[Right-Up] McCarthyism vs. Arts in the Time of Turmoil -by Norman Novio

#HumanRights #NoToRedTagging McCarthyism vs. Arts in the Time of Turmoil by Norman Novio

Last Tuesday’s (November 3, 2020) investigation on red-tagging by the Philippine Senate reminds me of the October 1947 hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC on the alleged involvement of some movie personalities in the Communist Party of America. I read about it in the 80s.

That was when McCarthyism invades the very fiber of American society. It was a raucous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs although a huge number of them, in fact, do not belong to the Communist Party.

“May tinatawag po na underground groups sa hanay ng mga manunulat, sa hanay ng mga artista, sa showbiz,” a witness said in a Senate hearing yesterday. “Hindi ko na sasabihin yung mga pangalan nila pero ang mga pelikula nila ay [inaudible], ‘Maynila sa Kuko ng Agila’ at ‘Walang Himala,'” he further said.

As a movie fan, this mixing up made my head twirl!

Around 15,000 families in the island province of Catanduanes, some province in the regions of Cordillera, Bicol and Southern Tagalog were affected by the recent typhoon. In Catanduanes, which is directly hit by TS Rolly, is in urgent need of food and water. The devastated island seeks aid, power and telco restoration in super typhoon’s aftermath. Yet, in the halls of the Philippine Senate that very day, McCarthyism prevailed over recovery from disaster, such as relief and rehabilitation missions.

As the hearing in the Senate transpires, the Philippines’ COVID-19 reached 387,161 and additional 1,772 cases plus 49 new deaths was reported by the Department of Health (DOH) when that man appeared before the Senate hearing Tuesday.

To the Filipino McCarthyists, as alleged, are hiding in the government program called National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC). They have included as targets of red-tagging and red-scare our patriotic artists.

History tells us that Joseph McCarthy was halted by then President Dwight Eisenhower. Red-tagging and red-scare will die and fade away in the long run when the righteous people appear from the political horizon at any given time and situation in the future. That is if we will sustainably expose and oppose such drastic acts detrimental to our enjoyment of our basic human rights.

Arts and truth combined can defeat all fascistic lies in this country and anywhere in the world. Filipino artists will continue heighten their quest for the truth by continuing with their crafts, by proving that in art there is might.

We all look forward for a society freeing up the arts and the whole of Filipino nation. Under those conditions artistic expression, and all other forms of expressions, would be totally liberated from McCarthyism and tyranny in whatever form.

Take no notice of McCathyists, heed the aspirations of the people through arts but not through arms!

(Photo: Galloway)


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