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 MANNING JOHNSON 
Color, Communism and Common Sense

Chapter Eight

MODERN DAY CARPET BAGGERS

At the root of all the present racial trouble is interference in the internal affairs of Southern States by people not at all interested in an amicable settlement of any problems arising between Negro and white Americans.

This interference comes from organizations and individuals in the North seeking to use the Negro. Among them are found Communists, crypto-communists, fuzzy-headed liberals, eggheads, pacifists, idealists, civil disobedience advocates, socialists, do-gooders, conniving politicians, self-seekers, muddle-headed humanitarians, addle-brained intellectuals, crackpots and plain meddlers. Like “missionaries,” they descend on the South ostensibly to change or alter it to benefit the Negro.

In fact and in implication, all of them seek to by-pass the responsible white and Negro leaders in the South to effect a solution. They employ a pattern of setting up provocative situations which inflame and agitate the white populace and then using it as propaganda here and abroad against the South in particular and all of America in general.

White Southerners who oppose these “missionaries” are pounced upon and labeled “race baiters,” “reactionaries,” “Ku Kluxers,” “white supremacists,” “persons outside the law” and so forth.

Negro Southerners who oppose these “missionaries” are also attacked and labeled “Uncle Toms”, “traitors of the race”, “handkerchief heads”, “white folks niggers” and so forth.

Obviously such name calling is a deliberate attempt on the part of these “missionaries” to scuttle all the progress made by the Negro since slavery by creating an atmosphere of distrust, fear, and hate. Like a witch stirring her brew the “missionaries” stir up all the sectional and racial bitterness that arose in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction. They open old wounds. They thumb the pages of closed chapters. They rake over the dying embers of old grudges, old grievances, old fears and old hates, that time has been gradually consigning to history in the onward sweep of a young, lusty, healthy and growing nation.

Labeling opponents is a specialty of the reds. Smear is a cardinal technique. Any label found in the red stockpile, you may be sure, is carefully made and selected to draw the maximum hate to the person or persons, the group or the organization to which it is attached.

The use of such labels has a tendency to divide America. Nothing, in my opinion, would please the aforementioned weird assortment of “missionaries” more than a divided America unless it is a Soviet America. They are forever predicting it at the same time working tirelessly to bring it about.

Moreover, while they talk about “racial strife” in America as providing grist for Moscow’s propaganda mill they are busy creating it. They are careful to hide the fact that they are responsible for the provocations of extremists as was the case in Little Rock.

In all red propaganda, here and abroad, such acts of extremists are made the symbol of the treatment of the Negro in America. It also is the red smear pot in which all opponents of a “forthwith solution” of the race problem are tossed. The fact is that the majority of white Southerners are opposed to extremists. All-white Southern juries have convicted some of them as troublemakers and white Southern judges have sentenced some of them to long prison terms. This is deliberately ignored or played down by the leftists.

Mr. James P. Mitchell, Secretary of Labor, reported that the Department of Labor in a recent survey found that:

Purchasing power of the Negroes was more than $17,000,000,000 and that a third of the Negro population owned their own homes. Negro wage earners, he said, make four and a half times what they earned in 1940.

He listed important gains by Negroes in ownership of banks, insurance companies, businesses, civil service employment and professional, skilled crafts and clerical and sales fields. In education, he said, Negro college enrollments have increased at a rate six times that of white students, while more than 98 per cent of Negroes between the ages of 7 and 13 are in school.*

These facts, too, are ignored or played down by the leftist “missionaries” and irresponsible crusaders. In political warfare, it seems a cardinal principle to credit your enemy with only that which will hasten the build-up for his destruction.

The media of public information is far from free of communists and fellow travelers who operate under the guise of liberalism. They are ready at all times to do an effective smear job. Among these red tools may be found editorial writers, columnists, news commentators and analysts, in the press, radio and television. They go overboard in giving top news coverage to racial incidents, fomented by the leftists, and also those incidents that are interpreted so as to show “biased” attitudes of whites against Negroes. This is a propaganda hoax aimed, not at helping the Negro, but at casting America in a bad light in order to destroy its prestige and influence abroad, thereby aiding Soviet Russia in the penetration and conquest of Asia and Africa.

