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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jackie Robinson

Happy birthday to Jackie Robinson, who would have been 93 today. In celebration, here's an excerpt of a letter he wrote to President Dwight Eisenhower at the delightful blog, Letters Of Note:
I was sitting in the audience at the Summit Meeting of Negro Leaders yesterday when you said we must have patience. On hearing you say this, I felt like standing up and saying, 'Oh no! Not again.'

I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people. When you said we must have self-respect, I wondered how we could have self-respect and remain patient considering the treatment accorded us through the years.

17 million Negroes cannot do as you suggest and wait for the hearts of men to change. We want to enjoy now the rights that we feel we are entitled to as Americans. This we cannot do unless we pursue aggressively goals which all other Americans achieved over 150 years ago.

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It's interesting to note that Robinson was a Republican, and in fact campaigned for Eisenhower. Thus, this rebuke came from the same side of the aisle, so to speak.

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