Warning - To ensure historical integrity, racial epithets are used in their entirety. Those who may be easily offended should use discretion before reading further ...
In an internet world run riot with vicious ad hominem attacks and quasi-criminally slanderous accusations, a particular photograph of a bespectacled WWI-era Missouri National Guard artillery officer is being attributed with a rather hateful rant against Americans of either African or Chinese heritage.
At first glance, it gives the impression of just another internet hoax with enough grains of truth to it to possibly pass as credible.
Framing the photo of the young Doughboy who would one day become the President of the United States, text was added that alleged that Harry Truman once penned in a letter to his wife:
I think one man is as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman.
Uncle Will says that the Lord made a white man of dust, a nigger from mud, then threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I.
It is race prejudice I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.
Upon first glance it appears to have shreds of truth on the fringes. Truman legitimately is the man in the photo, as well as he legitimately was an Army officer in the Great War.
However, upon a deeper look, it turns out that the much revered 33d president and unwavering champion of the United Nations was in all actuality, someone with very little acceptance or tolerance of those not of his same lineage.
The Truman Presidential Library and Museum has a copy of the actual letter young Harry wrote to his beloved Bess in 1911.
And for those that believe Truman may have simply been a product of his time, the Los Angeles Times noted in 2003 that he certainly didn't mellow with age.
Besides quite the life-long penchant for dropping N-Bombs, Truman also had quite the habit of referring to the Children of Isaac as "kikes" as well as considered Jews being "very, very selfish" people.
In what more than a few consider his placating Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Truman's 1947 diary revealed he cared very little "how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered."
The bottom line ...
Some defenders of Truman have through the years fallen back on the excuse that he was simply reflective of the racial views of the era.
Objective researchers realize that in early to mid 20th century America, there were more than a few citizens of all hues that considered themselves either racial separatists or that their particular race/ethnicity as superior to all others.
Regardless if they desired to live separate from others or looked upon others as socially/intellectually/genetically inferior, many of those didn't look upon others as so much human refuse to the point of hatred.
The argument could strongly be made that Truman simply didn't want to live separate from others or that he was better than others -- Truman gives evidence that he hated others.