Special Message from Harry Truman to Congress on civil rights
The Rule of Law
Though there were undoubtedly some questionable decisions made by 33rd US President Harry Truman, the Special Message he delivered to Congress on civil rights on February 2nd, 1948, rings especially true today.
"This Nation was founded by men and women who sought these shores that they might enjoy greater freedom and greater opportunity than they had known before. The founders of the United States proclaimed to the world the American belief that all men are created equal, and that governments are instituted to secure the inalienable rights with which all men are endowed.
[...] These ideals inspired the peoples of other lands, and their practical fulfillment made the United States the hope of the oppressed everywhere. Throughout our history men and women of all colors and creeds, of all races and religions, have come to this country to escape tyranny and discrimination. Millions strong, they have helped build this democratic Nation and have constantly reinforced our devotion to the great ideals of liberty and equality. With those who preceded them, they have helped to fashion and strengthen our American faith--a faith that can be simply stated:
We believe that all men are created equal and that they have the right to equal justice under law.
We believe that all men have the right to freedom of thought and of expression and the right to worship as they please.
We believe that all men are entitled to equal opportunities for jobs, for homes, for good health and for education.
We believe that all men should have a voice in their government and that government should protect, not usurp, the rights of the people.
These are the basic civil rights which are the source and the support of our democracy.
[...] The protection of civil rights begins with the mutual respect for the rights of others which all of us should practice in our daily lives. Through organizations in every community--in all parts of the country--we must continue to develop practical, workable arrangements for achieving greater tolerance and brotherhood."