NOTES FROM THE DUMP

Monday, February 14, 2011

NOW PAUL ROBESON - HE HAD CONFIDENCE

…and of course in his day was world famous for his singing, acting and stentorian voice but it all came to a dead end for the son of a runaway slave when the House Un-American Activities Committee kicked his feet out from under him for being a Communist or at least a Communist sympathizer back in the 1950s when in their zeal HUAC interrogated and ruined the careers and lives of 100s of very talented people doomed mostly to obscurity or posthumous fame; it was the end of Paul Robeson’s American career. In Europe he was still large, as he was in life.

To one member of HUAC who asked him why, if he liked Russia so much, didn’t he go there and live, the great basso profundo thundered, "Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you!"

In fairness to him, because he was enamored of Communism in theory at least (which isn’t considered all that bad now that it’s not the bugaboo it was during The Cold War, discounting a billion Chinese…but that for later, “Let,” as Napoleon said, “…the Tiger sleep, for when she awakes the world will tremble…”) he, like most of us then, wasn’t privy to the horrors of Stalinism.

Only after his death were the enormities of Stalin’s atrocities brought to light. In fact he was responsible for more heinous crimes and murdered more millions than Hitler, kindred spirits he and Stalin, two archfiends, the Genghis Khans of the 20th Century.

…now what was I prattling on about…oh yes, Poor Paul Robeson. Well Brother, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time but you did the right thing and often when one does one pays a price.

1 comment:

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