Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

To Honorable Tom Connally, United States Senator, From [PERALES], Director General, The League of Loyal Americans, Feb. 28, 1941.

Item

pera0038.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

To Honorable Tom Connally, United States Senator, From [PERALES], Director General, The League of Loyal Americans, Feb. 28, 1941.

Subject

CONNALLY, Tom, 1877-1963
LETTERS
RACE discrimination
PERALES, Alonso S., 1898-1960
LAW
JURISDICTION
SHEPPARD, Morris, 1875-1941

Description

Letter urging Senator Tom Connolly to consider proposing a federal Anti-Race Hatred Law designed to end racial prejudices. This request comes as a response to prejudices witnessed against people of Mexican descent in Texas.

Creator

[Perales, Alonso S.]

Source

Date

1941-02-28

Rights

Content compilation of The Latino/Hispanic American Experience Leaders, Writers and Thinkers copyright 2012 by Arte Publico Historical Collections. All rights reserved.

Format

JPEG

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

pera0038

Coverage

WASHINGTON (D.C.)

Scripto

Transcription

Feb. 28, 1941

Honor[illegible: a]ble [Honorable] Tom Connaly,
United States Senator,
The Capitol,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Senator Connally:

Many thanks for yor letter of February 10th, which we have read very carefully. You have no idea how much we appreciate your courtesy in answering our letter.

Now, in your letter under acknowledgement you state that the particular matters about which we complain, with respect to barber shops, restaurants, theatres, dance halls and other public places are matters wholly within the jurisdiction of State authorities and cannot be regulated or controlled by Federal Law. With all due respect to your opinion, we believe Congress could pass an Anti-Race Hatred Law similar to the one now in force in the State of New Jersey, pursuant to that part of the preamble of the Constitution which says: x x x "provid[missing: e] for the common defense, promote the general welfare". When by Federal Law we shall have put an end to the fomenting of racial prejudice against members of the Caucasian Race in the United States, we shall have contributed greatly toward the unity and solidarity which we need for our common defense, thus insuring the safety of our Republic and of the Western Hemisphere; and, moreover, we shall have taken a decided step forward in promoting the general welfare of our people. Our Federal Government does not tolerate strikes during a national emergency. Why tolerate the fomenting of racial prejudices, by word or deed, during our present national emergency? Please give this matter a little more thought and discuss same with Senator Morris Sheppard. We prefer a Federal Law because then we know we will get results. In Texas, because of the racial prejudice which unfortunately exists, I doubt very much, judging from past experience, whether a jury would convict anyone charged with fomenting prejudice against persons of Mexican descent. The State would get the same results that it obtained recently, in Bexar County, in the Mauricio Aguirre case. Aguirre was murdered by a man named Wiley Pearson The State made a perfect case. Yet the jury acquitted Pearson. It was an Anglo-American jury. So mjuch for this phase of the matter.

You say nothing in your letter regarding my other suggestion; namely that our Federal Government make available immediately a corps of cultured Anglo-Americans to initiate and conduct a vigorous educational campaign among Anglo-Americans designed to end all racial prejudices in so far as members of the Caucasian Race are concerned.

Citation

[Perales, Alonso S.], “To Honorable Tom Connally, United States Senator, From [PERALES], Director General, The League of Loyal Americans, Feb. 28, 1941.,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed February 28, 2024, http://usldhrecovery.uh.edu/items/show/380.