Coleman Young: The Communist Who Destroyed Detroit – New Zeal
If one man could be blamed most for the destruction of Detroit, it would be Coleman Young.
Mayor from 1974 to 1993, Young set a city already in decline on the pathway to the disaster area it is today.
Coleman Young had a well-deserved reputation for corruption, but few today understand his communism.
It is important to know that it was a combination of crony capitalism and communism that destroyed Detroit, because that is exactly the formula being employed by Young’s spiritual heir, Barack Obama, from the White House today.
Born in 1918, Young found communism as a young man. In the 1930s, he found an apprentice electrician program sponsored by Ford Motor Company. There, he became an underground union organizer and “civil rights” activist until he was drafted into the Army in 1942.
Young served as a bombardier and navigator with the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Toward the end of the war, Young and about 100 other African-American men were arrested for demanding service at a segregated officers’ club in Indiana. Young managed to get word to the Black press. Within days, he was released and the Army began the process of integrating the club.
Another black Communist Party supporter also served in the unit, Percy Sutton, a future Manhattan borough president. He would later go on to mentor and employ a young radical named Eric Holder, and write a letter of recommendation to get a young Barack Obama into Harvard.
After the war, Young returned to Detroit, where he became a union organizer. But he lost his job when the head of the United Auto Workers Union “took a dislike to the commotion created by Young and other Black dissidents.” There may have been more to this, as during that period the UAW was being run by socialists, who were trying to oust their rival communists from the union.
Young took his first political job working for Progressive Party 1948 presidential candidate, Henry A. Wallace. The Progressive party was controlled, lock, stock and barrel, by the Communist Party.
In 1949, Young worked with fellow Progressive Party leader, Stanley Nowak, in supporting Ford factory strikers, as this clipping from the Communist Party’s Peoples world proves.
In 1966, Novak turned up as a sponsor of the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner. The dinner was held on the occasion of Communist Party theoretician Herbert Aptheker‘s 50th birthday.
The National Negro Labor Council (1950-56), was a Communist Party front for black workers and labor officials.
Key leaders of the Council included Coleman Young (national executive secretary), Charles Hayes (Chicago leader, identified communist and later a Democratic Congressman), Cleveland Robinson, George Crockett and Erma Henderson from Detroit.
Cleveland Robinson would later become a member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and a founder, with Charles Hayes, of the Communist Party created Coalition of Black Trade Unionists – an organization greatly loved by many modern Black leaders including Mississippi’s communist connected Congressman Bennie Thompson and Barack Obama.
Crockett was a close sympathizer and almost certainly a secret Communist Party member, who went on to become a Democratic Congressman from Michigan.
Erma Henderson would later serve on the Detroit City Council under Coleman Young.
In 1946, Erma Henderson was a Michigan representative to the National Council of American Youth for Democracy – the youth wing of the Communist Party USA. Serving alongside Henderson was a young Chicago journalist named Vernon Jarrett. He in turn, was a close colleague of a Chicago Communist party writer named Frank Marshall Davis – later the Hawaii mentor of a teenage Barack Obama.
Vernon Jarrett’s son would later marry the daughter of a Chicago radical educationalist named Barbara Bowman. The brief marriage turned Valerie Bowman into Valerie Jarrett – now Obama’s closest friend and most trusted White House adviser.
By 1952, Young’s work brought him to the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was investigating the Communist Party in Michigan. Coleman Young completely refused to answer the committee’s questions.
Coleman Young, HUAC hearings. Lawyer George Crockett, right
There is no doubt however that Young was a secret Party member.
In 1988, Howard Johnson – who had been one of the leading communists in Harlem during the Great Depression – told interviewer Kay Takora about his return home from World War II: “I came back into activity in the Communist Party… I at first became county educational director. New York county was the biggest county organization. From ’46 to ’49. And during that same period, I was assigned to help build a national Negro veterans organization which was called the United Negro and Allied Veterans of America. And that had the backing of the party and I was assigned by the party to work in that along with my duties as educational director of the county organization.”
Howard Johnson continued, eventually bringing the conversation to Detroit and to Detroit’s mayor, Coleman Young: “When UNAVA was formed, I was elected national vice-commander in charge of education, which fit my training, and the other national vice-commander was Coleman Young, who was national vice-commander in charge of labor.
“Because at that time he was a steward in the auto workers union and [a] very prominent trade unionist in Detroit. Coleman and I were very good friends… I never anticipated he would be a bourgeois mayor of Detroit. But Coleman’s a great guy, nevertheless. But I think that it was his party training that (helped) him to move forward as he did”.
In the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, the Communist Party’s liaison man with Moscow was a secret FBI informant, Morris Childs. On one trip to Moscow, Morris Childs’ fellow-delegate, the black communist James Jackson, asked that Coleman Young, a future mayor of Detroit and a secret Party member, be invited to Moscow to study Marxism-Leninism; the Soviets vetoed him as too old.
Democratic Socialists of America member and socialist historian Paul Buhle, wrote in a 1992 article for the Encyclopedia of the American Left:
Communists also gained from long-standing political contacts in the black community. Victories of black mayoral and congressional candidates with decades – old ties to the CP – a short list would include Coleman Young and George Crocket in Detroit, Gus Newport in Berkeley, and somewhat more ambiguously, Harold Washington in Chicago.”
It was the 1983 victory of long time Communist Party affiliate Harold Washington that inspired a young Barack Obama to move to the Windy City two years later.
Washington stacked Chicago City Hall full of communists and socialists. Coleman Young did the same in Detroit. He even appointed Communist Party supporter Dave Moore, Director of the city’s Senior Citizens Department.
So, it’s no surprise to see Barack Obama doing the same thing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Like Obama though, Coleman Young didn’t destroy Detroit alone. He had a whole raft of communist and socialist affiliated Councillors on his team, including Erma Henderson, Ken Cockrel, Sr., Clyde Cleveland and Maryann Mahaffey.
Erma Henderson center, Maryann Mahaffey, fourth from right, Clyde Cleveland, third from right, with a delegation from the Soviet front World Peace Council, 1975
Coleman Young, crony capitalism and communism destroyed Detroit.
Barack Obama is using the same formula to destroy America.
Will you let him?
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