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Have the cities and communities burned in the urban riots of 1967-1968 ever completely recovered?

How is it that almost daily we see prominently pictured, numerous white young adults, saluting with a raised, clenched fist, seemingly ignorant of that gesture's violent origins?

Shouldn't they be aware of its origins as a symbol of the IWW Party (International Workers of the World) in the turbulent and sometimes bloody labor/management strife just before World War I, a movement also associated with anarchist factions, and demanding total abolition of capitalism?

Shouldn't they have been taught of its awful legacy as the symbol of the so-called Spanish Republicans, who in six months of 1936, backed by the Soviet Union, killed 15 bishops and more than 6,000 priests and other clergy in the greatest episode of clerical bloodletting since the persecutions of the early Roman emperors?

For unless they can and do separate themselves along with peace-loving black Americans from the seemingly ubiquitous agitators, are they not casting themselves in the roles of "useful idiots" — a term describing Soviet dictator V. Lenin's vision of a naive force for obtaining communist world dominance?

Russell W. Haas


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