Viewing page 6 of 9
It looks like you're using a mobile device. We recommend using a physical keyboard for transcription entry.
cans in civilian life is here reflected in the military forces with the public sanction of the President. Two questions automatically arise in the minds of young Negro Americans: Is this tremendous draft army being created for national defense? Are the Negroes who are now being placed in Jim-Crow regiments considered a part of the nation? The simple truth is that the purpose for which this armed force is being created is not for the defense of the nation, but rather for profits and empire to benefit only the rich. Negroes are excluded in the concept of the nation in the eyes of Wall Street. The ruling circles of this country, who pursue a policy of national oppression of the Negro people, fear the prospect of intermingling "colored and while personnel in the same regimental organization." This fear is based not on the premise that it may be "destructive to morale" or "detrimental to preparations for national defense." What they fear is that such intermingling may spill the beans and expose the real intent of this headlong drive toward full participation in the present war. They fear a fusion of the common problems, a recount of common experiences in civilian life, a growing collaboration and understanding between Negro and white. They well know that the possibility of such intimate contact may well result in recognition of their common destiny, directed not alone against the present war, but against imperialist oppression in general. There will be not only Jim-Crow regiments, but these regiments will be officered by white personnel. Why white officership over the Jim-Crow regiments? To impress upon the minds of the Negro people the pernicious idea of white superiority, the idea that only whites can lead. The mailed fist of the imperialists in our country has placed the Negro people in a special position. Is it not clear that when the President announced his intentions to maintain the Jim-Crow system, this was being done for purposes alien to the spirit, tradition and common interest of the Negro people? Every Negro man and woman has been taught that he is a part of the nation. Now, once again, he is being told other- 10 [[end page]] [[start page]] wise. Yet, the Negro people are asked to make equal sacrifices, indeed, if not greater. Can you see any difference between this enunciation which comes from the White House and that of Jefferson Davis, Chief Justice Tanney, Tom Heflin, Bilbo, or the Ku Klux Klan? The only difference is that Roosevelt speaks in the name of "national defense" while those dark forces of yesterday spoke of defending "white civilization." They really mean national offense. How dare the President of the United States speak in the name of "civilization," "democracy," "freedom," "culture," and "word order"! What can better expose this entire set-up than the reactionary attitude of the Administration toward one-tenth of America's citzenry? Imperialist Aims What does the Administration want from the Jim-Crow regiments? To help it establish Wall Street dominance in Latin America. This can mean only the destruction of the national sovereignty of a number of republics in Latin America. The people to the south of us, like the Negro people, are striving for national freedom. Negro youth who have experienced the plantation, the highway robbery in the commissaries, the denial of the most elementary democratic rights, the denial of equal educational opportunities, Scottsboros, lynching, as well as other insults and abuses, are not interested in spreading this type of barbarism which the imperialists call "civilization" to the people in general and the 30,000,000 Negroes to the south of us. They wish only to end this type of civilization. What a powerful contribution Negro youth can make to their brothers in Brazil, Cuba, British and French West Indies, Haiti. They can make that contribution now by fighting the Jim-Crow system in the U.S. Army and the All-Aid-to-Britain Program of the Administration. History will record the fact that the struggle of Negro youth helped to save tens of millions from bloodshed in an imperialist war. The United States Navy, which is responsible to the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, rigidly adheres to 11
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.