Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Counterpunch Takes the White Supremacist Road.

with 2 comments

This from beloved comrade Spanish Prisoner is a must-read.

Mike Whitney has posted an article on CounterPunch titled Our Chavez: Huey Long. There seems to be an effort in recent years on the part of some people to to try to portray the sometime governor of Louisiana and U.S.Senator as a great champion of the people, no doubt because of his anti-capitalist rhetoric. Yet when one takes a closer look at his life, it becomes clear that things were not that simple.

During Long’s lifetime, most of the Left regarded him with deep wariness, if not outright hostility. There were good reasons for that. First of all, he governed Louisiana as a virtual dictator. He even organized a secret police force to keep watch on his opponents as well as on his followers.

Long was also a white supremacist. He maintained Louisisana’s Jim Crow laws. (Long would sometimes smear his opponents by spreading rumors that they had “coffee blood”. This gives a bitter irony to calling him “our Chavez”.) Long’s apologists point out that he didn’t talk about white supremacy in his speeches. This was perhaps because he didn’t need to. In 1935, Roy Wilkins interviewed Long for The Criis. They discussed an anti-lynching bill that Long opposed in the Senate:

Read the rest on Spanish’s excellent Blog.

I trust that SERGE HALIMI will re-consider his name being put on this racist site as a contributor.

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Written by Andrew Coates

March 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I reblogged your article, and the link, at ‘Shiraz Socialist’ and received this response from one Michael Leuker:

    This is a ridiculous allegation. Huey Long was a moderate compared to other Southern politicians and rarely engaged in “nigger-baiting”. Black people actually praised him for his reforms that benefited many of them just as much as white women and men.

    Long actually took position against the Ku Klux Klan in the 30s, calling its then leader “… a son of a bitch, and I’m not referring to the circumstances of his birth.” There were allegations that he was a member of the Klan at some point … all lies as it turned out.

    To accuse Long of upholding the Jim Crow laws 30 years before it became even remotely possible to change them shows an appalling ignorance of historical facts. Huey Long did more for black people than anyone could have realistically expected in his time.

    Besides: Who cares about a democracy in which the tables are tilted in favor of the few rich? Does it really matter on how many shoulders the mandate of the people rests as long as their will is enacted? It doesn’t! Our Louisiana-style “democracy” isn’t worth the paper its corrupt statutes are written on and Huey did the right thing to try and dismantle it.

    The end does justify the means after all. Some accuse(d) the Kingfish of thinking “that he was it” and acting accordingly. They narrowly miss the point: He indeed was it and had all the right in the world to act accordingly. Whatever else he was, his primary concern were always the little people. What a few “special sessions” in Congress could have done for them!

    Alas, it was not to be. Huey Long gave his life for the vision of a better, more just future for all people, not just a chosen few.

    Jim Denham

    March 29, 2013 at 1:08 am

  2. I replied on the original post by The Spanish Prisoner.

    But as it happens this is one of the few aspects of US History I know much about and I would support from Spanish said.

    This statement is particularly odd,

    “To accuse Long of upholding the Jim Crow laws 30 years before it became even remotely possible to change them shows an appalling ignorance of historical facts. Huey Long did more for black people than anyone could have realistically expected in his time.”

    Firstly, this was not the 18th century it was the 20th.

    Secondly, ‘did more for’ is a bit like saying some Apartheid leaders were kind.

    Andrew Coates

    March 29, 2013 at 11:52 am


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