The anonymous, poisonous thing of a couple of days ago certainly strikes
me -- as it does others -- as racist and ethnocentric in its innuendo.  I
trust that DSA organizationally is taking a good, hard look at it.  I much
appreciate Duane Campbell's [DSA Anti-Racism] concern and comments.

In my opinion, it's an obviously gross distortion of several of my ASDnet
posts, especially since the  issue of the Bush "War" developed on   ASDnet
[ a "war" against which I immediately voiced my opposition.]    Although I'm
on other discussion lists, ASDnet and our generally congenial RedBadBear are
the only ones on which I've been a fairly consistent discussant in recent
months. ASDnet is the only list  that I'm on which has a significant pro-War
dimension --  a cluster whose rationalizations have become increasingly
transparent: e.g., trying to disparage the moral significance of 3,500 or
more civilians killed in Afghanistan by US bombing.  No other list I'm on
comes even remotely close to this one in regard to support for the "War."

My  studied guess is that this vile piece of "work" was put together by a
minimum of two people -- with something of an academic bent:  at least one
younger person who has developed over his relatively few years in a
graceless, amoral fashion -- and an older person in whom his increasingly
bitter juices play a predominate motivational role.  I would not rule out
the possibility of  a "cointelpro agenda" in the case of the latter.

There is no possibility, with respect to motivation and ethics, that the
good issodhos could ever be involved in something even remotely like this --
anymore than the good George Greene himself would ever be. Each is a friend
but, character-wise, it would be inconceivable.  In fact, I can think of
only a very, very few in the great, huge pool of people I know -- friends
and foes -- who would ever, under any circumstances, do anything even
remotely like this to anyone.

The people who did this have no more character than, say, "a snake has

Again, I appreciate very much the many words of support that have come to me from several settings  in this  matter. Many have been off-list.

David McReynolds of SPUSA really said it very well:

"Hunter, I thought the post which mocked you was well written and
devastating in that it took all of the openness with which you have
approached us and made a mockery of it. It took your humanity and turned it on its head. And that hurts - it would hurt me greatly."

And my good friend, Louis Proyect, joined ASDnet quickly and specially to
spring to my defense.

I note the "other" comments which followed, relatively quickly, on the heels
of the vicious post:  "funny as hell" [James Chapin]; "a few good laughs
today" [Leo Casey]; "hilarious" [Michael Pugliese.]

The Cosmos contains an infinite number of matters far more serious than
this. But, while this vile little episode is certainly not representative of
DSA organizationally, it clearly stands as a sick reflection upon it.

Unless something further develops, this is my final comment on the matter.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] (social justice)

Left Discussion Group



Note by Hunterbear to the DSA lists:

Louis Proyect, a very good friend indeed, has just posted this on the
RedBadBear list. I'm taking the pleasant liberty of forwarding it to the DSA
lists -- as well as to a number of very interested individuals.


For what its worth, I think that Hunter Gray (nee John Salter Junior)
is one of the great prose stylists of the left. That is what made the
sophomoric racist attacks on him all the more infuriating. I first
ran across Hunter's prose while doing a big scanning project for the
American Socialist magazine that is about to go on-line at In the September 1957 issue, there's his article
"Navaho Indians: Oil and Mining Buzzards Hover Overhead". When I read
it, I was bowled over. Not only were there people synthesizing
indigenous and class questions in the McCarthyite era, they were
writing about it with passion. I never dreamed that I would be
bumping into Mr. Salter/Hunter Gray on the Internet 44 years after
the article was written.

The people who have shown disrespect for Hunter are gnats who can't
stand the idea that there are people in their 60s and 70s who never
made their peace with the American ruling class. This is the real
reason for their animus and it is also the reason we admire and
embrace Hunter. He never stopped fighting.

Louis Proyect, on 12/14/2001

Marxism list:

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] (social justice)

Left Discussion Group




Preliminary Note by Hunter Gray:  This is a post that I made -- December 6, 2001 -- on the still very controversial Julius and Ethel   Rosenberg case.  David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother, has just admitted publicly that he lied almost 50 years ago to save himself -- and, by doing so, helped send his sister and his brother-in-law to the electric chair;  and their friend, Morton Sobell, to prison for many years.  Early on, I came to the conclusion that the Rosenbergs and Sobell had been innocent and had been framed-up.  All of this touched off much controversy on ASDnet -- the DSA discussion list -- and that fight also blended in with other ones: e.g., the current "War" and Bush/Ashcroft repression.  The two related posts of mine which follow immediately -- "Noisy Breakfast at ASDNET"  involve this extensive and acrimonious argument which occurred on December 9, 2001.


