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vacation, inel then go straiglit again. They will be (Xpected to go straight all the time; to stand lay us in war as well as in peace; not to blow hot and cold with the same mouthi, Irut "to stand four-square to all the winds that blow.".1920.
Just Crabs Once upon a time a Greedy Person went runimaging along the lagoon with a basket and a stick in quest of Crabs, which he needed for the Home Market. (Now, this was in the Beginning of Things, Best Beloved.) These were Land Crabs--- which, you know, are more Luscious than Sea Cralus, being noore l'rimitive and more full of meat. He dug into their holes with his stick, routed them out, packed them on their backs in his basket and took them home. Several trips he made with his basket and lvis stick, and all the Crabs which he caught were dumped into a huge barrel. (But this time he didn't pack them on their backs.) And all the creatures stood around and watched. For this Grecdy Persou had put no cover on the barrel. (But this was in the Beginning of Things.)
He knew Crab Nature, and was not at all worried about his Crabs. For as soon as any one Crab began to climb up on the side of the barrel to work his way toward the top the other Crabs would reach up, grab him by the legs. and down he would come, kerplunk! "If we can't get tup," they would say—"if we can't get up, you shan't get up, cither. We'll pull you down. Besides, you should wait until the barrel bursts. There are Kind Friends on the Outside who will burst the barrel if we only wait, and then, when the Great Day dawns, we will all be Emancipated and there'll be no need for Climbing. Come down.
1001 fool!" illecause this was in the beginning of Things, the Belovedl.) So the lireedy l'orson could always get as many Crabs its he needed for the Ilome Market, because they all depended on him for their food.
Ind all the creatures stood around and laughed. For this was very funny in the Beginning of Things. And all the creatures said that the Reason for this kink in Crab Nature was that when the Creator was giving out heads he didn't have enough to go around, so the poor Crabs clivin't get any.
And the Greedy Person thanked his lucky stars that crabs had been made in that Peculiar wal, since it made it innecessary to put a cover on his burrollor 10 waste din precious time a-watching of them. ( Now, all this happened long ago, Best Beloved, in the very Beginning of Things.)
The above is the first of our Just-So Storics --- with no apologies to Rudyard Kipling or any one else. We print it here bucause', just at this time the crabs are at work in Tlarlem, and there is a tremendous clashing of claws as the l'ull 'Em Down programı goes forward. It's a great game, to be sure, but it doesn't seem to get them or us anywhere. The new day that has dawneul for the Negroes of Harlem is a day of business accomplishment. People are going into business, saving their money and collectively putting it into enterprises which will mean roofs over their heads and an economic future for themselves and their little ones.
But the Subsidized Sixth are sure that this is all wrong and that we have no right to move an inch until the Socialist millennium dawns, when we will all get "out of the barrel" together. It docs not seem to have occurred to them that making an imperfect heaven now does not unfit any one for enjoying the perfect paradise which they proumise ils--il it ever comes. Truly it is stiel of llen. that "the power over a man's subsistencc is the power over his will"-and over his "scientific radicalismi," 100. But we remember having translated this long ago into the less showy English of "Show me whose bread you cat, and I'll tell you whose songs you'll sing." Surely this applies to radicals overnight as well as to ordinary, folk. And if not, why not?
But when the reck of the poison gas propaganda has cleared away and the smoke of the barrage has lifted it will be found that "White Men's Niggers" is a phrasc that need not be restricted to old-line politicians and editors. Criticismi pungent and insistent is due to every man in public life and to every movement which bids for public support. But the cowardly insinuator who from the safe shelter of nameless charges launches his poisoned arrows at other people's reputation is a contemptible character to have on any side of any movement. He is generally a liar who fears that he will be called to account for his lies if he should venture to name his foc. No mam with the truth to tell indulges in this pastime of the skulker and the skunk. Let us, hy all means, have clear, hard-hitting criticism, but none of this foul filth which lowers the thing that throws it. In the name of common sense and common decency, quit being Just Crabs.
THE NEW RACE-CONSCIOUSNESS
The Negro's Own Radicalism Twenty years ago all Negroes known to the white publicists of America could be classed as conservatives on all the great questions on which thinkers differ. In matters of industry, commerce, politics, religion, they could be trusted to take the backward view. Only on the question of the Negro's "rights" could a small handful be found bold enough to be tagged as "radicals"---and they were bowled down by both the white and colored adherents of the conservative point of view. Today Negroes differ on all those great questions on which white thinkers differ, and there are Negro radicals of every imaginary stripe--agnostics, atheists, I.' W. W.'s Socialists, Single Taxers, and even Bolshevists.
In the good old days white people derived their knowledge of what Negroes were doing from those Negroes who were nearest to them, generally their own selected exponents of Negro activity or of their white point of view. A classic illustration of this kind of knowledge was afforded by the Republican Party; but the Episcopal Church, the Urban League, or the U. S. Government would serve as well. Today the white world is vaguely, but disquietingly, aware that Negroes are awake, different and perplexingly uncertain. Yet the white world by which they are surrowded retains its traditional inethod of interpreting the mass by the Negro nearest to themelves in attiliation or contact. The Socialist party thinks that the "unrest" now apparent in the legro masses is due to the propaganda which its adherents support, and believes that it will function largely along the lines of socialist political thought. The great dailies, concerned mainly with their chosen task of being the mental bcllwethers of the mob, scream."Bolshevist propaganda" :anel flatter themselves that they have found the true cause; while the government's unreliable agents envisage it as "xlisloyalty." The truth, as usual, is to be found in the depths; but there they are all prevented from going by mental laziness and that traditional off-handedl, casy contempt with which white men in America, from scholars like Lester Ward to scavengers like Stevenson, deign 10 consider the colored population of twelve millions.
In the first place, the cause of "radicalism" among American Negroes is international. But it is necessary 10 draw clear distinctions at the outset. Thic function of the Christian church is international. So is art, war, the family, rum and the exploitation of labor. But 110110 of these is entitled to extend the mantle of its own peculiar "internationalism" to cover the present' case of the Negro discontent--although this has been attempted. The international Fact to which Negroes in America are now reacting is not the exploitation of laborers by capitalists: but the social, political and economic subjection of colorell peoples by white. It is not the Class Line, but the Color Line, which is the incorrect but accepted cxpression for .. the Dead Line of racial inferiority. This fact is a fact of Negro consciousness as well as a fact of externals. The international Color Line is the practice and theory of that doctrine which holds that the best stocks of Africa, China, ligypt and the West Indies are inferior to the worst stewks. of Belgium, England and Italy, and must hold their lives,