Whose impulsive reaction to a President's speech does the letter's opening call to mind -- by way of contrast?
My dear Mr. President:No, Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier by dint of superhuman self-restraint, did not leap up on the spot to impugn the President's honor. After the fact, "respectfully," he simply made clear in no uncertain terms (dangling modifier notwithstanding) the pusillanimity, hypocrisy, disingenuity and untenability of Eisenhower's patronizing position:
I was sitting in the audience at the Summit Meeting of Negro Leaders yesterday when you said we must have patience. On hearing you say this, I felt like standing up and saying, "Oh no! Not again."
As the chief executive of our nation, I respectfully suggest that you unwittingly crush the spirit of freedom in Negroes by constantly urging forbrearance and give hope to those pro-segregation leaders like Governor Faubus who would take from us even those freedoms we now enjoy. Your own experience with Governor Faubus is proof enough that forbearance and not eventual integration is the goal that the pro-segregation leaders seek.
How generous that "unwittingly." How incontrovertible the logic. Here's to you, Mr. Robinson.