Shirts of Many Colors

The McCormack-Dickstein Committee on un-American activities (Report No. 153, 74th Congress, 1st Session*) furnishes documentary evidence that bigotry, hatred and intolerance are parading in America in shirts of many shades—Brown, Khaki, Black, White, Silver, and Blue. The whole spectrum is represented in the "Shirt" organizations, which strike at the foundations of Americanism.

The evidence indicates that a new type of demagogic "ism" is rapidly developing in America, independent of foreign Fascism, Naziism, or Communism, although these three are distributing tons of literature in their propaganda campaigns. Traditional American liberties are now threatened on two fronts. The committee took 4,320 pages of testimony. At the first public hearing, Congressman McCormack said:

"A period of profound and protracted depression has followed in the wake of the World War. It has been world-wide. More than 17 years have elapsed since the ending of that war, but its blighting effect upon the economic life and upon the morale of practically all the peoples of the world still exists. During such a period of unrest, discontent with the existing order, and a wide-spread agitation for changes in the form, character, and substance of governments have spread over the world, overturning established governments and resulting in many new and radical experiments in government.

"In Europe, almost without exception, governmental systems that sought to guarantee the rights and liberties of the citizens were overthrown and either Communism or Fascism installed. In either instance, whether the movement was to the right or to the left, despotism supplanted freedom under parliamentary government and the rights and liberties of the people perished. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assemblage were denied to the people under either system. In these circumstances, with so large a percentage of its population of foreign, usually European, origin, the House of Representatives has keenly sensed and fully realized the danger of vicious propaganda of foreign origin aimed at the subversion of those fundamental principles upon which our Constitution rests and seeks to investigate the extent and origin of such propaganda, with the ultimate object of protecting this country and its people from its dissemination.

"Any organized propaganda that seeks to teach the American people that other systems of government that are either Communistic or Fascist in character are preferable to our own is dangerous to a degree.

"Any organized effort to advocate or promote the establishment of a new system of government which shall deny to the people of this country those rights and liberties that were bought by the blood of their fathers and are guaranteed in our Constitution is disloyalty.

"The attempt to substitute for our present Government any system of government that ignores the right of the citizen to free press, free

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*The total amount allocated by the House of Representatives for this investigation was $30.000. The appropriation for the previous investigation was $25,000.
"The patriotism of the soldier of yesterday is equally deep-rooted today. The service man stands, in the event of an emergency, as the last line of defense in the protection of this nation," Commander Volney P. Mooney, legal counsel for the congressional committee investigating un-American activities, tells the Commander-in-Chief.

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