JANUARY 17, 1947
NEW YORK, Thursday—In a paper yesterday, I came across a remarkable headline—"Roosevelt Sons Divide Sharply on Red Issue." And on reading further, I found that one of my sons was called anti-Communist and another was supposed to be pro-Communist.
As a matter of fact, I don't think it has ever occurred to any of my sons to be pro-Communist, any more than it has ever occurred to me. And yet, in the course of my career, I have at times been severely criticized for what were called pro-Communist leanings, until I have learned to take what I read in the newspapers with a grain of salt.
For instance, when I read in the papers that my son Elliott was supposed to have said some utterly ridiculous things in Moscow, particularly as regards the United States' activities within the United Nations, I knew without even asking any questions that the whole story was false. I took it for granted that some conversation had occurred, and that someone—not too anxious to avoid trouble for the Roosevelt family—had "quoted" a few things which were pure imagination and others which were only half-truths. Taken out of the conversation as a whole, these conveyed a wrong impression.
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There is no member of my family who has not proved his or her loyalty to the United States—the men in battle in various parts of the world, the women in work as citizens at home. It is quite true that there may be disagreements as to whether the things which we believe and advocate are correct or incorrect, but that we live by our own beliefs as American citizens is a fact which I think the majority of people who know us will concede.
As far as I am concerned, I realize, of course, that these things are said only when people are hard up for copy, and I cannot take them very seriously. Once in a long life, however, it is well to speak out and state the truth—not on my own account, because what may be said about me matters very little. However, I hope the younger members of my family may be active as citizens of the United States of America for a good many years to come, and for their sake such silly nonsense should be refuted. Any question of their basic loyalty to the United States and a democratic form of government should be settled once and for all.
That they will differ from each other and stand for different methods and objectives in the course of their lives, I do not question, for life would be dull if everybody had the same ideas. That is a very different thing, however, from being accused of adherence to either Communism or Fascism.