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2006-08-08 - 4:47 p.m.
Dorothy Healey, R.I.P.
Dorothy Healey, a onetime labor organizer, civil rights activist and Marxist radio commentator who was chairwoman of the Southern California district of the Communist Party USA from the late 1940s through the 1960s, has died. She was 91.
"I loved the humans who lived under these [conditions] and I respected their potential."
That led her to become an outspoken critic of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, a country she had visited the previous year. Because of her opposition to the national leaders of the American Communist Party, she resigned as chairman of the Southern California district.
In 1973, she resigned from the American Communist Party. She said, however, that she remained a staunch communist and was as much an enemy of capitalism as ever.
"My resignation from the Communist Party will not bring comfort to anti-Communists on either the right or left," she said on her semimonthly commentary broadcast over radio station KPFK-FM (90.7).
"My hatred of capitalism, which degrades and debases humans, is as intense now as it was when I joined the Young Communist League in 1928," she said. "I remain a communist, as I have been all my life, albeit without a party."
Healey then joined the New American Movement, a nationwide organization for democratic socialism, co-founded by her son. She later joined the Democratic Socialists of America and became a vice president of the organization.
Unfortunately, I never heard of you before today, Ms. Healy, but thanks for trying to make the world a better place. And for recognizing that there's a difference between demagoguery and idealism. And between totalitarianism and compassion.
There's a difference.
I may just have to check out your book.
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