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114     The Crisis

The situation is interesting, and, if the whites be wise, to be enjoyed while it lasts. For not always will the Negro, for all his patience and good cheer, be willing to recognize the validity of this onesided compact. Some day he will learn that rights are the complements of duties, and freedom the reward of service---at least in a democracy! And then will he insist upon knowing whether or not "a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," has perished from the earth?    John Haynes Holmes.


They have gone to their death. Thirteen young, strong men; soldiers who have fought for a country which never was wholly theirs; men born to suffer ridicule, injustice , and, at last, death itself. They broke the law. Against their punishment, if it was legal, we cannot protest. But we can protest and we do protest against the shameful treatment which these men and which we, their brothers, receive all our lives, and which our fathers received, and our children await; and above all we raise our clenched hands against hundreds of thousands of white murderers, rapists, and scoundrels who have oppressed, killed, ruined, robbed, and debased their black fellow men and fellow women, and yet, today, walk scot-free, unwhipped of justice, uncondemned by millions of their white fellow citizens, and unrebuked by the President of the United States.


It is to laugh. The fact is we civilized folk, particularly if we are white, are used to strutting; we pose in carefully pressed pants and serious expression,---even in our statues. When, then, one comes with a human study like Barnard's Lincoln and gives us a man with big feet and bagging trousers and a thought rather than a smirk upon his lips, Lord, how we protest! That Lincoln? Never. Why, there is no nobility in his clothes or shoes!


This war ought to result in the establishment of an independent Negro Central African State composed, at least, of the Belgian Congo and German East Africa and, if possible, of Uganda, French Equatorial Africa, German Southwest Africa, and the Portuguese territories of Angola and Mozambique. Such a state should be under international guarantees and control.


Be it known to all men that a certain great white nation called America has seen fit to admit, for divers reasons best known to itself, that Asia is primarily for the Asiatics. This is the real meaning of the Lansing-Ishii Agreement, shorn of all American "camouflage" of explanation.


Ancient of Days that shudderest through Death and Birth---great Dream of Perfect Things, too perfect to be true! Wild Will to Do and Be---Eternal Beauty, Just and Free! Incarnate Word of Isis, Mahmud, Saint Buddha, and Lord Christ, sweep through our voices these drear days when Earth is Golgotha and when in midday darkness we Crucify our Souls amid the Thieves of Might and Greed on this great cruel Cross of Brass. Peace, send Peace, O God; annex, repay, restore; but before all, Justice, even though the way leads on through all this blood-soaked Hell. Justice---not the heights, not yet the heights, O God, but where their peaks burn clear against Thy Heavens! Justice for the poor and the blind, the weak and the black; Justice for woman, man, and child, and with Thy Justice, Peace---Peace and Silence to weep and bind these awful wounds.

Editorial     115


In 1844 twenty-eight English weavers subscribed five dollars a piece to start a coöperative store. They laid down four principles: first, sales were to be made at current market prices and all profits were to be divided among the customers according to the amount of their purchases; second, sales were to be made for cash; third, no goods were to be misrepresented or adulterated; fourth, the store was to be governed by the stockholders and every stockholder was to have one vote.

In 1916 this store had 18,924 members and a capital of $2,000,000. This and similar stores in England had 3,150,000 members in 1916, did a business of $700,000,000, and distributed profits of $76,000,000. 

Does anyone doubt that we Negroes of the United States could parallel this success, if we would?


The National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People has, in its comparatively brief career, dealt Bourbonism in the United States three telling blows. First: by helping to secure the celebrated Grandfather Decision before the Supreme Court, it began the overthrow of Disfranchisement and secured the first official affirmation of the validity of the Fifteenth Amendment. 

Second: it dealt Caste in the Nation a telling blow when it secured the admission of nearly seven hundred Colored Officers of the United States Army.

Third: in securing the Segregation Decision before the Supreme Court, it stopped the most outrageous invasion of the Negro's rights yet attempted.

In addition to these three blows, it has fought for Civil Rights, encouraged ability through the Spingarn Medal, defeated Anti-Intermarriage Laws, watched Legislation, made Lynching a National question, and published the Truth.

It did not do these things singlehanded but has worked always with all persons minded to work with it. In each case, however, it has furnished suggestion, encouragement, funds and active organization.

This is surely a record which proves The National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People the only national organization in the field to-day which can fight efficiently for the rights of the Negro and the one on which twelve million Negroes should concentrate with membership, encouragement and funds.


The seventh annual conference of the N.A.A.C.P. will be held in New York during the holiday season. Arrangements have been made for recreation, as well as information, in the most interesting time of year and in the greatest city in the world. Among the speakers will be persons of national renown, including Colonel Young, Miss Lathrop of the National Children's Bureau, Florence Kelley, Moorfield Storey, Rabbi Wise, Ashbie Hawkins, Archibald Grimké, and many others. There will be mass meetings, conferences, a luncheon, a dinner, a special theatre party, and visits to points of interest. The cost will be kept low, and every member of the Association and friend should make it a point to attend this which promises to be the most interesting of a long series of conferences.

The conference will be in session four days, beginning Thursday, December 27, and ending Sunday, December 30.

Those who attend should make every effort to be here the morning of the first day and stay over the night of the last.
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