Southern Illinois University Carbondale Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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Item IDegyptian 1943 0402vol 24 #23.tif
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Date1943 April 2
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)



When I first read the Austin - Wadsworth bill, I learned with a startling suddenness that I, too,
am prejudiced. For awhile, my personal feelings
against this bill to "provide for the successful
prosecution of the war through a system of civil selective war service'', blinded my reason. Then, as I realized that the Past experiences and present position of my people was due to such insane, unreasonable prejudice, I stopped and tried to view the matter sanely.
Because of my background and the history of my people, there is little doubt that I should not favor any form of society built upon coercion. This bill to conscript labor. however, is totally unnecessary. There Is no labor shortage. I know, because there are thousands of my people, willing and able to work, who are denied the privilege under this present form Of economic slavery. This vast supply of man power is not utilized because of a traditional prejudice that will not die, even in a time of national disaster. Negro labor could be mobilized through voluntary methods. yet they leave this reservoir untapped. Is it democratic and a sincere love for democracy that causes prejudiced patriots to create another form of slave labor rather than utilize that which is supposedly free?
This psuedo-love for democracy amazes me. Congress. in 1865. passed a bill contradictory to this proposed measure. The bill was made into a constitutional amendment—the Thirteenth. It provided that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States...... Far from enforcing this measure Congress is considering a bill which will create an identical evil to the one which was eliminated by this amendment. Under the proposed bill America's system of free labor would die. the line of demarcation between democracy and totalitarianism would fade into oblivion. Democracy, the thing we want to save, would be dead.
While fighting men die from lack of sufficient equipment, while others starve from insufficient diet, able men are kept from working to supply them because of traditional prejudice. Unless the long use of prejudice has completely destroyed men's reason. I cannot understand this democratic process. Men are dying for what they term "Four Freedoms". and in the
meantime, Congress is seriously considering the destruction of them all. When it is so clearly visible that we have not recovered from the evils of the last reign of slavery in this country. How can sane, thinking, democracy loving men contemplate the creation of another? Legally slavery is dead. Civilization and reason demands
that it remain so.

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