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can Red Cross Society, which receives government aid and co-operation to help win the war, cannot cite the name of a single Negro woman as a nurse. True, it says that it has "enrolled" some. This we refuse to believe. But even if that were true, a nurse "enrolled" cannot save the life of any of our soldiers in France.
The Red Cross says that it wants to win the war. What war? A white people's war, or America's and the world's? It this were a white people's war, as some seem to think, colored troops from Senegal, India, Egypt, America and the West Indies would have been kept out of it. But they were not, and we are driven to conclude that this is a world war. Then why doesn't the American Red Cross meet it in the spirit of the President--of world democracy? The cry goes up for nurses to save the lives of soldiers; yet here are thousands of Negro nurses whom the Red Cross won't accept. They must want to give Europe a "rotten" opinion of American democracy. For we may be sure that these things are known in Europe ---even as our lynchings are. And anyone who would give Europe a "rotten" opinion of America at this time is no friend of America.
The American Red Cross must be compelled to do America's work in the spirit in which America has entered the war. There need be no biting of tongues: it must be compelled to forego Race Prejudice. If the N. A. A. C. P. were truly what it pretends instead of a National Association for the Advancement of Certain People, it would put its high-class lawyers on the job and . bring the case into the United States courts. It would charge the American Red Cross with disloyalty to the war-aims of America. And if it does not (in spite of the money which it got from the "silent" protest parade and other moneys and legal talent at its disposal) then
it will merit the name which one of its own members gave it—the National Association for the Acceptance of Color Proscription. Get busy, "friends of the colored people"! For we are not disposed to regard the camouflage of those who want nurses but do not want Negro nurses in any other light than that of Bret Harte's Truthful James:
Which I wish to remark
And my language is plain-
And for tricks that are vain
Which the same I am free to maintain.
A Hint of "Our Reward"
The wisdom of our contemporary ancestors, having decided that "We Negroes must make every sacrifice to help win the war and lay aside our just demands for the present that we may win a shining place on the pages of history," it must be cold comfort to learn that the first after-the-war schoolbook of American history is out, that it is written by Reuben Gold Thwaites and Calvin Noyes Kendall, that it devotes thirty-one pages to the war and America's part in the war, and that not one word is said of the Negro's part therein.
Of course, sensible men should feel no surprise at this, for they will realize how little the part played by the Negro in the Civil War is known by the millions of white school children who read the school historics. Yet, if there is a spark of manhood left in the bosoms of our "white men's niggers" who sold us out during the war they must feel pained and humiliated when the flood of after-the-war school histories, of which this is the first,
quietly sink the Negro's contributions (as chronicled by Mr. Emmet Scott and others) into the back waters of forgetfulness.
The times change, but we don't change with them.
The Negro at the Peace Congress
Now that they have helped to win the war against Germany, the Negro people in these United States fee! the absurdity of the situation in which they find themselves. They have given lavishly of their blood and treasure. They have sent their young men overseas as soldiers, and were willing to send their young women overscas as nurses; but the innate race-prejudice of the American Red Cross prevented them. They have contributed millions of dollars to the funds of this same Red Cross and scores of millions to the four Liberty Loans; and they have done all this to help make the world "safe for democracy" even while in sixteen States of the south in which nine-tenths of them reside, they have no voice in their own government. Naturally they expect that something will have to be done to remove their civil and other disabilities. This expectation of theirs is a just and reasonable one. But
Now that the world is getting ready for the Peace Congress which is expected to settle the questions about which the war was fought our Negroes want to know if the Peace Congress will settle such questions as those of lynching, disfranchisement and segregation. IT WILL NOT! And why? Simply because the war was not fought over these questions. Even a fool can see that. Lynching, disfranchisement and Jim-crowing in America are questions of American domestic policy and can be regulated only by American law-making and administra
tive bodies. Even a fool should be able to see this. And, since it was only by the military aid of the United States that the Allies were able to win the war, why should our people be stupid enough to think that the allied nations will aim a slap at the face of the United States (even if such things were customary) by attempting to interfere in her domestic arrangements and institutions?
We learn that various bodies of Negroes, who do not seem to understand the modern system of political government under which they live, are seeking to get money from the unsuspecting masses of our people “for the purpose of sending delegates to the Peace Congress," The project is sublimely silly. In the first place, the Peace Congress is not open to anybody who chooses to be seyt. A peep into any handbook of modern history would show that Peace Congresses are made up only of delegates chosen by the heads of the governments of the countries which have been at war, and never by civic, propaganda, or other bodies within those nations. Only the President of the United States has power to designate the American delegates to the Peace Congress.
Of course, if any body of people wish to send a visitor to Versailles or Paris at their expense, the government of the United States has nothing to do with that and would not prevent it. But such visitor, lacking credentials from the President, could not get within a block of the Peace Congress. They can (if they read French) get from the papers published in the city where the Congress meets so much of the proceedings as the Congress may choose to give to the press. But that is all; and for that it is not necessary to go to France. Just send to France for copies of Le Temps or Le Matin and prevent a useless waste of the money of poor people who can ill afford it in any case.
"But," we are told, "such person or persons can make propaganda (in France) which will force the Peace Congress to consider American lynching, disfranchisement and segregation." Passing over the argument that such person or persons would have to be able to write French fluently, we wish to point out that the public sentiment of even one French city takes more than a month to work up; that the sentiment of one French city can have but slight weight with the Congress, and that, if it could rise to the height of embarrassing them, the French authorities would sternly put it down and banish the troublesome persons. Karl Marx, Prince Kropotkin, Malatesta and Lenine are cases in point as showing what France has done under less provoking circumstances.
Let us not try to play the part of silly fools. Lynching, disfranchisement and segregation are evils HERE; and the place in which we must fight them is HERE. If foolish would-be leaders have no plan to lay before our people for the fighting HERE, in God's name, let them say so, and stand out of the way! Let us gird up our loins for the stern tasks which lie before us HERE and address ourselves to them with courage and intelligence.
Africa and the Peace
"This war, disguise it how we may, is really being fought over African questions." So said Sir Harry Johnston, one of the foremost authorities on Africa, in the London Sphere in June, 1917. We wonder if the Negroes of the Western world quite realize what this means. Wars are not fought for ideals but for lands whose populations can be put to work, for resources that can be minted into millions, for trade that can be made to enrich the privileged few. When King Leopold of Belgium