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fftrlitomkimnltre PubttßlMd Cv«T nr. raday •? THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE PUBLISHING COMPANY MAIM OFFICE* 2M Elktf Ottrait Mtcb TEmpU 1 Sttt LOUIS bMANUkI MAN IIN BdHot rain ail an neoad elaai utlw May I INC mi tba Post Offlca a) Datroti Mich, mmdm tba ad ol Much S I»TS Tarma ot SuLacrtptioa (payable la adaancali Oat Yaai SLOOt Nina Months 13 00: 6i» Moot ha lEOOt Throe Months f 1-00 TRUE GREATNESS We cannot help but admire those among our nation's leaders who have the courage of their con victions about democracy and who refuse to be in timidated by those who insist upon compromising democratic principles because of their personal preju dices. One of the most courageous of these national is the wife of the President of the United States. Although she has been bitterly assailed by Southern Bourbons and Northern reactionaries, Mrs. Roosevelt walks serenely forward on the path where justice leads, unflinching and unafraid. In her syn d’cated news columns for January 5, the First Lady answered those who criticized her interest in housing for Negroes, one of the fnost serious problems affect ing race relations. She exposed the national tendency to confine Negroes to the slums and ghettoes of this country and defended the right of all people to decent housing. Concluding her statement on the problem, Mrs. Roosevelt stated: “This proposal to herd our citizens according to race and religion has many serious dis advantages and should be fought, I believe, by all people interested in the future peace and unity of our nation.” This is a clear, forthright statement which strikes at the root of our housing problem and it is also a call to true Americans to resist the pro-fascist, jim crow movement which is sowing discord and disunity. The iittle gangs of racists scattered over the nation which are dedicated to an American brand of fascism are seeking to perpetuate and strengthen the ant-democratic practices which make for anarchy. Out of the social chaos which is of their own making, these racists who pose as super-patriots hope to grab power and create a government which will be re actionary and tyrannical. They are playing Hitler’s game and we know it m. The radata are. the enemies of democracy and of Be minority groups. They are anti-Negro, anti 'Jabdr and anti-Jew. The housing issue and many pothers have been carefully manipulated by them as we in Detroit know only too well. It is clear that this is the time for strong democratic leaders to assert themselves and speak out to the deluded masses who ,gre being sucked ir by reactionary propaganda. Those leaders who are sincerely interested in the “peace and unity of our nation” must know as Herbert Agar has written, “this is a time for greatness.” Mrs. Roosevelt has risen to the occasion and we hope that some of her courage can find its way into .the hearts and minds of those who are sitting on the sidelines, sitting out this death dance between fas cijm and democracy. Many millions of Americans tare willing, even eager, to follow that leadership Which they know smacks of true greatness. PLAYING WITH FIRE A great deal of the literature and the speeches 'that have come out of the South in these war years reflect a common point of view which we believe is dangerous to our democracy and, in the long run, ,may precipitate another Civil War. This point of view is essentially defeatist and it forecasts doom. IA typical article appears in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, written by David L. Cohn of New Orleans and entitled “How The South Feels.” Obviously sincere Mr. Cohn builds his story around three acknowledgments which Americans must accept if they would understand the Southern mind and improve race relations. Mr. Cohn writes: “I submit that our understanding depends upon three candid acknowledgments. The first is that the Negro question is insoluble, as are all complex social problems. “Secondly, we must acknowledge that the ques tion is insoluble because, in the conscious or uncon scious minds of whites, it is at bottom a blood or sexual question . . . “I come now to the third acknowledgment con cerning the Negro question. If it is insoluble in the sense mentioned, the issue is confused and harm is done to the relations of the races when leaders of both sides, out of sentimentality or refusal to face the fact, pretend that somehow it is capable of solution. “No notable improvement of race relations can be achieved, in my opinion, unless the ground is cleared by a recognition on the part of both whites and Negroes that (a) the problem is incapable of solution, and (b) the issues of segregation must not be called into question.” As Mr. Cohn develops his arguments it is clear that he would have Americans believe that, while EDITORIAL PAGE OP THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE color tyranny can be made more tolerable, it is folly to believe that democracy will be extended the Negro in the South. Segregation is the sacred cow and those who would abolish it risk civil war. He echoes the most inflammatory statement made in this war period which was made almost accidentally. It was the statement of Mark Etheridge who declared that the Negro must realize