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and is offering to give the Governor all the assistance possible.
In most of the other cases of lynchings it is assumed that all the officials were in collusion with the forces of violence, or were at any rate in acquiescence. In the pre-ent case, however, the Governor of the State is himself a high officer of the association. Yet we venture to prophesy that no more will be done in the case of the Minnesota lynchings than in the case of lynchings further south.
This leads us to a front face consideration of the problem of lynching. Why do white men lynch black men in America? We are not dealing here with the original historical cause; nor even with its present social application. We are considering merely the efficient cause. White men lynch black men or any other men because, those men's lives are unprotected either by the authorities of the commonwealth or by the victims themselves. White men lynch Negroes in America because Negroes' lives are cheap. So long as they so remain, so long will lynching remain an evil to be talked about, written about. petitioned against and slobbered over. But not all the slobber, the talk or the petitions are worth the time it takes to indulge in them, so far as the saving of a single Negro life is concerned.
What, then, is the cure? The cure follows from the nature of the cause. Let Negroes determine that their lives shall no longer be cheap; but that they will exact for them as high a price as any other element in the community under similar circumstances would exact. Let them see to it that their lives are protected and defended, if not by the State, then certainly by themselves. Then we will see the cracker stopping to take counsel with him.
self and to think twice before he joins a mob in whose gruesome holiday sport he himself is likely to furnish one of the casualties.
"Let Negroes: help to make murder costly, for by so doing they will aid the officers of the city, State and nation in instilling respect for law and order into the minds of the worst and lowest elements of our American cities." The law of every State says explicitly that killing in defense of one's own life is strictly proper, legal and justifiable. Therefore, if Negroes determine to defend themselves from the horrible outrage of lynching they should have the support of every official and every citizen who really believes in law and order and is determined to make the law of the land stand as a living reality among the people that made it.-July, 1920.
THE NEGRO AND THE WAR.
[While the war lasted those of us who saw unpalatable truths were compelled to do one of two things: either tell the truth as we saw it and go to jail, or camouflage the truth that we had to tell. The present writer told the truth for the most part, in so far as it related to our race relations; but, in a few cases camouflage was safer and more effective. That camouflage, however, was never of that truckling quality which was accepted by the average American editor to such a nauseating degree. I was well aware that Woodrow Wilson's protestations of democracy were lying protestations, consciously and deliberately designed to deceive. What, then, was my duty in the face of that fact? I chose to pretend that Woodrow Wilson meant what he said, because by so doing I could safely hold up to contempt and ridicule the undemocratic practices of his administration and the actions of his white countrymen in regard to the Negro. How this was done is shown in the first two editorials of the following chapter.]
Is Democracy Unpatriotic?
The present administration is all right. But it has its obstacles to success. As usual some of the worst of these are its injudicious “friends." For instance, there are the people who are trying their best to "queer" us in the eyes of civilized Europe. These silly souls, when Negroes ask that the principle of "Justice in War Time" be applied to Negroes as well as whites, reply, in effect that this should not be; that Negroes should not want Justice-in war time—and that any such demand on their part is "disloyalty." On the contrary, it is the fullest
loyalty to the letter and spirit of the President's war-aims. To say that it isn't is to presume to accuse the President of having war-aims other than those which he has set forth in the face of Europe.
Besides, no one can deny that freedom from lynching and disfranchisement and the ending of discrimination by the Red Cross for instance--will strengthen the hand of the administration right now by strengthening its hold on the hearts of the Negro masses and will make all Negroes soldiers as well as civilians more competent to give effective aid in winning the war.
Let tis assume that we consent to being lynched "during the war" and submit tamely and with commendable weakness to being Jim-crowed and disfranchised. Very well. Will not that be the proof of our spirit and of its quality? Of course. And what you call that spirit won't alter its quality, will it? Now, ask all the peoples of all the world what they call a people who smilingly consent to their own degradation and destruction. They call such a people cowards-because they are cowards. In America we call such people "niggers,"
Is anyone unpatriotic enough to pretend that "cowards" can lick "Huns"? No, this great world-task can be accomplished only by men English men, French men, Italian men, American men. Our country needs men now more than it ever did before. And those who multiply its reserve of men are adding to its strength. That is why the true patriots who really love America and want it to win the war are asking America to change its Negroes from "niggers" into men. Surely this is a patriotic request; and any one who says that it isn't must be prepared to maintain that lynching, Jim-crow and disfranchisement are consistent with patriotism and ought to be preserved. Reading the President's proclamations in
a reverent spirit, we deny both of these monstrous conclusions; and we believe that we have on our side the President of America, the world's foremost champion of democracy who defined it as "the right of all those who submit to authority to have a VOICE in their own goyernment " --- whether it be in Germany or in Georgia. And we believe that the splendid spirit of our common country, which has buckled on its sword in support of "democracy" will support us in this reasonable contention. -July, 1918.
Why Is the Red Cross?
The Red Cross, or Geneva Association, was the prodnct of a Swiss infidel. He saw how cruel to man were those who loved God most - the Christians-and, out of his large humanity and loving kindness, he evolved an organization which should bring the charity of service to lessen the lurid horrors of Christian battlefields.
A love that rose above the love of country the love of human kind: this was the proud principle of the Red Cross. Its nurses and its surgeons, stretcher-bearers and assistants were supposed to bring relief to those who were in pain, regardless of whether they were "friends" or "enemies." Discrimination was a word which did not exist for them; and it is not supposed to exist now even as against the wounded German aviator who has bombed a Red Cross hospital.
But, alack and alas! The splendid spirit of the Swiss infidel is seemingly too high for Christian race-prejudice to reach. Where he would not discriminate even against enemies, the American branch of his international society is discriminating against most loyal friends and willing helpers-when they are Negroes. Up to date the Ameri