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Help Us Overcome Discrimination

February 5, 1945 — Committee of the Whole, Debate on House Bill 14, “the Anti-Discrimination Act,” Territorial Senate, Juneau AL

 

I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery, would have to remind gentlemen with five thousand years of recorded civilization behind them of our Bill of Rights. When my husband and I came to Juneau and sought a home in a nice neighborhood where our children could play happily with our neighbors’ children, we found such a house and had arranged to lease it. When the owner learned we were Indians, they said “no.” “Would we be compelled to live in the slums?”

. . . the finest of our race [has been forced] to associate with white trash.

Do your laws against larceny and even murder prevent those crimes? No law will eliminate crimes but at least you as legislators can assert to the world that you recognize the evil of the present situation and speak your intent to help us overcome discrimination.

 

 

Source: “Superior Race Theory Hit in Hearing,” Daily Alaskan Empire, February 6, 1945, p. 8.

 

Also: Many Battles: The Autobiography of Ernest Gruening, Ernest Gruening (New York: Liveright Publishing) 1973.

 

Also: H.B. 14, Laws of Alaska. 17th Regular Session, Territorial Legislature. Feb. 16, 1945, pp. 35-36.