that there is no power on earth, not even the combined military might of the armies of the Axis and the Allies, which could “force the Southern white people to abandon the principle of social segregation.” Somehow we cannot understand how intelligent, even “liberal,” white Southerners can really believe such nonsense nor can we understand why they should choose this hour in American history to tell the nation that we cannot achieve here at home what millions are risking their lives to achieve abroad. With thirteen million Negroes, one. tenth of the nation, struggling forward despite their frus trations, their man-made handicaps, their poverty, here we have eminent spokesmen from the white South declaring that no matter how deserving we may be or may become, we are doomed from birth to an inferior and subservient status in American life. We cannot understand why these spokesmen should hurl such a challenge in the teeth of the Negro people, why they should threaten the forces of de mocracy, why they should repudiate the announced aims of this bloody war. It is sheer nonsense to be lieve that the Southern white man cannot change and be changed. The forces of organized labor working in the South, to cite one agency, are already making changes and that is why the vested interests of the South are fighting labor. Even Virginus Dabney of the famed Richmond Times Dispatch has urged the abolition of jim crow street cars in Richmond and he is still alive. These spokesmen for the South who insist upon the insolubility of the race problem are doing a great injustice to the very people they presume to repre sent. They do not know that the social institutions which perpetuate this racism are not only subject to change but that many Southerners would welcome the change. There is nothing immutable about social institutions for they are man made and men can make a Nazi state, a democracy or what they will. These Southern defeatists, however, can bring to pass their dire predictions by propagandizing their people and strenthening the popular myths of racism. They can incite them to violence as their forefathers did on the eve of the rebellion. It is time for these forecasters of doom to face the facts of life and recognize the stupidity of their position in this period when the whole world is on the march for freedom These spokesmen are not realists, they are defeatists playing with fire. The Facts In Our News THEY HAVE NOT LOST THE FAITH A well-known white woman told the following storjr In the presence of Senator Charles Diggs, Mrs. Crystal Bird Faucet and your cor respondent. This well-known wo man was standing in line the day before New Year’s to get her liquor ration. (An American scene, so do not get excited.) Just in front of her in the line was her friend whose husband had Just returned from the South Pacific. They were discussing rather feelingly the ex periences as related to them by the returned husband and soldier. The line moved along inside the door. Just as they stepped Inside the door, the voice of a man from behind them said, “I could not help but overhear your conversation about the war. It all Interested me very much because I have two sons In the war. They are fine boys and I should like to tell you something about them.** By this time the two women had turned completely around and were looking squarely into the face of a middle-aged Ne gro man. The story that he told was that Just before Christmas he and his wife had written letters to their two sons In the army. One was stationed In the South Pacific where he had seen battle and also had demonstrated courage. The other was stationed In North Africa where he. too, had learned to walk upright In the presence of bursting shells and machine guns that barked death on every hand to all men who stood In their way, re gardless of their 'olor. The letters sent to the boys were seeking to find out what the boys wanted their parents to send them for Christmas. The parents wanted to send some thing useful to the boys on the battlefields. After a while, answers came from both boys and arrived at the parents’ home a ferw days apart. What do you think the answers were to the parents’ request as to what to give for Christmas presents to their beloved boys? The answers were the same in both letters, even though the boys were widely sepa rated from each other by long dis tances, and could not have had any opportunity to compare notes on what each desired as a Christ mas gift from their parents. Both letters asked that their father and mother each give a blood donation to the blood bank through the Red Cross. The two white womer listening to this story were amazed, and at the same time felt ashamed. Here were these two Negro boys writing from the battlefields of the world saying that the one thing that their parents could give to them was that the parents make a gift of blood to the blood bank in order that some wounded soldier would have a better chance at life The reader may ask. why were these white woman so amased and felt so ashamed? These two women knew that the American Red Cross bad given way to discrimination, racial myths, and Just pure ignorance in the matter of taking blood from Negro blood donors. These boys, with their parents, knew that Ne groes had been