Hunter Gray on 12/6/01:

I very much appreciate George Greene's comments.

When the Rosenberg tragedy was unfolding,  [from their arrest in 1950 to
their execution in 1953], I was finishing high school and  was then in the
US Army.  My priorities at both points did not include the Rosenberg case.
Although the matter was discussed by my parents and other adults to some
extent , their concerns generally focused on very compelling civil rights
and civil liberties and labor issues in Arizona and New Mexico. I got out of
the Army at the very beginning of 1955 but it wasn't until 1956 that I began
to pay some attention to what had happened in the Rosenberg case -- and to
the continuing imprisonment of Morton Sobell.  The very nature of their
trials -- conducted in the worst of the Red Scare atmosphere -- certainly
impeached any Federal claim that any of them had received justice by any
stretch and it was clear that the judicial proceedings had been purely
spurious, show trials.  As time passed, I heard other things which, fairly
soon, convinced me of the innocence of the Rosenbergs and Sobell. I
certainly supported the eventually successful efforts to win freedom for
Morton Sobell.  I was not surprised at the eventual disclosures of massive
fabrication of evidence by J. Edgar Hoover et al.  I should add, in passing,
that "evidence" from the "opened" Soviet archives [provided initially by
self-serving Soviet agents and/or sold to "Westerners" in the post-USSR era]
is not my idea of Holy Writ.

To reiterate my basic point, I think we all can learn much from the myriad
of extremely  important lessons contained in the Rosenberg tragedy --
especially in this current period of spontaneous and deliberately
manipulated fear and hysteria and mounting Federal repression.  One of those
things is, simply, "An injury to one is an injury to all."  And we should be
extremely wary of any efforts to split and divide the Left.

Thanks again, George.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] (social justice)

Left Discussion Group





Entering the ASDnet cafe early this morning [early in Idaho, anyway], I
can't help but be intrigued by some of the breakfast talk.  Michael Pugliese
is busy providing a variety of  "red herring" links to bolster the case that
one or both of the Rosenbergs was guilty of espionage [does,BTW, the
obviously well known existence of some significant anti-Semitism in the old
Red East in any way discount the existence of the virulent anti-Semitism
that existed in this country and still, to a large extent, continues?]

 And, again in  "red herring" fishing waters, and with the caption, "Some
background URL's to buttress Leo on what Chip Berlet calls, "Right Woos
Left," Michael obligingly tosses a few bones [ again with absolutely no
surprises] to Leo Casey -- whose response to arguments Casey doesn't like is
to  label his opponents "Stalinists" or to convey the impression that a
staunch anti-"War" stance is tantamount to support for bin Laden and the
Taliban or  to otherwise engage in far-out vilifying hyperbole.

About all I know on the Alger Hiss case [also mentioned hereabouts] is that
the only basic witness against him was Whittaker Chambers. Chambers, who
also, without citing anything of any substance, attacked many others as well
in his massive book, Witness, was  a completely pathological liar [by the
assessments of a great many across the political spectrum] -- as well as an
excellent writer.  In later writings, Chambers suddenly claimed an I.W.W.
past -- for which no evidence of any kind exists. In fact, in his references
to the  always quite anti-Communist Wobblies, there are signal historical
errors which no bona fide member, or former member, would ever make. [One of those, seemingly small, is that in the context of the Wobblies, Chambers
uses the more conventional union address: "Brother so-and-so."  But the old
Wobblies -- and the present day Wobs -- always used and use Bill Haywood's
opening words at the founding convention of the I.W.W. in 1905:  "Fellow
Worker (s)."]

[And, Michael, I guess I also have to wonder why you seem so bent on "going
after" Ward Churchill.  Frankly, you know many things but nothing about
American Indian politics.]

Congressman Ron Paul, who opposes the "War" and who was one of a tiny number of people who had the guts -- and that's exactly what it took -- to vote
against Ashcroft's totalitarian package seems, in these parts, almost
totally anathema suddenly because of  other positions he may hold.  For my
part, I knew nothing of Paul and  very much appreciate Duane Campbell's
posting the Paul speech to Congress.

Before I head out to find another cafe, at least for today's breakfast, I
have -- as I always do -- a bit more to say.

First, I have no apologies for taking the position that I feel  -- in
addition to a hideously flawed trial in a  virulently Red Scare time about
as hideous as this one is fast becoming --  that the Rosenbergs, both of
them, and Morton Sobell, were framed-up innocents.  I know that period only
too well -- and, at the same time, studied the case with some care from the
1956 period on.

