Southern Illinois University Carbondale Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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Item IDegyptian 1943 0409vol 24 #24.tif
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Date1943 April 9
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)



A recent War Manpower Corn mission estimate revealed some startling facts
about our current labor shortage It was found that there are some 600, 000 Negroes who are
outright unemployed. There are 2, 000, 000 farm-hands working on cotton crops when we have a two year supply on hand. And according to John Beecher, former regional representative of the
F. E. P. C.. there are 2, 000, 000 seasonal farm workers whose services could be entirely utilized to meet the manpower needs. It was also learned that about three fourths of the defense plants, even in a crisis, refuse to hire Negroes. These are the facts about manpower shortage. This is democracy in action.
The erroneous assumption about a labor shortage has caused a new development to appear. Time goes back over a road three hundred years long as the Southern plantation owners prepare to receive a human cargo of imported laborers. Yes, slavery has reared its ugly head again in the American way of life; slavery is not dead. Large southern plantation owners
led by one Luther Chandler of Florida refused white farm-volunteers and Negro workers. They openly advocated and demanded importation of labor—and got it.
Washington has announced that at least 5, 000 natives of the Bahamas will be imported for agricultural employment in Florida and adjoining states. They have been promised a minimum wage of thirty cents an hour, but who can live in this country on such a low wage? All arrangements have been kept secret, and it is feared that this might prove to be similar, on a larger scale, to the enslavement of Mexicans by William Randolph Hearst and Harvey Chandler of California. These men imported laborers and Peons and promised them a good wage. The wage—something to eat and a dry floor on which to sleep. That was twenty years ago; the Mexicans are still there.
This might well be the year 1860, as our democratic government once again approves peonage. The Civil War evidently solved nothing; its noble dead apparently died in vain. After eighty years of theoretical freedom for all men, the government has approved a form of servitude under which freedom cannot live. Even with ample laws on the statute books, the federal government has failed to protect the Negro from
intimidation, coercion, and abuse. How, then, can these imported laborers expect any reasonable justice and fair treatment in an area of "solid white" supremacy? With no protection by law, these natives are to be delivered into the hands of unscrupulous slave masters who openly declare that God erred when He created a man black.
It was once agreed that this country could not continue to exist part slave and part free. This principle still holds true. Either slavery must be driven back into America's dark, shameful past or the fundamental foundation of freedom will he destroyed and America with it. The door will be opened to unrestrained intimidation, coercion and abject subjugation of minority groups. The light of democracy will go out, and in its stead will appear a form of totalitarian horror equal to any Hitlerian scheme. Today, America is at the crossroads. One road leads to the continuation of the peaceful way of free life we have tried to build. The other is the down grade to slavery, chaos, and inevitable destruction. A powerful lobbyist. Slavery, has come back from the cold darkness of the grave to influence America in the latter direction. The opposition to freedom is at work. They know that freedom is a precious thing. If it is to exist, however, it must not be a passive thing. The whole world waits to see the road America will travel.
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