refused the oppor tunity to give blood. They knew that after much fighting, blood of Negroes was accepted in a most disgraceful manner, but Anally ac cepted. These women did not ex pect a statement that would come from two Negro boys in a segre gated army, to the effect that they still have faith in America and Its democratic processes even though at times It is hard to believe in democracy because of the actions of certain individuals and groups toward Negroes as we all fight to keep our country free. There has been much said about the contributions Negroes are mak ing to our present war effort. All that has been said has been good, but has not been said with equality and justice to the greatness of the American people. In our newsreels, where Negro soldiers have acted heroically and with the true American spirit of do or die, when these new sreels reach the American screens, prejudiced and narrow minds have clipped out the part that would depict the Negro soldier acting nobly in line with the noblest American tradition to fight for country and home shoulder to shoulder with one’s countrymen. News releases have been greatly unfair to Americas black soldiers. Black soldiers have broken up German gun nests in the face of tremendous odds and great danger. They have swept on to capture Japanese strongholds In malaria infested Jungles, but the daily newspapers many times do not even refer to such heroism. Such actions on the part of daily newspapers Is a sin against democracy, and cer tainly a sin against their own right to publish all of the news, no mat ter to whom It gives credit and no matter to whom it may give condemnation. These dailies who yell about the freedom of the press ought to be sure that they them selves are free from bigotry and narrow-mindedness *in reporting the news. The American people are great. They are so great that they really repudiate any effort to keep from them the acts of their sons as their sons fight for democracy, no mat ter w hat the color of the sons might be. American Negroes sometimes. 1 think, are greater than the gen eral American population In this crisis. Negroes are being buffeted about, discriminated against, mis represented, and most of the time not even represented where repre sentation Is certainly due. In the face of all this, and all of this Is galling. Negroes have kept the faith In American institutions r 1 in the process of democracy *1 so yield itself to the veaminga of all its peoples that they may have free dom, happiness and Justice before the Murk Book Reviews By GEBTEUDE SCOTT MARTIN “The Negro Automobile Worker.” an article by Lloyd Bailer in the Journal of Political Economy for October 1943, traces the position of the Negro in the automobile indus try from 1910 to the present time, showing what gains have been made since the conversion of the industry to war production. Mr. Bailer points out that al though Negroes constituted only four per cent of the total automo? bile workers in the period from 1930 to 1940, their importance was de rived not from numbers but from the fact that they were concen trated in particular plants notably in the Detroit area. Since the conversion of ’ the plants to war work Mr. Bailer states: "The hiring of new Negro workers has also progressed to such an extent that Negro employment in the industry is now substantially higher than the normal peacetime level.” However, the upgrading of Negroes and the hiring of skilled Negro workers has not kept pace with this increase nor has there been any appreciable change in em ployment practices of those small plants which did not employ Ne groes before the war period. Negro women constitute “the largest neglected source of labor already resident *ln the area” and the majority of those employed are used in menial jobs. Mr. Bailer shows the effect on the situation of the groups like the Klan, the Black Legion and Pro- Nazi organizations. “Of the dis tinguishable groups among work ers in Michigan the southern white and the Polish appeared to exhibit the highest degree of racial feeling.” Bailer points to the procedure used at Briggs in introducing Ne groes into skilled and semi-skilled work as a model which can well be followed by other plants and which shows that improvement is pos sible. Mr. Bailer has given facts and figures to buttress his statements. The article presents in clear fash ion the state of affairs today as re gards the Negro in the automobile industry. * * * The recent riots in Detroit and New York are discussed in articles by Earl Brown and Harold Or lansky. Mr. Brown in ’•Why Race Riots,” published by the Public Af fairs Committee <3O Rockfeller Plaza, New' York 20) goes to the root of Dctro’it’s racial situation to show how the riot of June 1943 developed. Among the basic causes according to Mr. Brown, were the presence of many religious and po litical fanatics, labor conflicts, housing shortage and political cor ruption. "The Harlem Riot, a Study In Mass Frustration,” by Harold Or lansky (Social Analysis, Box 399, New York 1) states that the riot was racial in character although city officials, tha white and Negro press, all insisted that It was the work of 4 small grodp of Negro hoodlums. Mr. Orlansky offers the frustration of the Negro as a cause of the outbreak in Harlem: “Hi* goal is equality, but he is jailed in a skin that denies equality. He is scorned, tolerated, or patronized, but never simply or wholely ac cepted as a fellow man. Naturally, he is bitter and resentful.” Two recent books which I was able to sandwich in with my usual literary fare are both well worth! reading. Katherina Butler Hatha way in her autogiographv, “The Little Locksmith." reveals the courage and beauty of spirt of a person who suffered e. physical handicap throughout her life. It is a book which one does not easily forget. “The Little Locksmith" was published posthumously. Vincent Sheehan’s latest book. “Between the Thunder and the Sun” throws some light on the events in Europe which led up to the war. Mr. Sheehan writes also of the fall of France, the bombing of England, and the attitudes in this country when many here still be lieved that we could stay out of the war. Mr. Sheehan's earlier books display his talent for making history. This one is no .xception. FORMER BENEDICT PREXY DIES COLUMBIA. S. C—(ANP)—Dr. J. J. Starks, prominent minister and educator, and for more than a dec ade president of Benedict college here, died Tuesday night in Lord Samaritan-Waverly hospital, fol lowing an illness of a week. Hos pital attaches stated that a kidney ailment was the cause of death. 1 s * CotGMlMlrt K A flow A •wow (at mi ftACA to in*, it URvfft wnn ftrs IffXrMf* TiMCTKXI M THE SflUiM AMWCAA MAA, AND MfttlO - / i VaA-4^ WAA I. Wft »»Nft«f »N Tit ftATTIh Of TAC MflKf-A t ffjwMfMfi KdgKW\fl l,\£ UiUXA\ GOMCAISACI.A* lOAtAHtf,TMf ENTIRE REGIMEAT Yff j/// \fU Li KtftuVtl Wtfo THf CAOII DC tafia WITI PALM ! / ftf THE LONG ARM OF GEORGIA POLL TAX '. r ■ ■ ' y^ffS^*mS9 K*m •'f i v Jk t SLAJit* K Public Health Notes By CLEMENT SCOTT. M.D., D.P.H. Sanitation was the first work in public health. Sanitary Divisions absorbed the largest part of the budget and personnel of our early health departments. This is a nat- ural procedure because of the old theory which held the idea that disease originates from filth and decay ing matter. Even now the association of good sanitation as a health as set is so firmly .established i n the public mind that more com plaints of dirty or untidy prem ises are likely t PtHH Dr. C. Scott to oe sent to the health department than complaints of the presence of diseases or the traffic of poor food products. Since the function of a Bureau of Sanitation includes investiga tions of all matters which relate to the hygiene of environment, con sequently the amount of work that is done by the division depends upon the type of community in which it operates. The limited finances of small towns end rural areas prevent the community own ership of public works facilities such as water and sewage disposal and therefore these areas have to depend almost entirely upon the local sanitarian to keep such fa cilities in a condition which is con ducive to community health. Their activity and authority in such places have a wide range. However in densely populated communities the responsibility is too great for any one division to take and we find many such facilities must be op erated and controlled by spec-al commissions. For example, the large city has a specific board to handle the problem of water supply another commission controls hous ing problems and still another has charge of garbage and refuse col lection *nd disposal, etc. In such cases as these the Sanitary Divi sion acts in a cooperative capacity. One of the most important serv ices of the Bureau of Sanitation is their inspection and investiga tion. Complaints may come from personal sources or they may come from courts. The Bureau serves orders for corrections to be made and re-investigates to see that the corrections are made. Inspection is made of establishments for the purpose of authorizing the issuance of licenses. Summonses are served. General inspections are made wher ever and whenever the Bureau thinks advisable. Materials are gathered by investigators for analy sis. Throughout all the work ef forts at public health education re garding sanitation are exerted. Although the Detroit Water board is directly and solely responsible for supplying good water to the city, the Sanitary Bureau of the Health Department cooperates in checking the efficiency of the serv- ice. “Raw" water, or the untreated water at the source of intake at the river, is examined. Tap water is analyzed at different parts of the city. The latter plan is of spe cial value because no matter how good the water may be at the outlet of the treating plant there are many possible means of contamination before it reaches the small cot tages in the suburbs. The water supply is also checked for private water systems, such as sterilizing units in hospitals. Private indus trial water supplies are checked, particularly those which have dual water systems, that is. city water for drinking purposes and untreat ed water from the river for cer tain purposes in manufacturing where’clean w; ter is not neces sary Samples of water at beaches in swimming pools are analyzed to prevent the possibility of spread of diseases from these sources. Inspections of buildings in regard to sanitation is done and recom mendations made. If necessary, corrections ore demanded by court order and even