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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 65

do so and so as occasions arise demanding action. Now here is a case in point. When President Roosevelt speaks nowadays about the necessity of dropping all race and creed distinctions, if we want to be good Americans, some one on the outskirts of the crowd winks his left eye and says “politics.” When he promoted a Jew in the Police Department or in his regiment, it was politics, politics. Well, this incident I am going to tell you about he had himself forgotten. When I asked him about it, he recalled it slowly and with difficulty, for it happened in the days before he had entered the Legislature. I had it from a friend of his, the head of one of our great institutions of learning, who was present at the time.
  It was at the Federal Club, a young Republican club started to back up the older organization and since merged with it. A young Jew had been proposed for membership. He was of good family, personally unobjectionable, had no enemies in the club. Yet it was proposed deliberately to blackball him. There was no pretense about it; it was a perfectly bald issue of Gentile against Jew in a club where it was easy to keep him out, at least so