I am aware that it's become fashionable, at various points, for  a few
writers -- many years after the fact -- to take the position that various
Left martyrs were actually guilty of the crime or crimes for which they were

Quite rightly, Joe Hill is very widely regarded as an innocent
victim -- framed-up by the corporate interests of Utah -- especially Utah
Construction and a gaggle of copper bosses [and other metal mining bosses as well] in the context of increasingly intensive class war within the United States as a whole.  The I.W.W. was on the cutting edge of much of that.

But an early example of a decades-later "guilt" judgment  would be the
excellent Wallace Stegner -- whose generally very sympathetic non-fictional
novelistic account of the Joe Hill case, The Preacher and the Slave [1950],
reaches the odd conclusion that Hill was guilty of the Salt Lake murder.
Stegner offers nothing new to support this.  His contention, in an otherwise
fine book, quite justifiably upset many on the Left.  Years later, in doing
extensive research in Ralph Chaplin's collection at the Washington State
Historical Society, I encountered [and copied] a fascinating exchange of
correspondence between Chaplin and Stegner on the matter -- but Stegner
could never answer Chaplin's request for "On what, other than Utah's charges
and a flawed trial, do you base your guilty conclusion?"

Still later, after I sent Stegner a copy of my extremely long essay on
Chaplin [the major portion of which was later published in Pacific
Historian, Summer, 1986], Wallace Stegner and I had an extensive and very
friendly exchange on all of it.  Stegner was a very good man, a fellow
Westerner, and a fine writer.  But his conclusion that Joe Hill was guilty
was based on literally nothing.  The book, I should add, is certainly worth
reading -- and, now called Joe Hill,  is presently available via University
of Nebraska Press in a quite inexpensive paperback.

Much more recently, there've been similar -- though far less friendly -- and
equally empty efforts to "convict" Sacco and Vanzetti.

Another well-known example of all of this would be Tony Lucas' massive 1997
work on the Haywood / Moyer / Pettibone frame-up murder trial at Boise in
1907 -- Big Trouble.

Like Stegner's work on Hill, this is excellent until the very odd
epilogue/conclusion  of "guilt" -- primarily in Haywood's case.  This is
something that I know much about -- for a whole variety of reasons including
my mother's family involvements in North Idaho  at the beginning of the 20th
Century.  I did a fairly long review/essay of the Lucas book at the request
of the Montana Standard [Butte/Anaconda], which was subsequently reprinted
in a number of places -- and then I did  much more writing on the whole
matter.  Haywood, of course, was completely innocent -- as was Moyer and
Pettibone -- and, thanks to Darrow, they were all eventually freed.

The enemy of labor that they -- leader activists in the Western Federation
of Miners --  were accused of killing,via the professional killer, Harry
Orchard, [who died in the Idaho penitentiary in 1954], was former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg, a sheepman.  Best evidence indicates he was murdered by the cattlemen in the context of numerous cattle/sheep wars that were going on in that time period from western Nebraska through Wyoming and into the inter-mountain West and as far down as the Tonto Basin country in central Arizona.

Lucas based his very strange and obviously convoluted conclusion of guilt
solely on statements made by the long dead George Shoaf, a socialist who had
no connections at any point in his long life with either the Western
Federation of Miners or the I.W.W.  In the late '50s, because of my writing
involvement with Bert Cochran's American Socialist, Shoaf wrote me on
various things, we had an interesting correspondence, but he was an obvious
bull-shooter [something that was confirmed several times by old-timer Wobbly
friends of mine.]  Shortly after writing this odd epilogue  to an otherwise
fine book, and in an obviously tragic and apparently quite unrelated move,
Tony Lucas hanged himself.

In any event, I came to my own personal conclusion ages ago that the
Rosenbergs and Morton Sobell were innocent and framed-up.  Decades-later
assessments by writers-on-the-make, often gripping their just paid-for
"materials" from the old Soviet archives [materials either super
questionable to begin with or fabricated for sales to gullible American
authors]  don't impress me at all.   Nor am I at all transfixed by Michael's
spate of posts.  I also remember reading how wildly gleeful Stephen Schwartz
was when,  "armed" with an item or two from the old "Soviet   materials", he
wrote something completely spurious and off-the-wall in the super right wing
American Spectator -- attacking Harry Bridges and ILWU on all fronts!

