During a deposition to a lawsuit, a representative for the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles was asked by the plaintiff's attorney if someone could have "COMMIE" printed on his or her vanity license plate. This representative said yes. He was then asked if someone could have "NAZI" printed on a license plate, to which the representative replied emphatically that they could not. The lawyer queried whether the representative understood that Stalin and other leaders of former socialist countries were either directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of ten times the number murdered by Hitler.
Why do Stalin and other socialists receive free passes for their human rights atrocities and the murder of tens of millions of people?
In today's Raleigh News & Observer, David Pike, a professor of Germanic and Slavic languages at UNC Chapel Hill, asks the same question, albeit with a far more tragic personal example, when it comes to the reverence paid to Pete Seeger following his recent death.
My grandmother left Russia for Ellis Island in 1911, leaving three baby brothers behind. Each one was arrested by Stalin’s police in 1937, shot in the head after torture and thrown into a mass grave across from the Odessa prison.
So I’ll not place flowers on Seeger’s grave or miss the sounds of his “special long neck” banjo that “surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” Mine are for the grave of my grandmother’s mother, who starved to death at 77 in a prison colony in 1947, while Pete was strumming his tunes, and lies beneath the snow in the forest.