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Letter to Chicago Sun Times

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  • John A. Gable
    ... From: John A. Gable To: Linda Milano Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 5:39 PM The following Letter was sent to the Editor of the Chicago Sun Times on
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 30 2:52 PM
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, December 30, 2002 5:39 PM

      The following Letter was sent to the Editor of the Chicago Sun Times on December 30, 2002 in response to the column by Thomas Roeser:
       
      Readers of Thomas Roeser's article "Do You Know the Real Teddy?,"  about Theodore Roosevelt, should know that there are only three possible explanations, at least that I can think of,   for this vicious attack on a great American hero. Either Mr. Roeser has been misinformed or misled by his laissez-faire libertarian friends at the Cato Institute, whom he quotes in his article; Mr. Roeser has for some reason elected to advance some hidden agenda by misrepresenting
      Theodore Roosevelt's record; or Mr. Roeser is simply ignorant of the facts.

            Mr. Roeser states that Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in 1898 "overcame a ragtag army of ill-equipped Cubans."   In the first place, we are talking about the SPANISH-American War, not a war between Cubans and Americans. The army was, of course, Spanish and it was well-armed with the latest German rifles and well-positioned on top of Kettle Hill and the San Juan Heights near Santiago. The Rough Riders charged both positions, in partnership  with some African American units. We won the battle and the war. We freed Cubans rather than fought them! TR was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2001 for his heroism on that day, and I think it is infamous to try and trash the truth with lies.
             Mr. Roesner and the Cato Institute think TR was "no friend of the Constitution," and yet not a single incident is cited of Theodore Roosevelt violating the Constitution or the law. In short, charges are hurled but no evidence is offered.

             TR is also accused of being a racist enemy of African Americans and Asians. The evidence offered consists of quotations and incidents taken out of context and distorted. Theodore Roosevelt, whose work as a naturalist and scientist is respected even today, was a neo-Lamarkian who believed in the unilinear descent of races and the equipotentiality of races. This is a view at odds with racism.
              As for Asians, TR often said that the culture and progress of Japan disproved that non-whites were inferior to whites.
               In his own day, TR was widely and bitterly attacked for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner with the Roosevelt family in the White House, a presidential first. Strange that Mr. Roeser leaves this out of his discussion of Roosevelt's racism.  He also does not mention that TR was a trustee of Tuskegee Institute, a trustee of Howard University, and a member of the NAACP's Spingarn medal committee. TR's last public appearance was with Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois at a meeting for the "Circle for Negro War Relief," during World War I. This was at the end of TR's life, and if he was seen then, after a long career, as the enemy of black Americans, why did Dr. Du Bois invite him to be the main speaker?  TR's record on race was by no means perfect, and certainly does not measure up to today's high standards.  But in his times TR was a racial moderate and was seen and admired as such by many African Americans.
          Mr. Roeser owes his readers an apology for trashing a great American. I wonder what agenda it is that he has that could be best advanced by destroying an American hero.
                     John Allen Gable, Ph.D.
      Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association     
    • John A. Gable
      Re: Thomas Roeser, Roosevelt a popular icon, but do you know the real Teddy? CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, December 21, 2002 see
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 31 7:52 AM
        Re:  Thomas Roeser, "Roosevelt a popular icon, but do you know the real Teddy?"  CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, December 21, 2002
        see

        The following Letter was sent to the Editor of the Chicago Sun Times on December 30, 2002 in response to the column by Thomas Roeser:
         
        Readers of Thomas Roeser's article "Do You Know the Real Teddy?,"  about Theodore Roosevelt, should know that there are only three possible explanations, at least that I can think of,   for this vicious attack on a great American hero. Either Mr. Roeser has been misinformed or misled by his laissez-faire libertarian friends at the Cato Institute, whom he quotes in his article; Mr. Roeser has for some reason elected to advance some hidden agenda by misrepresenting Theodore Roosevelt's record; or Mr. Roeser is simply ignorant of the facts.

              Mr. Roeser states that Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in 1898 "overcame a ragtag army of ill-equipped Cubans."   In the first place, we are talking about the SPANISH-American War, not a war between Cubans and Americans. The army was, of course, Spanish and it was well-armed with the latest German rifles and well-positioned on top of Kettle Hill and the San Juan Heights near Santiago. The Rough Riders charged both positions, in partnership  with some African American units. We won the battle and the war. We freed Cubans rather than fought them! TR was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2001 for his heroism on that day, and I think it is infamous to try and trash the truth with lies.

               Mr. Roesner and the Cato Institute think TR was "no friend of the Constitution," and yet not a single incident is cited of Theodore Roosevelt violating the Constitution or the law. In short, charges are hurled but no evidence is offered.

               TR is also accused of being a racist enemy of African Americans and Asians. The evidence offered consists of quotations and incidents taken out of context and distorted. Theodore Roosevelt, whose work as a naturalist and scientist is respected even today, was a neo-Lamarkian who believed in the unilinear descent of races and the equipotentiality of races. This is a view at odds with racism.

                As for Asians, TR often said that the culture and progress of Japan disproved that non-whites were inferior to whites.
                 In his own day, TR was widely and bitterly attacked for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner with the Roosevelt family in the White House, a presidential first. Strange that Mr. Roeser leaves this out of his discussion of Roosevelt's racism.  He also does not mention that TR was a trustee of Tuskegee Institute, a trustee of Howard University, and a member of the NAACP's Spingarn medal committee. TR's last public appearance was with Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois at a meeting for the "Circle for Negro War Relief," during World War I. This was at the end of TR's life, and if he was seen then, after a long career, as the enemy of black Americans, why did Dr. Du Bois invite him to be the main speaker?  TR's record on race was by no means perfect, and certainly does not measure up to today's high standards.  But in his times TR was a racial moderate and was seen and admired as such by many African Americans.

            Mr. Roeser owes his readers an apology for trashing a great American. I wonder what agenda it is that he has that could be best advanced by destroying an American hero.
        Best wishes from Oyster Bay,
         
        John A. Gable, Ph.D.
        Executive Director                      (516) 921-6319
        Theodore Roosevelt Assn.       Fax:  (516) 921-6481
        P.O. Box 719                              E-Mail:  TRA_Gable@...
        Oyster Bay, NY 11771-0719     web:  www.theodoreroosevelt.org
         
         
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