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Not What We Were Expecting When We Left the Shenandoah, I Must Say...: Live from The Roasterie CLXXIII: May 13, 2014

Liveblogging World War II: May 13, 1944: Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks Calmly

Eleanor Roosevelt: MY DAY:

WASHINGTON, Friday—Sunday will be the 30th observance of Mother's Day. This is a nice gesture, and this year it is a particularly significant one. War has placed new responsibilities upon mothers, greater sacrifices are demanded of them, and whether they are young or old, their lives are much more difficult. I wish that we could celebrate a Parent's Day, for it seems to me that in this country what we really care about is the home, which is created by the parents. Nevertheless, I hope this Mother's Day will bring to many mothers a sense of the important position which they hold in the life of the country, and that the praise and honor accorded them will compensate for the hardships and anxieties which they are courageously enduring.

I have just received a pamphlet which claims to have found a satisfactory solution to racial questions. The gentleman who is the author of it would like to take one of our minority groups and transport all its members to another land. He would have us build roads there and give them equipment and trained personnel to start them off. This would remove much manpower and machinery from our country. But to the author of this pamphlet, this means a real solution.

I am afraid that this could never be a permanent solution, because if we decided to move one minority group and settle it in some other part of the world, why shouldn't we decide to do the same thing with another group with which we found it difficult to get along at some time or other?

We have among us a number of groups which some of our people would undoubtedly like to remove to other parts of the world on occasion. If we begin this, it would seem quite logical to me to go on, and I wonder just where we would stop dividing up our nation. Perhaps it would come about that we would eventually return our country to those who originally owned it, the Indians, whom we have now more or less segregated on reservations.

Quite seriously, however, I wonder if the problem does not go deeper. Isn't our real problem how to get along with all the people who make up the citizenry of the United States at the present time, in the places where they live? Isn't it necessary to face getting on with people all over the world who are going to be our very close neighbors in the future, and who are going to come and go and trade with us and live among us now and then? They may learn much from us, and they may want to teach us things also. If this is going to happen, and it must happen if there is going to be peace in the world, I wonder if my correspondent, who would deport any group he considered undesirable here, has wondered how the bigger problem would ever be solved?