Keira Teap HIST 2010 Summer 17 was to halt the expansion of communism throughout the world and ultimately lead to its breakdown. Another way of doing this was via the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan was a “proposal for U.S. aid to reconstruct post-World War II Europe.” ( The Marshall Plan Speech ) This was not a direct attack on communism itself but, by aiding weakened countries with funds, resources and rebuilding, the Marshall Plan effectively reduced the influence and power of communism in Western Europe by taking away potential footholds. Politics were less about outright warfare and more about subtle tactics, which lends to the reason the war was called the “Cold War.” Socially, America was already still divided over racial issues and the Cold War did little to help the problem. White America still disliked people of color and, with the threat of radicals, anarchists and communists, racial tensions grew evermore. People were distrustful of anyone and everyone and special emphasis was put on the American commitment to freedom. This commitment to freedom from all people came out in racial issues such as Letters of Protest to Lansburgh’s Department Store in 1945, and in a speech given by Fannie Lou Hamer in 1964 to a Congressional Credentials Committee. In Letters of Protest, J.L. Henry writes to a Mr.Donaldson, “to protest the discrimination against Negroes at the soda fountain.” ( Letters of Protest ) He goes on to insist that, if the discrimination does not end, then the members of his church, many of whom are customers at the department store, will withdraw their accounts, essentially boycotting the business. He adds, “Our boys white and black have fought and died for the cause of Democracy. If that be so, why can’t they eat together?” ( Letters of Protest ) In 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer talks about an irreparably harmful beating she received and the treatment by her former employer for simply registering to vote, asking, “Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our
Keira Teap HIST 2010 Summer 17 lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?” (Fannie Lou Hamer) Espionage during the Cold War was a looming threat as well, and many foreigners were viewed suspiciously because of this fact. For example, in the letters of protest, a Mrs.Beatrice M. Short stereotypes Japanese and Germans in her questioning defense of black patrons, writing, “Would you want the mark on your conscience, that you have denied the right of a sandwich or a piece of pie to a disfigured service man because he happened to be black; they offer the same service to some Japanese or German who has been practicing sabotage against you and your loved ones?” ( Letters of Protest ) Racial issues were not simply confined to the U.S.