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


NEW YORK, Thursday—I lunched a few days ago, with a gentleman who came to our shores as an immigrant and who is troubled by the fact that we are torn apart today for political and personal reasons. There is so little unity in our country when we should be standing shoulder to shoulder and giving our leaders the sense of support that unity in a nation gives.

Then I returned home to read an editorial which I am sure will not create greater unity.

This newspaper article stated that the vote of 27 to 23, in the United Nations Political Committee, sidetracking the American resolution that would call the Chinese Communists aggressors in Korea was a humiliating defeat for which our Secretary of State was responsible. The vote was an adjournment of action for a few days, and it passed against the wishes of the United States. We felt that it would strengthen the United Nations position in Korea and give an advantage to the United States itself to have this vote cast. In opposition to our resolution, however, Great Britain was supported by India, France, the Asian-Arab bloc, as well as the Scandinavian countries.

This editorial states a great many things which I think are highly questionable. All this U.N. vote really shows is something which many of us have watched with concern for some time and which has nothing whatsoever to do with our Secretary of State or our policies in the recent past.

What has happened is that the British have accepted certain facts and gone along with them when they knew certain things were going to happen. Whereas we have known that our people were not mature enough, either in the Congress or throughout the country, to understand if we took similar action as the British. Nor did we have certain special interests involved, which at all times makes the British position different from ours.

It cannot be said too clearly that Secretary Acheson has tried to conduct a wise policy and to build up confidence in us among the smaller countries and in the Asiatic and Near Eastern group. But these policies will have to work for some time before we will see any results. At the present time we should face the fact that to many of the nations of the world the power of the United States is something to be feared, just as they fear the power of the Soviet Union. In some of the areas of the world there is a feeling that perhaps our attitude toward Negroes is less to be trusted than that of Russia. The Soviet Union is not suffering from the past, whereas America is.

The United States is classed with all the colonial powers because its business people exploited the smaller nations both politically and economically. Our business people would not think of doing today what they did 100 years ago, or 75, or even 50 years ago. And the colonial powers would not govern as they did during that same period in any of their territories.

But the peoples of these areas of the world have not forgotten the past and so they weigh one "injustice" against the other. And it is not something that will be decided immediately in their minds. It is something that we are deciding for them in America through our daily lives and through our representatives and the record of our Congress and its proceedings.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 26, 1951

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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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.