To the Editor:
Kelley L. Ross’s Oct. 1 letter about Dalton Trumbo and the blacklist betrays a lack of understanding for the history of the period.
Many books have been written about the Hollywood cultural elite’s flirting with Soviet Communism in the 1930s and 40s. In those days if you were angry about how Wall Street speculation had ruined our economy, if you were for unions and an 8-hour work day, against Jim Crow, child labor and against Hitler & Mussolini then sooner or later you would have gone to an event sponsored by the Communist Party. And that would have been enough to get you subpoenaed by HUAC in 1947-53.
That list would include “lefties” like Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan. The point of remembering the blacklist is not that we were wrong about Stalin, but that our entire judicial system trod upon our civil rights in the name of national security. What great American was it who said: “I may disagree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it”?