The Labor Unions and the Negro
PERHAPS he used it from choice. It may have been the rule of the company that he should use it. However that may be, I could not do otherwise than remark the fact that the porter deferentially held out a silver tray to receive the chair-checks from passengers. It was the nicest act of discrimination I had ever observed in the workday world. I was on a train between New York and Boston. The porter was only an agent in a business transaction of a corporation ; but the agent at the station who had thrown out the check with businesslike deftness, and the conductor who had briskly exchanged that cheek for another, were also only agents in the transaction. In their daily intercourse with the public they must make friends; and, with the faithful performance of their duties, they very properly look forward to advancement in their chosen career. The silver salver, however, marks the porter; it is the badge of all his tribe. He may be an educated man, as ambitious and as intelligent as the baggage agent or as the conductor ; but he must keep his place, and that place is at the bottom, and his color fixes it. He is an American citizen, and theoretically he enjoys inalienable rights, among which are liberty and the pursuit of happiness ; but in his case liberty and the pursuit of happiness have their limits, fixed rigidly by a sentiment,—the sentiment of organized labor in the United States.
If the corporation insists on the silver salver, it only frankly indicates to the porter his place, and warns him not to aspire to a higher one. A corporation is organized to make money along the lines of least resistance, and not to promote democratic principles. When one remembers the controversies with Walking Delegates, Master Workmen, Grand Organizers, and Chiefs of Brotherhoods which the officers of the company must constantly endure, one cannot blame them if they refuse to provoke any trouble that can be avoided. If the porter uses his tray from choice, and not in obedience to a formal order from his employer, he frankly indicates that he knows his place, and that he defers to a feeling too powerful to oppose. His wages are very small, for he is expected to live on the generosity of the traveling public. The tray is the badge of deference : he philosophically keeps himself in his place and makes the best of it.
The sentiment which denies him promotion and his own deference to it are the result of two separate social developments which it is the purpose of this paper to point out. They present a grave, neglected problem. The subject does not suggest to my mind merely an appeal for sympathy or justice. It suggests this less dignified but more important inquiry : How long can the community afford to deny equality of opportunity to more than one tenth of its population, while it makes the most active efforts to educate them ?
If this hostility to the negro could be traced to an innate social antipathy, one might consider it hopeless to try to eradicate it. But it cannot be so traced. His industrial advancement is now checked by the interference of the labor organizations. In the labor movement, the old guild idea of exclusiveness is yet opposed to the more recent idea of inclusiveness ; and the negro’s fate is involved in this struggle. In order to make the subject clear, it is necessary briefly to review the labor movement in the United States with reference to the career of the negro as a handicraftsman.
In a very clear analysis of the conditions of laboring men in Philadelphia a century ago, Mr. Talcott Williams has shown that“ side by side with the slave of color labored the ‘ white redemptioner,’ not the less a slave. The little city of 30,000 inhabitants, with 7000 or 8000 wage-earners, yearly saw from 2000 to 3000 white men and women land whose labor for six and eight years to come was sold on the auction-block to the highest bidder to pay the cost of passage. This white slavery . . . was the rule for all the immigration of a century ago.” With irregular work and with a depreciated, varying currency, a laborer received forty-three cents a day. A carpenter or a blacksmith worked a month for a suit of clothes, and two weeks for a pair of boots. In other words, at the beginning of the American Revolution common labor was degraded to the slave standard. The workmen were slaves, a few free negroes, “ redemptioners,” and “ poor whites.” They worked side by side. No social antipathies seem to have disturbed the miserable monotony of their service, though there are many evidences that the white workmen instinctively felt that the cause of their wretchedness was the existence of slavery.
Already in the slave population there had appeared three distinct classes, and the field-hands, the mansion-house servants, and the handicraftsmen were clearly separated groups. The agricultural laborers were herded in the quarters, subject to a system of repression which varied with the ratio of white to black population in the several colonies. In New Hampshire, for instance, where the ratio was one black to one hundred whites, the blacks enjoyed comparative freedom. They learned to read and they organized their own societies. In South Carolina, where there were two blacks to one white, such freedom would have been dangerous ; and the sense of self-protection naturally impelled the master class to enact a “ black ” code, and to punish severely any one who should try to teach the slaves or to effect an organization among them. This code was directed particularly against the field-hands, because of the great number of them.
The servants at the “ great house ” were taken from the quarters. Tidy and bright men and women were selected, and this service soon developed a distinct class. The men came in touch with their masters only where the masters’ luxuries and indulgences began. The women were exposed to the masters’ will. These servants became a highly favored class, but they were the bearers of the silver salver. They had no opportunity to learn by example or by precept those habits of application, frugality, and morality which are so important in the formative period of a dependent race. Indulgence and extravagance were the marks of the fine gentleman as the mansion-house servants saw him, and their contact with him did not extend to the work whereby he made his contribution to the real progress of the community.
