The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


HYDE PARK, Wednesday—It is very unfortunate that Henry Wallace has not been allowed to speak unmolested at several stops on his trip through the South. Anyone who is a candidate for the Presidency of the United States certainly should have the right to be heard. If one disapproves of his stand personally, one does not have to go to listen to him. If one wants to listen to him, then he should be treated with respect whether one intends to vote for him or not.

It is reported in the press that as eggs and tomatoes flew in Mr. Wallace's direction as he attempted to make speeches in North Carolina, there were cries of "Communist" and "nigger lover." These things do not hurt Mr. Wallace. They hurt the section of the country in which they occur. I hope that he loves his neighbor no matter what the color of his skin, because that is what Our Lord said we should do, but the epitaph "nigger lover" fits no better than the epitaph "Communist."

I did not like Mr. Wallace's statement about his Communist supporters the other day. I thought it was too naive and it begged the question. But I still believe that Mr. Wallace himself is not a Communist, nor does he intend to overthrow the Government of the United States by force. In fact, I think if anyone tried to do such a thing, Mr. Wallace would line up in opposition.

Whether this trip into the South is wise or unwise, I do not know. But as long as he has undertaken to go and stand before the voters of the country and tell them what his views are, I think the least that the voters can do is to listen to him or to stay away from the meetings.

* * *

I was sorry to read that there has been some encouragement given to men not to register in the present draft.

Among this group being called upon now there will, of course, be some conscientious objectors. But I think it should be impressed upon all the young people who are being summoned that they are called to create a force that is primarily needed to preserve peace in the world. Without it we are highly vulnerable, and such nations that feel that war is desirable will be able to act without too much restraint.

However, if we have a trained body of men, well equipped and armed with the most modern inventions for use in war, the most rambunctious nation in the world would stop and think before it made war a reality.

I never quite understood during the last war the arguments of those who felt obliged to refuse to register. I realize, of course, that if one's religion does not permit one to take part in the making of war, going beyond registration is probably impossible. But merely to register seems quite harmless and particularly to register when the army, re-created, is not—so far as we know at present—going to be used in actual war.

Under these circumstances, it would seem sensible for all young men to register rather than to refuse and be found guilty of refusing to obey a law.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 2, 1948

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.