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“The riots in Los Angeles, Calif., which took place during the period August 11-14, 1965, provided the Communist Party, U.S.A. and other subversives with the means to further blacken the reputation of the United States and to attempt to fan the flame of discontent among the American people.
"That the Communists had an ulterior motive in this action was clearly demonstrated in the remarks of one party functionary who placed the entire blame for the uprising on the white people and proposed to his party underlings that they take advantage of such riots wherever they occur since riots will eventually lead the United States to socialism.
"At a still higher level, the national headquarters of the party, on August 15, 1965, instructed the southern California party district to prepare articles concerning the riots for early publication in The Worker, an east coast Communist newspaper. Special efforts were to be made to play up the 'police brutality' angle. Major portions of subsequent issues of The Worker and People's World, a west coast Communist newspaper, were devoted to the uprising in Los Angeles and its aftermath. Each article faithfully followed the line set by party headquarters.
"Despite the expressed good intentions of those legitimately concerned with the civil rights movement, their efforts to keep Communists out have been less than totally effective. This is amply illustrated by the Communist involvement in racial activities which are often sponsored by groups with well-meaning intentions. Then, too, we find the extreme militants, such as the StudentNonviolent Coordinating Committee, whose leadership has proclaimed that they will accept Communists within their ranks.
"A widespread underestimation of the menace which the party presents to the internal security of the United States is just the impression the party desires to present. The ability of the party to seize upon items of discontent and to fan the sparks of civil disobedience into actual strife presents a clear and present danger." FBI ANNUAL REPORT FOR 1966 :
"Exploitation of racial unrest in the United States continues to be a major program of the Communists. During the year, the Party issued numerous directives through its National Negro Commission instructing members to participate in the civil rights movement and to be alert to the provocation of militant action among Negroes." STATEMENT BY J. EDGAR HOOVER TO SENATE INTERNAL SECURITY SUBCOM
MITTEE CONCERNING THE 18TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY, U.S.A., JUNE 22-26, 1966: “The resolution on the Negro question was presented to the convention by Claude Lightfoot, Chicago party leader. He suggested that the party must elevate its role as the initiator of civil rights struggles and come forward in its own name as 'the best fighter' for Negro rights in this country. Following Lightfoot's report, which was adopted, other speakers commented on the need for training Negro women for leadership in the Communist Party and the necessity for the party to take more direct action in the Negro struggle and to devote more attention to ‘police brutality'in Negro communities.
“The Communist Party is acutely embarrassed by its failure to adequately recruit among Negroes. To their everlasting credit, the vast majority of Negroes have recognized the falsity of communism and turned it down. They know that communism does not mean a better life for them, economically, politically, or socially.
“Nevertheless, the party has long been attempting to exploit the civil rights movement. The 18th national convention signifies that the party will step forward even more boldly, hoping to infiltrate and influence civil rights organizations. The party wants to link work among Negroes more directly with the class struggle to turn the civil rights area into a hatchery for communism,
"Part of the convention's appeal to the Negro can be seen in the party's selection of oldtime party leader, Henry Winston, a Negro, as national chairman. The Worker quoted Winston as noting the significant precedent of electing a Negro national chairman of a party 'that is becoming a major political force in this country.'”
J. EDGAR HOOVER-HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE TESTIMONY, FEB
RUARY 16, 1967 : “With the continuing increase of racial unrest and activities relating to the civil rights movement in this country during the past year, there has been a pronounced increase of activities by the Communist Party-U.S.A, concerning the Negro question and the racial movement generally.
“The emphasis given to the Negro question at the Communist Party's 18th national convention held in June 1966, at New York City, illustrates the party's increased involvement in the racial movement. Claude Lightfoot, the party's vice-chairman, presented the resolution on the Negro question to the convention calling for the broadest linking of the civil rights struggle with the struggle for peace. He emphasized that the Communist Party must be known as the best fighter' for Negro rights in the United States.
"Although the Communist Party has always been active in the field of civil rights, it has done very little in its own name. Based on the action taken at the convention, the keynote now is that the Party will boldly step forward and lead its own movement for civil rights as well as for infiltrating into all civil rights struggles and joining with more militant elements.
"For the most part, legitimate civil rights organizations have rejected the Communists' efforts to penetrate them. However, there have been some segments of these groups that covertly seek Communist advice and direction and in some instances accept Communists within their organizations.
"The riots and disturbances of recent years have given Communists a golden opportunity to emphasize the Marxist concept of the 'class struggle' by identifying the Negro and other minority group problems with it. Communists seek to advance the cause of communism by injecting themselves into racial situations and in exploiting them (1) to intensify the frictions between Negroes and whites to 'prove that the discrimination against minorities is an inherent defect of the capitalist system, (2) to foster domestic disunity by dividing Negroes and whites into antagonistic, warring factions, (3) to undermine and destroy established authority, (4) to incite Negro hostility toward law and order, (5) to encourage and foment further racial strife and riotous activity, and (6) to portray the Communist movement as the 'champion' of social protest and the only force capable of ameliorating the conditions of the Negroes and the oppressed.
