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Susan K. de Vegter

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The Year was 1907
by Susan K. de Vegter   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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The year is 1907.....but the speaker knew what he was talking about.

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Every American citizen needs to read this

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Reviewed by Kenneth Schoenlein (Reader)
A great statement in it's simplicity. Theodore roosevelt always used plain language and made very clear his views on an issue.
Reviewed by Michael Haman
Long after the demise of this great land, historians will regard it as once greater than the Roman Empire, the Chinese Dynasties, the Greek City States, Egypt at the height of her power, Mesopotamia or any other civilization we have recorded. America has surpassed every organized assembly of human beings in every way that it can be measured.

In a search for a single catalyst to explain the golden singularity of the United States of America we will have to look no further than her signature value -- liberty. It is only when people are free to speak as they like, to think as they like and to express the differences between them that some rise above others to accomplish things which move a great civilization out of the pages of history where the inconsequental reside and into the land of legend where unforgetable societies shape the evolving destiny of Man. Freedom is the vehicle which elevates the potential of a human being from simple promise to challenges conquered. It makes such men as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and other denizens of our encyclopedias exhaust themselves in the pursuit of excellence, and it is in their exercise of that liberty that their achievements alter the landscape of the American panorama.

It is endemic to a land like America that her government favor no class of people or single individuals above those who may be a different color, of different faith, varied ethnicity or condition of servitude. The government, itself, must express an even-handed regard for each citizen. It is not FREEDOM that government insitutions must embrace as a signature for their profile, but EQUALITY, for only through the governments equal treatment of all citizens can the citizens be free from corrupt power which might separate them according to race, religion or other differences between them and inhibit the potential that freedom of the people makes possible.

We are poised on the brink of America's demise as a great civilization because the government's obligation to treat American's equally has transcended the halls of congress and become a value embraced by the people themselves. Equality, the antithesis of freedom, has replaced Liberty as our signature value. The obligation to treat all people equally is no longer confined to government insitutions. It has become compulsory in the workplace, once a private sector where investors were free to use their own prejudice and intuition to hire whom they wished for whatever reasons their best judgment suggested. That liberty has been replaced by a system which instructs the entrepreneur what criteria he may use in the hiring process, when he can fire an employee, what he may say to that person, under what conditions promotions can be given and it removes from the employer the freedom to surpass his competition by better choices in these matters than his competitors make.

Roosevelt was right to say it is an outrage to discriminate against any man because of creed, birthplace or origin. But he forgot to mention it would only be outrageous if the discrimination were being done by a governrment insitution. The right to discrimate for whatever reasons may flow from individual beliefs is the framework of all freedoms. Without the right to recognize distinctions between human beings, to consider some more valuable than others and to reward the most accomplished on the basis of their value rather than in the interests of equality we have no liberty. Freedom only counts when unpopular opinions are as legal as accepted dogma. To say a citizen has the right to freedom of speech is an empty assertion if it applies only to speech which is appropriate. To say he has the right to freedom of thought is transparent propaganda when he is made to serve additional time in jail for hating a victim.

Whether it is productive for a society to discriminate, be prejudiced or exercise bigotry is fine fodder for debate, but it is an accomplished fact that America became the great land of legend she is in a time when her citizens enjoyed that freedom. it was in the time before the judicial arm of the government reached out and imposed upon the American people a greater reqard for EQUALITY than for FREEDOM that we became who we are. Since equality has replaced liberty as our signature value we have become a land where excellence is very nearly not allowed. And there is the fine kettle of fish to which Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 address has brought us
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Randall Barfield
We have to be careful. That was a political speech composed to win votes. Happens every year. Life isn't just black or white. We learned that years ago. There are the gray areas, although I agree with the part on American loyalty. But the language(as a language teacher), of course not. Why should our children study French, German, Japanese, Spanish or any other language in elementary or high school and, thus, waste their time and the teachers' time? Thanks for bringing this piece to our attention for there is nothing above debate. Cheers
Reviewed by Mr. Ed
he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

1907 - and we still discriminate against many immigrants today, almost 100 years later. Shameful, I'd say.
Reviewed by CJ Heck
Boy is this a timely article, Susan! I think you should send it to all the news stations ...
Reviewed by Peter Paton

I second that emotion

Reviewed by Felix Perry
Right on Susan, I couldn't agree more and it is so much common sense, I wish our leaders here in canada would also read.

Reviewed by Dove JoAnne Cromp (Reader)
Nice article filled with humanitarism...Thank you for this powerful piece~

Reviewed by George Carroll
I read this before and Teddy knew what he was talking about. Too bad we don't have politicians like that today. We are travelling down a blind road that will lead to chaos. I sent this to a couple of my Senators who needed reminding.
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