Leading black conservatives lay blame for black America's rampant poverty and other ills squarely at the feet of the socialist orientation of black leaders such as Al Sharpton.
They say the black intelligentsia’s rhetoric has created a defeatist and demoralizing climate that has robbed millions of black Americans of hope and has sentenced them to an impoverished existence.
“One of the tenets of the socialist ideology is to create a welfare state, and that’s exactly what has happened in the black community,” says Florida Rep. Allen West, the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “I like to say we have sort of a reverse plantation going on here where you have people like Sharpton and [Jesse] Jackson trying to make themselves into overseers.”
Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality, says Marxists have worked hard to exploit blacks for the past century and divide them from the rest of society.
Socialism has been deeply ingrained in the black community since the NAACP’s founding in 1909 according to the Socialist Party USA.
And NAACP founder W.E.B. DuBois later developed an admiration for Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin and even continued to apologize for him even after many other black intellectuals such as Ralph Ellison had repudiated their support for the dictator. DuBois even received the 1959 "Lenin Peace Prize" and formally joined the Communist Party USA two years later in 1961.
An affection for socialism also permeated black American culture during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s when artists such as Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson flirted with Stalinism. Robeson won the 1952 "Stalin Peace Prize" and remained an unapologetic defender of the Soviet dictator throughout his life.
Not even legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. escaped being infected by the socialist virus, as evidenced by speeches he gave toward the end of his life. And the Black Panthers, including now-Congressman Bobby Rush looked to Mao for inspiration.
“The biggest tragedy in all of this is that the blacks did not know the poison of socialism and communism,” Innis says. “And they were led to believe it was the only alternative for fighting Jim Crow and pushing back against segregation.”