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Author Topic: Racist speech from Benjamin Franklin and Albert Schweitzer of all people?
Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I recently came across a racist website that had two large quotes on their front page, as if to prove the point that admired figures shared their views. Both seem highly dubious, my googling mostly leads me to other racist sites who are using these quotes for the same reason. Any info on veracity is much appreciated.

quote:
"I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the jews.
In whatever country jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.

For over 1,700 years, the jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.

If you do not exclude them from these United States, in their Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives our substance and jeopardized our liberty.

If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.

Jews, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will nor how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American's, and will not even thou they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitutional Convention."

- Benjamin Franklin at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787

This one is even harder to believe:

quote:
"I have given my life to alleviate the sufferings of Africa. There is something that all white men that have lived here must learn and know; that these individuals are a sub-race; they have neither the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or share in any of the functions of our civilization.

I have given my life to try and bring them the advantages which our civilization must offer, but I have become well aware that we must retain this status; white, the superior, and they the inferior, for whenever a white man seeks to live among them as their equal, they will either destroy him or devour him, and they will destroy all his work; and so for any existing relationship or for any benefit to this people let white men from anywhere in the world who would come to help Africa remember that you must continually retain the status; you the master, and they inferior, like children that you would help or teach. Never fraternize with them as equals, never accept them as your social equals; or they will devour you; they will destroy you."

- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

--- G.
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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Interestingly, the second quote only seems to appear on racist/right-wingconservative sites (and poorly coded ones at that [Roll Eyes] ).

I smell slander.

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Posts: 6912 | From: Flanders | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I just found this on Schweitzer.org but it doesn't really deny that the text is largely accurate despite some words, rather worrying...

quote:
Note on translation: Some of the most troubling and even offensive passages in Schweitzer's writings as they have appeared in English reflect problems or even frank errors in translation, rather than Schweitzer's own thoughts. Perhaps the most extreme in this regard are references by Dr. Schweitzer to Africans as "savages". In fact, although Schweitzer used several different German words to refer to his African neighbors, none of those would be translated as "savage" today, but rather as "black" or "native" or "primitive". The translation by Mrs. C.E.B. Russell of this book into English was published in 1939, and her use of the word "savage" is as mistaken and regrettable as it is offensive.
Still, that doesn't excuse the frankly horrible sentiments he seems to be expressing...

I've heard people call him racist before, but I assumed it was pretty much slander. Or at least based on some selective interpretation of the facts.

--- G.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The Franklin Prophecy from Anti-Defamation League.

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All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
StarlandVocalBand
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hey, but you know who Franklin did hate? The Germans!

quote:
...why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.
from "Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind".
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Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Nobody likes the Germans [Big Grin]

Seriously though, I don't quite understand what means about their "complexion" being different from Anglos...

Thanks for the link Jason, I'm glad to see my suspicions confirmed on that one. I'm still a little sketched out by the Schweitzer one...

--- G.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Now that we've hashed out Schweitzer's and Franklin's views on Jews, maybe we could look into Gandhi's anti-Semitic/racist quotes (they were on a political views test posted recently).

ETA: Here's the thread and here's the page with the anti-Semitic quotes. You'll have to take the test to find which ones are attributed to Gandhi.

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Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Actually it was blacks that Schweitzer hated, not jews.

Regarding Gandhi, the most popular "nasty" quotes he has about the holocaust stem from one of two things:

1. Being unaware of what was happening, one of the most damning statements about Hitler "avoiding bloodshed" was indeed widely seen as true in the early days of the war because of the rapid advance compared to all other conflicts. People were used to horrifying months of bloodshed for every square foot of land gained (i.e. WWI) and many were encouraged to see the Germans sweep through Europe in the first year of conflict with relatively little actual combat taking place.

2. Being a believer in martyrdom. He made callous comments about the jews and what they "should have done" in response to their systematic extermination (he wanted them to refuse food, jump off cliffs, etc. etc.) - which many find incredibly inapropriate given the extent of their suffering. Of course, India and Gandhi were not exactly strangers to suffering either, and he did practice what he preached with his hunger strikes and encouragement of close associates to become martyrs.

I put it down to cultural diferences, personally...

--- G.

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