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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Harry Lloyd Hopkins (1890–1946)
QUOTATION: They are damn good projects—excellent projects. That goes for all the projects up there. You know some people make fun of people who speak a foreign language, and dumb people criticize something they do not understand, and that is what is going on up there—God damn it!
ATTRIBUTION: HARRY L. HOPKINS, head of the Works Progress Administration, in a statement defending the Federal Arts Project at a press conference, April 4, 1935.—Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 60 (1948).

Sherwood says, “The reports of this conference quoted Hopkins as saying that ‘the people are too damned dumb,’ and this phrase was given plenty of circulation in the press” (p. 61). He adds in a footnote that “it will be seen from the transcript of his remarks that this particular statement was directed not at the people but at the critical orators” (p. 938).
SUBJECTS: American people