To Ron Tate, re: Boston Globe article "FBI gives a glimpse of its most secret layer (Bryan Bender, Globe Staff, March 29, 2010)
I could not find mention of Hal Call but did of Mattachine in 1958, which of course is a totally different Mattachine from the original one, which was started by communists, but in no way aimed at undermining the U. S. government. And in fact they were kicked out of the party for being homosexual—Harry, Dale, and later Jim (Kepner) I think.
If the FBI did its job, they would know that that was exactly why Hal took over Mattachine and moved it to San Francisco. It was tremendously successful in southern California and then less so in San Francisco, but that is generic—it was new and so it grew from one small gathering in a home to hundreds all over the state. But the people did not know of Harry's communist connection, and Hal feared if they did it would kill it. It was killed anyway, in order to save it.
That is why it is so historically important, despite the East Coast bias and wall to wall Stonewall exploitation by the lazy media, to know that the original Mattachine (Foundation) morphed into ONE, Inc., as the major people (only because they thought it was time to reach out publicly since it had been so successful in reaching people who were still in the closet) decided to go public and publish the magazine, and to do that they had to incorporate, get a public office, and later hold public meetings-to which most of the members would still be afraid to attend—etc.
And then ONE had to fight the legal battle (from 1954 to 1958) with the Post Office—over mailing the magazine. So, I'm not a happy camper if the FBI thought Mattachine San Francisco was more important than we were at ONE and HIC. I wonder if the reporter/journalist saw an mention of ONE, DOB, etc.?
But if they did investigate, they had to see immediately that Hal and ONE, Dorr and Don mainly, were "conservatives," and not a threat. I don't think there was any conscious plan, but it is clear that the movement started with left-wingers, some actually former communists-kicked out of the party, and IMMEDIATELY was taken over by extreme conservatives.
I think serious social scientists And political scientists will say that the reason this civil rights movement, which started in 1950 in the McCarthy era, has been so successful is because it took the best from the left and right and used them to work all angles. And another irony is that we did it better than the government does things, and the first converts were in fact big business.
Such a story may not be sexy, but it sure is historically important. And that is why the slogan is right-we started with that ripple in los Angeles in 1950, and have grown to a raging wave all over the nation—and the media just caught on about the time of Stonewall.