“The cumulative effect of almost 50 years of Communist Party activity in the United States cannot be minimized, for it has contributed to disrupting race relations in this country and has exerted an insidious influence on the life and times of our Nation. As a prime example, for years it has been Communist policy to charge 'police brutality' in a calculated campaign to discredit law enforcement and to accentuate racial issues. The riots and disorders of the past 3 years clearly highlight the success of this Communist smear campaign in popularizing the cry of police brutality to the point where it has been accepted by many individuals having no affiliation with or sympathy for the Communist movement.
"The net result of agitation and propaganda by Communist and other subversive and extremist elements has been to create a climate of conflict between the races in this country and to poison the atmosphere." FBI ANNUAL REPORT FOR 1967:
“Merging the struggle for civil rights with the Vietnam war protest movement occupied much of the Communist Party's efforts during the fiscal year. Speaking before the National Committee, CPUSA, in December, 1966, National Chairman Henry Winston suggested that white backlash was a weapon of the monopolists and the ultraright to conceal their drive against the rights of Negroes. West Coast Party leader Roscoe Proctor, writing in the March, 1967, issue of Political Affairs, embraced civil rights extremists by calling for Marxist-Leninists to provide more 'flesh and bone' to the inflammatory slogans of Black Power groups. He called for Party programs and guidelines around which the black masses could be mobilized in day-to-day struggles to improve their conditions of life.”
[Italics supplied in all of above FBI statements.]
COMMITTEE EXHIBIT No. 3
2, 380 4,300
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
23 West 26th Street, New York, N.Y. ORIGIN:
September 1919 at convention in Chicago. PURPOSE:
As the arm of the Soviet Union inside the United States, it is committed to the overthrow of our democratic institutions. ORGANIZATION:
12,000 members. KEY LEADERS:
Gus Hallgeneral secretary
of Chicago, now New York. PUBLICATIONS:
(Circulation) The Worker--semiweekly East Coast Communist newspaper.
14, 718 People's World-weekly West Coast Communist newspaper-Political Affairs-monthly theoretical journal.
4, 550 Freedomways-quarterly Marxist Negro review-
7,000 Labor Today-bimonthly trade union magazine. Jewish Currents-monthly Jewish magazine --
American Dialog—bimonthly Communist cultural magazine. STATEMENTS:
On October 22, 1967, the Communist Party's official newspaper, The Worker, reported that during the past week “an extraordinary meeting of over 80 leading Communists" called by the party's Negro Affairs Commission had endorsed a statement supporting Negro violence. The meeting, in effect, approved a new Communist Party line regarding Negroes and rioting which included the following statement:
"We as Marxists have always affirmed that oppressed people have the right to forcibly overthrow an oppressive regime when the channels for democratic change are closed to them. This right is affirmed in the Declaration of Independence. Therefore there can be no question of the right of black people in the U.S. to use violence to achieve change." It appears that the main reason for the adoption of this statement was the fact that the official softer line the party had been following on the Negro question during recent years had placed it in a disadvantageous position, in competition with other Communist parties, from the viewpoint of influencing and recruiting members from black nationalist and ultramilitant civil rights organizations and from the violence- and riot-prone minority Negro element.
The party's former declared position of supporting full integration and rejecting violence had, in effect, placed it in the position of rejecting, rebuking, and contradicting those organizations and elements which had the greatest potential for furthering the Communist aim of disrupting and weakening the United States. If the Communist Party were to capitalize on the riots, it had no choice but to reverse its official position on the question of “civil rights."
From its earliest years until 1959 the Communist Party had propounded the "Black Belt" theory regarding American Negroes. It was Stalin's position that Negroes were a people apart from whites in this country and that a separate republic should be set up for them in the South.
This position proved a serious hindrance to the party's recruiting and propaganda activities among Negroes, who rightly considered themselves as American as any white man and had no desire to secede from the United States.
Repeated appeals to Moscow by U.S. party leaders for a change in the line went unheeded. Stalin refused to let the party change its position on this subject.
When Khrushchev took power some years after Stalin's death, however, and instituted his de-Stalinization program, a change was effected.
Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders undoubtedly perceived that a Communist Party claim that it believed in complete integration and full equality for Negroes in the United States would provide it with a much better recruiting potential than its former segregationist line had. Moreover, Khrushchev, unlike Stalin, could approve a reversal in the U.S. Communist Party line without admitting a past error on his part. Finally, in rejecting the “Black Belt” position, Khrushchev would be finding a Stalinist policy in error and would thus be furthering his aim of discrediting Stalin with U.S. Communists.
Therefore, in 1959, at its 17th National Convention, the Communist Party adopted a new line on the Negro question. It abandoned its advocacy of a separate Negro republic. It proclaimed that it stood for full integration and civil rights for Negroes.
Pursuing its new line, the Communist Party became increasingly active in the civil rights movement (see Committee Exhibit No. 2, statements of J. Edgar
party held to its integration and nonviolence position. At its 18th National Convention in June 1966, it adopted a resolution on "The Negro Question" which proclaimed that the Communist Party disassociated itself from those "in and outside of the Negro liberation movement, who maintain that only through violence can progress be made in the achievement of equal rights, or who call for acts of terrorism."
