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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—Now that the opposing forces in the Near East people are really beginning to meet at the peace table, it looks as though agreements might actually be reached. Quite aside from Dr. Ralph J. Bunche's report of "satisfactory progress," the actual steps being taken seem encouraging.

I do not feel that the task of bringing peace to the Holy Land will prove too difficult in spite of the deep-seated resentments which the last year or so have engendered between the people of the State of Israel and the people of the neighboring countries. It is really when the big nations begin to bring their interests and their pressures to bear on all these different countries that the real difficulties begin to emerge. One can only hope that this auspicious beginning will not be interfered with and that a final settlement will be satisfactorily reached.

Here in New York City the trial of the 12 Communist party leaders began on Monday. It was expected by the city authorities that demonstrations would be carried on, and 400 police were assigned to keep a vigil in the vicinity of the courthouse. Naturally, this brought many complaints and protests from the defense attorneys. But these people must be made to realize that they themselves have created the situation that moved the authorities to take these safety measures and to keep street traffic moving.

I am sure that this trial will be conducted fairly and justly. But I deplore the state of hysteria into which we have been plunged in this country, partly by the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee and partly by the Communists themselves.

The Communists have been the ones who, by using underhanded methods, have created suspicion and fear in the heart of the average American. Now when almost anything goes wrong the man on the street feels sure that a Communist is in some way responsible. And those who like to play on the fears of people have added to the present hysteria by calling everything that they do not like "Communist." Almost every reform movement of any kind seems to be labelled "Communist" before it is proved that it is not.

Yet, we should have learned our lesson long ago. It was the reforms that we brought about for the benefit of the masses of people that saved us from much more drastic reforms brought about at the instigation of the Communists.

Sometimes I think those conservatives who are the most afraid of Communism are the very ones who play into the hands of the Communists. Their memories are never very long. The late '20s and early '30s are already forgotten by them and they are back at the old game of trying to make as much as they can for the benefit of the few instead of remembering that it is just as important to benefit the many. Then the few will make more than sufficient to get along.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 19, 1949

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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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.