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138           THE CRISIS

strongly that the thinker of such thoughts was both original and independent. To be the first in a New England or a norther Ohio community to discover that it had been a mistake to give the Negro the vote was a privilege for anyone who cared to be esteemed a pioneer in iconoclastic and revolutionary though.....

To a dispassionate observer, the fear of social equality between white and black is now for the most part a mere bogie-man to frighten children with. It is certain that the Negro, so soon as he can afford them, would like to travel in Pullman cars, go to good hotels and enjoy orchestra seats in the theatre; but it is also quite probable that he would be content that whites should be excluded from all these places. The discomforts of the Jim-Crow car are probably the chief objection to it. It may be that with the years he has seen more of the whites, but at any rate it actually seems as if the passion for social acknowledgment,which no doubt seized upon many Negroes after the war has abated if not almost wholly passed. It was symptomatic of that time; it or at least its excesses, have gone with it. It is extremely doubtful whether, as is so often asserted, morbidly ambitious blacks are everywhere cherishing that traditional fond hope of being "received at our dinner tables." The settlements in the Yazoo River districts in Mississippi where prosperous agricultural and trading communities exist, wholly free from whites, may quite as likely represent for them an ideal. Does it never occur to anyone that the Negro might conceivably be tired of the white man, of his interference-even of his help and his very presence? 

A great deal of genuine feeling both North and South against the Negro masquerades as traditional race prejudice, and thus, as it were, avoids detection and straightforward dealing. Our grievance against him today is really largely an economic one. He has, to our eyes, two great defects. First, he will not work for us when we want him to. Second, he has a low standard of living and when he will work is often ready to accept lower wages than the whites. We think it would be presumptuous of him to have any higher standard of living and we quite think he deserves lower wages, and yet- the whole question is a mass of contradictions, almost paradoxes.

Everyone who has worked with and for the Negro knows by this time- or ought to know, if he is honest with himself- that it is quite impossible to hope that the Negro will ever love labor purely for its own sake, or long passionately toil. Are there many whites who work in just this way? Art for art's sake is sufficiently difficult; hard work for hard work's sake even more difficult to indoctrinate.....

Now in these troubled days of the twentieth century, with clouded horizons and the social revolution like a mirage before us, we may still love humanity while we deny its freedom and only hope for its equality in some future day. Is it not possible, in the interests of both of black man and of white, to leave unsettled the question of the black's equality and his destiny, and meanwhile to appreciate his suave good-natured contribution to our national tone? And not to become too enthusiastic about not giving him his chance?

Reginald Wright Kauffman writes to the New York Evening Post and to the Philadelphia Public Ledger:

Pray permit me, even though it involves an introductory mention of my own work, space in your columns to point out a habit of mind from which I am but one of many sufferers. I refer to the habit that forbids any Northern writer to write of the South.

My new novel, "The Mark of the Beast." is pitched in the South and revolves about the lynching of a Negro for the crime of which a white man was guilty- and the South doesn't like it. Southern papers refuse advertisements; they shout condemnation; not on moral grounds or literary; they simply say that I have "failed to understand the Negro problem," simply move Mr. Charles W. Chesnutt, for whose "Conjure Woman" readers will long be grateful, to write me: "The South is so much the spoiled child of the American family that if ever a writer sees fit to write anything about it in any but an adulatory manner, he is apt to come in for a very sharp scolding."

What has spoiled the South? Why so far as it is concerned, may anybody discuss graft or the absurdly so-called "white slavery" and nobody child labor or lynching? No New Yorker, so far as I can recall, scolded me for my exposure of a certain New York conditions in "The House of Bondage." Why all this mystery on the part of Southerners, and especially Southern writers, about the "Negro problem." If there is a "Negro problem," why do Southerners object to its mention? If there is a "Negro problem" that Northerners are incapable of telling the truth about, why don't the Southern novelists tell the truth about it? They tell nothing, yet they grant he right of fiction to discuss problems, and the word "problem" implies something to be solved.

I have said "The South." Perhaps I have there played into the hands of the persons I refer to; they call themselves "The South," but they are not; they are only a small portion of it. Men such as Supreme Court Justice Gudger, of North Carolina, and Edmund F. Noel, the Democratic ex-Governor of Mississippi, have praised my book, and Bishop Cheshire, or North Carolina, has written me approving my attitude in regard to lynch law. Such men are in the majority in the South; they not only oppose lynching; they do not object to Northerners opposing it. The fault may, therefore, lie with the North, which is too ready to accept the loud voice of the fren-

         THE LOOKING GLASS         139

zied few for the sober judgment of the high-minded many.

