RUSSIA: Black Blank

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Negroes, so every Soviet child is taught, are the Black Hopes of Communism in the U. S. Sooner or later, if properly primed by Moscow, they will "arise and slash [their] thraldom's chains" as the Soviet anthem puts it. Nowhere else in the world is a Negro so pampered as in Russia. Last week that coal-black protege of Joseph Stalin, Robert Robinson, was elected, somewhat to his surprise, to the Moscow Soviet.

Says 60-year-old Mother Robinson: "My boy doesn't smoke, drink or gamble. He is a perfect gentleman and everybody who knows him loves him. He finds it hard to send me anything to live on here in New York because of the Russian laws that stop money from being sent out of the country. I manage, by the help of the Lord, to live after a fashion, but New York is a hard city to live in. Last year my boy visited me, so he could renew his American passport."

Possession of a U. S. passport is the sine qua non for Negroes whom the Soviet Government is training as Communist dynamite. Reason: they must be able to get home as bona fide U. S. citizens to do any good when the hoped-for explosion of U. S. Revolution comes.

In Russia Perfect Gentleman Robert Robinson is famed because of the Communist propaganda trial put on in his honor in 1930 at Stalingrad where he was working as a machinist. Two white U. S. machinists objected violently to being lumped with a "nigger" at meals. They were solemnly tried, convicted of "race prejudice," and one was banished from the Soviet Union.

Said Negro Robinson in Moscow last week: "I am not a member of the Communist Party. I am not interested in politics. In fact I have no idea what my duties will be as a Delegate in the Moscow Soviet."

Delegate Robinson need not have worried. The ostensibly legislative chamber of the Moscow Soviet clearly reveals itself to any practiced architect for what it is. Unlike the U. S. Congress or the French Chamber of Deputies, the room is not constructed with aisles so arranged that any member may leave his seat, ascend the tribune and manifest himself. Instead, Moscow Soviet Delegates sit in pews. Their pew seats have arms which fold up to admit them, then snap down into place. They are not locked in, but might as well be. For an individual Delegate like Perfect Gentleman Robert Robinson to manifest himself in opposition is all but impossible. In practice the Moscow Soviet always votes unanimously as No. 1 Delegate Joseph Stalin indicates.

Elected as Delegates last week were several dead Soviet heroes, notably Nikolai Lenin. Also elected a Delegate was Comrade Ernst Thalmann, onetime Communist candidate for President of the German Republic, who now sits in a Nazi jail. Black Delegate Robinson will have about as much to do with shaping the policy of the Moscow Soviet as jailed Delegate Thalmann, but his election last week was elegant propaganda among U. S. Negroes.