« TrướcTiếp tục »
is not out of order to inquire why the government will not let them go, and to find an answer to that question.
The government will not let them go to France, because the government's conscience is not clear. And the government ordered that ludicrous lackey, Mr. R. R. Moton, to go—for the same reason. In fact, the creation of sinecures for Mr. Scott and the other barnacles is due largely to an uneasy conscience. How would it look to have Negroes telling all Europe that the land which is to make the world "safe for democracy” is rotten with race-prejudice; Jim-crows Negro officers on ships coming over from France and on trains run under government control; condones lynching by silent acquiescence and refuses to let its Negro heroes vote as citizens in that part of the country in which nine-tenths of them live. This wouldn't do at all.
Therefore: They shall not pass! And if, finally, the government, nettled by such criticisms, should lift the ban when the Peace Congress is practically over, the Negroes of America may be sure that those permitted to go will be carefully hand-picked.
But what is the matter with America as a land for pioneer work in planting democracy? Are these Negro emigrés afraid to face the white men here in the Republican Party or any other and raise Hades until the Constitution is enforced? Is cowardice the real reason for their running to France to uncork their mouths? It looks very much like it. Ladies and gentlemen : don't run. The fight is here, and here you will be compelled to face it, or report to us the reason why.
A Cure for the Ku-Klux It was in the city of Pulaski in Giles County, Tennessee, that the original Ku-Klux Klan was organized in the latter part of 1865. The war had hardly been declared officially at an end when the cowardly "crackers" who couldn't lick the Yankees began organizing to take it out of the Negroes. They passed laws declaring that any black man who couldn't show three hundred dollars should be declared a vagrant; that every vagrant should be put to work in the chain-gang on the public works of their cities; that three Negroes should not gather together unless a white man was with them, and other such methods were used as were found necessary to maintain "white supremacy." When the national Congress met in December, 1865, it looked upon these light diversions with an unfriendly eye and, noting that nothing short of the re-enslavement of the Negroes would satisfy the "crackers," it kept them out of Congress until they would agree to do better. Finding that they were stiffnecked, Congress passed the 14th and 15th amendments and put the "cracker” states under military rule until they accepted the amendments. The result was that the Negro got the ballot as a protection from “the people who know him best."
In the meanwhile, the Ku-Klux after rampaging around under the leadership of that traitor, General Nathaniel B. Forrest, was put down-for good, as it was thought. Today, after the Negro has been stripped of the ballot's protection by the connivance of white Republicans in Washington and white Democrats at the South, the Ku-Klux dares to raise its ugly head in its ancestral state of Tennessee. This time they want to increase that fine brand of democracy which every coward editor knows that Negroes were getting when they were bidding them to be patriotic. The Ku-Klux means to shoot them into submission and torture them into terror before they get 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
politically independent party and follow the example of the Irish Home Rulers. This is what will happen in American politics.-September, 1917.