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Published On: Mon, Dec 7th, 2015

Rutgers celebrates Paul Robeson week, a WWII communist who hated the US

Rutgers University recently dedicated an entire week to celebrate Paul Robeson, a disgraced communist who spoke out vehemently against the U.S. government during the post-WWII era, even says that those who oppose the Soviets should be shot.

The “I Am Robeson Week” Facebook page praised Robeson as “Rutgers University’s most esteemed alumnus” and “one of the most dynamic public figures of the 20th century with accolades as an athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and international human rights activist.”

photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

photo by rotemliss via wikimedia commons

There was a talk entitled “Robeson: The Model Political Athlete,” a book signing with the author of “Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art,” a screening of the movie of Robeson’s biography Here I Stand, and a tour of Robeson’s house in Philadelphia.

Robeson, who graduated from Rutgers in 1919, once declared after a visit to the Soviet Union: “From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet government, I can only say that anyone who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!”

Rutgers’ chancellor late last month increased the operating budget of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center by 50 percent. The “I Am Robeson Week” Facebook page states the week-long celebration will become an annual event.

Robeson’s primary affinity for the Soviet Union stemmed from its existence as a “really free society” and “the utter absence of any embarrassment over a ‘race question,’” according to an interview.

He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for his clear affiliation with communism and criticism of the U.S. government. The African American actor and singer was also investigated by the FBI for his advocacy of pro-Soviet policies.

“Robeson gave aid and comfort to the enemy, which is the definition of treason, during a time when we were actively engaged with the Soviet Union — and the celebration of the week doesn’t acknowledge this,” Rutgers Law Student Matt Gilson told The College Fix in an interview.

Karl Marx

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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