Legendary actor and musician Harry Belafonte is well known for his long-held, far-left political views, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he declared, "Welcome to the Fourth Reich," in reaction to Republican Donald Trump's election to the presidency, Democracy Now! reported.
Belafonte issued his remarks at Riverside Church in New York City Monday night, the outlet noted, during which he referred to his "comrades" more than once. Belafonte has been criticized over the years for sympathetic public stances toward communism, his dismissal of capitalism and American foreign policy and lauding the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
Here's what Belafonte said, in part:
In a few weeks from now, if there is a platform on which I will be privileged to stand and speak, my opening remarks will probably be something like, "Welcome to the Fourth Reich."
I was talking with a comrade recently. He was a victim of the Third Reich. He was a victim of the great Holocaust and what happened to the Jewish people during the reign of Hitler. And all my life I have committed myself to making sure that here, this country, not for the want of effort, but I and so many others would be forever committed to the idea that America will remain an open and a free and a democratic society. With each cycle, those thoughts become a bit dimmed. Now, I think, more than ever, we are in need of Democracy Now!
National Review noted that during a speech on Martin Luther King Day at Duke University in January 2006 Belafonte compared President George W. Bush to the 9/11 attackers: “What is the difference between that terrorist and other terrorists?”
He had visited Chavez in Venezuela a few days earlier, National Review said, and told him:
No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush, says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people — millions — support your revolution, support your ideas, and yes, are expressing our solidarity with you.