[While foreign Communist parties and operatives played no direct role in the American Civil Rights Movement, they did use it for Cold War political purposes to weaken U.S. influence in Third World nations who were struggling against, and emerging from, racist colonialism. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Soviet, Chinese, and indigenous communists used news stories and TV images of American police brutality, segregation, denial of voting rights, lynchings, and assassinations to challenge and undercut the "Free World" rhetoric of U.S. diplomats. So much so, that foreign policy issues played a role in influencing White House attitudes towards, and responses to, the Freedom Movement. President Kennedy, for example, pressured civil rights activists to shift from direct action to voter registration in part because mob violence against the Freedom Riders was so damaging to U.S. foreign policy. Similarly, the State Department insisted that businesses patronized by foreign diplomats travelling between Washington and the U.N. in New York be desegregated for the same reason.
This statement by Mao typifies Chinese and Soviet efforts during this era.]
Statement by Mao Tse-Tung on assassination of Dr. King