Despite this proclaimed repudiation of violence, the party gave backhanded support to the riots once they had started. It justified the rioters' use of violence by claiming that they were merely reacting to "police brutality" and that they had the right to take up arms in "self-defense.” The party completely absolved the rioters of blame for their violence and placed full responsibility for the rioting, looting, and burning on the local, State, and the Federal Governments. During recent years, Communist Party statements have more and more strongly—though indirectly-supported the radical revolutionary tactics of the black militants. Wary of openly advocating violence by Communists because of the Smith Act prosecutions of the last decade, the party has used various devices for communicating its support of rioting. One of these is "historic parallel”—the device of quoting an historical figure on the necessity of violence and equating the events of his time with conditions today. The recently published book by Herbert Aptheker, the party's leading theoretican, utilizes this device. In reviewing this book, A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, the Communist magazine, Freedomways, praised Aptheker for having "brilliantly placed the necessary dynamite charges and, wisely, let those who made the history light the fuses.”
The 1967 riots apparently convinced the Communist Party that, in order to capitalize on them fully, it would have to reject the official repudiation of violence it had reiterated as recently as its 1966 convention. Its October 1967 statement was careful not to say that the Communist Party advocated violence
forcibly overthrow an oppressive regime * * *."
The following statements by the Communist Party and its leaders exemplify the recent development of the party line on racial matters and demonstrate how in the past few years the Communist Party has more and more openly supported militancy and violence. GUS HALL, TAE WORKER, MAY 1, 1960, P. 12:
“This situation demands from all of us greater initiative, activity and leadership. We must be first * * * in the sitdowns, on the picketlines, in the peace marches and meetings and in election struggle.” JAMES E. JACKSON, WORLD MARXIST REVIEW, SEPTEMBER 1963, PP. 35, 36: “the freedom struggle of the Negro people is a specialized part of the general struggle of the working class against deprivation and class exploitation and oppression.
“the freedom struggle of the Negro people reinforces the struggle against the exploiting class of the white capitalists * * *
"the presence of so large a proportion of Negroes, so especially motivated to militancy, in the American working-class can be likened to the addition of manganese to iron ore; when the two elements are united and fused * * * the metal * * * acquires a new quality, * * * the quality of pure steel.
"veterans of the Civil Rights Revolution, will be fighting partisans of social progress all down the line. ***
"From its earliest days the Communist Party of the U.S. has given major attention to the struggle for the economic, political and social equality of the Negro people. * * *
"At its Sixteenth Convention in 1957, the Communist Party clearly pointed out that the main line of march of the Negro people's movement was that of opposition to all forms of separatist "solutions" to the question of their oppression and toward full and complete integration in the life of the nation. * * *
“Events have fully confirmed the major theoretical and programmatic resolution on the Negro question which our Party adopted at its Seventeenth Convention in December, 1959. In this resolution we stated :
"* "* * The bonds of Negro oppression can and must be shattered. * * * Victory on this sector would open the way to rapid developments
along the whole front for radical social advancement of the entire nation.' “our Party exposes the diversionists, adventurists, provocateurs, and opponents of Negro-white unity who seek to poach upon and disrupt the Negro people's freedom movement.
" "The struggles (of the Negro people) in the South to rid our land of the shackles on freedom are giving an injection of new strength to all our democratic institutions. * * *9 » GUS HALL, THE WORKER, JANUARY 5, 1964, P. 9: “The civil right revolution has become the central arena in the struggle for a democratic America."
The “watchword is : 'Be satisfied with what you have gained-slow down.' It is designed to destroy the militancy of the movement ***." GUS HALL, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, JANUARY 12, 1964, P. 4: “Communist party leaders in the United States 'consult with and advise' top Negro leaders in their civil rights campaigns. * * *
“'We are not the active leaders, but members of the Communist party are very active in all the Negro organizations' engaged in the civil rights struggle * * *." JAMES E. JACKSON, THE WORKER, APRIL 21, 1964, P. 2:
“The Negro freedom struggle has come now to the point where there can be no vision of peace in the land until its * * * demands are fully attained. * * * The struggle will rise to embrace ever higher revolutionary actions ***." TAE WORKER, MAY 10, 1964, P. 8: "The civil rights revolution has put the torch to the combustible material gathering for decades in our cities' slums and segregated schools.
"The flames of rebellion have lit up the running sores of our cities. * * *" THE WORKER, JULY 21, 1964, P. 1:
"There is no doubt that enraged and frustrated youngsters resorted to throwing bottles and bricks in resistance to the police assaults. There may have been even some smashing of store windows and some looting in a misguided attempt to avenge the racial brutality of the police." JAMES E. JACKSON, THE WORKER, JULY 21, 1964, PP. 1, 7:
"VIOLENCE ROCKED Harlem over last weekend. And as usual, it was the residents of Harlem who were on the receiving end of the murderous assault