11: What Lee Disliked about the US
I Am a Patsy! by George de Mohrenschildt
Lee was frequently critical of the United States and this was understandable considering his poor and sad childhood in New Orleans, Texas and New York. But also there was some logic in his arguments.
“America is a racist society from its very origin. The arrival of the pilgrims and elimination of the Indians. United States is [a] dishonest country because it’s based on the spoliation of its rightful owners. This country is based on hate and intolerance. And finally,” concluded Lee, “I think American Anglos hate this country because they ruined it to such an extent. Just look around — ugliness and pollution.”
“You exaggerate, Lee,” I argued, “There are lovely places in each town.”
“The plastic ghettos of the rich, you call them lovely,” he answered angrily.
“In this country of great economic wealth, the jobs are hard to find even in times of prosperity. In depression, it’s awful.”
“One thing you are right about,” I said, “there are few happy people here. I remember an old joke: ‘in America the poor get poorer, and the rich get … Porfirio Rubirosa.’”
He did not laugh, Lee probably did not know who Porfirio Rubirosa was.
“What kind of a country this is, if an Alabama ignorant redneck calls a Black professor from Dillard University — ‘a nigger!’” And Lee continued angrily: “You like jokes, so listen to this one: two white policemen sit in their office somewhere in Mississippi. A voice from outside calls: ‘a sheriff, come over, a man is drowning.’ A fat–bellied sheriff rises, goes out and comes back shortly. ‘Goddamit’, he says, ‘another nigger tries to drown himself, the bastard wrapped himself in chains, cannot swim.’”
Yes, Lee could be justifiably angry. But he hated FBI most of all.
“Those sob’s annoy me and Marina constantly. They keep on inquiring about me and her. They intimate that I am a suspicious character and that she is a communist. And so I cannot hold a decent job …”
“I agree with you, Lee, why don’t you write FBI a letter and complain?”
“I did that and promised to blow their god–damn office,” he said angrily.
As we know now, the existence of this letter was carefully concealed by FBI from the Warren Commission.
A banker friend of mine, to whom I introduced Lee, knew the situation and shied away from him. He did not want investigators in his warroom [sic].
Lee could have moved away from Dallas, and he did already move from Fort Worth here, but those lousy investigators followed him everywhere. That’s why the Oswalds moved to New Orleans, but this happened after our departure to Haiti. I could have advised him to stay on his job.
The banker, I mentioned above, gave Lee an interview, on my insistence, liked him, found him an independent, clear–thinking man, yet he did not hire him. “I am afraid getting involved with this guy,” he told me later. “He is a hot–head, FBI will keep pestering him. And his undesirable discharge … I am sorry.”
This same friend of mine testified at Warren Commission that had I stayed in Dallas, there would have been no assassination (if Lee was involved) as I would have known what he was up to. And I am thankful for this one intelligent remark, although at the same time the same banker said some disagreeable things about me. But I am a Christian, so I forgive him.
Some other good friends understood what we were trying to do for the Oswalds — trying to improve their position materially, socially and emotionally. And had we been successful, Lee’s animosity might have disappeared or would become constructive criticism. And, God, we need it!
Marina testified at the Warren Commission hearings that Lee had been a different person in the Soviet Union, a friendly and compatible man, but in the States he resentful and a recluse. He disliked the life of Russian refugees, comparing their bourgeois ways, soft and comfortable, with the tough and ascetic life of their compatriots in Russia. He considered them fools, who did not understand the problem of the United States and even as traitors ot their own mother–country. Why Lee did not resent our soft ways of life, I shall never know …
Lee disliked people who were lavish with Marina, spoiled her; and she foolishly bragged: “look at this, look at that. They gave it to me. They can afford it.” Naturally it infuriated him.
And so, testified Marina, Lee became somewhat of a recluse, and all that giving backfired, making Oswald’s life miserable and empty. It could be that this was intentional; some elderly lonely people are jealous of an unusual couple, seemingly in love, so they get mixed up in their affairs.
Lee disliked and even despised bureaucracy in every form here or in the Soviet Union. “Here they are nasty”, he said to me once, “in the Soviet union they are naive and stupid.” This outburst came out after I asked him: “how the hell did you get out so easily out of Russia?”
“I outsmarted those Russian bureaucrats. Man! They are just an amorphous bunch of people. They make a mistake and go to a concentration camp like a bunch of sheep.”
Comparing Soviet Union and this country, Lee told me one day: “both sides have made a lot of mistakes, enormous mistakes, but which side is right and which side is wrong, I shall be damned, I don’t know.”
And he added seriously. “I hope at least China will be right and will do well.”