« TrướcTiếp tục »
turn, become so greedy that they keep out the majority of working people, by high dues and initiation fees, they no longer represent the interests of the laboring class. They stand in the way of this class's advancement-and they must go. They must leave the way clear for the 20th century type of unionism which says: "To leave a single worker out is to leave something for the boss to use against us. Therefore we must organize in One Big Union of all the working-class." This is the type of unionism which organized, in 1911, 18,000 white and 14,000 black timber workers in Louisiana. This is the I. W. W. type of unionism, and the employers use their newspapers to make the public believe that it stands for anarchy, violence, law-breaking and atheism, because they know that if it succeeds it will break them.
This type of unionism wants Negroes—not because its promoters love Negroes--but because they realize that they cannot win if any of the working class is left out; and after winning they cannot go back on them because they could be used as scabs to break the unions.
The A. F. of L., which claims a part of the responsibility for the East St. Louis outrage, is playing with fire. The American Negro may join hands with the American capitalist and scab them out of existence. And the editor of The Voice calls upon Negroes to do this. We have stood the American Federation of Labor just about long enough. Join hands with the capitalists and scab them out of existence-not in the name of scabbery, but in the name of a real organization of labor. Form your own unions (the A. C. E. is ålready in ihe field) and make a truce with your capitalist eneiny until you get rid of this traitor to the cause of labor. Offer your labor to capitalism if it will agree to protect you in your right to laborand see that it does. Then get rid of the A. F. of L.
The writer has been a member of a party which stood for the rights of labor and the principle of Industrial Unionism (the 20th century kind). He understands the labor conditions of the country and desires to see the working man win out. But his first duty, here as everywhere, is to the Negro race. And he refuses to put ahead of his race's rights a collection of diddering jackasses which can publicly palliate such atrocities as that of East St. Louis and publicly assume, as Gompers did, responsibility for it. Therefore, he issues the advice to the workers of his race to “can the A. F. of L.” Since the A. F. of L. chooses to put Race before Class, let us return the compliment.
Lynching: Its Cause and Cure
Last week we had occasion to comment on the resignation of Mr. John R. Shillady from the secretaryship of the N. A. A. C. P. Mr. Shillady's statement accompanying his resignation contains these significant words :
"I am less confident than heretofore of the speedy success of the association's full program and of the probability of overcoming within a reasonable period the forces opposed to Negro equality by the means and methods which are within the association's power to employ."
That the N. A. A. C. P. is not likely to affect the lynchings in this land can be seen with half an eye by any one who will note that Governor J. A. Burnquist of Minnesofa is also president of the Șt. Paul branch of the association and one of the staunch supporters of its work”; that the Minnesotę lynching of last week was one of the most cynically brutal that has occurred North or South in the last ten years, and that the association has offered 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 present 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. 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