Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Generations of damage: the FBI persecution of George Baxter Sr



Anita Wills comes from an unusual family, not only one descended from black and indigenous revolutionary war veterans, but one persecuted frighteningly in modern times, because her father, a steelworker and veteran, was also a linguist. George Baxter Sr. knew Russian, and that fact caused FBI suspicion that he was in the Communist Party.

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Instead of the honor which her family deserves and which Anita has written about - see here, here, here and here - there is a perfect storm of supposedly negative circumstances: black descendants of soldiers in the Revolution "can't exist," as the DAR long asserted. See here. They are of course, inter alia, the chief soldiers on the American side at the battle of Yorktown (see the testimonies of Private Georg Daniel Flohr and Baron von Closen cited in my Black Patriots and Loyalists).

And her father knew Russian and was black - therefore, he must be..."a Commie."

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In my previous post, Anita reported that her son is falsely imprisoned, her grandson shot and the police engaged in no serious investigation. See here.

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Now George Baxter, Sr. was also a conscientious objector during World War II. But the US was then allied with the Soviet Union in fighting the Nazis. The American Communist Party denounced conscientious objectors and joined the government in persecuting Trotskyists, who opposed serving in the war, as "traitors."

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So just imagine the ignorance of the FBI - quite typical unfortunately, people who live in their own fantasies starting with J. Edgar Hoover, for example, about Martin Luther King as a "Commie." Competent and sane intelligence operatives - it is hard for such people to be part of secret police operations in the United States (see Colleen Rowley and Ray McGovern, leaders of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity - are rare. George Baxter Sr. was deemed a "Communist" even though he was a conscientious objector in World War II.

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There is no chance that George Baxter was in the Communist Party during that time.

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There is a vanishingly small logical possibility that he could have been a Trotskyist. In a decent society, this would, in any case, have been no crime.

But the quality of evidence and thinking adduced by the FBI is not promising...

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Among several languages, Baxter knew Russian. "Black" and a steelworker and knowing languages - obviously "unAmerican"...

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In addition to the overpowering stench of racism, there is also a deep parochialism and isolation here.


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The consequences of the FBI persecution for George Baxter's feeling about himself and his life, as Anita details them below, are horrifying.

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A police state which America was toward a sweepingly large number of people during the Truman-McCarthy epoch has many casualties...

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Anita sarcastically compares Baxter to Paul Robeson, a Communist who knew 14 or 15 languages, and was one of the great American artists and political figures of modern times. George must be Robey because...he knew Russian.

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The military put George Baxter to work in a cotton field - demonstrating the identity of the officers, often from the South, and would be plantation owners/Klansmen/segregationists - though they knew he knew Russian and German. It was lucky, for the world, that the Russians fought so hard in World War II...

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The military rivals the FBI for incompetence and racism.

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Military/intelligence...

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After the war, George Baxter worked at the VA Hospital part time. When he applied for a full-time job there, the FBI investigated...

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Anita writes:

"He was questioned and one of the questions the White Agent asked him was, "Why does a Black Man Need to speak Russian?" My father shot back, "Why does a black man Need to speak English?" To let him know how ridiculous that question was."

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What has happened to Anita and her family is something that can happen to blacks here in America. It is not a far away story. It is an American story.

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The campaign to free her son, George Baxter Jr, can be reached here.

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"Alan,

My father, George Baxter Senior, was targeted by the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover from about 1947 until after his death in 1971. When I obtained the records the FBI kept on him in 1995, much of the information was blacked out. What the records stated was that my father was targeted and so was my oldest brother, George Baxter Junior. My father spoke and wrote several languages Russian, German, Italian, French, Spanish, among many others. I have heard him speak Portuguese as well, although he did not count that as one of his languages. He learned German and Russian from growing up in a community where refuges from Germany and Russia were resettled. We lived in the Steel Community of Coatesville Pennsylvania, and that was the main source of income.

He was in the Army during World War II and during his training in Texas mentioned he spoke German and Russian. Their response was to put him to work in a Cotton Field, with other Negro Soldiers. He was reassigned to Coatesville and stationed as an MP at the VA Hospital in Coatesville. The family stated that my dad refused to fight overseas stating that he was a Conscientious Objector and that is why they assigned him to the VA Hospital. I have yet to see any documentation stating that he was but I believe it to be true. After his VA Service he worked at Lukens' Steel Mill and the VA Hospital (as an Orderly). It was his application to work permanently at the VA Hospital that turned the FBI's Focus on him. On his application he mentioned that he spoke Russian, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. That was about 1947 and that is when the FBI initiated an investigation into him being a Member of the Communist Party. I guess the fact that he looked like Paul Robeson did not help (a little sarcasm).

What is important to understand is that my dad was being investigated for several years unbeknownst to him or my mother. His family, neighbors, friends, and associates received visits from the FBI and were intimidated into silence. Coatesville is a very small town and everyone knew each other back then. It was easy to intimidate the community of blacks from the south and immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia. No one wanted anything to do with the FBI or Government, and kept silent. Yet from the records they said good things about my father, that he had good credit, was of good moral character, and was NOT a Communist. So the community did stand behind him to the best of their ability.

It was by accident that he picked up the party line phone and heard the FBI questioning his neighbor about him! He heard his name mentioned and listened to the entire conversation. He and my mother went down to Philadelphia to the FBI Office and asked them why they were investigating him. I am not sure, at that point he knew exactly how long it had been going on or what the investigation was about. He was questioned and one of the question the White Agent asked him was, "Why does a Black Man Need to speak Russian?" My father shot back, "Why does a black man Need to speak English?" To let him know how ridiculous that question was. The FBI had no information that my father was a Communist nor a Communist Sympathizer. Within a couple of Weeks of his visit to the FBI my father received a letter from the VA offering him a permanent position, which he turned down. By then he was realized the investigation was sparked from his application to work at the Veteran's Administration.

The Witch Hunt from the FBI took a toll on our family and caused a change in my dad's personality. He became paranoid and unable to function as a father and husband. He had done everything right graduated from High School, married, served in the Military, was a good father, and a Community Leader. Yet the Government saw him as a threat and that is what hurt the most. By the time my parents separated in 1961 my father was a different person. My father was arrested and jailed in Chester County sometime in the 1960's and that is when he took ill. He died from Cancer in 1971 at the age of fifty-one. Yet, the last entry in the FOIA records on my family are in 1972 (those are the ones I was able to obtain). That entry was on my brother, George Baxter Junior.

This is what I wrote about in my first book and I believe since my first book was published I have been under surveillance by the FBI. It may be that all of my father's children have been under surveillance since the 1950's. My second oldest brother, Ronald, was in the Air Force and earned a degree from the University of London. He returned to the States and applied for a job with the CIA (in the 1970's I believe), he said they turned him down, and cited our father's being investigated as a communist. Ron was however, chosen for Drug Experiments by the Government when he was in the Air Force. This man who was a Merit Scholar was turned into a Paranoid Delusional Person. He is now suffering from bone cancer and in a Nursing Home in Pennsylvania.

One would think that as Descendants of Revolutionary War Soldiers, we would receive some grace for the Government, but that is only extended to the white DAR or SOR. Instead my family and I are under increased surveillance and harassment by the US Government. As long as I am living and breathing I will write about and talk about the holocaust on my family. I do not believe that as a citizen, my rights should be violated by this Government or any of it's entities. I am and always will exercise my Constitutional Rights as a Free Citizen of this Country.

Anita Wills"

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