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

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PARIS, Monday —It was a great shock to read about the tragic death of former Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson in an airplane crash near Newark, NJ

Newark Airport seems to be a very difficult landing field to come into in bad weather and I don't wonder that the people in neighborhood are demanding to have it abandoned.

One is, of course, deeply saddened to lose a man as fine as Judge Patterson who was still so young. He served his country in many capacities in recent years.

My husband thought very highly him and I don't think anyone who knew him could ever doubt his complete integrity and strong sense of duty. He loved his country and served it well and all of us join in the deepest sympathy for his wife and children.

I was interested to read in the New York City newspapers that the Senate has passed the home rule bill for the District of Columbia and that now it is in the House of Representatives.

According to the account in The New York Times, there is very little hope that the House will pass this bill, and the reason given is that Southern Democrats generally have opposed home rule for the District. The only reason given for Southern opposition to home rule is that there is a large Negro population in the District.

It does not seem very democratic to me to prevent all citizens of Washington from attaining their suffrage for this reason. All of the votes would be votes of American citizens, and that is, after all, the only important factor to be considered.

An account such as this one, which will be read by many people in other countries, will give rise again to much propaganda, and we in the United Nations again will be asked: "What is the meaning of democracy in the U.S.?"

In the same article we are told that statehood for Alaska and Hawaii also be opposed by Southern legislators both in the Senate and House.

I sometimes wonder whether it ever occurs to people whose minds are so completely focused on our own home situation that there are other considerations that may affect them far more even than the obvious things they dislike in the situation at home.

Strengthening of communism is one of the results that grows from race discrimination. In its contacts with many countries throughout the world, such as those of the Far East and Near East and certain South American areas, communism feeds on this attitude that certain people in the U.S. have on the treatment of minorities, particularly the Negro minority, and it creates hatred and suspicion of us.

So far as the home situation is concerned, I think we might move slowly; but as far as the world situation is concerned, I think we should take into account that we are dealing with an explosive situation and it is one of the most dangerous factors threatening not only our leadership but our safety.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 29, 1952

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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.