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The Laurens advertiser. (Laurens, S.C.) 1885-1973, April 10, 1913, SECTION 1, PAGES 1 TO 8, Image 3

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93067760/1913-04-10/ed-1/seq-3/

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ference whether the criminal is In
jail or out of it, whether he is in the
clutches of the law or a fugitive from
justice, he is not a free man. What
we generally mean by freedom,
then, is compulsory freedom! The
law-abiding citizen is free: but all
law is compulsory .
But there is another type of free
dom which Is quite different without
limitations. It Is the type of free
dom which manifests Itself In the
individual who knows no law and no
restraints, who not only docs as he
pleases but pleases as ho pleases.
Did you ever have the misfortune to
come Into contact with an individ
ual who had conclevcd the idea that
the world owed him a living and who
considered himself free to collect the
debt by any means whatsoever?
Such an one Is a free man In his
second meaning of the term freedom.
It is this conception of freedom that
motivates the men who shoot up
courts of justice, wantonly destroy
property, and murder the heads of
nations. This is undoubtedly a type
of freedom, but it is also anarchy.
Now in talking about compulsory
? education and freedom it is absolute
ly necessary for us to distinguish be
tween these two types. Of the first
type of freedom a compulsory educa
tion law would in no sense rob us.
It would, to bo sure, put another lim
itation upon our activities: but If It
is a good law it would make us more
free. For freedom, In this sense, is
defined In terms of law and orders;
consequently, every law Is just a
further definition of freedom. Thus
it happens that all of the talk which
we sometimes hear from our politici
ans to the effect that compulsory ed
ucation would rob the individual of
his inalienable right to freedom is
wholly without point, provided wo
mean by freedom the type of freedom
that characterises the law-abiding
citizen of a civilized community.
Of the second type or freedom, how
ever, a compulsory education law
would bo the irreconcilable foe.
Between them there would be war
to the death. Should such a law be
passed, undoubtedly some individuals
in Laurens county and in the state
of South Carolina would be compelled
to please to do some things which
they do not please to do; thus they
would not be quite so free as they
now are, compulsory education hav
ing robbed them of another selfish
interest. And so our politicians are
right when they say that a compulsory
education law would rob Individuals
of their freedom, provided they mean
by freedom the tendency towards
Now these two types of freedom
cannot exist together. They are fa
tally opposed to each other; between
them are Irreconcilable conflict. Con
sequently, we must choose between
them. No one who calmly deliberates
upon tho matter can long remain
undecided which to choose. Indeed,
If society Is to continue to exist there
is only one possible. And that Is
the freedom which consists In obe
dience to law. This is the only real
freedom. If we choose tho other, then
the whole foundation of our social
fabric Is removed.
Therefore, tho whole problem of
compulsory education reduces to this:
Is It a good law? Is it a necessary
law? The adjective "compulsory"
bothers us no longer, for there is no
question of reall freedjom Involved.
If tho law Is a good law, that is, if
it is a law that will better social and
political conditions, then we may rest
assured that its enactment will make
us more, and not less, free In the
truest sense of the word. If the law
Is a good law, and if the end aimed at
cannot be attained in a better way,
then the law Is a necessary law.
That the law is a good law Is guar
anteed by the fact that the end to bo
attained by it is generally admitted
to be a desirable end. So, unless this
end be accomplished in some other
way s\hlch is preferable, tho law
should bo enacted.
But, you object, there Is another
way of accomplishing the end desired.
And this Is by leaving the education
of the children in the hands of their
parents. No one is more interested
in the child than its own parents;
they best can care for Its intellectual
training. There is no necessity of
compelling them by a special act of
legislation to do that which their
natural love for the child and their
inborn interest in its highest welfare
will lead them to do.
This objection has the merit of be
ing a very pretty sentiment. Would
It were true! If it were true, not only
a compulsory education law, but all
other laws as well, would soon be
unnecessary. But a millennium has
not yet dawned. Human beings are
still fallible and short-sighted; they
arc not always able to see what Is
their true interest. This short-sight
I cdness and dimness of vision is pe
culiarly marked In connection with
educational matters; tho returns of
education are so subtle that they are
not always visible to the unaided eye,
and it is not surprising that many
parents are hopelessly Incapable of
measuring its value rightly. If the
state would take the matter in hand
and tell all parents what to do with
reference to the education of their
children, it would accomplish a two
fold good. It would greatly assist
those parents who at heart are really
interested in their children's welfare
but who, f left to themselves, are noe
capable of seeing what that welfare
truly is, by simply indicating to them
where it may be found; and it would
do an incalculable service to those
children who are so unfortunate as to
have their potential selves placed at
the tender mercies of thoughtless
and negligent parents whose Ideals
and aspirations have not been tired by
the live coals from the altar of the
higher and nobler values of life.
Furthermore, even granting that
the same end could finally be accom
plished without the aid of the com
pulsory education law, tho objection
before us may be attacked from an
other point of view. The end could
be attained in a much shorter time
with the law than without it. If
the education of children is loft en.
tirely in the hands of parents, most
of us now living shall have long since
passed to that bourne from whence
no traveller returns before the pres
ent educational situation will have
been greatly Improved upon. "With
the aid of the law, however, the im
provement would undoubtedly be very
marked in a generation. Then why
not have the law? If the goal Is as
important as it appears to be. it cer
tainly should bo reached as quickly |
as possible. Time is< an invaluable
asset of character. It is said th.it a ]
farmer, when urged by an agent to
purchase an Incubator in order to
have time In raising his chickens, re
marked, "What In tho name of com
mon-sense Is a hen's time worth?"