Now, while the farm-hand has been working out slowly his own elevation, and is not far removed from his African progenitors, and while the great-house servant has developed into the luxuryloving menial type of to-day, the development of the laborer and skilled workman has been checked. There were skilled workmen even among the slaves. Apt men were selected from the farm-hands to raise barns, to mend harness, to put on tires. At the seaports sailing vessels required skilled work. General mending soon became specialized, and the learning of trades followed. At the beginning of the Revolution, almost every community had its slave blacksmiths, carpenters, and laborers, while at the seaports slave calkers and stevedores worked with redemptioners and poor whites. The skilled workman, besides, enjoyed privileges which developed his character. While other slaves were not permitted to pass the limits of the plantation except under strict surveillance, he enjoyed comparative freedom in going and coming. He sometimes worked miles away from his master. Often he was permitted to “ hire his time.” By this arrangement, he paid his master a fixed sum weekly, and retained as his own whatever surplus he could earn. He was daily testing his skill against that of other men. The confidence of his master inspired self-confidence. More important than all else, he was permitted, as a rule, to have his own little hut, where he lived with the mother of his children, removed alike from the degradation of the field-hands’ quarters and the corruption of the great house. This little hut, the negro’s first home, was a centre of moral impulse for the growth of the best type of the colored American of to-day.
At first this hard school of industrial education was under the direction of white mechanics, and whites and blacks worked together. The result was low wages for the whites and free blacks ; for public sentiment rated labor by the slave standard of value. When, early in this century, white workmen began to organize, they instinctively struck at slavery as the cause of their low wages. Black workmen, though free, were not permitted to organize against the employing class, and the distinction between black workmen and white workmen really began when the organization of white laborers began. Nevertheless, this distinction was not felt by the one nor made oppressive by the other. The blacks continued to work at trades. But in the idea of exclusion which animated the early labor organizations lay the germ of the present discrimination against the black workman, though the first leaders seem not to have understood it.
Indeed, the early labor movement was naturally closely allied to the anti-slavery movement. The Voice of Industry, one of the first labor journals, referring to the existence of slavery, declared in its salutatory that “ under the present state of society labor becomes disreputable.” Young America, another early labor journal, printed the “ demands ” of the workmen at the head of its editorial page. Among them was “ the abolition of chattel slavery and wages slavery.” The close sympathy of the two movements was shown by the active participation of William Lloyd Garrison, Charles A. Dana, Wendell Phillips, and Henry Wilson, at a meeting of the Workingmen’s Party held in Boston. Among the resolutions passed was one denouncing the system which held “ three millions of our brethren and sisters in bondage.” Although negroes were not active in the labor associations, the early organizers had no idea of denying equal opportunity to them in the workday world. They continued to work with white men, and there seems to have existed a human sympathy between the two classes. The organizations were agitating for higher wages and a ten-hour day. They struck at negro slavery; and it was near the middle of the century before they struck the negro man.
As organization went on, the idea of exclusion, of obstruction, became more and more prominent. Union workmen were not satisfied merely to refrain from working when they had declared a strike. They determined to prevent other men from taking the places made vacant. Throughout the South and the North protests began to appear against slave workmen doing the work for which freemen should be well paid. Immigration, not of the redemptioners of a half-century before, but of the “ assisted ” class from Europe, set in ; and the opening of the Mexican war found the unions protesting against free blacks and foreigners. They had reached the point where the exclusive idea was directing the power of organization against any man who could be distinctively marked.
Some of the friends of equality of opportunity for colored workmen have felt impelled to denounce the trade unions; unfortunately, I think, because they provoke resentment by the labor leaders against the colored man, and by inference, at least, accuse the unions of discrimination as if it were a conscious act deliberately aimed at the colored man. The unions have simply followed the development of the idea of exclusion. They have discriminated also against women of the white race, and, by the limitation of apprenticeships, against their own children.
Although exclusion is the method of the labor unions, the Knights of Labor, established about a quarter of a century ago, promulgated the idea that all people who work should be organized, all fields of human activity opened to competition, and a universal system of education established with a view to the general improvement of the masses. The ultimate object was to secure the betterment of the wage-earners’ condition. Colored workmen were welcomed into this organization ; and when its General Assembly met at Richmond, in 1887, there were in that city alone more than ten thousand members. A controversy arose as to what rights and privileges should be given to colored delegates at this meeting in a Southern city. Mr. Powderly stood against discrimination, and maintained that the standard by which labor is measured is the standard of the lowest workman. He carried the Assembly, but he never recovered his former prestige in the order. Recently, when he received a nomination for an important government office, labor leaders throughout the country opposed his appointment; and as the leading exponent of the “ inclusive ” idea in labor organization he has been driven from his chosen field of work. During the past ten years there has been no radical utterance from any leader of authority advocating equality of opportunity for the negro.
