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Date Posted: 09:32:51 07/10/17 Mon
Let us stipulate that Paul Robeson was an immensely talented man, who suffered horrible discrimination due to racism for pretty much his entire adult life. Let us also agree that McCarthyism was a stain on the land, a series of wild reckless charges that ruined many lives and careers.
That being said, facts are facts. J. Edgar Hoover actually got his start in the Justice Department Bureau of Investigation in the early twenties and helped supervise the Red Scare hunts of that time. He took over as Bureau head in '24, and renamed it the FBI in 1935.
McCarthy was never a part of HUAC, he ran for Senate in '46, defeating Robert LaFollette. McCarthy came to anti-communism late, well after Nixon's successful investigation into Alger Hiss's espionage activities in the late 40's. The Junior Senator from Wisconsin was looking for an issue to get himself re-elected, so in 1950, well after Nixon making his name and well after Paul Robeson's profession of support for Stalin, McCarthy delivered his famous speech in West Virginia saying that he held in his hand a list of more than 200 communists employed in the state department, run at that time by a great Yale man, Dean Acheson. McCarthy recklessly accused the Secretary of State of communist sympathies and worse.
When McCarthy sank into fatal alcoholism after his censure by the Senate, he was replaced as Wisconsin's junior Senator by William Proxmire, who played end on Yale's teams in the 1930's and went on to serve Wisconsin for more than two decades.
Robeson was not the only talented, high profile American to support one of history's most brutal dictatorships, and perhaps what he suffered is a substantial excuse not possessed by other fellow travelers such as Lillian Hellman and her ilk.
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