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Tolerance Prerequisite of Democracy. Columbia Parley Told

August 16, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Racial and religious tolerance as one of the prerequisites for the preservation of democracy was stressed today by speakers addressing the opening sessions of the Congress on Education for Democracy attended by more than 2,500 delegates and registrants at Columbia University.

Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia the opening address in the McMillin Theater, declared education and democracy could not rest upon “brute force” and each “must have a moral foundation and an intellectual interpretation.” He defined democracy as “government by the people, in the interest of all the people, with guarantee of civil and religious liberty of every person.”

Addressing the opening meeting, Dr. Charles A. Beard, the historian, declared that only “with the protection of civil rights can American education defy powers that seem omnipotent and span the full measure of its responsibility.” Warnings on racial hatred were given by Dean William F. Russel of Teachers College, who declared that one of the three “attacks” on democracy was directed “to the racial and national minorities because they are dissatisfied,” and by Representative at Large T.V. Smith of Illinois, who said that the doctrine that all people were educable, an essential part of democracy, could be trusted “to frustrate anti-Semitic bullies.” The price of liberty is not merely eternal vigilance but also perpetual restraint, Lord Josiah Stamp, British economist, told the congress in an address broadcast from London over an NBC network.

Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron of Baltimore speaking this afternoon at a general meeting on “Democracy an Its Challenge” declared that appeals to racial and religious prejudice were aggravating class divisions in this country “Anti Semitism, up to these last few years a relatively latent force in our country, is being artificially stirred by those who resist by any means the liberalization of our social and economic order,” Rabbi Lazaron declared. “Call a liberal measure Jewish, point to the renegade Jews prominent in the Communist movement and the resulting non sequiturs are sufficient be damn without further examination by the huge numbers of our people who do not stop to analyze or evaluate.”

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