Still at the ASDnet cafe.  More a bit later.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] (social justice)

Left Discussion Group


Not quite so early at ASDnet cafe -- and I'm still at the door, with a cup
of coffee from the establishment.  The coffee seems OK since I haven't
collapsed in a coma. I do see a few friendly faces, including the mysterious
issodhos who is sitting, wisely as always, under his portable olive tree.

In a fiery speech at Scotland Neck, NC, late in 1964 -- in the midst of our
major organizing  civil rights and anti-Klan campaign in the hard-core,
multi-county Northeastern North Carolina Blackbelt -- the Rev. Fred L.
Shuttlesworth, Birmingham, president of the Southern Conference Educational
Fund [for which I was Field Organizer] and also national secretary of SCLC,
gave a rough Biblical quote:  "From he who hath more, more is expected."   It
was apt, I liked it and forthwith stored it away in my eternal memory.
Later, taking Fred to  the far away airport, I asked him for the precise
Biblical citation.  No slouch on the Good Book, he didn't have it [or a
Bible, as far as that goes] right handy -- but assured me it was real.

A few years ago, I was one of two speakers on social justice to the annual
Priests' Council gathering of the Bismarck, ND Diocese. [Yes, right wing
social democrats in DSA, I am a Real Catholic, have supported since its
inception [and faithfully read]  the very liberal National Catholic
Reporter, and carry my Saint's medal -- Ignatius of Loyola -- with me always
as I have since childhood. He was, BTW, a very capable solider.]   My
colleague speaker  at the large Bismarck gathering was Bishop Charles
Chaput, Rapid City Diocese -- one of the two Native American bishops in the
United States. [The other is the Bishop of Gallup.]

[In a relevant aside, I should add that Bishop Chaput is now the Archbishop
of Denver -- and it is he, in a display of great courage, vigorously and
consistently opposed the death penalty during the trial of Tim McVeigh and
all the way thereafter.  I suppose in the eyes of the slippery purists, the
fact the Archbishop opposes abortion -- he holds the "seamless garment" view
of Life -- is enough to consign him  to the secular Down There [if you
believe in that.]

Not surprisingly, Bishop Chaput and I got on very well with each other at
the opening breakfast, swapping Moccasin Telegraph Indian gossip, telling
Indian jokes which are always a good bit beyond the Anglos, and discussing
the importance of Sainthood for Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha [Mohawk /
Huron]  -- as well as covering certain key Native social justice challenges.
The morning was primarily our presentations -- and, in mine, I quoted Fred
Shuttlesworth's long ago, "From he..." [as I have frequently since I first
heard it.]  Afterward, the Bishop congratulated me on the apt use of the
quote and gave me the precise words and the exact citation [which I have
filed away somewhere -- but, obviously, not in my mind.]

Well, anyway:  Congressman Ron Paul voted against a "War" which many of us
are against -- and which we feel simply compounds sanguinary tragedy,
dangerously destabilizes the entire region [and the world, as far as that
goes], serves the interests of the Oil Bosses, and does nothing whatsoever
to protect us from terrorism.  He, one of a tiny few, also voted against the
Bush/Ashcroft totalitarian package -- all of it.

There should be no apologies for posting his anti-"War" and anti-Repressive
Package speech on ASDnet.  Those of us who knew nothing of him, now do --
and will.  To Duane Campbell, thanks again.

But what about "From he who hath more, more is expected?"  What about
Wellstone?  Caved on all of it.  Kennedy -- always flawed -- same thing.
Schumer -- another cave-in.  And on and on, to once again use the old
Northern Arizona cowpuncher term, "pissing backwards" from They Who Hath

So, I say, good for Ron Paul.  Don't agree with him on many things, but, on
the colossal issues of this great and tragic moment in history -- another
awful U.S. "War" and the most totalitarian package of statutory repression
since Wilson and Truman/Eisenhower -- Ron Paul broke with his party [and
with most everyone else] and took one hell of a courageous stand.  He'll be
remembered -- and in a very good way.  Never heard of him before and,
consequently, never expected much.  But he delivered very well indeed on
high principle and good and solid rational common sense.

Schumer and Kennedy and others of those "who hath more" --  and who
supported Bush/Ashcroft totalitarianism -- are now fussing on the edges
about Ashcroft's hold on "gun buyer data."  Apparently, out of two hundred
or so detainees, ATF found two who had applied for firearms.  [Guns, of
course, are hardly the terroristic weapon of choice of the moment and
certainly pale compared to much else.]  Two would-be gun-buyers out of two
hundred, in the pool of a thousand or so [widely felt by most of us to be
completely innocent folk], doesn't seem overwhelming to me.  Furthermore,
one would assume that, in the witch-hunting context of the moment, civil
libertarians of whatever stripe would be opposed to giving FBI personal data
on citizens.

