Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Martin Eden

(13,017 posts)
23. Communists, for awhile. My parents were first gen Americans, born 1919 & 1922.
Tue Aug 24, 2021, 07:52 PM
Aug 2021

All four of my grandparents immigrated just before WWI, from Serbo-Croatia. Grandfathers worked in factories, and my family became involved in the labor movement when workers had to literally fight (and sometimes die) for so much we take for granted today.

Most of all my Aunt Kate (born 1907) who went to work in factories age 15 and put her heart and soul into battling the injustices. She became a district organizer for the Communist Party of America, eventually targeted by McCarthyism. She spent 10 months in jail while they tried to deport her to Yugoslavia but there were no birth records in the small village where she was born, so eventually had to release her.

Kate loved this country and sacrificed more in her efforts to help people than the self indulgent majority who cast stones from their glass houses. She was never allowed to become a US citizen, and lived in my home while my parents worked during my childhood. My Aunt Kate was full of wonderful stories (not political) and was the most caring and empathetic person I ever knew. I remember one morning in April 1968 when I found her sobbing, watching the news. MLK had been assassinated, a very sad day in our household. Not so much for my peers at school, whose parents were celebratory.

The year before she died, Kate and two other elderly women were featured in the Union Maids documentary film, which was nominated for an Oscar.

Kate was also in the book Rank and File, using the name Christine.

Like so many others who were swept up by The Romance of American Communism, they abandoned the Party before or soon after the horrible evils of the Stalin regime was made known in 1956 (I was born in 1957).

The rank and file were good people who really cared, struggling for a better and more equitable America. Now the terms communist/marxist/socialists are bogeyman pejoratives cast unfairly at anyone -- including mainstream Democrats -- struggling against corporatocracy and creeping fascism.

If "conservatives" are REALLY afraid of Socialism, the best way to avoid something truly radical in that direction is to get on board with good policies which help the vast majority of the American people. Universal health care, quality affordable education, equal rights, and a living wage are not radical. Most of this is embraced by other Western capitalist democracies, whose people are not victims of government "tyranny."

I wish I could tell my Aunt Kate that all she worked so hard for has been achieved, but we still have a long way to go.

My parents live in a GOP town, they've always been registered GOP Johonny Aug 2021 #1
Yes, very politically aware relayerbob Aug 2021 #2
Yes. Alabama. House of Roberts Aug 2021 #3
Dad tricked Mom into marrying him by saying he supported Stevenson. no_hypocrisy Aug 2021 #4
Pretty sure my Mom was a "closeted Democrat" at least at the polls behind the curtain. hlthe2b Aug 2021 #5
My parents were Republicans early in life and into middle age... CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2021 #6
Same with me ... when they were younger they were Republicans because their perception was Hugh_Lebowski Aug 2021 #22
They were Republicans - and I don't understand it....... MyOwnPeace Aug 2021 #7
My father was purple. These days, they would be Tetrachloride Aug 2021 #8
Basically both were Democrats. My mother voted for Tom Dewey Tomconroy Aug 2021 #9
I put other because they'd go back and forth from Kennedy to Nixon to Carter to JoanofArgh Aug 2021 #10
My parents were Eisenhower Republicans. rsdsharp Aug 2021 #11
My parents definitely had liberal views and values.. luvs2sing Aug 2021 #12
My father told my mother that if she voted Democratic Harker Aug 2021 #13
Mine were Republicans Deuxcents Aug 2021 #14
My parents were Democrats but actually conservatives csziggy Aug 2021 #15
Don't really know. Dad was hen-pecked and per her: Backseat Driver Aug 2021 #16
Portraits of Franklin Roosevelt & John Kennedy hung on a wall dmr Aug 2021 #17
My parents were Kennedy Democrats mcar Aug 2021 #18
"Democrats" had a whole nother meaning in Mississippi in the 60s. nolabear Aug 2021 #19
My mother was an FDR Democrat nevergiveup Aug 2021 #20
mixed marriage ananda Aug 2021 #21
Communists, for awhile. My parents were first gen Americans, born 1919 & 1922. Martin Eden Aug 2021 #23
What a great family story, Martin Hekate Aug 2021 #31
+1 My parents and grandparents were Canadian socialists - CCF/NDP Another Jackalope Aug 2021 #43
My dad, like his father and his grandfather before him drmeow Aug 2021 #24
My parents were Eisenhower republicans, frogmarch Aug 2021 #25
Greens. Well, Dad went Young Repub to Indy to Green. GPV Aug 2021 #26
Both were Rs but Cairycat Aug 2021 #27
Both of my parents bdamomma Aug 2021 #28
Hard to know about my dad, but my mother's experiences & ethos shaped me profoundly... Hekate Aug 2021 #29
My mom was definitely a liberal MissMillie Aug 2021 #30
Latvian immigrants. Republican because of Yalta. tavernier Aug 2021 #32
We were "Connecticut " republicans Girl powers Aug 2021 #33
My parents never discussed politics with me. marie999 Aug 2021 #34
In my father's "box-o-stuff" that he kept on his dresser... NurseJackie Aug 2021 #35
Great Depression FDR Democrats. KY_EnviroGuy Aug 2021 #36
My mom grew up in a R home. Niagara Aug 2021 #37
My parents were Democrats. I was the closest to Republican in the family 😂 In It to Win It Aug 2021 #38
My mother is an unreconstructed Kennedy-style liberal. Aristus Aug 2021 #39
Dad is a UAW Dem Johnny2X2X Aug 2021 #40
Democrats when we moved to this country in 1957, but DavidDvorkin Aug 2021 #41
My Dad was a liberal Republican who actually voted for Bill Clinton and changed his party Demsrule86 Aug 2021 #42
I came of age when there was no moonscape Aug 2021 #44
Mixed Mad_Machine76 Aug 2021 #45
Yes. Most my family are Democrats. Drunken Irishman Aug 2021 #46
My mother was a Democrat until Reagan Polybius Aug 2021 #47
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Were your parents (or gua...»Reply #23