The long arm of the PC police has reached back to the ’30s and arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced the late singer Kate Smith. Smith, who popularized Irving Berlin’s song “God Bless America” and was a female pioneer in early television, recorded songs that today in hindsight are viewed as racist.

An old friend, Harry Covert, writes to recall the early days of black-and-white TV when he (and I) watched Smith’s television program. Covert remembers one show interrupted by a news bulletin announcing the attempted assassination of Harry S. Truman by militant Puerto Rican activists. He notes that today’s Puerto Ricans are not smeared by that incident, so why is Smith being figuratively tarred and feathered?

In 1940, Berlin, the Russian-born composer, established the God Bless America Fund “for the benefit of the youth of America,” donating the proceeds from the song’s royalties to the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. Yankees baseball great Joe DiMaggio was a trustee on the GBA Fund.

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