|Item ID||egyptian 1943 0924vol 25 #1.tif |
|Title||DARK MUSINGS |
|Author||By DOROTHY SYKES |
|Description||The topic of race relations |
|Original Publication Source||Daily Egyptian |
|Date||1943 September 24 |
|Digital File Format||.TIF (Tagged Image Format) |
|Digital File Publisher||Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale |
|Rights Statement||All 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: http://reftrack.lib.siu.edu/reft100.aspx?key=SCRCEmail&cllcid=SCRR |
|Collection||Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) |
|Transcript||DARK MUSINGS |
By DOROTHY SYKES
What do justice and charity.
what does dignity of personality
require at white persons in their
relations with Negroes?
First let us look at the economic scene. I place it first because it is the most important and fundamental. There are many occupations from which the Negro is excluded because ot the color of his skin. Sometimes the offender is the employer; sometimes it is the employees. Sometimes
the motive is racial: sometimes
it is mainly economic.
When an employer refuses to hire Negroes because he dislikes to have them in his presence or
to come into contact constantly with them, his reason is clearly racial, or if you prefer, psychological. It definitely falls under the, head of unreasonable prejudice.
When he refuses to employ Negroes because he has found some of them unreliable his motive is
economic. but he acts unfairly when he penalizes a whole group on account of the faults of individuals.
When he refuses to employ Negroes
because his white employees will not work beside them
his motive is economic. nevertheless, inexcusable. When his refusal is dictated by the prejudice
that Negroes should be kept in menial occupations, his conduct is uncharitable and contemptible.
In all these cases, the human dignity of the Negro is outraged and the virtues of justice or charity, or both, are violated. The Negro worker is not treated as a man possessing a natural right to
reasonable intercourse with his fellows, nor as a brother having the same needs and claims as the
white employer and the white employee.
Sometimes time Negro is excluded from certain occupations by the rules and practices of labor unions. This is even more reprehensible
than exclusion by employers; for
he Wage earners have themselves been the victims of oppression by a stronger economic class.
Unfortunately. labor is not a unique offender in this way. Other social groups, and even whole nations, that have felt miseries of subjugation have in turn oppressed their less fortunate fellows
after they had reached a position
of domination. That is human nature in one of its unlovely manifestations. On January 1. 1943. there were twenty—one unions in this country which excluded Negroes from membership, and seven others which gave them only limited and ineffectual membership. They constitute a blot on the history of American labor unionism.
At the present time. there is much complaint against separation of the races in our armed forces. While I appreciate the situation, I do not see any
difficulties and complexities of valid reason why black and white soldiers cannot be placed in the
same regiment. A few weeks ago, members of both races were receiving instruction together in
an officers' training school at one of the Georgia camps. Here is a description of the relations
between these two groups:
"Black and white soldiers march elbow to elbow across the dusty expanse of south Georgia soil, eat
the same mess hail, sleep in the same barracks, sit together in classroom, compete for honors. I
have never heard of any white officer expressing the opinion that because of this experience he is
any less an officer and a gentleman, "
There seems to be no good reason why the principle of that adjustment could hot be put into
practice throughout both the army and the navy, Against it the only proffered arguments are drawn
front national traditions, taboos and prejudices; in favor of it are the precepts of Christian charity
and time demands of national unity in prosecuting a war which is of vital interest to both races. Thus
we have the Black pattern of White America.