Monday, October 30, 2006

 

More on Bayard Rustin

Concerning "Bayard Rustin--Giant with Feet of Clay," a reader asks, "It seems to me, pretty obvious in fact, that the likelihood exists that Rustin worked with the support of the US government. Have you come across any documents that highlighted or suggested this?"

The short answer is no. The long answer is there seems little room for doubt that, in his later life, through his direct and indirect connections with Freedom House, the AFL-CIO, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Committee on the Present Danger, League for Industrial Democracy, Coalition for a Democratic Majority, etc. that Rustin was definitely a beneficiary of CIA and other gov't. support and funding. I haven't come across any particularly relevant documents on this topic but then again I haven't really looked for any. In any case, have a look at rightweb.irc-online.org. Rustin's name pops up there a lot of times in association with prominent neocons and known CIA front groups. The statement below makes a lot of sense when considered in this light.

Ronald Reagan's Statement on the Death of Bayard Rustin
August 25, 1987

We mourn the loss of Bayard Rustin, a great leader in the struggle for civil rights in the United States and for human rights throughout the world. He will be sorely missed by all those who shared his commitment to the twin causes of peace and freedom.

As few men have, Mr. Rustin understood that the struggle for the two is inseparable; either we achieve them both or neither. Mr. Rustin held to this belief all his adult life. This took great physical, intellectual, and, most of all, moral courage. He was denounced by former friends, because he never gave up his conviction that minorities in America could and would succeed based on their individual merit. But Mr. Rustin never gave an inch. Though a pacifist, he was a fighter to the finish. That is why over the course of his life he won the undying love of all who cherish freedom.

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