Seeking the Cause
“Seeking the Cause,” Chicago Defender, v. 14, n. 32, August 9, 1919.
SO MANY THEORIES HAVE BEEN ADVANCED as to the probable cause of the outbreaks between the races in the different northern cities that is difficult for the man or woman whose opinion is based on the stories presented in the daily press to select any one that will hold longer than a day, or until the next edition of the paper appears. Those who try to make these outbursts of the lawless acute, those who believe, for instance, that the regrettable affair at the bathing beach here in Chicago was sufficient to set in motion this machine of destruction, are far from the right track.
DOES ANY LOGICAL thinking man or woman believe that the recent world war could have been staged on an incident as trival—speaking in the larger sense—as the killing of one, two or a dozen relatives of a royal family? Is it not conceded that for years Germany, France, England, Russia and Japan had axes to grind, that they cherished little love for each other, that territorial aggrandizement, trade monopoly and other vital questions were gnawing at their very heart stings? ( strings) Was it not clearly proven that Germany contemplated and prepared for war for forty years. Had a friendly feeling existed would not the killing of these members of the royal family been amicably adjusted without further bloodshed?
SINCEE THE BLACK MAN became an economic factor in the life of the North two things happened. The South awakened t ( to) the fact that they were losing their main prop, and financial destruction stared them in the face if means were not immediately devised to check the vast hordes of labor that were leaving that section. The southerner may be a little behind the times, but he has learned the art of squealing as loud as anybody when his pocketbook is meddled with. First his free slave labor was wrested from him; now the North is bobbling up his cheap labor. While he cried with one breath for deliverance from the Black man, with the next came all sorts of pleadings and dire threats to the one who enticed the Black man from the land of cane and cotton. Enigma? Yes, but what’s to be done about it?
THE NORTHERNER, too, had an awakening when, through necessity he placed the Black man in his shops, factories and industrial plants, he found not the shiftless, lazy tout that had been pictured, but a bright, energetic, apt, useful and reliable workman, so a permanent place was found for him and he was asked to have his brothers come and partake of his good fortune.
THERE IS ALWAYS FRICTION when two bodies try to occupy the same place at the same time. The close of the war threw thousands out of employment. The American white man, believing himself justly entitled to first pick, questioned the right of a Black man to be holding a job he could fill. The Black man, dating his final papers entitling him to a place in the sun from the day he landed from overseas, where he had been offering his life for the honor of his country, pointed to his record as an American citizen and refused longer to be the tool of any man. This display of manhood brought his enemies to their feet and by fair means or foul it was seemingly agreed t ( to) poison the minds of our friends. The methods employed have been both cunning and dastardly. The bourbon press throughout the country have aided and abetted this insidious propaganda and have constantly played their trump card. “A big, burly black brute attacks a white woman.”
IT IS AS IMPOSSIBLE to segregate a group of people who comprise such a large percentage of the whole population as it is to fly to the moon. And every instance where segregation has been practiced we find a retarded growth and the mob supreme, while the price of a human life is at the zero mark.