But why the few? And why our acceptance of them?


Principal Moton, of Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, has again struck the wrong note, in the opinion of the colored press. The Georgia Baptist confesses, for instance:

That we are tired and sick of the me, too, boss, hat-in-hand "nigger." And we are also sick of the type whose dictum is: "So I get a plenty the devil take the rest of the 'niggers.'"

We are constrained to believe that a serious mistake has been made in electing "Major" Moton principal of Tuskegee. He is attempting to follow the path blazed by the late Booker T. Washington when he has neither the wisdom, the ability, nor the vision to do so.

First, we find him publicly rebuking his wife for riding in a Pullman car, according to The Associated Press's report, which the "Major" has never denied, and now we find him telling Negroes to refuse to accept industrial opportunities offered them North and to refuse to try to make better the future for themselves and for their families. So long as no industrial opportunities were offered Negroes North, it was well to advise them to remain in the South, but now, with these opportunities opening more and more to our people, it is positively criminal to advise them against accepting them.

A Northern colored paper, the Pittsburg Courier, says:

For the reason that great men of whatever race or color advise the of lesser magnitude to seek the best individual advantages, and having found them to give the best possible service- Dr. Moton has missed an opportunity to achieve still greater personal prominence by the utterance of the advice accredited to him-that the Negro is essentially a Southern product, and should remain in the Southland, and that those who have already cast their lots in the East, the West and the North would do well to return South.

In this respect we regret that he has not measured up to the expected standard. We have hailed Dr. Moton as the standard bearer for the race, without regard to the locality in which its members may be domiciled. He should be equally as representative of the Negro of the other three points of the compass as of the Negro who is to be found in the South. His spoken word should be the result of deep thought and consideration and his doctrine apply to the Negro's condition, wherever situated. A man with the training of Dr. Moton, both North and South, should be a broad man, and one capable of attracting to his aid and assistance men from everywhere.

The Alabama Urban League, of Newark, New Jersey, sends this open letter to Major Moton, signed by Miss Eva C. Alford, president, and other officers:

A representative from our league, who is no stranger in and around New York City, spent much time trying to locate such alleged conditions as contained in the statement, "huddled together like pigs," and reports that such a condition does not exist and the statement is calculated to do much harm.

We, therefore, go on record as most bitterly opposing the stand you take in the matter of Negro exodus from the South, the time, place, and manner in which you expressed yourself, from and because of which great injustice will be done the entire race in America.

It is not that Fritz Pollard is a "colored" football player, but that he is a football player. The editor of the Yale Alumni Weekly writes of the Yale-Brown game:

We're not in it a minute as things stand now. I saw the Brown game. Harvard could have licked us 30 to 0 on the basis of our play. We apparently had things going well into the second quarter,-yet lacked the punch for a touchdown on the fourth down on their line. Then they cut loose with Pollard, the niftiest half-black I ever saw. He's great this year, no doubt about it; wears no chest of shoulder padding, just a jersey; is a human eel. First they carried the ball from the center of the field to our forty yard line. Then Pollard cut around our right tackle and was going great guns over for a touchdown, when out left end took a flying tackle and brought him down on the five-yard line. Four bangs gained nothing at all,-wonderful defense. I was right behind the play in the stand, and saw the finest defensive work on Legore's part that I ever looked at. He saved that touchdown. He had to kick out from behind the line, a high kick diagonally between the posts and with the Brown men on him. Then they came back by yards and had a first down inside our eight-yard line. Again we showed magnificent goal line defense. They got two yards in three downs. Then our men spread out for a forward pass attack, and they drove through guard instead of tackle as Legore expected. The ball was just over our line, with the two teams the other side. But Pollard's great run was a dandy. He must have covered all but ten yards of the entire field. He was pocketed three times in a mass of players, but wriggled out, dodging like an eel. He had a free run from our twenty-five yard line on the west line. He is a perfect wonder. The ovation to Wilson at Madison Square Garden was nothing to the handclapping Pollard got as he ambled circumspectly back to his position after their goal.
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