From Time Magazine 1931
Negroes who are bona fide U. S. citizens are in high favor at Moscow as potential workers for a Soviet revolution in the U. S. Such a Negro is William Lorenzo Patterson, frankly a Communist, who after three and one-half years in Russia returned to the U. S. last week on his valid U. S. passport and began at once to preach Communist doctrines which appeared in front-page position before the 41,000 Negro readers of Harlem's Amsterdam News. Communist Patterson is a member of the New York Bar, a former law partner of two Negroes who are now Assistant District Attorneys in New York City. As a youth he was the only pupil of his race at Mill Valley (Calif.) High School, was nevertheless elected by his white fellows captain of the baseball team. After working his way through the University of California, after practicing law and joining the Communist party in New York, he went in 1927 to Russia.
"After a critical comparison of the Soviet system with Capitalism in other countries," said Lawyer Patterson last week, "I am convinced that when the Negro masses of America come to understand more clearly the ideology of Communism they must accept it as the only genuine relief from their present plight. . . .
"Under Capitalism they are doomed to exploitation and oppression. The door to better things is closed to the American worker by his wage scale. In Russia, where private profit is being progressively abolished, there will be no limit to the benefits the worker may receive.* When the Negro realizes the superiority of that system he is bound to accept its tenets."
There is almost no limit to the benefits a likely U. S. Negro may receive just now in Moscow. A scholarship awaits him at the "Lenin School" for propaganda and revolution maintained by the Third International. At periodic congresses of the International, he proudly finds the U. S. Communist Party represented by a Negro or Negroes who state, amid cheers, that Communism is spreading like wildfire among their race in the U. S. Also, in Moscow a Negro can take a white bride without exciting comment. Prudently Communist Patterson left his white bride of 15 months with her parents in Moscow when he returned to the U. S. last week.
What U. S. Negroes are eager to hear about Russia is the truth of the so-called "lynching incident" (the Negro was not lynched) in a Soviet factory at Kharkov. The story, as retold last week by Communist Patterson: "Lewis and Brown, two white Americans from the South who were working side by side in a large tractor plant in Kharkov with Robinson, an American Negro, objected to his eating in the same dining room with them. When brought to trial, their fellow-workers found them guilty of race discrimination and sentenced them to two years in prison or expulsion from the country for twelve years.
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