In the meantime the Negro is the sacrificial lamb—the innocent victim of the widespread racial hate which the leftists are creating. The energizing of race hate is an asset to the red cause. The more, the merrier, so long as it erupts in cross burnings, threats, loss of jobs, refusal of loans, boycotts, bombings, fist fights, beatings and shootings.

Thus all racial progress based upon understanding, goodwill, friendship and mutual cooperation, built up painfully over the years, is wiped out. White Americans are set against Negro Americans and vice versa. The stage is thus set for the opening of a dark and bloody era in Negro and white relations.

Many white Northern politicians objectively aid the rapidly deteriorating racial situation through the exploitation of leftist propaganda to garner Negro votes. They care not a tinker’s dam about the Southern Negro and simply flatter the Northern Negro whom they consider a gullible fool. Getting elected and re-elected is their only concern.

Dishonorable mention should also be given to those white individuals and racial groups posing as friends of the Negro only to use him as a spearhead to attain certain objectives. They constitute in no small way the financial sinews of the movement. Naturally, they project programs and policies on those Negro tools who live off their largesse. Since “he who pays the piper calls the tune,” could anything less than full submission be expected by these so-called Negro leaders? It does not matter to what extent Negro Americans generally feel the brunt of the racial hostility which these harmful programs engender, so long as the so-called Negro leaders win the approbation of their white masters and the money keeps rolling in.

Significantly, among all the aforementioned groups and individuals, there is only one highly organized, trained and disciplined force, and that is the Communists. So they are able to use, manipulate and combine this weird assortment of leftist “missionaries” in one way or another to bring about “a social upheaval which will plow up Southern institutions to their roots.”

Indeed the spectre of the “modern Carpet Bagger” haunts the South. Reds, NAACPers, do-gooders and other “missionaries” follow in the footsteps of those Northerners who for narrow, selfish, personal or political reasons meddled in the affairs of the South in the period immediately following the Civil War. Like their predecessors, these modern-day Carpet Baggers create only mischief for they have no true interest in the South.

A check of the record of these modern-day Carpet Baggers will show that most of them are either Communists or persons who have been, or are now, associated with the Communist cause as a fronter, endorser, or fellow traveler.

Under the circumstances, it becomes the bounden duty of every government agency, in the interest of internal security, to reveal to the American people the record of each individual, regardless of race, creed, religion, position or rank, who is involved in inciting white and Negro Americans against each other.

Naturally, the opponents of the publication of such information are going to scream louder than ten thousand pigs caught under a fence. Charges of anti-Negro, antidemocratic bias will fill the air. “Old man Smear” will have a field day. In this way, as in the past, any real investigation of Communism or pro-Communism among Negroes is headed off, defeated or driven into a blind alley. Color and race thus becomes a sanctuary. On the one hand, patriotic and honest politicians and officials do not dare invade it critically without dire consequences to their personal reputations. On the other hand, this same “sanctuary” becomes the playground, not only of the reds, but of hypocrites, demagogues, bigots, self-seekers, opportunists, conniving politicians and other dregs of human society.

Too few Americans in our day have the courage of their convictions. Too few will fly in the face of leftist opposition. Too few will stand up for truth in the face of the ominous and destructive storm of “me-tooism” or the communist ideological regimentation that hangs like a pall over our country. Many take the attitude that it is better to be safe than sorry or conclude, after a little difficulty or several reverses, that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” The words God, country and posterity have lost much of their substance and are becoming only a shadow in the hearts and minds of many Americans.

Great Negro Americans such as Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver should serve both as an inspiration and a reminder to the present and successive generations of Negro Americans that they too “can make their lives sublime and in departing leave behind them footprints in the sands of time.”

The great surge of progress of the Negro since slavery can be largely traced to the work and efforts of these two men, their supporters, their emulators and their followers. Theirs was a deep and abiding pride of race, a firm belief in the ability of their benighted people to rise above their past and eventually stand on an equal plane with all other races. Moreover, equality was to them, not just a catchword—the prattle of fools—but a living thing to be achieved only by demonstrated ability.


*  New York Times, Wednesday, November 20, 1957.

Chapter Nine:  RACE PRIDE IS PASSÉ