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Newspaper Page Text
ATOP 4 CASE OF "CLASS," BUT OF "CONDITION"
BY JANE WHITAKER
The classifying of the unemployed by various newspapers and writers
is growing most amusing.
In an editorial in the Tribune Tuesday a writer declared that the un
employed are all worthy men; today in the editorial column a correction of
this statement is made and just a few enter the "gates of the holy."
Independent writers advocated opening the County Building, and now,
that action is to be taken on this, a woman physician protests against the
men being given shelter because they may have vermin on their clothing.
Sounds as though a scientist were examining microbes, instead of
humanity dealing with humanity.
The class division of Europe has rotted it, but in Europe, at least, it
was pride of birth. In America, It is merely pride of wealth, and the micro
scope that is turned on the unemployed is not searching for birth or breed
ing or ability, it is searching for coppers.
The unemployed have no coppers, consequently they have no "class,"
and the social reformers either pity them or condemn them, but they never
cease to patronize them.
As a matter of fact the unemployed are not a class, but a condition.
The social reformer who looks down from his eminence today may tomor
row, by, the force of circumstances, be among the army that today he
Therefore, it is meet that the social reformers remember this fact
while they catalogue the unemployed. It is meet that this "class" division
cease. For it is impossible to class them when it must be considered that
they number men who were once millionaires; men who have at one time
boasted of their ancestry; men who have controlled the destinies of other
men for a little time; men who are brilliantly educated yet failures, and men
who would have been all these things had the opportunities been given
They are not a "class," they are a condition, and the condition has been
brought about by the industrial system which today is controlled by the
very men and women who are patronizing the unemployed and classifying
It is time that this folly cease and we remember that the unemployed
are men and women created by the God who created the plutocrat and the
social reformer, and started out in life with the same attributes. Brains to
register social injustice, nerves to torture when endurance had almost fled;
stomachs to protest against hunger, flesh to quiver in the cold; feet to ache
from ceaseless walking.
And strip the plutocrats and the social reformers of their "coppers"
and what more will they show? Make them the Bame victims of the indus
trial system, and in what "class" will you find them?
If the time that is spent "classifying" the unemployed were spent in
phanging the system that makes them the unemployed, something worth
while might be accomplished. '
But until this is done, let us remember, with all humility, that they are
human beings created by the same God that created the restrof humanity
and, with the same ability to suffer, and what aid can be extended to them
. should be extended, not patronizingly, but as we would help our own broth
ers and sisters and expect to beTielped ourselves.