What We Do Not Want to Know

Heritage of oppressed groups

 An 82 year old daughter of a WW1 soldier has finally won the Medal of Honor he should have received. She discovered that he and other men of the Jewish Faith weren’t eligible for this Medal. This has led to looking for other Jewish men overlooked because of their religion.

 This revelation surprised me as have been aware of Blacks, Japanese Mexicans, Homosexuals, Jews and now Muslims who weren’t and presently not “Endowed with unalienable rights; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” but wasn’t aware of these policies in WW1.

 I’ve witnessed our judgment of different groups of people by the actions of a few for many years, which is the reason for my qualms about organized religion. This paragraph will generate a lot of disagreement so will proceed to my original intent to discuss racism during the years of WW11.

 Eleanor Roosevelt was the Martin Luther King of that era. While London was being bombed and the Jews were being persecuted in Germany she fought to bring the refugee children here. The head of the quota system was a Southerner Breckenridge Long who was against admitting Jews, Catholics, Liberals or anyone except people like him. She won her fight to bring over British children as they were Christians, but lost her endeavor to admit Jewish children.

 The President and Churchill had little concern over the Jews. Christians in Europe and this country had contempt for Jews. In many Christian countries, it led to civil and political discrimination against Jews, legal disabilities, and in some instances physical attacks which occasionally ended in expulsion, and even death. Most bishops and Cardinals were Nazi sympathizers as were Bishop Wilhelm Berning of Osnabruck and Archbishop Grober of Freiburg.

 The Blacks were in the same bed. Eleanor fought for racial equality in the armed services. When they were finally allowed in the Navy they were segregated and served as waiters and servants to the whites. They suffered the same fate in the Army until needed in combat, but were segregated until Truman’s Presidency. She also fought to repeal the anti-lynching law, but the President couldn’t support the repeal as to get legislation passed he needed the support of the Southern dominated congress. Even the defense industries refused to hire blacks until in 1940 a young leader of the NAACP, Phillip Randolph, threatened a 100,000 march on Washington. Roosevelt was afraid of the effect on his election, so passed The Fair Employment Act.

 There has been some improvement that American’s need to clear their conscience in this area. We have finally admitted that Gays in the military have equal rights and won’t infect the straights, but people have reservations about this change.

 Jews now days have an advantage over people of color as they blend in with the whites. Katrina brought poor blacks out of the shadows, but they were soon forgotten. Even the few who have benefited from the Civil Rights Act always have race on their mind. A successful black’s remark about being black was, “Being black in America is like being forced to wear ill fitting shoes. Some people adjust to it. It’s always uncomfortable on your feet, but you’ve got to wear it as it’s the only shoes you’ve got.

 I spent ten years working in the projects and found that racism is a two way street. I was welcome in their neighborhood until the assassination of Martin Luther King and then became a white enemy. I can understand their anger and would have reacted the same if I had been living under these conditions.

 I wonder if our two leading candidates have ever met or touched a poor black person they have insulted and  are not interested in their situation in life.

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to knowEric Hoffer


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6 responses to “What We Do Not Want to Know

  1. Mr. Cooks, you absolutely exhaust me. I just can’t think of what to say to your truthful expose’s. Yes, those terrible things happened, but I have to move forward in my life. If I get so burdoned with all the unfairness in the past, there is no energy left for choosing a better future. Sorry…

  2. Too often politics get in the way of justice. Mrs. Roosevelt fought for things that FDR couldn’t back because it would hurt him politically. I don’t think the public in large really care about the under dogs. Mitt just said that he doesn’t need to concern himself with the rich or the poor as each of them is taken care of. He obviously hasn’t gone into a ghetto lately. The politicians don’t really need to deal with human injustice, that doesn’t get them elected.

  3. It’s not the job of government to “take care of people.” It is the job of government to ensure we are not denied our “unalienable rights; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” however, everyone should have equal access to education and jobs. Life is not just and it is unfair. It is the private citizen who should live a life of integrity and charity. I applaud Mrs. Roosevelt for her efforts to help. I applaud Martin Luther King Jr. and all who work to make this country better. Our Federal government is too big and there are too many programs and regulations already.

  4. I would personally rather have my taxes help the poor, especially those that have come from a legacy of poverty, then to kill people in other countries for reasons that are never clear.

  5. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    I have thought all weekend about your article. I think that I am in denial, or just unaware of all the prejudices against various minorities. I remember the first time that a friend made a joke about not wanting anyone to know that he was being friends with a “Jew.” I was baffled; it just wasn’t anything I could even process.
    I do see that we have a mess in our country with certain groups “stuck” in a substandard life style. Ideally, families and church or other local volunteer groups would take care of the poor and needy. Certainly this would be more efficient and beneficial for all involved. However, at this point, taking away the monstrously large and corrupt social service net our government has created would be disastrous for those in need. What is the answer? I don’t know. I am, however, very grateful to not currently find myself amid those in desperate need and am happy to share my abundance with others.

  6. I appreciate the comments and all were expected and may be right in your minds. This article isn’t history to me as had a front row seat to everything discussed. My philosophy since Jr. High has been; if you permanently sit on the track you will be run over. The quote from the Preamble to the Constitution about all men are born equal with certain rights was written by a man who owned 600 slaves and had sex with many of the female slaves.

    Those of you visited a ghetto for any amount of time or a school and home in these neighborhoods may come to the conclusion that most of these people weren’t born with the equal rights and opportunities of Donald Trump or probably you or your children. I agree that there are too many regulations, but most of them benefit the haves.

    When regulations of banks and investment companies were deregulated by the repeal of Glass Steagall and signed by President Clinton we had the onset of the property bubble. I could go on, but although I’m not an expert on interpreting the Bible I have always referred to the Sermon on the Mount as the answer to many of our social problems,

    The situation has made a small movement in the right direction,but are still present to only a lesser degree. The poor in Katrina crammed together in a stadium is still but a dream with only a few people trying to make changes. This situation exists in most cities. They will again be recognized on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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