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consist of lynching, segregation and disfranchisement. and tlint the Negroes of America can not preserve either their lives, their manhood or their vote (which is their political life and liberties) with these things in existence, The doctor's critics feel that America can not use the Negro people to any good effect unless they have life, liberty and manhood assured and gunranteed to thieni. Therefore, instead of the war for democracy making these things less necessary, it makes them more so.
"But," it may be asked, "why should not these few words be taken merely as a slip of the pen or a venial error in logic? Why all this hubbub?" It is because the so-called leaders of the first-inentioned class have alrcady established an unsavory reputation by advocating this same surrender of life, liberty and manhood, masking their cowardice behind the pillars of war-time sacrifice? Du Bois's statement, then, is believed to mark his entrance into that class, and is accepted as a “surrender" of the principles which brought him into prominence -- and which alone kept him there,
later, when it was learned that Du Bois was licing preened for a berth in the War Department as a captainassistant (ndjutant) to Major Spingarn, the worlds tised loy him in the editorial acquired a darker and more sinister significance. The two things fitted too well together as motive and sell-interest,
licor these reasons Du Bois is regarded much in the xiilne way as a knight in the mille ages who had had his armor stripped from him, his arms reversed and his spurs hacked off. This ruins him as an influential person antig Negroe's itt this linse, alike whether he lvecomes a captain or remains 11 editor.
Bent the case lins its roots much farther lock than the editorial in July's Crisis. Some time ago when it was
learned that thic Crisis was being investigated log the government for an alleged scditious utterance il great clamor went up, although the expression of it was not openi, Negroes who dared to express their thoughts seemed to think the action tantamount to a declaration that protests against lynching, segregation and disfranchisement were outlawed by the government. But nothing was clearly understood until the conference of celitor's was called under the assumed auspices of Emmet Scott and Major Spingarn. Then it began to appear that these editors had not been called without a pirpose'. The (lesperate anbiguity of the language which they used in their report (in the War Department Bulletin), compled with the fact that not one of them, iipon his return would tell the people anything of the proceedings of the conference-all this made thc Negrocs fcel less and less confidence in them and their leadership: made them (as leaders) less effective instruments for the influential control of the race's state of mine.
Now Du Bois was one of the most prominent of those velitors "who were calleol." The responsibility, therefore, for a course of commisol which stresses the servile virtues of acquiescence and subservicnec falls squarcly on his shoulders. The offer of a captaincy and Du Bois's flirtation with that offer following on the heels of these things seemed, cven in the eyes of his associate members of the N. A. A. C. P. to afford clear proof of that which was only a suspicion before, viz: that the racial resolution of the lenders had been tampered with, and that Du Bois had been privy to something of the sort. The connection between the successive acts of the drama (May, June, July) was too clenr to admit of any interpretation other than that of deliberate, cold-blooded, purposivc planning. And the connection with Spingarn seemed to suggest that
personal friendships and public inillo were not gouvel woorking team-mates.
for the sake of the larger usefulness of Dr. Du Bois we hope he will be able to show that he can remain as editor of the Crisis; but we fear that it will require a good deal of explaining. For, our leaders, like Caesar's wife, must be above suspicion. ----July, 1918.
When the Blind Lead In the fiebruary issue of the Crisis its editor begins a brief editorial on "Lendership," with the touching reminder that "Many in good cause has been killed by suspected leadership,“ How strikingly do these words bring back to lis Negroes those dark days of 1918! At that time the clitor of the Crisis was offering certain unique : formulas of leadership that somehow didn't "lake," llis "Close Ranks" clitorial and the subscquent slump in the stock of his leadership liave again illustrated the truth long since expressed in Latin: "Descensus Iverni facilis; ser revocare gradus,--hoc opus est." which, being translated, might mean that, while it's as easy as ceas for at leader to fall off the fence, it is devilishly difficult to boost him up again. In September, 1918, one could bollly say. "The Crisis says, first your Country, then your Rights !" Today, when the Negro people every. where are responding to Mr. Michael Coulsen's sentiment that "it's Race, not Country, first," we find the "leader" of 1918 in the position described by Lowell in these words : "A moultin' fallen cherubim, cf he should see ye'd snicker, Thinkin' he warn't a suckemstance."
How fast time Aies !
But the gist of Dr. Du Bois's editorial is the moral downfall of another great leader. "Woodrow Wilson, in Following is great ileal or wordel imity, forgot all lois plerlges to the German people, forgot all his large words to Russia, did not hesitate to betray Gompers and his unions, and never at any single moment meant to include in his democracy twelve million of his fellon Americans, whom he categorically promised more than mere grudging justice,' and then allowed 350 of them to be lynched dur. ing his Presidency. Under such leadership what cause could succeed?" He notes that allt of the World War. with the Allies triumphant, have come Britain's brutal domination of the scas, lier conquest of Persia, Arabia and Egypt, and her tremendous tyranny imposed on twothirds of Africa.
But we saw these things, as carly as 1917. to be the necessary conqucnces of the Allics' success, when the cditor of the Crisis was telling his racc: "You arc not fighting simply for Europe; you are fighting for the world." Was Dr. Du Bois so blind then that he couldn't sce them? And if he was, is hc any less blind today? In 1918 thic lynchings were still going on while Dr. Du Bois was soleninly advising us to "forget our grievances." Any one who insister then on puitting such grievances as lynchings, disfranchisement and segregation in the foreground was described by the Crisis' editor as secking "to turn his country's tragic predicament to his own personal gain.” At that time he cither l»clicved or pretended to believe every one of the empty words that flowed from Woodrow Wilson's lips, and on the basis of this belief he was willing to act as a brilliant bellwether to the rest of the flock. Unfortunately, the flock refused to follow the lost leader.
"If the blind Icad the blind they will both fall into the ditch.” But in this case those being led were not quite so blind as those who wanted to lead them by way of caplaincies in the army. Whicle was why some captaincies were not forthcoming The test of vision in a leader is the ability to foresee the immediate future, the necessary consequences of a course of conduct and the dependable sentimients of those whom he assumes to lead. In all these things Dr. Du Bois fuas failed; and neither his iingrateful attack on Emmett Scott nor luis belated discovery of Wilsonian hypocrisy will, we fear, enable him to climb back into the saddle of race leadership. This is a pity, because he has rendered good service in his day. But that day is post. The magazine which he edits still remains as a splendid example of Negro journalism. But the personal primacy of its colitor has departed, never to return. Other times, other men; other men, other manners.
. Even the Negru people are now insisting that their leaders shall in thought and moral stamina keep ahead of, and not behind, them. "It takes it mind like Willum's lfact !) ez big as all out
doors To find out thet it looks like rain arter it fairly pours."
The people's spiritual appetite has changed and they are no longer cannoured of "brilliant" leaders, whose cliorus is :
"A marciful l'rovidence fashioned us holler
An' bring 'em up ready fer use like the pelican." And this is a change which we commend to the kindly consideration of all those good white friends who are out selecting Negro "leaders." It is a fact which, when carefully considered, will save them thousands of dollars in "overhead expense.” The Negro leaders of the future will be expected not only to begin straight, take a moral