One is left with the obvious conclusion that Schumer and Kennedy and several
others -- long opponents of firearms -- are seeking two things: to advance
their long-standing anti-gun agenda but, much more likely now, to confuse
and obscure their own demonstrated support for  Bush/Ashcroft Repression
Plans -- plans that go well past and into the borders of fascism. Basically,
then, we are getting red-herring, diversionary stuff from They Who Had More.

I've opposed -- very consistently -- every US military action since Korea.
I've always opposed -- very consistently -- any relativistic view of civil
liberty with respect to anyone and any position [even perspectives which I'm
totally against.]

Anyone [and I'm not sure at all that there is anyone]  who wants to know
anything about me,  my background,  my very long-standing radical
commitments, my life-long social justice organizing  -- need only go  to our
very large website and you will find one hell of a lot of
material.  The site is now drawing close to 200 visitors a day, a great many
from academic institutions and labor and other social justice organizations.

Anyway, it's full of family genealogy -- especially on our Native American
side, many social justice organizing campaigns, documents, newsclips, rare
archival materials, letters, photos, current challenges  and vastly more.
Does seem to be a draw for all kinds of people -- and from all over the
world.  So if you're inclined to believe any detractors,  shadowy or
otherwise, at least do me the courtesy of exploring my life in reality!

And on that note:  Vis-a-vis Ron Paul's anti-"War" and pro-civil liberties
position and the Rosenbergs, there was another round of personal and petty
sniping at me -- which, however twaddle-like, does lead one eventually to
give some sort of response. Thus I wrote:
From Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]:

To ASDnet:

Like many of us, I occasionally have weighty things to which to attend.  But
I haven't been  completely oblivious to the toy train of finger-flipped sand
burrs and hissy sniping --  faithfully engineered on its perennial and
eternal round-and-round by Casey and Chapin.

On the matter which seems to have made them rattle their tails with unusual
vigour even for them -- the  Rosenberg affair -- about all I can say is
that, as usual, I made up my own mind and I speak my own piece: I think the
Rosenbergs were innocent, were framed up in an awful and enduring era, and
that the apt lessons for our darkening sky of today are myriad.  Some of us
will act on those lessons as we always have:   An injury to one is an injury
to all -- and Solidarity reaches to the Four Directions.  Casey and Chapin
will continue on their circular track fretting about Reds under the bed --
some of them dead.

Others of us will certainly try -- even as we deal adversarialy with the
dark-suited and grim-faced  dragons in the bushes --to cut new trails to the
Sun and Sky.

And we'll listen to the Wind.

Hunter [Hunterbear]
And this is what I got from Jim Chapin:

Blowing from one ear to the other, straight through your head, no doubt.

When it comes to sniping, you have a lot more practice than we do, actually,
wandering around up there beyond the tree line with your faithful rifle.

And I note that, as usual, you attack us and then complain when we fire
back. Guess you, like your NRA buddies, prefer shooting at animals that can't
fight back. Hissy sniping does describe you, pretty well.

Sorry, I was raised in a slum myself. So you can't intimidate me.

Jim Chapin

This ridiculous, ostensible profundity -- singularly uncreative -- and
dripping with whatever implications and otherwise, was duly sent on by me
[with appropriate notes] to immediate family members [as I earlier had my
own post] and then -- all of it together, my post and his -- to a reasonable
sprinkling of Native relatives of mine and other Native people in the whole,
wide hinterland [ hinterland to me means most of the 'States and almost all
of Canada.]

My oldest son was the first to respond -- and did so by simply writing  off
"just another bunch of Clinton Democrats."  He and other immediate family
folk have been following this for some time.  Others --  several Native
relatives and friends -- commented in varying ways to the effect that this
setting -- ASDnet and, by extension, DSA -- even with some good people in
them -- are hardly any places for a Native American socialist who likes
hunting rifles and has a shotgun and loves the Wilderness Bush [and has a completely devoted one-half Bobcat cat.]

Well, we'll see what happens. I'm heading down to Skid Road for lunch.
Might even run across a few congenial Reds.  Glad to have issodhos and a few
others come along for meat and potatoes and good talk.

Yours in the Faith -  Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]  Micmac / St Francis Abenaki
/ St Regis Mohawk  -- and DSA, CCDS, SPUSA.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] (social justice)

Left Discussion Group