[Marxism] Sign of the times

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 16 15:01:43 MDT 2013

Just after the M96 bus about was departing to the east side an hour ago 
I spotted Beryl Reubens on the corner of B'way and 96th. You may 
remember that I posted a link to an interview I did with her a few 
months ago. (https://vimeo.com/56591752). She was a member of a CP cell 
up in Glen Wild, New York that included her, her husband, and the 
parents of Allen Young and Naomi Jaffe. Allen and Naomi were leaders of 
SDS, with Allen eventually becoming a seminal figure in the Gay 
Liberation movement and Naomi a member of the Weather Underground. All 
but Allen's parents were poultry farmers. And all were involved in a 
"Salt of the Earth" type drive to organize mostly African-American steam 
laundry workers.

I wanted to say hello to her from the bus but the driver would not open 
the door for me to yell out. He did, however, beep the horn and she saw 
me waving to her. I just called her 5 minutes ago to tell her that I was 
the crazy guy on the bus waving to her. She said that she suspected it 
was me.

I mentioned to the driver that I did an interview with her about her 
leftwing activities during the McCarthy era. That evidently was all he 
needed to trigger some welled-up rightwing ideas that he obviously 
picked up from WABC hate radio and Murdoch's NY Post. He said that the 
only McCarthyism today is directed against white Christians who will 
never be protected by hate speech legislation and so on. But the Muslims 
and the gays will always be defended by Obama.

I let him go on until we were midway through Central Park and then I 
began responding. Wasn't he aware that the same people who are going on 
about Muslims and gays are the same people who are for busting the 
unions, including the TWU? Didn't he know that Mike Quill who made the 
TWU into a powerful union was a "fellow traveler" of the CPUSA? And what 
about Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, who wanted to bust all 
public unions like the TWU? This guy who goes on about "true Americans" 
is making it impossible to organize a union.

After about 5 minutes of this he began to back off, probably because he 
had never heard anybody with a class perspective. At one point he said 
something like "you people put Obama into office", assuming that I was a 
typical liberal. I explained to him that both Romney and Obama hate 
strong unions like the TWU. I got a chuckle when he said that if we had 
more Republicans like Abe Lincoln, he'd vote for them. I said, "So would 
I", as I got off at 96th and 3rd.

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