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


HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I have been asked to write something about an organization called "Chinese Association for Goodwill." This group is made up, for the most part, of Chinese residents of this country, representatives of the Chinese Nationalist government, and Americans who have some traditional association with China.

Apparently since China has been divided and the Chinese Communists have been fighting United States and United Nations forces in Korea, many Chinese in this country have found themselves involved in disagreeable incidents. It has been taken for granted that many of them were in sympathy with the Chinese Communists and more particularly in sympathy with their cause in Korea.

Efforts have had to be made by local governments to make American citizens who have no Chinese connections realize that the many Chinese who have been for many years in this country are in no way connected with the Chinese Communists nor have they any sympathy with them. In many places people have been unwilling to buy in Chinese stores, no matter from what source the Chinese goods came.

That is the reason for the formation of this new association, which is trying to make it known that Chinese-Americans are opposed to Chinese Reds. One of their major activities has been an all-Chinese show, which recently appeared at the Veterans Hospital, Bronx, N.Y., and was very successful in entertaining 500 disabled veterans there. They also have been entertaining various groups of service men at other stations.

The organization is now preparing material for posters and pamphlets, which are to be distributed so as to counteract the idea that all Chinese in this country are of necessity Communists or in sympathy with them. This is important because we certainly do not want misunderstandings to grow up between us and the Chinese here and the Chinese in China who are not Communists.

I know that many of the older Chinese group feel that the present Communist control of their country has come about largely because the government for generations has been corrupt. China is a large country and the different provinces have been ruled by war lords with very little central control. As a result, the people have been exploited, no reforms have been brought about in agriculture and in both rural and urban sections misery has been the lot of the great majority of the people. This condition among the people is the most fertile soil for breeding communism and a belief in Communist promises.

In most countries the Soviet Union is much too wise to do its propaganda work or show its strength through its own citizens. It has, over the years indoctrinated citizens from practically every country in the world and then sent them back to work in their native countries. These converts are well disciplined and understand organization and for the most part are working in badly organized, badly governed and economically underdeveloped nations. It is clear that they have very little difficulty to persuade people that communism has something desirable to offer them.

Therefore, the task of the democracies is to prove that they can produce conditions that are more beneficial to the people.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 12, 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

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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.