Southern Illinois University Carbondale Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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Item IDegyptian 1943 0219 vol 24 #19.tif
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Date1943 February 19
Digital File Format.TIF (Tagged Image Format)
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Rights StatementAll copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
CollectionDaily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)



The pattern of he caste system in the United
States is a strange one from the first
exploitation of the Indians until
present times, this pattern of master slave
has been preserved and remained remarkably intact. Today, it has spread all over the nation in modified forms. The people are not compelled to be prejudiced. Instead they learn prejudice. If racial attitudes were inborn or a physical compulsion the pattern would be more or less common rather than of such kaleidoscopic variety.
Nor is the South, as it is often assumed, alone in having a caste structure. New England "handles" its French Canadian mill workers. The Pacific Coast has its own way of treating Orientals—even before the war. In the Southwest the Mexican is kept "in his place." Stretching from the Middlewest to the Atlantic Seaboard, the industrial belt has its "Wops, ""Hunkies, ""Dagoes.""Sheenies, " and "Mics"——to be kept in a social substratum. And all over the country, the Negro finds a special place, reserved by common Consent of Christian America and waiting for him. His place is below the rest. The principle legal and social tool of the American caste system is the device called segregation. Segregation exists in many forms, but social distance, subordination, and compulsion are greatly present. The caste system demands these things, and the purpose of segregation is the perpetuation of time caste. The minority groups must be kept apart from the upper class. Their way of living, freedom, and even thought is to be subordinated to that of their superiors in the caste system. Be it voluntary or compulsory, the dictates of the caste must be obeyed.
At one time, it is true, America made a futile attempt to settle the basic question of racial contacts. The Yankee-Rebel fratricidal war served only to increase the friction between groups. Reconstructionists and their legislation evidently did more harm than good. The apparent results were more segregation. discrimination, oppression, and murder of the minority groups. The American people lapsed into a passive frame of mind: "Segregation is bad; discrimination should not be—so what ?" Everyone refused to do anything about it. Every one continued to follow the same old pattern of caste and discrimination.
Today there is a new movement afoot. Today——this day—is the beginning of a new movement for better racial understanding, for elimination of America's caste system. The week from February 19 through February 26 is nationally known as Brotherhood Week. It is a week devoted to the study of factors affecting group relations---psychology, culture, race, religion, history, economics, politics, and propaganda. An attempt is being made to arouse democratic America from its slumbers, and to place it again as a symbol of equality and freedom.
Before you say this is probably a good thing and lay it aside, I say
—Stop! You have no right to dismiss the challenge of Brotherhood with a shrug. The American caste system must be broken. You have no right to enjoy for a single hour the complacency of life in a racially divided world. The warfare against caste has no neutral grounds. Everyone takes an active part. He who is not against it is for it.

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