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to showing their wounds and asking for the ballot as a recompense.
In this crisis what have the Negro "leaders" got to say on their people's behalf? Where is Emmett Scott? Where are Mr. Moton and Dr. Du Bois? What will the N. A. A. C. P. do besides writing frantic letters? We fear that they can never rise above the level of appeals. But suppose the common Negro in Tennessee decides to take a hand in the game? Suppose he lets it be known that for the life of every Negro soldier or civilian, two "crackers" will die? Suppose he lets them know that it will be as costly to kill Negroes as it would be to kill real people? Then indeed the Ku-Klux would be met upon its own ground. And why not?
All our laws, even in Tennessee, declare that lynching and white-capping are crimes against the person. All our laws declare that people singly or in groups have the right to kill in defense of their lives. And if the Ku-Klux prevents the officers of the law from enforcing that law, then it is up to Negroes to help the officers by enforcing the law on their own account. Why shouldn't they do it? Lead and steel, fire and poison are just as potent against "crackers" as they were against Germans, and democracy is as well worth fighting for in Tennessee as ever it was on the plains of France. Not until the Negroes of the south recognize this truth will anybody else recognize it for them.
"Hereditary bondmen, know ye not
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow ?"
THE NEW POLITICS,
The New Politics for the New Negro
The world of the future will look upon the world of today as an essentially new turning point in the path of human progress. All over the world the spirit of democratic striving is making itself felt. The new issues have brought forth new ideas of freedom, politics, industry and society at large. The new Negro living in this new world is just as responsive to these new impulses as other people are.
In the "good old days" it was quite easy to tell the Negro to follow in the footsteps of those who had gone before. The mere mention of the name Lincoln or the Republican party was sufficient to secure his allegiance to that party which had seen him stripped of all political power and of civil rights without protest--effective or otherwise.
Things are different now. The new Negro is demanding elective representation in Baltimore, Chicago and other places. He is demanding it in New York. The pith of the present occasion is, that he is no longer begging or asking. He is demanding as a right that which he is in position to enforce.
In the presence of this new demand the old political leaders are bewildered, and afraid; for the old idea of Negro leadership by virtue of the white man's selection has collapsed. The new Negro leader must be chosen by
his fellows--by those whose strivings he is supposed to represent.
Any man today who aspires to lead the Negro race must set squarely before his face the idea of "Race First" Just as the white men of these and other lands are white men before they are Christians, Anglo-Saxons or Republicans; so the Negroes of this and other lands are intent upon being Negroes before they are Christians, Englishmen, or Republicans.
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Charity begins at home, and our first duty is to ourselves. It is not what we wish but what we must, that we are concerned with. The world, as it ought to be, is still for us, as for others, the world that does not exist. The world as it is, is the real world, and it is to that real world that we address ourselves. Striving to be men, and finding no effective aid in government or in politics, the Negro of the Western world must follow the path of the Swadesha movement of India and the Sinn Fein movement of Ireland. The meaning of both these terms is "ourselves first." This is the mental background of the new politics of the New Negro, and we commend it to the consideration of all the political parties. For it is upon this background that we will predicate such policies as shall seem to us necessary and desirable.
In the British Parliament the Irish Home Rule party clubbed its full strength and devoted itself so exclusively to the cause of Free Ireland that it virtually dictated for a time the policies of Liberals and Conservatives alike.
The new Negro race in America will not achieve political self-respect until it is in a posiiton to organize itself as a politically independent party and follow the example. of the Irish Home Rulers. This is what will happen in American politics.-September, 1917.
The Drift in Politics
The Negroes of America-those of them who thinkare suspicious of everything that comes from the white people of America. They have seen that every movement for the extension of democracy here has broken down as soon as it reached the color line. Political democracy declared that "all men are created equal," meant only all white men; the Christian church found that the brotherhood of man did not include God's bastard children; the public school system proclaimed that the school house. was the backbone of democracy-"for white people only," and the civil service says that Negroes must keep their place at the bottom. So that they can hardly be blamed for looking askance at any new gospel of freedom. Freedom to them has been like one of
"those juggling fiends
That palter with us in a double sense;
In this connection, some explanation of the former political solidarity of those Negroes who were voters may be of service. Up to six years ago the one great obstacle to the political progress of the colored people was their sheep-like allegiance to the Republican party. They were taught to believe that God had raised up a peculiar race of men called Republicans who had loved the slaves so tenderly that they had taken guns in their hands and rushed on the ranks of the southern slaveholders to free the slaves; that this race of men was still in existence, marching under the banner of the Republican party and
showing their great love for Negroes by appointing from six to sixteen near-Negroes to soft political snaps. Today that great political superstition is falling to pieces before the advance of intelligence among Negroes. They begin to realize that they were sold out by the Republican party in 1876; that in the last twenty-five years lynchings have increased, disfranchisement has spread all over the South and "Jim-crow" cars run even into the national capitol--with the continuing consent of a Republican Congress, a Republican Supreme Court and Republican President. Ever since the Brownsville affair, but more clearly since Taft declared and put in force the policy of pushing out the few near-Negro officeholders, the rank and file have come to see that the Republican party is a great big sham. Many went over to the Democratic party because, as the Amsterdam News puts it. “They had nowhere else to go." Twenty years ago the colored men who joined that party were ostracized as scalawags and crooks. But today, the defection to the Democrats of such men as Bishop Walters, Wood, Morton, Carr and Langston-whose uncle was a colored Republican Congressman from Virginia-has made the colored democracy respectable and given quite a tone to political heterdoxy.
All this loosens the bonds of their allegiance and breaks the bigotry of the last forty years. But of this change in their political view-point the white world knows nothing. The two leading Negro newspapers are subsidized by the same political pirates who own the title-deeds to the handful of hirelings holding office in the name of the Negro race. One of these papers is an organ of Mr. Washington, the other pretends to be independent--that is, it must be bought on the installment plan, and both of them are in New York. Despite this "conspiracy of silence" the Negroes are waking up, are beginning to