Taken from Monthly Review online magazine, “MRZine” Feb. 19, 2010
Parks was called to testify before HUAC on March 21, 1951, not long after attaining stardom in two biopics about Al Jolson. Parks told the congressional Committee: “Being a member of the Communist Party fulfilled certain needs of a young man who was . . . idealistic . . . for the underprivileged, the underdog.”
Not content with forcing Parks to confess about his own political affiliations, HUAC’s Torquemadas pressured Parks to inform on other La-La-Land leftists, and he testified: “I don’t think this is American justice to make me . . . crawl through the mud. . . . This is what I beg you not to do. . . . I am no longer fighting for myself, because I tell you frankly that I am probably the most completely ruined man that you have ever seen. I am fighting for a principle, I think, if Americanism is involved in this particular case. . . . I do not believe it befits this Committee or its purposes to force me to do this. This is my honest feeling about it. I don’t think that this is fair play. I don’t think that it is in the spirit of real Americanism. These are not people that are a danger to this country, gentlemen, the people that I knew. These are people like myself.” Despite his tearful confessions and eventual informing, Parks was cruelly blacklisted anyway; what a price he paid.