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176 THE CRISIS [[1 image]] FREDERICK DOUGLASS COMMITTEE Miss Nannie H. Burroughs, Chairman; Mrs. Nettie L. Napier, 120 Fifteenth Avenue, North, Nashville, Tenn., Treasurer; Rev. Florence Randolph, Jersey City, N.J.; Miss Hallie Q. Brown, Chairman of Executive Board, Wilbeforce, Ohio; Mrs. Maggie L. Walker, Richmond, Va.; Miss Elizabeth C. Carter, New Bedford, Mass.; Mrs. Victoria Clay-Haley, Secretary, St. Louis, Mo. [[1 image]] THE DOUGLASS HOME AND GROUNDS, ANACOSTIA, D.C. GENERAL COMMITTEE Mrs. Booker T. Washington, and Mrs. Robert R. Moton, Tuskegee, Ala.; Mrs. Lucy Thurman, Jackson, Mich.; Mrs. Mary Church Terell, Mrs. Josephine E. Bruce, Mrs. Rozetta Lawson, Mrs. Kelly Miller, Washington, D.C.; Mrs. Clara B. Hardy, St. Paul, Minn.; Mrs. Grace B. Valentine, Bordentown, N.J.; Mrs. Isabella W. Claphan, Camden, N.J.; Miss Mary E. Jackson, Providence, R.I.; Mrs. Judith Horton, Guthrie, Okla.; Mrs. M. E. Goins, Jefferson City, Mo.; Mrs. S. Joe Brown, Des Moines, Iowa; Mrs. Mary E. Josenburger, Fort Smith, Ark.; Miss Meta Pelham, Detroit, Mich.; Mrs. Waldo Bogle, Portland, Ore.; Mrs. George H. Warner, Los Angeles, Cal.; Mrs. A. H. Wall, Oakland, Cal.; Mrs. F. W. West, Bakersfield, Cal; Mrs. E. J. Freeman, San Diego, Cal; Miss M. R. Lyons and Mrs. Addie W. Hunton, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Mrs. George Contee, Denver, Colo.; Mrs. C. R. McDowell, Hannibal, Mo.; Dr. Mary F. Waring, Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Emma S. Keeble, Kalispell, Mont.; Mrs. W. T. B. Williams, Hampton, Va.; Mrs. Charlotte Dette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Mrs. Lizzie B. Fouse, Lexington, Ky.; Miss Eartha M. Banks, Mound Bayou, Miss.; Mrs. John Hope, Atlanta, Ga.; Mrs. Charlotte Hawkins-Brown, Sedalia, N.C.; Mrs. G. L. Jackson, Nashville, Tenn. The Looking Glass BLACKS AND WHITES IN THE CONGO MR. GEORGE HARDY, writing in the International Socialist Review, gives us an unattractive picture of the Belgian Congo: One morning, through the misty atmosphere of the tropics, we find ourselves at the mouth of the Congo River. At the port of Banana we pick up the crew of natives who will work the cargo at the ports of Boma and Matadi on the Congo River. But here any liberty-loving person finds that, after all, he has not left behind him the barbarities of capitalism. Four-foot clubs are used to drive the natives who are paid the enormous sum of one Belgian franc (twenty cents) a day, for working from 4 a.m. to 10 o'clock at night, with two or three short periods of rest, when they receive their allowance of rice and salt junk which is so rotten that it would be scorned by a hungry dog. These abuses are perpetrated under the charter of the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo, in which King Albert, of Belgium, is said to be interested. At Boma, the capital of Belgian Congo, about forty miles up the river, the work of unloading begins. Officers armed with clubs are stationed at each hatch on board ship and on shore, and they take an occasional whack at the bare backs of the natives to speed up work or punish the black with the smoldering or contemptuous eyes. Night arrives and no sleeping quarters are provided for the native workers, who sleep on hard, dirty decks of the ships, which bring back longings for the cosy grass-woven huts to which they are accustomed, as the rotten fare recalls the fresh fruits and nuts that make up their native fare. The dampness of the tropic nights makes it dangerous for any one to sleep in the open. The air is full of deadly fevers. The heat of the day causes a vapor to arise every night from the snake infested grasses. After a couple of days of savage slavery which is hidden behind a franc a day wage, the boats leave for Matadi. A few hours' run against the rushing current of the river and we find slavery more glaring and more open, for Matadi is the center of trade, also a railway center, where ivory, palm oil, copra and copal, etc., are brought for shipment to Europe. The white population sleeps from 11 to 3 o'clock, but there is no respite for the natives, who toil until their bodies look as though they had been dipped in oil, so covered are they with sweat. The writer saw an officer go down into the hold of the ship and beat a native without mercy because he did not work fast enough in this heat. Another officer stood on the toes of a native worker who had squatted to rest during the rest period, and beat the bare legs of the native to make him draw his foot from beneath the hobnailed boots of the noble (?) white man. Meanwhile the officer twisted the ear of the black man. It was easy for anybody to recognize the superiority of the Caucasian race over the Ethiopian. The attitude of the natives is one of manufactured smiles and European salutations and barely concealed curses. It is a pleasant little custom of the officers to throw the dregs of their glasses of lime juice into the faces of the Congo boys who serve them. I saw a native injured internally by a sling of sacks weighing nearly a ton. He was allowed to lie dying on the bare deck of a boat. The quartermaster declared he could not endure the groans of the unlucky man and he was removed the next day, a physician expressing surprise that he still lived. Very naturally it occurs to the stranger to inquire why the natives, who possess land and plenty of fruit and nuts for food, submit to such treatment. You wonder why they labor. One of the answers is the system of taxation which the modern capitalist class has seen fit to lay upon them to force them to work. Without this tax of twelve francs a year the natives would be able to live in ease upon their own land, in their own fresh huts, and live upon the plenty provided by a generous Nature. This tax makes the capitalists independent of foreign workers. And yet, strange as it may seem to you, my dear civilized reader, some of these natives hate work so much, or work for the Belgian capitalists so very much, in particular, that they refuse to earn and pay their twelve francs annually to the Belgian government. Such natives are quickly taught the benevolence of that government. They are arrested and placed in gangs with chains around their necks and forced to work for three months for the state. They carry the mail on their heads to the boats; also bear the trunks and luggage of the white parasites to and from the boats and perform municipal labor. You can see them lugging vegetables home for the Europeans, the white person in front and the black offender twelve paces in the rear, and an armed guard trudging behind the loaded slave. THE DANISH WEST INDIES THE Danish people have voted by 283,000 to 157,000 to accept the offer of $25,000,000 by the United States for the Danish West Indies. The Independent tells us: This settles the question since it only remains for Congress to appropriate the 177
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