E--mail from Billy - Teh "parallel" issue of the Mattachine issue with communist people who founded it

From William A. Percy
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The reason early Mattachine was "killed" off and the new Mattachine was formed in San Francisco by Hal Call and cohorts was the fear that, no matter how successful the group was at the time, 1953, it would be destroyed sooner or later, in the current political atmosphere of fear as Congress, etc exploited fear of Communism as they had already added homosexuals in the State Department as an added connected issue.

I may have missed the discussion of the connection between the issue of Mattachine founders being Communists-Harry Hay, Dale jennings, et al, and the fear that they would thus destroy Mattachine, with the Jewish community's fear that the Julius and Ethyl rosenberg arrest and trial of being Communist spies for Russia.

This "issue" is discussed well in the PBS series on American jews that ran over a 3 week period on Wednesdays. (After another history series, the pioneers of television shows.)

This, it seems might justify the harsh treatment Hal Call and his cohorts, who planned the takeover of Mattachine.

Harry Hay did appear before a congressional Committee, and was lucky in that, in a sense a very gay event saved him when he answered honestly that he was not a member of the Communist Party (having left because he was homosexual, which showed that the party was anti-gay and thus would not have been promoting homosexuality) and it got the person asking the questions so flustered that he also got the court stenographer to fall and the notes were on the floor, etc, so to save face, they just dismissed Harry.

But Paul Coates had already discussed the fact that the Mattachine's lawyer-trying to incorporate the foundation, was a Communist. This is an example of being careful what you ask for-they wanted publicity, but got the wrong kind-which scared off prospective members. They also foolishly made their first effort (other than defending Dale Jenning's arrest case with a "front" group, by sending a questionnaire to prospective school board members,thus starting their educational efforts at the most feared issue of homosexuality-children.

The Jewish community suffered a little as the Rosenberg's ere found guilty-apparently they were, certainly julius. So as he jews who loved America and had found freedom here more than anywhere else, were afraid they wound be ostracized or sent out of the country. Fortunately they did not suffer, as of course Japanese Americans did-see a new book called American Inquisition.

There are parallels between minorities, and a different one was in the documentary on the Jews in which it is said that World War II was the first step Jews took into living with non-Jews. Before, as each ear of immigrants came to America, they gathered in the ghetto so they had a language etc that helped them adjust. Some fear that homosexuals may try to go into a ghetto when the idea of he documentary and most people is that America is a better nation when we are all living and working together.

It is also relevant that there is in the documentary a discussion of how the Jews, becoming American, changed their religious institutions, having female rabbis, and changing even their eating patterns, etc.

History may not even discuss the takeover of Mattachine by Call and associates, or if he was truly worried about the Communist issue, but it does seem a part of sociological minority history that Jews, and homosexuals had some similar problems that made them worry about being accepted by the general population.

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