Not anything perhaps, nut the time
which marks the life of a human be
ing is of inestimable value, at any
rate from the point of view of the
individual in question; and it should
be redeemed.
Another objection that is sometimes
raised against the system of compul
sory education In South Carolina re
fers to local conditions. Many are
Willing to admit that compulsory edu
cation is a good law in the Now Eng
land states, for example, hut they
argue that the conditions in South
Carolina make it impracticable here.
The difficulty, of course, arises in
connection with the presence of the
negro in the state in such large num.
!" rs. if the compulsory education
law were enacted in South Carolina,
it is said, the law would apply to
negro children as well as to white
children. But this would be disas
trous. Negro children should not be
educated, because when you educate
a negro you spoil him. Such Is the
It will bo Impossible to enter here
into an exhaustlvo discussion of this
objection to the system of compulsory
education in South Carolina. Tho
limits of space will permit only a
general statement concerning Its
If my reader does not hold the con
viction that education is not good for
the negro, doubtless there are some
among his acquaintances who do. I
was once of this opinion myself. And
the solo basis for it, in my own case,
was a vast amount of prejudice bol
stered up by an acquaintance wth
three negro men who had been made
contemptible by a smattering of so
called higher education. And I dare
say that practically all of those who
have this view can Und no better basis
for It in their own experience. If we
put prejudice aside for the moment
and calmly ask ourselves why educa
tion should not be a good thing for
a negro child if it is a good tiling for
a white child, can wo honestly find
an answer? There Is no virtue in ig
norance as such; ignorance is a
weakness. Then why should we In
sist that the negro should bo kopt
Ignorant? If Intellectual training is,
on the whole, advantageous to the
white race of rational creatures, it
is, on the whole and for the very
same reason, advantageous for the
red, yellow, and black races of ra
tional creatures. Color Is no In
superable barrier to the benefits and
advantages of civilization.
Even laying aside humanitarian con
siderations and viewing the matter
from a purely selfish point of view, it
is to the advantage of the whites to
interest themselves in the education
of the negro. Statistics will doubtless
show that the hordes of law-breakers
who people the prisons of the South
and crowd her courts of justice come
largely from the Ignorant ami Hilter,
ate class of negroes: Ignorance and
crime go hand in hand. Educate the
negro, and you lessen crime in his
race; give him something to think
ahout higher than his bestial nppc
tlet?, and you eradicate from his na
ture a very potent Impulse to crimi
nal indulgence. Yes, 1 dare assert that
the education of the negro would pay
In actual dollars and cents. If you
choose to view the matter In this light.
It may very well bo that the negro
child is not fitted for the kind of edu
cation which Is suited to the needs of
the white child. Perhaps they are
not of the same Intellectual capacity.
Personally, I am Inclined to think
that such is the case. From the stand
point of theory much can bo said In
support of such a view. The history
of the negro race has been markedly
different from the history of our own
race. The forefathers of the present
generation of negroes had nothing of
the intellectual discipline that came
to our forefathers through the hard
ships of their sojourn in northern
Qormany, through the conquest and
development of the British isles, ami
through the creation, expansion, and
preservation of the United States of
America: so it would not he at all
Blirprlslng wore the present-day ne.
gro child Inferior, Intellectually, to
the present-day white child in the
South. And the facts of negro educa.
tloil in the South seem to indicate that
there is an Intellectual difference be
tween the two races: the type of edu
< allon that is suited to the one does
not seem to be the type of education
which meets the needs of the other.
Put surely this is no argument aglnst
tin1 education of the negro. It does
not prove him to be hopelessly in.
callable of education, nor does It prove
that education necessarily makes a
fool of him. It only proves that a
BPOClal type of education should be
provided for him. To provide this ed
ucation should not be a very difficult
task; in fact, "the experiments of
, Pooh er Washington have already
largely solved the problem.
For the sake of emphasis permit
me, in conclusion, to put the whole
problem of compulsory education in
South Carolina, as it appears to me,
in as direct and concise language as
I can command. A compulsory edu.
j cation law is no more antagonistic to
tbo legitimate freedom of any Individ
ual than is any other Justifiable law,
for freedom is a matter of patriotism.
and not a matter of selllslmoBB.
Neither is a compulsory education
IjVW impracticable III South Carolina
o. account of the presence of the ne
gro; on the contrary, its usefulness
would bo especially manifest in con
nection with the negro portion of the
population. Whether we like it or
not. the negro constitutes an Integral
part of the state, and anything that
will tend to elevate him will just ho
far forth prove helpful to the stale:
when a member of our physical body
Is ailing we do not set about to ag
gravate the disease but wo try to euro
it, and wo should be as sonslblo in
dealing With the body politic. Tho
compulsory education law Is a good
law; becauso the end at which It
aims, namely, an educated citizenship,
Is absolutely fundamental to the high
est Interests of the state. Finally, tho
compulsory education law is a neccB
sary law; because, under existing cir
cumstances, the end at which It alms
cannot be so surely and speedily at
tained by any other method. And, If
all of these statements are true, tho
only conclusion at which I can arrive
is that a compulsory education law
should bo onactod by the legislature
of South Carolina, if need be over the
governor's vein, without further delay.
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?????????? OF
Wednesday, April 23, 1913, at 10:30
This is the property of J. I.& T. D. Copetand in the Eastern part of town on the S. A. L. and C. N. & L.
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built in this section than in any other in the City in the past ten years. A good portion of this property
on sewer line and in sight of and only one-fourth mile from Presbyterian College and only 200 yards
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