A Response to Cal Thomas “Protesting the Protesters”
From: Eddie Griffin (BASG)
PREMISE: The Fable of the Leftist is a false creation of conservative editorialists.
Cal Thomas writes that he is “sick and tired” of this debate about racism in the Tea Party. So are we. But he fabricates a stereotypic Leftist that fits nobody’s description in real life, and counterpoises this straw dog with a Rightist stereotype. This whole enigma about Conservative and Liberal confuses me, because I believe every American is a little liberal over here, a little conservative over there, a little to the right on this issue, and a little to the left on that issue.
He writes: “The left invented the modern protest movement. I recall covering some of the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in the late '60s and early '70s.”
Anyone who lived this history, instead of just reading about it, would know: It was lead by students, and it consumed the mainstream of America. But we were politically powerless because 18-year olds had not yet won the right to vote, and African-Americans in the Deep South could not vote at all. Otherwise, we could have taken the 1964 election.
Protesting the Vietnam War was not unpatriotic. We believed it was morally wrong to go into Southeast Asia to take the place of the imperial power of France. The Vietnamese people were throwing off centuries of French colonialism. Communism spurred the international revolutions in the 1960.
Instead, we supported the liberation movements around the world, to end Estado Novo colonialism in Portuguese African colonies in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau, and called for universities to divest in South Africa because of white supremacist practice of apartheid. That was our generation, burning draft cards, and shouting: “Hell No, we won’t go.” We wanted Peace. We wanted to come home. We were tired of fighting for an unappreciative nation who suppressed our right to vote in the South.
Cal writes here: “Conservatives believed that it was unpatriotic to criticize a president fighting communists. Many conservatives supported Nixon almost to the very end in the Watergate scandal.”
We were irreconcilably divided on President Richard Nixon. Maybe he was good to some people. But to us, he made life hell. His fight against “communism”, as supported by the political conservatives of the day, meant squashing our rights by illegal means and under false pretenses.
Mr. Thomas would rewrite history and once again vilify those on the Left, who have long since been exonerated. He writes: “People like William Ayers, Tom Hayden, Eldridge Cleaver, Sam Brown and Jane Fonda, and groups like the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, were seen by the mainstream media and liberal cultural commentators as exercising free speech and assembly, even when that assembly sometimes turned violent.”
I assume Sam Brown is H. Rap Brown, field organizer for SNCC in 1966, and successor of Stokely Carmichael. These infamous words are quoted in the article:
The left conveniently forgets people like the 1960s black-power apostle H. Rap Brown, who said, “Violence is American as cherry pie.”
It seems convenient now for Mr. Thomas to forget that, at the time, blood ran in the streets. Never in history had so many black leaders died a bloody assassin’s death, and the civil rights workers murdered on the back roads of Mississippi and Georgia, and all the raids on Black Panther properties, where one-sided shot-outs took some 40 lives of community leaders and potential leaders. These things were so casual that America went about its business with a cherry pie attitude.
Mr. Thomas subtle attempt to rewrite history, slander the exonerated, and falsify facts is contradicted, not by the same newspapers complicit in the crime, but the U.S. Senate records of the Church Committee, 1976.
April 1976 Church Commission investigation, 94th Congress, 2nd Session
Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Book II
I. Introduction and Summary
II. The Growth of Domestic Intelligence: 1936 to 1976
(A) Violating and Ignoring the Law
(B) Overbreadth of Domestic Intelligence Activity
(C) Excessive Use of Intrusive Techniques
(D) Using Covert Action to Disrupt and Discredit Domestic Groups
(E) Political Abuse of Intelligence Information
(F) Inadequate Controls on Dissemination and Retention
(G) Deficiencies in Control and Accountability
IV. Conclusions and Recommendations
Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports, Book III
COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Case Study
The FBI's Covert Action Program to Destroy the Black Panther Party
The Use of Informants in FBI Intelligence Investigations
Warrantless FBI Electronic Surveillance
Warrantless Surreptitious Entries: FBI "Black Bag" Break-ins And Microphone Installations
The Development of FBI Domestic Intelligence Investigations
Domestic CIA and FBI Mail Opening
CIA Intelligence Collection About Americans: CHAOS Program And The Office of Security
National Security Agency Surveillance Affecting Americans
Improper Surveillance of Private Citizens By The Military
The Internal Revenue Service: An Intelligence Resource and Collector
National Security, Civil Liberties, And The Collection of Intelligence: A Report On The Huston Plan
* Books II and III of the Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 1976