Friday, November 18, 2016

My Parents, Pat and Fred Cody: An American Story of Resistance and Resilience - Living in Dialogue

My Parents, Pat and Fred Cody: An American Story of Resistance and Resilience - Living in Dialogue:

My Parents, Pat and Fred Cody: An American Story of Resistance and Resilience



This week a Trump surrogate, Carl Higbie, cited the unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two as “precedent” for how potentially disloyal Muslims might be dealt with. Last summer, Newt Gingrich, now in Trump’s inner circle of advisors, and a possible choice for Secretary of State,proposed reactivating the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Teachers are being told that they must not exhibit “anti-Trump bias,” in an effort to normalize the aberration that has occurred.
This sort of discussion is activating the fears of many Americans, including myself. We have been through this before.
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My parents, Pat and Fred Cody, were forced to flee the country, to move to Mexico City, back around 1950, in order to avoid being forced to testify before HUAC.
My father was born in 1916 in West Virginia, and struggled to get an education in the years before the war. After Pearl Harbor, my father enlisted in the Army, and was stationed in England, where he worked near London at Bletchley Park, preparing soldiers who were being airdropped behind enemy lines in occupied France. My mother, born in 1923, had gone to Teachers College in Connecticut, but she found herself contributing to the war effort by working as an electrician’s assistant building submarines at the Electric Boat Company. Following the war, they both ended up in New York City, where my mother worked for the United Electrical Workers union, which was controlled by left/communist activists. My father was active in the campaign to fight the lynching of Blacks. My mother enrolled in Columbia University, and earned a master’s degree in economics.
Beginning in the late 1940s, a wave of anti-Communist hysteria swept the country, incited by a Wisconsin senator named Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy warned that government had been infiltrated by those disloyal to the nation, and – with the Cold War rivalry raging, there was an urgent need to expose and root out enemies within.
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) kicked into gear in the late 1940s, holding regular hearings where people of all walks of life were summoned and interrogated. The committee would demand to know if “you are now or have ever been a member of the Communist Party.” The ticket out of that inquisition was to “name names” of your associates. If you did not actively cooperate and rat out your comrades, then you were blacklisted. Many people knuckled under and named names.
My father used his GI Bill education grant to return to London, to study for an advanced degree. After they had been there a year or two, the US government notified them that they had two weeks to return to the US My Parents, Pat and Fred Cody: An American Story of Resistance and Resilience - Living in Dialogue:


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