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flagrant violations of your own laws as set forth in this stufement.
We beg to call your attention to the discrepancy which exists between the public profession of the government that we are lavishing our resources of men and money in this war in order to make the world safe for democracy, and the just as public performances of lynching-bees, Jim-crowism and disfranchisement in which our common country abounds.
We should like to believe in our government's professions of democracy, but find it hard to do so in the presence of the facts; and we judge that millions of other people outside of the country will find it just as hard.
Desirour, therefore, of squaring our country's profession with her performance, that she may not appear morally contemptible in the eyes of friends and focs alike, we, the Negro people of the United States, who have never been guilty of any disloyalty or treason to our government, demand that the nation shall justify to the world her assertions of democracy by setting free the millions of Negrocs in the South from political and civil slavery through the enactment of laws which will either take the Negrocs under the direct protection of the U. S. Congress by making lynching a Federal crime, or (by legislative mandate) compelling the scveral States which now deprive the Negroes of their right to self-government, to give them the suffrage as Russia has done for her Jews. We ask this in the name of the American declaration that the world shall be made safe for democracy and fervently pray that your honorable body will not go back upon democracy.
DEMOCRACY AND RACE FRICTION.
The East St. Louis Horror
This nation is now at war to inake the world "sare for lemocracy;" but the Negro's contention in the court of publie copinion is that until this nation itself is madle sare for i welve million of its subjects the Negro, nt least, will reimme to believe in the lemowe ntle assertions of the counttry. The East St. Louis pogrom gives point to this contention. Here, on the eve of the celebration of the Nation's birthday of frecciom and equality, the white people, who are clenouncing the Ciermans ils llums and barbarians, brenk loose in an orgy of improvokell and villainous barbarism which neither Germans nor any other civilized people linve ever cquallel.
Ilow can America hold up its lands in hypocritical horror at foreign barharisny while the red blood of the Nexro is clinging to those hanels? so long as the l'resident and Congress of the limited States remain dumbin the presence of barbarities in their own land which would tip tlieir tongties with righteous indignation is they had been clone in Belgium, Ireland or Cialicia?
And what are the Negroes to do? Ire they expected to re-echo with enthusiasm the patriotic protestations of the boot-licking leaders whose pockets and positions Testify to the power of the white man's gold? Let there be no mintake. Whatever the Negroen mny be compelled hy inw to do and sny, the resentment in their hearts will not down. Unbeknown to the white people of this land a temper is being developed among Negrocs with which thic American people will have to reckun.
At the present moment it takes this form: If while men arc to kill unoffending Negroes, Negroes must kill white men in defense of their lives and property. This is the lesson of the East St. Louis massacre.
The press reports declare that, “thc troops who were on duty during the most scrious disturbances were or. dered not to shoot." The civii and military authorities are evidently winking at the work of the mobs-horrible as that was--and the Negroes of the city need not look to them for protection. They must protect themselves. And even the United States Supreme Court concedes them this riglie.
There is, in addition, a method of retallation which we urgc upon them. It is one which will hit those white men who have the power to prevent lawlessness just where they will feel it most, in the place where they keep their consciences--the pocket-book. Let every Negro in East St. Louis and the other cities where race rioting occurs draw his money from the savings-hank and either bank it in the other cities or in the juontal savings hank. The only part of the nicws reports with which we are well pleased is that which wintes that the property loss in alrcady estimated at a million and a half of dollars.
Another reassuring fcature is the onc suppressed in most of the news dispatches. We refer to the evidences that the Enst St. Louis Negrocs organized themselves during the rints and fought bunck under some kind of Icadership. We Negrocs will rever know, perlinps, how many whites were killed by our enraged brothers in East St. Louis. It isn't the news-policy of the white newspapers (whether friendly or unfrienilly) to spread such nicws . horoleant. It might teachi Neynes 100 muncl. But we will hope for the best.
The occurrence should wervr to enlarge rapidly thie tepelilp of the lens Languin Note Ammileniin whitel was organized to take partial tope in hello inter people all over the land in the protection of their lives and libertin July 411, 1917,
"Arms and the Man 1.1. its cititorial in "The Last St. Louis Llorrus" The Voice said:
How can America hold tip ito handle in hypwritical horror at foreign barbarison while the real blood of the Negro Is clinging to those hands? So long as the President and Congress of the United States remain dumb in the presence of barbaritics in their wwn land which would tlp their tongues with rigliseonis indignatlon il they had been done in Belgium, Ireland or Galicia?
And what are the Negroes to do? Are they expected to rc-echo with enthusiasin the patriotie protestation of the hotelleking learfers whose pockets and positions testify to the power of the white man's gold? Let there be no mistake. Whatever the Negroes may be compeller hy law to do and say, the prgentinient in their hearts will aint down. I'mhedungan to the arhite people of this land a temper is being developed among Negroes with twhich the American people svill have to reckon.
Al the prosent moment il lukis shie form; 11 whille men ari in kill unoffending Negrocs, Negrocs minst kill schite men in defence of their lives and properly. This is the lesson of the fast Si. Louis massacre
To this, the New York Age makes reply in two ways. Its editor, in an interview given to the Tribune, declares
The representative Negro does not approve of radical socialistic outbursts, such as calling upon the Negroes to defend themselves against the whites.
And in its editorial of last week it insists that:
Nn mant, or woman elther, for that mattor, In A friend to the race, who publicly Milvince # remort in vlotener to redress the wrongs and Injustices to which members of the race are with Jeetel in Barletis nerde of the montre mill prend late,
The Newro race in affiliated wlih many individuals whose wa HIDM fonteATO mint to lend Ihmin hoito Imoliniront literaners that reflect on the wlwle race. ... The truly formules aliendel lint he allowed to allenate public sympathy from the callse at the oppressed.
Now, although The Voice seeks no quarrel with The In, WH FM froFeel los intelli ffonilt this fringing, mille: sequious view which it champions. And we do this on the ground that cringing has gone out of date, that The Mgr's view does not now represent any influential or important section of Negro opinion. The group which once held that view went to pieces when Dr. Washington clied. The white papers in their new items of Innt week gave instance after instance showing that Negroes not only counselled sclf-clcfcnsc, but actually practiced it. (Anel The Ape, ly the way, win the only Negro paper in New York City which exclucled these items from its news columns.) If the press reports are current, then the l'ofee told the simple truth when It wpoke of the new temper which was being developed "unbeknown to the white people of this Innel." And an matsirler mighit counte clude that The Voice was a littor friend to the white people by letting them know this, than The Age was by trying to lic about it,
But the controversy goes much (leeper than the question of candor and truthfulness. The Age and The Voice join instic on this comble question : Inve Nekroes it right to defend themselves against whites? Should they defend themselves? (And this, of course, means violence.) The Voice answers, “Yes !" The Age answers "No!" Who is to decide? Let us appeal to the .courts. Every law-book