Cartoonist Ted Rall Appears At Communist Bookstore
November 22, 2010
By Cliff Kincaid
The communist book shop known as Revolution Books in New York City recently hosted a party and celebration for a 91-page book called Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. The book is officially published by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a Maoist cult that follows the rants of Bob Avakian, a former comrade of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn in the Students for a Democratic Society. Last week, Revolution Books hosted nationally syndicated cartoonist/columnist Ted Rall, a recent guest on the MSNBC television network who read from his new book, The Anti-American Manifesto.
Rall was a guest on the Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC, where he claimed the title of his book is “partly in jest” but added that he wants to “change the system entirely” and a “revolt” is necessary. Saying that peaceful avenues for change had been fruitless, he said that violence was a last resort.
It is disgusting that a network such as MSNBC, whose on-air personalities have been so critical of the Tea Party movement, would give a platform to Rall and his statements that seem to endorse revolutionary violence. The last time this happened in America was when the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, and the Puerto Rican FALN were accepting the support of Communist Cuba and bombing buildings and murdering people, mostly police officers. Some of these criminals went to prison, but others had help from the National Lawyers Guild and served little, if any, jail time. Some received pardons from President Bill Clinton and another, Assata Shakur, escaped to Cuba, where she lives today.
Of course, the Tea Party wants to change the system as well. The difference is that, while some of its members have been unfairly depicted by the media as violence-prone, they have peacefully demonstrated their power through the recent elections. What’s more, the Tea Party recognizes the fallacies, dangers, and bloody record of Marxism. They want to avoid in America what happened to Cuba and the old Soviet Union.
Some have called Rall a crank. But his appearance at Revolution Books suggests he knows exactly what he’s doing. A critic of the Tea Party, Rall has no problem in appearing at a bookstore that celebrates an ideology that has resulted in more than 100 million deaths since the Communist Manifesto. Rall seems proud of his scheduled appearance at the communist bookstore, having posted it on his blog.
Although he has a national platform, Rall represents a very tiny segment of the population, much smaller than the 20 percent describing themselves in exit polls as liberals. This makes MSNBC’s promotion of him even more offensive. Ratigan only served him softball questions.
Can you imagine the media hue and cry if a leader of the Tea Party movement were to show up for a book signing at a Nazi bookstore? MSNBC personalities Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann would be falling all over one another to cover the story.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for Ratigan, Maddow, or Olbermann to launch commentaries denouncing Ted Rall’s appearance at Revolution Books.
This isn’t just a communist bookstore devoted to theoretical discussions of Marxism; it is devoted to promoting the ideas of Chinese Communist mass murderer Mao Tse Tung, himself responsible for 65 million deaths.
So who is this despicable person named Ted Rall? Described as one of America’s top five syndicated editorial cartoonists, his work is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate to more than 100 newspapers and magazines. One of his cartoons, which concerned the late Pat Tillman, the NFL player who quit football to join the Army, was considered so offensive that it was pulled from the MSNBC.com website because it fell short of “standards of fairness and taste.” It depicted Tillman as an idiot because he favored America’s war on terrorism.
But Ted Rall isn’t the only left-wing personality to sell his wares at Revolution Books. Chris Hedges, a former New York Times correspondent, appeared at the Community Church of New York on November 8 for the “first release party” in New York City of his book, The Death of the Liberal Class. It was a benefit evening for Revolution Books, with proceeds from ticket and book sales going to the Maoist bookstore.
Revolution Books, which also has a bookstore near the University of California at Berkeley campus, is devoted not only to Mao but RCP chairman Bob Avakian. Like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Avakian came out of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the group that laid siege to college campuses before turning into the terrorist Weather Underground.
Interestingly, recent visitors to Revolution Books in New York City found a large pencil drawing of Cornel West, a Marxist academic and a member of Obama’s Black Advisory Council during his 2008 presidential run. The drawing was being auctioned off to benefit the communist bookstore. West had debated Carl Dix of the RCP at an event sponsored by Revolution Books. A DVD is now available of the debate and is titled, “The ascendancy of Obama and the Continued Need for Resistance and Liberation.”
According to the DVD, “Proceeds from this historic evening went to Revolution Books NYC and the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, which provides subsidized subscriptions of Revolution newspaper and other revolutionary literature to prisoners.”
As stated, the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund provides copies of the RCP newspaper to criminals in prison. To understand the impact, consider this letter from a prisoner posted on the website:
“The recent issue #213 that was a special issue on Israel was excellent in its portrayal of the Imperialist attack dog known as the state of Israel. Most people don’t make the connection that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, how it is oppressing the Palestinians is the same treatment all oppressed people get worldwide, of course on different levels.”
When there were indications that copies of the communist paper were being held back from the criminal population, the ACLU went into action, threatening a lawsuit against prison officials.
This program is supposed to guarantee that once the criminals get out of prison, they will be committed communists.
One of the supporters of the program to send “revolutionary” literature to criminals is Lynne Stewart, identified on the website as “A highly respected ‘peoples’ attorney’ in NY who is presently appealing a prison sentence of her own.” Stewart has since been sentenced to 10 years in prison for providing illegal support to one of her clients, Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
On the radio show called “Democracy Now,” a platform for left-wing extremist views, Cornel West described where he differs with his “brother” and “comrade” Carl Dix: “I think probably I am a free Jesus-loving black man, and he’s my dear secular, atheistic, revolutionary communist comrade. So we disagree on the God question. We disagree probably on what it means to engage in revolutionary transformation of a capitalist society. I am a democratic socialist; he’s a revolutionary communist. I’m pink; he’s red.”
Whether pink or Red, it is certainly significant that people like Cornel West, Chris Hedges, and Ted Rall are appearing under the auspices of a bookstore that promotes “the foremost Maoist revolutionary in the United States” and “a major leader of the international communist movement,” as Avakian describes himself.
Fellow travelers, or dupes, have made communism and its crimes possible over the course of history. But when or if the “late imperial America” becomes a reality and the communists take over, the dupes will be among the first victims of the “New Socialist Republic in North America.”
They will probably be begging for mercy in front of the communist criminals their appearances helped raise funds to “educate.” Mao showed them the way.