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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:16 PM

Albert Einstein Called Racism "A Disease of White People" in His Little-Known Fight for Civil Rights

Albert Einstein Called Racism “A Disease of White People” in His Little-Known Fight for Civil Rights

http://www.openculture.com/2013/08/albert-einstein-civil-rights-activist.html

Albert Einstein’s activities as a passionate advocate for peace were well-documented during his lifetime. His celebrity as a famous physicist and one of the world’s most recognizable faces lent a great deal of weight to his pacifism, a view otherwise not given much consideration in the popular press at almost any time in history. However, according to a 2006 book titled Einstein on Race and Racism by Fred Jerome and Roger Taylor, the scientist was also as passionate about combating racism and segregation as he was about combating war. This facet of Einstein’s life was virtually ignored by the media, as was a visit he made in 1946 to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the first degree-granting college for African-Americans and the alma mater of Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall.

Invited to Lincoln to receive an honorary degree, Einstein gave a lecture on physics but also bluntly addressed the racial animus that held the country in its grip, reportedly calling racism, “a disease of white people” and saying he “did not intend to be quiet” about his opposition to segregation and racist public policy. Lest anyone think the Nobel-prize-winning physicist was pandering to his audience, the Harvard Gazette offers a comprehensive summary of Einstein’s support of progressive anti-racist causes, including his personal support of members of Princeton’s black community (he paid one man’s college tuition), a town Princeton native Paul Robeson once called “the northernmost town in the south.”




Einstein formed relationships with several prominent black leaders—inviting opera singer Marian Anderson to stay in his home after she was refused a room at the Nassau Inn and appearing as a character witness for W.E.B. Dubois when the latter stood accused of “failing to register as a foreign agent.” But it was his 20-year friendship with Robeson that seems central to his involvement in civil rights causes. The Harvard Gazette writes:

Einstein met Paul Robeson when the famous singer and actor came to perform at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre in 1935. The two found they had much in common. Both were concerned about the rise of fascism, and both gave their support to efforts to defend the democratically elected government of Spain against the fascist forces of Francisco Franco. Einstein and Robeson also worked together on the American Crusade to End Lynching, in response to an upsurge in racial murders as black soldiers returned home in the aftermath of World War II.

At the time of the Gazette article, 2007, a movie about Einstein and Robeson’s friendship was apparently in the works, with Danny Glover as Robeson and Ben Kingsley as Einstein. The project is apparently stalled, but with the upsurge in popular interest in the history of civil rights—with the overturning of the Voting Rights Act and the widespread coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington—perhaps the project will see new life soon. I certainly hope so.


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Reply Albert Einstein Called Racism "A Disease of White People" in His Little-Known Fight for Civil Rights (Original post)
marble falls Jun 13 OP
wellst0nev0ter Jun 13 #1
JI7 Jun 14 #6
marble falls Jun 13 #2
brush Jun 13 #3
Behind the Aegis Jun 14 #4
JI7 Jun 14 #5

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:31 PM

1. Okay, I get it

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 12:30 AM

6. what do you think of charles dickens ?

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:41 PM

2. Oh I get it. Float six words out there without context. Are you quoting someone or ...

condensing a paragraph in your own words?

Here's a paragraph from your article:

"Einstein was not just known as a scientist, but as a champion of civil rights who used his platform to denounce the discrimination against African-Americans. Famously, he once referred to racism as “a disease of white people”.

Wouldn't you like to read the pages that the four or five sentences were cherry picked from?

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 08:30 PM

3. Thanks for this post. Robeson has long been one of my heroes...

glad to know that the great Einstein was "woke" and a civil rights advocate, as well as a friend of Robeson's.

I always knew one had to be stupid to be a racist, so knowing the most well known brainiac in history was on our side is gratifiying.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 12:18 AM

4. He spoke out and acted out when others did and said nothing.

He was a complex man, but it really says something when this article is overlooked, but the other is grist for the mill.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 12:27 AM

5. yup

and it was just a few comments from his travels and it was not like he advocated for anything negative towards others.

but look at his actions and overall career . he was far better than most people even TODAY .

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