Gerald Horne: Stalin Was No Worse Than the Founding Fathers
[Gerald Horne is Professor of History and African-American Studies at University of Houston. This is a Letter To the Editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education.]
Jonathan Brent expresses surprise—if not shock and disgust—at what he sees as the rehabilitation of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in contemporary Russia ("Postmodern Stalinism," The Chronicle Review, September 25).
Pray tell: Is there an analytical difference between the phenomenon he perceives and the glorification and hagiography that bedeck the slaveholding"founding fathers" of his own United States (not to mention those that founded the settler colonies upon which this slaveholding republic was based)? Or is the difference that in this latter case, after all, we are discussing the brutalization of only Africans, and in the former case, non-Africans—and we all know that the lives of one are worth more than the lives of the other? Or is the difference that Stalin's rule lasted 30-odd years while North American enslavement was a process that stretched over centuries?
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