Southern exposure: Arkansas turning red

BY:Jim Lane| November 12, 2010
Southern exposure: Arkansas turning red

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Scott Marshall likes to drive automobiles. I found this out during the eight hour drive to Little Rock from Dallas as we began our Southern Organizing Tour for CPUSA. I asked meekly once or twice if I should take a turn at the wheel, but he shrugged it off. What a relief to not have to drive!

Just before we started, I received a call from Louisville, Ky., with the good news that supporters there had set up a meeting in a book store. Scotty had already found out that Little Rock had chosen a pizza parlor and pub, and Memphis had a coffee shop and an on-campus meeting ready to go. Mississippi and Alabama are still working on theirs, but we’re pretty sure to have beignets and chicory coffee in Louisiana, then one if not two campus dates. People are really excited about our coming, as are we.

Scotty spoke to a group in Dallas this morning, then we left that western climate and started into the forested region of East Texas. The fall foliage seemed to get better with every mile! We talked nonstop. Scott told me a few things about Claude Williams, a religious leader in the service of the working class and a hero of his. His other big hero is singer Ray Wylie Hubbard. Mine, of course, are IWW organizer Frank Little and singer Jerry Lee Lewis.

Everything political was fair game for our conversation as the sun sunk lower and changed the angle of lighting for the bright gold and red tree leaves. We agreed on almost everything, and I yelled at him when we didn’t. The very tops of the trees were the last to be illuminated, and they entertained us as we counted the last few miles into Little Rock. Tomorrow, we begin to find out what value can come to our movement from this Southern Tour.

(CPUSA Vice Chair Scott Marshall and Jim Lane are traveling to six Southern states in the next two weeks. If you are in Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas or Mississippi and would like to catch up with the duo, call Scott at 773-368-5775 or email him at

Photo: Scott Marshall and Jim Lane are driving — of course — a red Rover through their six-state tour. Scott gets out of the car at the Welcome to Arkansas rest stop.


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