having to talk the Bureau and Justice Department away from acting too harshly. Even when the radical groups seemed to have dissipated the two groups insisted that the groups had simply gone underground and that they needed even more money to root out their insidious plots. Schmidt also effectively argues that the Bureau utilized a campaign of surveillance and fear to force the radical organizations within America to retreat into passivity. The Bureau seemed at times to want the radicals to be aware of their surveillance. Signers of radical petitions received visits from agents warning them of such activities, they allowed themselves to be pointed out at general meetings, and would interview the leaders of radical movements out right. This had the effect of creating suspicion and fear within the radical groups, weakening them and making it appear as if the Bureau was around every corner. It was previously assumed that the Bureau did not go after the black radicals until late into the summer of 1919, however once again the recent release of the Bureau's documents has proven otherwise. Investigations were evidently started much earlier and without and public pressure. The Bureau and the federal government did not need the general public to reinforce their fears. Wilson is quoted by his personal physician as saying, “the American negro returning from abroad would be our greatest medium in conveying Bolshevism to America.”(Schmidt 180). The fear of African Americans was widespread and their supposed radical connections
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were investigated well before the Red Scare. The Bureau had a serious problem with numerous black publications that they felt were distributing radicalism or instigating violence. It was thought that papers such as the NAACP's Crisis,“would tend to inflame the Negro race.” (Schmidt 182) The Bureau established a clear policy of protecting the established racial hierarchical structure, seeing any attempts to change it as disruptive radicalism spread once again by outsiders and Bolsheviks. The race riots that sprang up as a result of the racial tensions were blamed on the African Americans and the publications that fueled their rage and violence. Unsurprisingly the Bureau ignores all issues of civil rights and frames the entire issue as attempts by radicals to undermine the fundamentals of American life. Lack of evidence not withstanding the Bureau investigated numerous African American organizations such as the NAACP and newspapers like the Messengerwere scrutinized for their affect on African Americans. Hoover went so far as to say that the Messenger was, “the Russian organ of the Bolsheviki in the United States, and to be the headquarters of revolutionary thought,” (Schmidt 198) The real issue that the Bureau had according to Schmidt is the African American's claim to social equality. As the preservers of the natural order the Bureau saw this as sacrilegious and dangerous to the sanctity of the American system. This enforcement of tradition racial roles allowed the Bureau to increase in size and power significantly in the period following the Red Scare. (Schmidt 200)
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