January 4, 2006


Wilkinson, Defiant Figure of Red Scare, Dies at 91 (RICK LYMAN, 1/04/05, NY Times)

Frank Wilkinson, a Los Angeles housing official who lost his job in the Red Scare of the early 1950's and later became one of the last two people jailed for refusing to tell the House Un-American Activities Committee whether he was a Communist, died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

Mr. Wilkinson, whose experiences inspired a half-century campaign against government spying, had been ill for several months and was recovering from surgery and a fall, said Donna Wilkinson, his wife of 40 years. "It was just the complications of old age, " Mrs. Wilkinson said. [...]

Mr. Wilkinson consistently refused to testify about his political beliefs. He had, in fact, joined the Communist Party in 1942, according to "First Amendment Felon," a 2005 biography by Robert Sherrill. He left the party in 1975.

Because, after all, no one knew what Communism was really like until '75....

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2006 11:14 AM

Just a slow learner is all.

Posted by: erp at January 4, 2006 1:32 PM

When a commie dies, the Times always weeps.

Posted by: Greg Hlatky at January 4, 2006 3:35 PM

NPR was eulogizing this guy this afternoon (to be fair, I heard only the lead, not the story, but it sounded solemn enough to me). I switched to bluegrass.

Greg - good one.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 4, 2006 9:35 PM

Yeah, the Times sure does a good job at pretending it's liberal.

Posted by: Grog at January 4, 2006 10:40 PM

Come on, even if you don't want to give them "left", you've got to give them liberal.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 4, 2006 11:33 PM

Liberal, yes, but in the way Bill Clinton is liberal.

Posted by: Grog at January 5, 2006 3:02 AM

Now that's harsh.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 7:42 AM

If Bill Clinton had governed identically as a Republican the Times would have hated him and it certainly would have called for his impeachment when he got busted harrassing the help.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 7:49 AM

National Proletarian Radio uttered not a word to suggest why there might have been a legitimate concern, only the term 'The Red "Scare".

As has been said here, try asking "Are you now or have you ever been a member of al Qaeda?"

Posted by: Noel at January 5, 2006 2:21 PM

He lost his job. Oh, the horror. Just like being being feed feet first into a shredder.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 5, 2006 6:05 PM

Or being starved to death, along with 3-4 million of your closest friends.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 5, 2006 10:52 PM