The Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-Twenty: A Personal Narrative of an Historic Official Experience

The Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-Twenty: A Personal Narrative of an Historic Official Experience

The Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-Twenty: A Personal Narrative of an Historic Official Experience

The Deportations Delirium of Nineteen-Twenty: A Personal Narrative of an Historic Official Experience

Excerpt

When the United States was conquering the Philippine Islands, a leading citizen of Massachusetts said "The question is whether the people of this country really believe in their own principles" and the question was never more pressing than today. We read with pride the Declaration of Independence, and we boast of our wonderful Constitution with the security which it affords to the meanest citizen. We pride ourselves on our freedom of speech, our protection against unwarrantable searches and seizures, the bulwark against oppression afforded by our right to due process of law, and we comfortably assume that in practice the provisions of the Constitution are respected. We resent the charge that we are a lawless people, and close our eyes to lynching mobs whose members go unwhipped of justice. As an abstract proposition it does not seem possible to us that the officers of the United States should under pretense of enforcing the laws trample on the Constitution, and we drift on complacently assured of our safety, in the confident belief that all is going well under the best of all possible governments.

There is however a body of law-abiding people who think that it will not do to be too solicitous about the rights of men who break laws which they approve, while they are not too careful themselves . . .

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