Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: May 22-31

May 24, 1957

“HOUSTON—I am in Texas for two lectures on behalf of Bonds for Israel and arrived in Houston when a court hearing was being held on the speed for compliance with the Supreme Court’s order on desegregation of schools.

This led the press to ask me a number of questions which, as a guest, I felt it was unfortunate for me to have to answer, particularly since I feel that my attitude and beliefs on this question have been so well known.

I was glad, however, to be able to express my strong feelings against violence in this issue anywhere in our country. And so I regret the decision made in Texas against the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for it seems to take away the right to use legal action to enforce the desegregation decision and, in a way, makes it more difficult to prevent violence.

I hope that I am wrong and that we will see a continuation of the staunchness shown by the citizens in Montgomery, Ala., who under the leadership of the Rev. Martin Luther King have adhered to non-violence.

But human beings have a breaking point if denied an outlet for their emotions and convictions. Then violence may seem to be the only answer, and that hurts us, both at home and abroad…”