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U.S. Originated ‘shirt’ Groups, Dewey States

The London Star quotes Professor John Dewey, American educator of Columbia University, as giving the United States credit for instigating the various “shirt” movements throughout the world.

Dewey spoke at a luncheon given in his honor by the Jewish Guild. According to the Star, Dewey’s statement was as follows:

“Referring to the remark of the chairman that it was the influence of great liberal thinkers like their guest that had enabled America to mould a nation from so many different stocks, Professor Dewey said he did not think America fully deserved all that had been said about it, for the Ku Klux Klan had flourished there in the past and the whole stock-in-trade of the Ku Klux Klan was racial and religious prejudice. They were the originators of the shirt movement which had become an epidemic throughout the world.”

Dewey foresees a weakening of American liberalism, according to the article. He is quoted as saying: “Most of us are pretty decent people individually. In our families and in our personal relations we are kindly disposed to each other. But collectively there seems to be a very different spirit.

“It is easy,” he said, “to preach the gospel of liberalism, toleration and understanding, but in the state of the world at present, talking and preaching do not get us very far.

“Individually one may be convinced, but collectively the forces working in the other direction are very great.”

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