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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 26, 1951, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1951-01-26/ed-1/seq-5/

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Pearl Buck Sends Message to Cardozo, Warning Students on Loss of Freedom
Pearl S. Buck, Nobel anti Pulit
zer prize winner barred from mak
ing an address at the Cardozo
High School graduation Tuesday
night, has sent a message to the
students of the school warning of
the many ways freedom can be
lost.
Mrs. Buck’s appearance was
canceled by School Supt. Hobart
M. Corning because he said, her
record was “not too clear.” He
also said the school officials had
not cleared the invitation with the
central office as required by the
rules.
The reference to Mrs. Buck in
the file of the House Committee
on Un-American Activities caused
Dr. corning to make the decision.
Mrs. Buck denied the reference in
the files as repudiated charges and
said she felt it was her stand
against segregation and dual
school systems that caused the
cancelation. This Dr. Corning
denied.
The message was released by the
Women’s International League for
Peace and Freedom, with con
sent of Mrs. Buck. She is a mem
ber of the group.
In a release accompanying the
message, the league said the
speech was prepared for delivery
at the graduation after the can
celation with the idea in mind
that some one else would deliver
it. But, to avoid possible embar
rassment, this plan was not fol
lowed and the commencement
exercises were held without refer
ence to the incident or to Mrs
Buck.
Text of Message.
The text of her message follows:
"Dear Friends:
"It is a deep disappointment to
me that I am not with you to
night. I had looked forward to
the occasion as an opportunity
when we might consider afresh,
and together, the great ideals of
our country, in order that we do
our share toward preserving them
in a threatening world.
"That I am forbidden to be with
you only makes the ideals of
democracy the more valuable, the
more important. Ideals can be
so easily lost and in such strange
and unexpected ways. If any one
had told me a week ago that I
could not stand before you to
night I would not have believed
it. That it has happened to you
and to me makes me realize as
never before that as long as the
enemies of human freedom rule
anywhere in the world, their evil
influence creeps in everywhere.
“It is true indeed, and we must
never forget it, that when olier
people lose their freedom, though
they seem far from us, yet our
freedom, too, is endangered. The
first World War was called ‘a war
to end all wars’ and ‘a war for
democracy’ and yet its influence
was to destroy to a certain de
gree freedom everywhere. In one
country. Russia, then the weakest,
amid the destruction and chaos
that war always leaves, the hun
gry and desperate people gave
themselves over to revolution
which has ended in the frightful
tryanny which today threatens the
world.
“A second time this happened.
After the Second World War
again the weakest country, the
most ruined by war and oppres
sion. this time China, fell into the
hands of the tyrants.
"In strange ways and for dif
ferent reasons human freedom is
lost and as we watch the process
wherever it takes place, we who
are still free must resolve with
fresh courage to keep human free
dom alive, and first of all in our
own beloved country, in order that
from here it may spread to a be
leaguered world.
What Courage Means.
"This courage may cost us
much. The time may come, if
we are not brave enough in the
beginning, when it may cost us
everything. What does courage
mean? It means the determina
tion to practice our ideals. We
cannot keep our freedom unless
we practice it. You and I. as indi
viduals, must practice it, wherever
we are. We cannot harbor
prejudice against other persons.
"Race prejudice is not the only
prejudice in our land. Within
any one group there is prejudice.
We must not allow it in ourselves
for any reason whatsoever, for
to the degree we allow it, we
deny human freedom. We must
root out of ourselves the denial
of freedom before we can fight
for freedom in the world. Only
with a pure love for humanity,
only with true respect for the
human individual can the struggle
for human freedom be won.
"The struggle grows constantly
more severe. We must recognize
the truth. While we try to make
men free elsewhere in the world,
we must be on constant guard
that we do not lose our own free
dom here at home. What will it
benefit us, Jesus Christ once
asked, if we gain the whole world
and lose our bwn souls?
“Today many peoples look to
us for help. They want us t*
help them free themselves from
one tyrant or another, always the
same tyrant, but under different
names in different countries. We
must justify the faith of other
peoples in us by keeping alive,
in practice, the great ideals of
our democracy. For if we do not
practice what we preach, they will
lose their faith in us, too. They
will turn against us and call us
their enemies.
“Yes. we must show the other
peoples that our ideals are living.
I believe with all my heart that
they are living. Do not be dis
couraged by what has happened
to you and to me. There are mil
lions of people in our country
w’ho believe, in our American
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people will be warned by what
has happened to us. this incident
which keeps me from speaking
to you face-to-face, a small in
cident, really, affecting only one
school and one person.
Tremendous in Significance.
But the news of it had already
gone abroad. It is an incident
tremendous in its significance,
not that we are important, but
it is important that such a thing
could have happened here. That
it did happen is a fact that w'e
must use. too, in our own lives.
Let us make it work for our ideals
and not against them. Those
who lose even a little freedom
must be the ones to work with
complete courage aftd all their
strength for freedom, while there
is yet time.
“Let us thank God that ours is
a country where there is yet time.
We can still speak, if not in one
place then in another. We xan
still communicate w'ith each otner.
We need not fear secret police—
not yet. We can still trust family
and friends. We do not walk
solitary and in terror. We have
courts of law which are still just,
still ready to protect the individ
ual and his rights. We have peo
ple still brave enough to say what
they think. We can still criticize
our Government and each other—
we can still make a little fun of
each other’s failings, and thank
God for that, too. We still have
freedom to laugh.
“Already in totalitarian coun
tries a man faces death if he criti
cizes his government. Yet how
can a government remain free
from the corruption of tyranny,
that creeping paralysis which
threatens all men in power, unless
the citizens are free to speak and
to laugh?
"Yes, we are still free, you and I.
Above all else we must fight to
keep that freedom, fight to keep it
here and dedicate ourselves to
bringing it back to humanity
wherever we go.
"You will find, as you go out
into the world, that the great
difference between the Com
munist and the democratic forms
of government is that the Com
munist, like the Fascist, believes
that any means are justified by
the end. We know that this is
false. The end itself, the good
result for which we struggle, is
lost if the means we use to at
tain it are unworthy. We can
not use oppression to gain free
dom. Freedom is lost on the way
Still “Dare to Hope.”
"We must, therefore, check our
every act by the great ideals we
hope to achieve. Only by the con
stant and vigilant comparison be
tween what we do and what we
want can we keep our country
a democracy.
"What is America? What makes
our country more than any other
piece of land and water on the
globe? Nothing—except our ideal
of human freedom, freedom for
the individual. Because we have
this ideal we almost alone among
the peoples today, have hope. We
still dare to hope.
"You can easily see that ideals
are the most important things
in the world. Indeed they are.
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which nourishes the spirit with
faith and with hope. When hope
and faith are gone, when we say,
"ideals are only talk," the soul
dies and the spirit grows weak and
then the tryants take over. We
must keep our ideals alive, we
cannot let them die, for they
alone give us the strength to keep
our own freedom and spread the
strength of hope and faith to
other peoples.
“And how shall we keep our
ideals alive?
“Practice them—practice them!
There is no other way. Practice
them whether others do or not.
Practice them the more earnestly
because others do not. If one per
son fails, another must stand the
more strong. Freedom is our
birthright. Never forget that!
‘‘We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are en
dowed by their Creator with cer
tain unalienable rights, that
among these are life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. That
to secure these rights, govern
ments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed."
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Mother of Day-Old Baby
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By the Associated Press
RICHMOND. Ind., Jan. 26.—
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mother cuddled a 1-day-old baby
boy at a hospital.
Peggy Ann Gale, 7. and Marilyn
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