MARCH 29, 1946
OMAHA, Neb., Thursday—The other afternoon, in San Francisco, I acted as godmother at the christening of the infant daughter of my hostess, Mrs. Hershey Martin, the former Mayris Chaney. During the ceremony, the baby cried just enough to frighten the devil away!
That evening, we went to a meeting for the Jewish Welfare Fund. I couldn't help thinking how sad it is that this fund has to be so greatly increased this year in order to give hope and help to those Jewish refugees who want to reestablish themselves in their own homelands, or in new homes far away from the original setting of their lives.
Had the conscience of the world been sufficiently awake, the tragedies of these people need not have occurred. It makes me wonder if we in this country should not struggle harder to achieve the equal rights guaranteed by our Constitution to all within our nation, since only by so doing can we stand before the world with clean hands when we plead for the wiping out of race hatreds and religious prejudice in the rest of the world.
It seems to me un-Christian to believe that any race was doomed to be an inferior race. We have all been conditioned by our surroundings and, consequently, some of us have moved more quickly than others into what we consider an advanced stage of civilization. But I wonder whether we can consider that we have achieved real civilization as long as hatred and suspicion survive in the world. When we go out to kill each other instead of to help each other, we give valid proof of the failure of our type of civilization.
I've seen in the papers that a number of communities are lagging in the Red Cross campaign and that quotas are not being reached as quickly as has been the case in past years. Of course, we are always aware of the need of the Red Cross in wartime, but it must continue to fulfill its functions in peacetime as well as in war. There are still places all over the world which need the things that the Red Cross provides.
I've even heard people say that they did not think it necessary for the Red Cross to have a reserve fund. But it seems to me that this is essential, since one can never know when famine, flood, pestilence or earthquake will strike somewhere in the world—and in each case, the Red Cross is immediately called upon.
I have always been very much interested in the American Junior Red Cross. This is one of the few charitable organizations which is permitted to solicit funds and memberships among New York City's public-school children. Their memberships run from the little ones, aged 6, up to 18-year-old high-school students.
Their activities are valuable in the character development of the children as well as in the education which stems from thinking of children in other parts of the world and trying to understand the conditions under which those children live. The sense, too, of being part of an organization which spreads throughout the world will help our children to grow into better international citizens. This does not mean that they will not be just as good citizens of their own country, but does mean that they will realize the ties which exist between their own country and the rest of the world.