On Thanksgiving, What Is America to You?

This November, we Americans give thanks for our society - as we pre-occupy ourselves with consumerist, not moral principles. Jewish defense leaders' yahrtzeits are commemorated this month (Rabbi Meir Kahane, Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel) with no substantive outcry from the Jewish community about the conspiracies behind their killers and their weak prosecution.

If there’s anything the JDL can teach the Jewish community, it’s the principle that Jews must stand up for other Jews. Unfortunately, this has not been the case with Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel, whose deaths are being largely disregarded
because of their unpopular politics. Perhaps it’s time to right that wrong. - Cinnamon Stillwell http://www.theconservativevoice.com/articles/article.html?id=10562

And this week, Jewish-American Jonathan Pollard commences an unprecedented 22nd year of ethnically-prejudiced over-imprisonment - while American Jewry continues to delude themselves with what great pursuers of justice we are.

Let's consider the question posed in the anthem attributed to Frank Sinatra, "What is America to Me?" (aka, "The House I Live In") composed by Earl Robinson (music) and Lewis Allen (aka Abel Meeropol) (lyrics).

Socially-responsible Abel Meeropol personally adopted the orphaned sons of executed Jewish-Americans, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. His song has been recorded by a slew of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Mahalia Jackson, Paul Robeson, Sonny Rollins, and Josh White. Sinatra's version is the most famous, as it was used in a short film he starred in with the same in 1945. When Meeropol saw the film, he became enraged when he learned they deleted the second stanza of his song, which he felt was crucial to the meaning. He had to be removed from the theater. With it's message of racial harmony, the second stanza was deemed too controversial for the film. Listen to the recording from the link below- here are all the lyrics, including the omitted verses :

"The House I Live In"

"What is America to me? A name, a map, or a flag I see; A certain word, democracy. What is America to me?

The house I live in, A plot of earth, a street, The grocer and the butcher, Or the people that I meet; The children in the playground, The faces that I see, All races and religions, That's America to me.

The place I work in, The worker by my side, The little town or city Where my people lived and died. The howdy and the handshake, The air and feeling free, And the right to speak my mind out, That's America to me.

The things I see about me, The big things and the small, The little corner newsstand, And the house a mile tall; The wedding and the churchyard, The laughter and the tears, And the dream that's been a growing For a hundred-fifty years.

The town I live in, The street, the house, the room, The pavement of the city, And the garden all in bloom; The church, the school, the clubhouse, The million lights I see, But especially the people; That's America to me."

Lyrics omitted from Sinatra's short movie:

"The house I live in, My neighbors white and black, The people who just came here, Or from generations back;
The town hall and the soapbox, The torch of liberty, A home for all God's children; That's America to me.

The words of old Abe Lincoln, Of Jefferson and Paine, Of Washington and Jackson, And the tasks that still remain;
The little bridge at Concord, Where Freedom's fight began, Our Gettysburg and Midway, And the story of Bataan.

The house I live in, The goodness everywhere, A land of wealth and beauty, With enough for all to share;
A house that we call Freedom, A home of Liberty, And it belongs to fighting people, That's America to me!"

"The House I Live In" performed by Earl Robinson

Click to Listen to 1945 Recording

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