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The daily worker. [volume], February 20, 1926, New York Edition, The New Magazine, Page 7, Image 13
The daily worker. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1924-1958
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
rjOWN on Madison street, in that part of Chicago where the em ployment sharks have their offices for the catching of Itinerant laborers, there is a popular rendezvous called the “Hobo College.” In the language of Madison street and of all the world of itinerant la bor, a “hobo” is not a "bum,” not one of those wrecks who can no longer work and who drift from botftleg joint to bootleg joint until drugstore booze and the city dead wagon gets them. “Hobo” in the sense in which I use it means a working stiff. That is a harvest hand, a railroad construc tion laborer, or any kind of seasonal worker. And so it is to be expected that anyone claiming to establish an institution of higher learning on Madi son street should call it a “Hobo Col lege.” The “Hobo College” Is undeT the supervision of Ben Reitman, who passes as a doctor, and is known as an ex-bum, one-time balihoo man to Emma Goldman, now a reformed Christian. When the war started and his associates began going to jail. Ben Reitman hastened to Jesus. And now we find him and Jesus running the "Hobo College.” Preachers of all churches and de nominations, sects and creeds, come to the college to display their wares to hoboes. It is very interesting to observe how all attempts on the part of Reitman and the rest of the fakers that come to Hobo College, to force religion upon the hoboes, is spent in vain. For instance Reitman invited groups of students from the Moody Bible In stitute to deliver talks in the college, Sunday afternoon, February 7. The whole soul saving expedition came with bibles, singing sister and breth erens, ex-convicts, ex-sinners, the offi cial testimony-givers who were saved from sin and now repose safe in the arms of Jesus. joo aulJ irr co.'ao K-o* At 4 p. m. the show began with the gospel jockeys singing to the tune of jazz music, “Jesus Satisfies Me.” Then the usual testimony givers came forth and told the ’boes how they were saved, while Reitman walked up and down the isle and ‘repeatedly warned the ’boes that any attempt to disrupt the meeting would be quickly dealt with. “Keep quiet.” “Keep quiet!" thundered Reitman time and again, in the stentorian voice that once peddled books for Emma. * The official bible-pounder mounted the platform. The audience sat silent expecting to hear something new from the speaker. For fully two hours the evangelist tore the hair off his head, trying to convince the three hundred men who crowded the hall that the bible is the most wonderful book of all books in the world. It was a very interesting experience to observe how the men behaved during the evangel ist’s talk. They sat motionless and expressionless all the while the evan gelist raved about his wonderful book. even one man applauded when the'raving evangelist gave away the platform to Reitman. On mounting the platform, Reitman expressed his great joy and satisfac tion at having the students from the Moody Bible Institute come to the Hobo College, Inviting them to come again. Next on the program was taking the collection to defray the expenses of maintaining this college. Reitman appealed to the three hundred men that they should assume the respon sibility of financing this "educational Institution”; that they should pay for their education, etc. The men ed as silent as during the first part of the meeting. The official pan handler went thru the crowd with “the pan.” while Reit mnn urged “Kick in boys, kick in.” “Learn to pay for your education.” The pan-handler camo back when the “pan” collection was taken. Three hundred men had given forty six cents to maintain the "educational institution.” Reitman became indignant, once more the “pan” was shoved under the Forty-Six Cents for Jesus nosßs of the silent ’boes; a few nick els dropped in the “pan.” “Six dol lars we want from this crowd,” be wailed Reitman, “Come on boys, pay for your education!” The “pan” came back bearing a few nickels. The Moody Bible students who had come with Reitman had to contribute to make up the six dollars. The same Sunday, two hours later, after the students from the Moody Bible Institute departed, another lec turer, who delivers lectures in the Hobo College every Sunday evening, delivered a scientific talk on the rela tion of man to the universe. Practi cally the same crowd attended the eve ning lecture. The usual collection was taken; once more the pan went thru the crowd; the collection amounted to 110.56. What does the hobo want —religion or scientific knowledge? Will he suc cumb to the age-worn philosophy of the meek and lowly Nazarene? Slow ly but surely the mass is awakening from the traditional delusions and su perstitions; slowly emerging into the light of coming day from the mud and slush of the opinions and prejudices that the capitalist bosses hire the Jesus-peddlers to stuff into them. It is a hopeful sign. A Letter From Soviet Land California Commune, Don District, Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. Editor New Magazine Section, Daily Worker: NOT far from Rostov-on-the-Don, on the estate of a one-time noble man and general, is now located an agricultural commune known as the “California Commune.” Here we cul tivate the rich lqanyr soil in _ accord ance with a scientific plan, with the aid of high-powered tractors and the latest farming equipment. This is the third year of our existence and our first bumper crop, and already, in spite of many obstacles, we are on a sound economic basis. There are 140 people in our organization and our problems do not end with the proper cultivation of the soil. There is the task of educating our membership and drawing them more fully into the activities of socialist construction. Our newly formed Communist nucleus is on the job and hopes in record time to liquidate all traces of illiteracy both political and -ordinary. When we consider the moral and material aid given us by the Soviet government and the glorious Com munist Party in the form of land, seed loans, exemption from taxation, long time credits, exemption from duties, and all kinds of technical advice and assistance, we realize its incompar able superiority over the so-called American democracy, where our brother farmers are not only Impover ished but actually driven off the land at the behest of the greedy bankers. Our commune is composed of Ameri can workers and farmers, some of whom do not as yet speak the Rus sian language, but we want to tell our American comrades that we are 100 percent for the Soviet system and look forward to the future with the greatest hope. We do not doubt that we will accomplish our great aim, which is to organize a model farm which will serve as an example and school for the peasants of the north ern Caucasus. We are glad of the opportunity of sending our greetings to the workers and poor farmers of America through their paper, The DAILY WORKER, and we hope that they will more seri ously study the lessons of the great October revolution and of our immortal teacher Vladimir llyltch Lenin, so that the time may soon come when they too will be building a beautiful socialist future, like the workers and peasants of Soviet Rus sia are doing. With comradely greetings, H. D. Greenberg. “We Go Up, You Go Down!” Capitalism, trying- to rise from the ruins of war, wants to get rid of ballast, and tries to cast the worker down to a lower standard, of living—says “Hay” Bales, the cartoonist. Child Life in America Today By Jimmy Clifford. mHINKING of child life as condl thins exist in America today under the capitalistic system, which has control of all the means of life, I see a most deplorable state of affairs, with no opportunity for the physical or mental development of the coming generation. We must consider the future welfare of the Youth. Food, clothing and shelter are necessary for their physical growth. First —Food. Do the worker’s chil dren have the proper necessaries of life? We read in the daily newspaper where they have installed public soup kitchens (Scranton, Pa.) to feed the striking miner’s children. What a shame and disgrace in this day and age for us to undermine the spirit of little innocent children: To give char ity whereas there is plenty of food that the workers’ have produced and approximately two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) little children slaving in the mines, mills and fields. Is it not calamitious? What are we going to do about it? Are we forever going to perpetuate this damnable system that is responsible for creat ing such putrid condition? I say no. The only hope that the writer sees is Communist Men W E are men standing defiant Armed to the teeth with Marx gunpowder. Men, courageous, tei less and pliant, Not afraid of the ramble growing ever louder. —Worker Correspondent. 7 that we must make a special effort to organize the youth and teach him. the truth of the principles of Commun ism, the theory that will enable the child to grow physically and mentally and to live a free and beneficial and wholesome life which is and should be their birthright. Second —Clothing. What do we see? The worker’s children wearing clothes that are cheap and shoddy, not fit for anything only the rag bag— although the stores and ware-houses are full of clothes that the workers have made. Third —Shelter. The workers’ chil dren live in shacks that the capitalist class would not consider good enough for their dogs to live in. But the workers are busy building fine homes for the shirkers. What are the chances of the work ers’ childjen for mental development? Their standard of education is poor, limited and wrong. But they, the cap italist class, have control of the child’s mind long enough to poison it with lies and prejudles. With the squalid homes, underfed children, and with no opportnnlty for a cultural or educational training, la it not calamitous? Freedom*s Call A RRAY yourselves in armor Of courage and ideals To free yourselves forever From wage slavery and its Ills. Workers and farmers get ready As your brothers in Russia have done. Let all in the work be united For the final battle will soon bo on. —Worker Correspondent.