condemnation pro ceedings instituted. A special service of the Sanitary Division is a regular inspection of all Bedding and Mattress factories in the city. The suppression of such nuisances as odors is a service of the Bureau. An effort is made to control rats, mosquitoes and such obnoxious and disease carrying vermin. Thi* ia largely an educational work, for the public must assume tha largest part of the responsibility in pre venting their existence. Commer cial funigations are supervised by special inspectors to see that the proper precautions for safety are carried out. The technical workers of the Bu reau are for the most part sanitary engineers. There are specially trained investigators and of course a clerical staff. Insurance Companies Cited As Race Aids DURHAM, N. C (ANP)— ITrac ing the history of Negro insurance, A. T. Spaulding, actuary and assist ant secretary of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance company, calls it “the Negro's greatest achievement,” as he revealed that ending December 31, 1942. 39 of 42 companies had $474,226,628 of in surance in force, $22,571.068 71 In premium income and a total income of $24.532,560 64. Policyholders re ceived $6,161,213.82 in payments, he said. “Next to his faith In God. the Negro's faith in his own life insur ance companies has been one of the greatest contributing factors toward his own progress.” deefared Spauld ing in a recent article on Negro in- SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 1944 Poet’s Corner THE BELLS TOLL KINDLY By Langston Hughes (For ANP) Many clocks in many towers Have struck for me delightful hours. M.iny cities, many towns Have gathered laughter, Scattered frowns. Many clocks ih many towers Have laughed their hours. Some dsy In some higher tower A clock will strike its final hour. When it tolls I shall go Not wishing that the hour be slow. I shall then remember still How it struck one gay December Near the Kremlin white with snow And the midnight a warm ember Of love's glow. I shall then still sweet recall How one evening near Los Halles We walked together arm in arm Hearing Notre Dame's grave charm. Then shall t still realize How. round the world, the bells are wise. So when I hear that last bell toll, Willingly, I'll bring my soul For many clocks in many towers. Have struck for me delightful * hours, So there will be no need to fesr That final hour drawing near. * * * I’LL KEEP ON KEEPING ON By William Henry Hag (Far ANP) i I shall keep on koeplitf on. Keep on shall be my motto; Till the vice I point ie gone The fight will be much hotter. Stop the vice and I will stop— That is the way to calm me. Don't believe that you can chop My neck or head and harm me— ( That will but intensify My zeal to keep crusading Till the people all know why The gang keeps on evading. surance In Life’s edition of Best Insurance News “These two great faiths are the foundation stones upon which are laid his spiritual and financial security and provide his closest unity and his greatest strength." Beginning with the ancient In surance societies of Rome. Spaulding said that the need of insuranee among colored people in America was noted after the church tried to handle the burden of relief but found it too enormous. As early as 1787 two distinct classes of Negroes were in the United States, namely free Negroes and slave Negroes, the former gathering their forces to or ganize on April 12. 1787. the Free African society in Philadelphia “It was the forerunner of what seems to have been the first real insurance company organized by Negroes in this country—the Afri can Insurance company organized in Philadelphia in 1810 with a capi tal of $5,000." Spaulding wrote. '•'Hie organizers copied the Free African society pattern of organization.” The Brown Fellowship society, a group of free mulattoes and quad roons. was organized in Charleston, S. C., in 1790 “to aid one another in distress and also to promote social relationships among themselves," while in 1815 the Burying Ground .Society of Free People of Color of City of Richmond was organized in Richmond. Va. That burial a.«sod ation had a total of 743 free Negro members or subscribers. With competition from largo white companies like the Prudential Insurance company of Newark and the Metropolitan Life Insurance company of New York, colored in surance companies were compelled to take the leavings in order to survive, until the high mortality rate among colored people made thAm bad risks for white companies. Both the Prudential and Metropoli tan changed their attitude and re fused to insure colored people. As a means of advancing Negro insurance, the National Negro # Tri surance association was foundeu in October, 1921, at Durham. N. C„ first to advance the best Interest of insurance among Negroes in America; second, to publish a Jour nal for circulation between the com panies; third, to recommend courses of study In insurance In various Negro colleges and universities, and fourth, to drive from the business all unworthy agents and employes, declared Spauldmg MAX LEANER AT HAMPTON HAMPTON INSTITUTE, Va - Ma* Lerner. noted liberal thinker and chief editorial writer for the newspaper PM. will appear at Hampton Institute next Monday evening in the 1943-44 Lecture Senes of the college.