Statement from Mary E. Dolan, Executive Director, FDR Memorial Legacy Committee

  • Jun - 08 - 2020
  • FDR Memorial Legacy Committee

Mary Dolan wearing blue shirt with blonde hairWe have all witnessed a lifetime of images over the past few weeks. Some uplifting, but way too many troublesome and for too long. For our democracy to last, we citizens – all of us – must feel safe in our homes, our streets and in practicing our right to protest peacefully. Our country was founded on protests which led us to declare our collective American belief in “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We have never fully achieved this.

America is not perfect, and our founding fathers knew that, and maybe they realized their imperfections. FDR wasn’t perfect and while I am no historian, I would like to think he knew and reflected on his imperfections. I do know that Eleanor and many others in his orbit – such as Mary McLeod Bethune and other members of his “Black Cabinet” - worked at holding him accountable to his imperfections with some notable successes and some tragic failures.

We are at a time when we are looking for unchecked imperfections to get needed overdue attention and serious checking. And we the people are doing the checking. I have no wisdom but only solidarity and my voice to stress the importance for all of us to listen to communities met with racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia or any kind of bigotry or discrimination.

We all have to play our part to ensure that the prediction of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice” becomes a lived reality for everyone. I personally want to be part of that arc and our work at the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee will contribute to that bend. Let us say in Rooseveltian language, “This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”

Listen to communities met with discrimination against persons with disabilities, racism...etc.