The Shape of Things.
What really matters is how women will use the ballot. Will they carry on in the true spirit of Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott? Or will they consent to and by passivity connive at the disfranchisement of their colored sisters in the South–the acid test of understanding their new part? Stop with the ballot they cannot, nor short of full equality, economic as well as political. No office in the land but shall be open, no distinction of sex but shall be abolished. And from their struggle women ought surely to bring into our world of handicaps and disqualifications a fuller and more sympathetic understanding to destroy privilege, to remove inequality, and to transform democracy from a mummified fetish into a living reality.
–Editorial, September 4, 1920
So the President declines to pardon Debs [from charges brought under the Espionage Act in 1917] on the ground that it would “set a bad precedent and would encourage others to oppose the Government in the event of another war.” Let us hope, charitably, that this decision, too, must be laid to the President’s ill-health….
As for Debs,…he has the daily thrill of realizing that while his prosecutors have been rejected by the American people as has no other administration in history, nearly two millions of Americans voted for the man in prison garb behind the bars. Those voters did not believe Debs either disloyal or guilty…. No, Debs has nothing to destroy his soul’s poise in Atlanta, where he has become the greatest influence for goodness and light.
–Editorial, December 1, 1920
AMERICA ONCE HAD HEARD that Mr. Sassoon was the poet of the war, had read him, and had found him dull. But Wilfrid Owen’s poems come from England now, and they convince….
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitten as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
–Review by Mark Van Doren, May 25, 1921
Africa for the Africans–The Garvey Movement
Whatever may be said by way of criticism, this movement of the colored masses is anything but a joke. Neither Garvey nor any other human being could ever build up such a movement among the masses if it did not answer some longing of their souls. His particular movement may fail; the new racial consciousness of the Negro will endure….