APRIL 28, 1958
NEW YORK —I am glad to see that we are going to bring back from Finland William Heikkla, the man whom the immigration authorities deported in a way which could only be described as a copy of the Stalinist methods in the Soviet Union.
To take a man and deport him without allowing him to communicate with his family or even go home and get his belongings seems incredible, even though he may be here illegally and may have been a Communist, and it may finally be necessary to send him out of this country.
He had been here some time, however, and it certainly seems that he should not be sent out of the country without a careful examination, for he cannot speak Finnish and he evidently is more of an American than a Finn at present.
Everyone must have been saddened by the death of the five paratroopers in their practice jump in Kentucky last week. It is to be hoped that all those injured will recover.
I suppose it is impossible to forecast weather conditions to prevent such mishaps, but in time of peace every care should be taken not to run any unnecessary risks.
The President's remarks to his press conference on the subject of the recession will not make the jobless very happy. It is hard to think about the difficulties in other parts of the world when your own children are deprived of things they really need.
To have food prices going up while jobs grow less is not a happy situation, yet the President seems oblivious to these difficulties and tries to turn our minds to the world emergency. Those of us who are not acutely suffering will probably heed his words, but there is a growing number in our midst who cannot do so because the suffering is coming too close to their own homes.
Now I want to turn to something entirely different. A bill was passed in the House recently which would authorize about $270 million for annual aid to schools in the so-called government impacted areas. About $140 million would go for operating expenses and $67 million for the construction of schoolhouses.
An effort was made to amend the bill to make it impossible to give money to segregated schools. This was defeated by a decisive vote in the House.
I am glad that crowded areas are to have this help, but I am sorry, too, that this will give heart to the people who are trying to thwart the law of the land as interpreted by the Supreme Court.
Eventually the people of this country will understand that they are not merely denying equality and recognition to a few American citizens who happen to be a different color from the majority. Someday they will realize that they are also alienating the majority of colored peoples throughout the world—peoples whose favor we certainly should try to win, since if they do not join with us, they will join with the Communists.
It is taking time for our people to realize this, and even in the North we come across things now and then that make one realize how carelessly we allow ourselves to practice discrimination.
(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] New York (N.Y., United States)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 28, 1958
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)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
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