In most cases, the grass is always greener on the other side, but in the matter of the Red Scare it was no where close to being greener on the other side. The false accusal of supposed members of the communist party led to the underground communist movement and more radical actions. The Reds, or communists, were forced to better protect their identities, which, in affect got others caught before themselves.
One of the biggest questions raised during this time was whether or not the legal system was able to bring out the truth, or if they even cared as long as they were able to drudge up scapegoats and give the citizens the illusion that there was some sort of justice. The general public seems to be unaware of the controversy, the major players, or even who started the Red Scare. A Red Scare is a period in time where there is a fear of communism. Throughout most of the 20th century, we, as a general public, have worried about communism within our continental borders (5 paraphrase).
In November of 1917, the first Red Scare followed the Bolshevik Revolution in the Soviet Union, now know as communist country, Russia, and didn’t end until 1920 (5 paraphrase). During this time, the communist party was almost irraticated because of the fear instilled in the members of the party due to the accusations flying from every direction (4 paraphrase). Needless to say, the hysteria over the existence of Communists in the United States must have started somewhere, and eventually spiraled out of control.
During WWI and WWII, Communist groups were able to lead large anti-war movements due to their leaders’ powerful, persuasive nature. People who ran from the draft were labeled as Reds, or anti-americas (3 paraphrase). Those who objected to the war were condemned as cowards, pro-Germans, socialists, and were blamed for causing unrest among the people. Even a sports team, the Cincinnati Reds were affected by the Red Scare and were forced to change their name to the Cincinnati Red Legs in avoidance of being associated with the Communist Party (5 paraphrase).
Anyone who wasn’t as patriotic as possible was in jeopardy of being accused; it was this American patriotism that started the Red Scare. In 1950, Joseph McCarthy, Senator of Wisconsin at the time, made a statement in Wheeling, West Virginia, revealing that he had a list of 205 people who were members of the Communist Party. In order to find this information, he was aided by the FBI in taping into phone lines, and following supposed members. Later, he “changed his mind,” claiming to have a list consisting of a mere 57 members, only proving his initial dishonesty in the matter.
However, the fact that communists were being accused, and punished, sensationalized the idea that, if left to continue existing in groups, they might be capable of tearing apart the infrastructure of the American government, thus causing chaos to ensue. Ironically, in attempting to force patriotism by suppressing the existence of any alternative beliefs, the actions of the government during this time fostered opposition of militarization from outraged students, disillusioned liberals, militant African-Americans, enraged homosexuals, and infuriated people in American society.
Just a little under seventy years ago, during the late 1940’s and throughout the 1950’s, there was a great fear of Communism in America and throughout the world. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was created in 1938 as a means to investigate and find Communists and Communist supporters living in American society. Its first major attack was on the Hollywood film industry.
Blacklisting of Hollywood writers, actors, producers, directors and others suspected of Communist links began with the committee’s hearings in October of 1947, and was depleted in the 1950s. Senator Joseph McCarthy conducted “witch hunts” in an attempt to find and exterminate suspected Communists. it didn’t matter who you were or what social group you were in, nothing could save an individual from being accused of being a communist,no matter what social group or how much money you had, those things just put you at a higher risk of being blamed. hose who were typically able to find ways out of scandalous situations were suddenly unable to, causing the common people to snap into an in-evasive, submissive lifestyle to avoid persecution.
The main lesson learned is that freedom of expression and of thought is really important, and if taken away chaos will prevail. People are cautious of the past and look into the future to not let what happened in the past happen in the future as a reoccurring event. alot of tragic things happened during the red scare but, it also paved the way for new laws allowing people o believe what they want and be entitled to their personal privacy by enforcing amendments. In most cases, the grass is always greener on the other side, but in the matter of the Red Scare there is no green side; it’s just as plain as black and white. Its unfortunate that the hype got in the way of the general public being aware of the controversy, the major players, or even who started the Red Scare, because they probably could have stopped it all early on.