Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
In an address to the Wisconsin Socialist Club Du Bois declares that democracy is predicated on free discussion, but today there are some subjects that cannot be discussed, namely socialism and communism. One of the worst blows to American democracy was the rise of Senator McCarthy's campaign of fear against communism. Du Bois says that his career has been a long struggle to increase social and political equality for African Americans. This campaign has succeeded in expanding opportunity for African Americans to the extent that some successful African Americans have been able "to join the forces of monopoly and exploitation and help victimize their own lower classes." The next step in eliminating discrimination against African Americans must consist of an economic program that provides opportunities for their employment and social welfare. He speaks of his travels abroad, including his experience receiving medical care under Britain's socialized medicine system. Du Bois sees socialism as spreading inevitably, and predicts that by the 21st century most countries will have communist governments. African Americans must be invested in learning the truth about socialism; in reading, studying and witnessing firsthand socialist societies. This is the only way that they may "preserve their culture, get rid of poverty, ignorance and disease, and help America live up at least to a shadow of its vain boast as the land of the free and the home of the brave."