Sunday, May 15, 2022

“America is minorities”

A soapbox speaker addresses a small crowd, presenting himself an “American American,” or what Tucker Carlson would call a “legacy American.” The speaker rails against “Negroes,” Catholics, Masons, and “alien foreigners.” A Hungarian-born professor listens with dismay: “I’ve heard this kind of talk before, but I never expected to hear it in America.” When the speaker is done, the professor talks at length to another spectator who thought the speaker made “pretty good sense” — at least until he mentioned the Masons. From the 1945 Department of Defense film Don’t Be a Sucker :

“We must never let ourselves be divided by race, or color, or religion, because in this country we all belong to minority groups. I was born in Hungary; you are a Mason: these are minorities. And then you belong to other minority groups too. You are a farmer; you have blue eyes; you go to the Methodist church. Your right to belong to these minorities is a precious thing. You have a right to be what you are and say what you think, because here we have personal freedom. We have liberty.

“And these are not just fancy words. This is a practical and priceless way of living. But we must work at it. We must guard everyone's liberty, or we can lose our own. If we allow any minority to lose its freedom by persecution, or by prejudice, we are threatening our own freedom. And this is not simply an idea: this is good hard common sense.

“You see, here in America it is not a question of whether we tolerate minorites. America is minorities. And that means you and me. So let’s not be suckers. We must not allow the freedom or dignity of any man to be threatened by any act or word. Let’s be selfish about it. Let’s forget about we and they. Let’s think about us.
[The orator: Richard Lane. The professor: Paul Lukas. Both uncredited. A 1945 audience would have immediately recognized both.]

comments: 2

Daughter Number Three said...

"Let's not be suckers."

Seems like it's suckers all the way down.

I remember Trump speaking at the RNC in 2016 about immigrants bringing crime, while I knew (and every journalist covering it probably knew) that every statistic shows they are less likely to commit crime than people born in the U.S. But also that it's easy to find examples of individual cases where some immigrant did something terrible. It's a big country.

It seems as though some people want to be suckered, want to be outraged, want their fear fed. My own sister was one of them. It made no sense to me, or to her children.

Michael Leddy said...

It’s so scarily of our time, isn’t it? And sunk costs make it so difficult for people to break away. I hate the way this lunacy has fractured families.