We have come to know Albert Einstein, one of the most widely discussed and quoted scientists, to be a man of clear visions and even clearer views. It is no surprise that, when Einstein addressed what was referred to as “The Negro Question,” he did not mince words.
Back in 1946, when the question of “blacks,” or African Americans, was discussed with a strong bias, Albert Einstein took to composing a letter to try and put forth an unbiased opinion that was equally driven by humanity and compassion as it was by logic and science, reported Addicting Info.
Despite being fairly nascent to the “land of dreams” and already being quite upset at what he witnessed and experienced as a third-party observer, he began his speech with the words, “I am writing seriously and warningly about things which concern [Americans] alone, and which no newcomer should touch.”
Realizing that the very issue of racial discrimination and the hatred it spewed wasn’t based on anything concrete to begin with, he noted, “But I do not think such a standpoint is justified. One who has grown up in an environment takes much for granted. On the other hand, one who has come to this country as a mature person may have a keen eye for everything peculiar and characteristic.”
Not trying to mask his sentiments and observations to serve a rather bitter pill about the prejudice erstwhile Americans harbored, Einstein noted that the American sense of equality and human dignity was mainly limited to men of white skins.
“Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious. But they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the ‘Whites’ toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.”
For those who claimed they had “unfavorable experiences” while living alongside with “Negroes,” which made them confident that “these people are not our equals in intelligence, sense of responsibility, reliability,” he wrote the following.
“I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal misconception. Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.”
Albert Einstein cautioned that such baseless notions will prove detrimental to America’s fate, and appealed to the people to act sanely to eradicate this strong bias against “Negroes.” Fortunately for the country, its leaders did “straighten things out” for the greater good of mankind.
[Inage Credit | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]