A column written by Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Intelligence Project, has found its way into an unlikely place — “People’s World,” the official online newspaper of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).
But Potok told The Daily Caller in an e-mailed statement he did not have a personal role in his column titled “Coming to Terms With The Confederacy” appearing in the CPUSA mouthpiece.
“We occasionally write op-eds for a nonprofit organization called OtherWords, which aims at ‘amplifying progressive analysis in the national conversation’ by placing the op-eds in various publications,” Potok wrote. “I have no idea how the articles are placed, nor were we consulted about the process. As you will have noticed, the op-eds are offered free, likely to anyone who cares to copy them.”
Potok declined to comment when asked whether “People’s World” should remove his commentary or whether he disapproved of the CPUSA newspaper’s decision to publish his piece.
A closer look at OtherWords, the organization that placed Potok’s column in the communist publication, shows it is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a left-wing think tank that has been associated with identified communists and communist sympathizers since its founding in 1963.
IPS received its initial funding from the Stern Family Fund and the Samuel Rubin Foundation, the latter of which was founded by Samuel Rubin. Rubin made his fortune with the Faberge perfume line and was identified by a congressional committee as having been a Communist Party member in 1936 while the party was firmly in Stalin’s grasp.
Rubin’s foundation and his family members have played an important role either funding or managing IPS since its founding. A review of the Samuel Rubin Foundation’s 2008 tax return on GuideStar.org shows the relationship has continued into the present.
Samuel Rubin Foundation President and former IPS board member Cora Weiss, who also is Samuel Rubin’s daughter, has a history of supporting the far-left and pro-communist causes, not unlike her father, going back to the 1950s, according to self-identified former communist turned conservative activist Ron Radosh.
“I knew Cora from ’57 to ’59, and she was heavily involved with far-left circles,” Radosh said. “She was an ardent partisan for the communist Vietnamese.”
Weiss’s husband, Peter, who once served as chairman of the IPS board of directors, has had a similar pattern of radical pro-communist activism, having worked with pro-Stalinist apologist Corliss Lamont as part of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC). Lamont founded the NECLC in reaction to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founder Roger Baldwin’s decision to purge known communists from his organization.
Fellow former Marxist radical turned conservative activist David Horowitz, who currently is president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, similarly identifies current IPS board member Saul Landau as having been a committed communist dating back to the 1950s.
Horowitz met Landau when both belonged to the Communist Party youth organization in the 1950s, and he told TheDC that Landau’s pro-communist leanings have continued into the present day.
“Saul Landau is a pro-Castro communist,” Horowitz said.
Landau has supported numerous communist dictators and regimes in Latin America throughout his career, including Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista regime and Hugo Chavez. He has also been frequently cited by “Granma”, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party.
Its experts also were among the few defending Pol Pot’s genocidal regime during the 1970s, according to Emory University professor Harvey Klehr’s book “Far Left of Center,” which was published by the Anti-Defamation League.
Since the end of the Cold War, IPS’s pro-communist leanings have not ceased. It has been involved with the Marxist-influenced anti-globalization movement and aligned itself with radical elements of the anti-war movement. IPS’s board of directors also currently includes people such as Barbara Ehrenreich, who also serves as an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, and CODE Pink co-founder Jodie Evans, who has maintained close relations with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, as members.
SPLC prides itself with mainstream credibility, but critics say the appearance of Potok’s column in “People’s World” shows just how radical the self-described “non-profit civil rights organization” has become.
“It is ironic that liberal groups such as the SPLC like other liberals never see the pro-communists as the bad guys,” said Paul Kengor, author of “Dupes,” which documents the communist effort to infiltrate the liberal left since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.
Kengor finds it ironic SPLC decided to condemn social conservative groups such as the Family Research Council (FRC) as hate groups last month for its opposition to homosexual behavior while at the same time maintaining close relations with an organization with a history of close ties with communist groups.
“It is ironic they have chosen to align themselves with communists, considering they are intensely anti-family, and you will find that in the pages of the “Communist Manifesto” as well as in the writings of Marx and Lenin,” Kengor said. “Marx even advocated the abolition of the family.”
Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, whose group was mentioned in the same report Potok used to label FRC as a hate group, believes how or why Potok’s column found its way into the CPUSA publication is irrelevant.
“Regardless of the topic of his article, Mark Potok and SPLC have aligned with a group whose ideology out-rivals any “hate group” for the number of murders, tortures and destroyed lives,” Wright said. “Communism was responsible for more deaths than any other ideology or movement in the history of the world. It repressed, vilified and crushed people under the vaunted guise of promoting ‘equality’.
“Marxism, the stated view of ‘People’s World’, creates economic enslavement to the government and crushing poverty — except for the masters in positions of power,” Wright continued.
“Mark Potok’s article was clearly written to an audience that is friendly to his views. Communism and socialism seeks to agitate people against others, and will use race, class, sex or any other means to further their ends. Agitation for power, not peace, is the goal. Guilty of the very characteristics that SPLC and Marxists famously accuse of others, their insincere goals of ‘peace’ and ‘equality’ are diversions as they create a hierarchical order of political high priests who amass power and money for themselves.”