It’s “I Am Paul Robeson Week” at Rutgers

By Matthew Gilson | The Save Jersey Blog

As campus “social justice warriors” continue to purge any history they do not like, Save Jerseyans, including apparently Woodrow Wilson whose far-left views they’ve forgotten, their hypocrisy remains on full display.

Bashing Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and any other founding father who has a history which falls to live up to the level of Mother Teresa is their modus operandi. Are they really after the truth? Or something else?

As a student at Rutgers Law School, I receive university e-mails though, full disclosure, I certainly do not consider myself to be a member of the university community. I had my qualms with some at Seton Hall from time to time during my time there, but the level to which Rutgers takes PC culture is well-document on this website and it’s disturbing. Most of these e-mails I just ignore, but with all of the ugly press regarding their history scrubbing and apologizing for 18th century behaviors, I have started to pay more attention.

Just this week, I received an e-mail inviting me to celebrate “I Am Paul Robeson Week” and called him one of Rutgers’s most distinguished alumni.

Condi Rice certainly didn’t get this treatment! And I must’ve missed Clarence Thomas Day?

Robeson is distinguished, that’s for sure…. distinguished as an avowed Cold War Communist and vehement anti-American sympathizer. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Left puts Robeson on a pedestal; Robeson advocated the unraveling of the American Dream and the installation of Soviet-style government long before the coddled whiny college liberals of today had ever gotten their first Bernie bumper sticker. He advocated dismantling the United States as we know it and instituting a disturbing communist hell long before such ideas were so cool and readily accepted on college campuses.

Pau RobesonTravelling to Russia and commenting on the execution of dissidents, Robeson declared how “[f]rom what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!


He even had his son educated in… Moscow!

Today on campus, Robeson is hailed as a “social justice warrior” which, I guess, sympathetic Rutgers students feel is the appropriate title for someone who attempts to eat the heartstrings of what makes America great. Once described as the “Kremlin’s voice in America,” Robeson was no hero to anyone except those seeking to bring Soviet-style Communism to the United States. Robeson did as much for civil rights as Al Sharpton. 

What did true civil rights heroes say about Robeson? Jackie Robinson, the first modern black baseball player, derided Robeson in testimony before congress. Robinson insisted that while he did want to get involved in a political debate, he could stand by idly while Robeson and others insisted that communism was somehow a path to civil rights. Robinson stated:

And one other thing the American public ought to understand, if we are to make progress in this matter: The fact that it is a Communist who denounces injustice in the courts, police brutality, and lynching when it happens doesn’t change the truth of his charges. Just because Communists kick up a big fuss over racial discrimination when it suits their purposes, a lot of people try to pretend that the whole issue is a creation of Communist imagination.”

Sound familiar to anyone?

The Leftist myth persists that somehow their system of government is going to grant more rights. Democratic policies have continued to leave far too many people of all ethnicities in extreme poverty with no end in sight. It never remains a secret that all the poorest and most dangerous cities in America are run by Democrats. New York is moving toward becoming the shining example of their policies’ results; DeBlasio is ruining the city after years of Democrats safely out of the mayor’s office.

Paul Robeson is not a hero. He was a communist sympathizer at a time when the United States was battling communism. Robeson leveraged racial tensions to promote his radical communist ideals. What’s scary is how this history makes him so popular to the Rutgers community. Robeson said outrageous things, and he exploited people to push a political agenda long before it was as popular as it was today in the history-challenged academic community. 

Rutgers should take a long hard look at whether they should be honoring this not so perfect part of their history. After all, taking a good hard look at facts is supposed to be the purpose of a university. You couldn’t find anything like it in Robeson’s Russia then (or now).


Matthew Gilson
About Matthew Gilson 100 Articles
A young man with a strong passions for all things local politics and all things North Jersey, Matt Gilson is a life-long resident of Bergen County, a student at Rutgers-Newark Law, the former chairman of the Seton Hall College Republicans, a former candidate for the Rutherford school board, and the current chairman of Bergen Young Republicans.


  1. My Father spent 6 years in Stalin’s gulags as a political prisoner. I have no love for communism or the Soviet Union.

    But here is a story about Paul Robeson we should never forget. He did come to the USSR and was going to put on a concert. The sensors looked at the songs he was going to perform and told him to exclude all the Yiddish ones. He asked why, and they told him some bullshit answer. He recognized it as anti-Semitism immediately. Told them to fuck off, turned around and left.

    He was a man of principle. He may have embraced a failed political and economic ideology, but he rejected its abuses when confronted with them.
    I for one, certainly can’t blame a man faced with institutionalized racial oppression, for seeking alternatives no matter how misguided we now know they were.

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