Herbert Biberman, one of the Hollywood 10, courtesy of Mary Mallory.
In times of social uncertainty and economic malaise, those in fear often turn to discriminating, finger pointing, blame and stonewalling, claiming “the other” is destroying livelihoods, ways of life, and social beliefs just by speaking out. These “others” become the scapegoats for all that is wrong: drought, job insecurity, national security concerns, discrimination, etc.
After the conclusion of World War II, when the Allies defeated the Nazis, Japanese and Axis, thus bringing to an end annihilation, genocide, starvation and imprisonment to so many, everything seemed to turn for a short time to hope, peace, freedom, welcome and acceptance. Unfortunately, demagogues quickly saw the bogeyman again with the Soviets’ takeover of Eastern Europe, which the Allies had allowed in order for a quicker end to World War II. Anyone questioning the role of government, demanding free speech and asking for social justice, was suddenly judged a turncoat, evildoer, overthrower. Many in the United States government would soon ape the policies of totalitarian countries they claimed to abhor by scapegoating those deemed “different,” blocking free speech, destroying lives and careers.
Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.