Menu JTA Search

Truman Brands Bias Against Artists Because of Race or Religion a Policy of Nazism

President Truman today branded discrimination against artists because of race or religion a policy of Nazism, in a letter to Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., of New York, who had protested to the President the refueal of the Daughters of the American Revolution to rent Constitution Hall here for a concert by the Negro pianist Hazel Scott, who is the wife of Congressman Powell. The President told Mr. Powell, however, that it was impossible to intervene in the management or policy of a private enterprise.

“Artistic talent is not the exclusive property of any one race or group,” Mr. Truman said. “One of the marks of a democracy is its willingness to respect and reward talent without regard to race or religion. We have just brought to a successful conclusion a war against totalitarian countries which made racial discrimination their state policy. One of the first steps taken by the Nazis when they came to power was to forbid the public appearance of artists and musicians whose religion or origin was unsatisfactory to the ‘master race.'”

NEXT STORY