not dismay.
A century later the left is still deathly afraid of a real civil rights movement. Barack Obama left an 8 year term as President, and despite a long and hard fought campaign that I was proud to participate in, he refused to posthumously pardon Marcus Garvey. It was a nod of loyalty by the former “Community Organizer” to W.E.B. Du Boise, and the idol of both men, Karl Marx. As we approach the anniversary of an entire century after the struggle for black civil rights fell to Communist subversion and perversion, I wish to make the following statement:
“I express solidarity with with the ideals of Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey, and those following in their footsteps. I reject Marxism in all of its forms, and its abuse of the cause of human rights for political purposes that always end in less human rights. I would like to invite every black American to join the Libertarian Party. We reject the white supremacist idea of affirmative action that says you cannot compete without a handicap. We know it is a lie. Fight with us against socialist policies that have decimated your community, and the rest of ours. I invite you to fight by my side against the drug war and prison industrial complex, it disproportionately affects your community, and you have an especially powerful voice to bring to the discussion. Our poor and your poor fight the same unjust and unconstitutional wars together, unite with us against interventionist foreign policy, and send me your Veterans, to join the LP Veterans Caucus, to accomplish that noble end. The destruction of our currency, our religious institutions, and our communities is universal. We must all gather in this circle of loyalty as Americans and defend the greatest nation mankind has ever created, and restore its freedoms. We do not want you in the back of the bus, in fact, you may have my chair. To be honest, I would rather stand up than sit down at this point. Like W.E.B. Du Boise, too many in this party had nice comfortable upbringings – the LP could use a reality check as well.”
I am not sure if in years past, other white men admired the work of some of your heroes to the degree some of us do today. In some areas of freedom my people are pioneers, and in others we are slow learners. While we had the Magna Carta in one hand, we still enslaved people. We did, however, free our slaves a century and a half ago, and many of us before we had to. For my part, James Ramsay was the first great abolitionist of Scotland, and his work directly led to the 1807 Act that abolished the slave trade in England, this work is a sort of family tradition. Today, over 46 million people are still enslaved. This year’s estimates are nearly 30% higher than in the previous report, which estimated 35.8 million people living in slavery in 2014. The entire African slave trade from 1525 to 1866 brought 12.5 million slaves to the new world. 450,000 of them ended up in America. Roughly that many people were just enslaved in THE LAST 3 YEARS! Let us dispense with 150 year old beefs, and unite to create freedom for America by breaking the current 2 party system. Let Americans, black and white together, lead a new abolitionist movement to free slaves across the planet, and achieve real progress for freedom and civil rights. 93% of black America should be voting Libertarian, not Democrat. We should free slaves, not hate each other for what some guys grandpa did to some other guys grandpa.
Division or power?
Booker, Marcus, and Malcolm or Du Boise?
Freedom or slavery?
Libertarian Party or Communism and ANTIFA?
Liberty or Death?