SEPTEMBER 18, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I have just finished reading a novel called "Mr. Adam" by Pat Frank. It is inspired by our new ability to destroy, and deals with the numerous things that may develop from the power that we can now unleash. It is pure imagination, but there is just enough possibility that it might come true to make one read it with interest—and with the hope that it may make us realize what fearful responsibilities now rest upon us and what a very great people we must be if we are going to face up to these responsibilities.
We have the secret of the atom bomb. How long we alone will have it, nobody knows. But while we have it, the responsibility of what happens in the world is in our hands. Soon we may share it with others, and then we will have the uncomfortable feeling that, unless the other people of the world have goodwill and face up to their responsibilities toward humanity in general, we may have very little time left upon this planet.
One of the characteristics of human beings in the past has been never to face disagreeable realities until they were actually forced to do so. Fundamentally, that is the reason why we did not, after World War I, do much to prevent World War II. Sometimes I wonder if we intend to be so blind again!
* * *
There is a small pamphlet by Chancellor Williams called "And If I Were White," which is a reply to a series of articles written by prominent writers on "If I Were A Negro." I think it would be good for all of us to read and ponder some of the things which Mr. Williams writes.
He makes the very simple statement that, until we all realize that color, whatever it may be, is of no importance whatsoever and until we value people only for what they are, we will never solve the many racial problems which confront us throughout the world. He mentions a small circle of his friends in which several nationalities are represented and he says that each one makes his own contribution.
For a long time, I am afraid, the Anglo-Saxon race has taken it for granted that, by some peculiar dictum from on high, it was endowed with particular virtues. Our efforts must be bent in the future to giving all people an opportunity for development in the hope that, in that way, we can promote a safer and better world for all of us to live in.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- Frank, Pat, 1907-1964 [ index ]
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- Williams, Chancellor, 1893-1992 [ index ]
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- [ index ] New York (N.Y., United States)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 18, 1946
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
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