Looking like a Communist

Anthony Lane on photographer Robert Frank, in the September 14 New Yorker, p. 89:

If Frank didn’t talk to his subjects, how many of them wanted to talk back? A bunch of high school boys in Port Gibson, Misissippi, told him he looked like a Communist and suggested that he “go to the other side of town and watch the niggers play.”

What makes someone look like a Communist? Well, Frank was a Swiss Jew; maybe that was enough.

Lane reports (p. 86) on another occasion, in 1955, when the police in McGehee, Arkansas, stopped Frank as a suspicious person and locked him up: “The patrolmen didn’t like the look of the guy, or the sound of him, or the fifth of Hennessy they found in his glove compartment”.

2 Responses to “Looking like a Communist”

  1. N Says:

    I’ve heard it said of me before. It’s usually referred to me having a beard [and maybe eastern-european bushy eyebrows]

  2. mollymooly Says:

    If you look like Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, or Debs, you look like a Communist.

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