FEBRUARY 8, 1960
BOSTON—On Friday I went to a brotherhood luncheon given by New York's Division of Employment and Rehabilitation. This department tries to place all handicapped people who come for aid.
Judging by the people I talked with, the department's approach must be a very helpful one. They use, of course, all the various organizations that are prepared to help handicapped people, but this division nevertheless must require high standards from its employees.
Commissioner James R. Dumpson, of the Department of Welfare, came to the lunch and the group raised a sum of money to send to UNICEF as a tangible gift to promote brotherhood among the children of the world.
I am sure that the commissioner is trying to do a very good job, but he must have many frustrating experiences in this city. I have often thought, as more and more graft and inefficiency has been uncovered in our city government, how grateful we should be for the Department of Health, under Dr. Leona Baumgartner, and the Department of Correction, under Dr. Anna Kross. All of us sometimes make mistakes, but in these departments they will not be intentional and goodwill and intelligence will predominate.
In the Division of Employment and Rehabilitation, people come from so many different backgrounds of race and religion that in themselves they give a very good example of brotherhood in action. The luncheon program emphasized the theme of brotherhood. They sang a verse of "America the Beautiful," they urged everyone to say "good appetite" in French, Spanish, German and Italian, and a choral group sang Negro spirituals, German, Hebrew and English songs. At the end, everyone joined in singing a song written by the lady who presided, Dr. Myra E. Shimberg. It was called "We Are Dreaming of a New Era," sung to the tune of "A White Christmas," and I wish this song could be sung everywhere in our country as it was sung for us on Friday.
The words are:
When every door will open wide
To admit all races
To take their places
With peace, dignity and pride.
We're striving for that new era,
Kind thoughts alone can't swing the gate;
MAY we learn before it's too late
How to rear our children without hate.
When measurement will be by worth,
Not by eyes of sky blue
Or varied skin hue
Or chance origin of birth.
We're yearning for that bright era
When each man's goal is understood;
MAY our aims be steadfast and good
Towards a world bound fast in brotherhood.