More proof that Kate Smith was NOT racist (Opinion)
When the Yankees and Flyers stopped playing Kate Smith's version of "God Bless America" because of some other songs she recorded that had racial overtones, they said it was pending an investigation. Something they obviously didn't do a good job of, especially in Philadelphia where the Flyers removed Smith's statue.
If you're looking for proof that Kate Smith, who traveled over 520,000 miles entertaining the troops in World War II and raised over 600 million dollars in war bonds and holds the American medal of Freedom, was not racist, look no further than a speech she gave in January of 1945 attacking racism and bigotry calling them "the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace." Smith implored churches as well as families to commit to tolerance and understanding.
Smith's speech, The Value of Tolerance, was given on the CBS show "We The People." Here it is recounted from the radio magazine "Tune In" in May of 1945. Makes you wonder how the Yankees and Flyers could be so tuned out.
"It seems to me that faith in the decency of human beings is what we must have more of, if there is to be a future for all of us in this world. We read in the papers every day about conferences on the best way to keep the peace. Well, I’m not an expert on foreign affairs — and I don’t pretend to know all the complex things that will have to be done for a lasting peace. But I am a human being — and I do know something about people. I know that our statesmen — our armies of occupation — our military strategists — may all fail if the peoples of the world don’t learn to understand and tolerate each other. Race hatreds — social prejudices — religious bigotry — they are the diseases that eat away the fibers of peace. Unless they are exterminated it’s inevitable that we will have another war. And where are they going to be exterminated? At a conference table in Geneva? Not by a long shot. In your own city — your church — your children’s school — perhaps in your own home. You and I must do it – every father and mother in the world, every teacher, everyone who can rightfully call himself a human being. Yes, it seems to me that the one thing the peoples of the world have got to learn if we are ever to have a lasting peace, is — tolerance. Of what use will it be if the lights go on again all over the world — if they don’t go on … in our hearts."
After her speech, the sponsors of "We The People," said they had received over 20,000 requests for reprints which were also printed in newspapers across the country.
So to the Yankees, Flyers, and everyone else, if you're looking for proof that Kate Smith was indeed not racist, there it is!
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