The labor movement, therefore, distinctly denies equality to the colored workman, and the three classes of negroes are to-day moving along the old lines of life. The field - hands, left to themselves, without civilizing contact with other classes, are the least removed from the standard of life of their African progenitors. Unfortunately, they are now moving in large numbers into the great centres of population, North and South, and passing under the great-house influence. Because they are unprepared for competition and lack the moral development to face the temptations of city life, their increase presents a serious problem. The mansion - house servant class has grown larger, for it has been replenished from the other two classes. This tendency has seriously affected the character of the great majority of the colored people throughout the country ; and American sentiment has come habitually to regard the negro chiefly as the domestic servant type.
The handicraftsmen and laborers continued to increase so long as labor organizations gave them opportunity ; but the exclusive idea led to discouragement that checked a natural growth and stifled the colored citizen’s best aspirations. In the city of Washington, for example, at one period, some of the best buildings were constructed by colored workmen. Their employment in large numbers continued some time after the war. The British Legation, the Centre Market, the Freedmen’s Bank, and at least four wellbuilt schoolhouses are monuments to the acceptability of their work under foremen of their own color. To-day, apart from the hod-carriers, not a colored workman is to be seen on new buildings, and a handful of jobbers and patchers, with possibly two carpenters who can undertake a large job, are all who remain of the body of colored carpenters and builders and stone-cutters who were generally employed a quarter of a century ago. I talked recently with a mother who had done her best to secure an apprenticeship for her boy to learn the confectionery trade. She told me that the uniform reply was that employers had no objection, but that they feared the resentment of their white workmen. Yet the man who gave his name to Wormley’s Hotel started as a pastry baker, and was one of the best confectioners in Washington before the war. If a colored man learns the trade of printer or bookbinder and works at the Government Printing Office, the union will admit him to membership, and allow him to remain so long as he continues in the government’s employment. But once out of the public service, he finds it impossible to secure work on a union newspaper or in a union office. A colored man may make an excellent record in the departments as a bookkeeper, an accountant, a pension or patent examiner. Such experts, if they be white, are sought by large business and professional firms. The negro, whatever his record, finds all doors closed against him. Thus, in our national capital may be observed the effects of the discrimination of labor organizations against the negro. It has entered into the very soul of the workday world, and infected even those workmen who are not organized.
Throughout the South the same change of sentiment is to be observed. Formerly negro stevedores worked on the wharves at New Orleans, and white laborers experienced no inconvenience in working with them. The effective organization of white laborers was closely followed by the driving of negroes from the levees at the muzzles of loaded rifles. The iron industry is passing through the same experience ; and though white and black builders are still to be seen working together in some places, wherever the union develops effective strength the black workmen must put down the trowel and take up the tray. I think that the Cigar Makers’ Union is the only national labor organization which has consistently and firmly repelled all attempts looking toward the exclusion of colored skilled workmen. Indeed, ability to work, the negro’s sole heritage from slavery and his only hope as a freedman, does not secure him opportunity. The results have been a lack of incentive to the young generation to learn trades, a general entry into domestic service by many of the men who would have been the race’s best representatives, and the entry of a disproportionate number into the learned professions. Many men who would have been successful mechanics and honorable citizens are now mediocre lawyers, preachers, and teachers, exposed to the temptation to live by their wits. Every day Northern philanthropists learn from experience the advisability of looking into the antecedents of the promoters of schemes for the improvement of the negro race.
It was to offset these effects that the work of Hampton, Tuskegee, and other trade schools of the South was organized on special lines. General Armstrong insisted that his boys should not be discouraged by the outlook, and that they must learn trades while following the regular curriculum. Mr. Frissell, his successor, and Mr. Washington of Tuskegee, his disciple, are carrying out the idea. This system of education has been the great counterforce to the tendencies that I have been describing ; not infrequently attention is called in the South to the advantages which negro youth are enjoying, by reason of it, over the white youth of some of the states where there are few trade schools. Yet an incident once occurred at Tuskegee itself which is a sharp reminder of the labor unions’ discrimination against colored workmen. The school had a contract in tinsmithing which required that the work should be done in a shorter time than it was possible for the students to do it alone. The manager of the tin-shop sent to Montgomery for tinsmiths. They came, but when they found that they would have to work with the colored students, who had already begun the job, they declined, explaining that the rule of their union forbade their working with colored men. The manager firmly declared that they must work with the students or not at all. They had spent their money to come to Tuskegee, and they were indignant that they were bound by such a rule ; but fearing the subsequent resentment of their fellow craftsmen at Montgomery, they passed the day in idleness, and at night went home. The union offered no obstacles to their working for a colored man’s money. The men personally, in this instance, had no feeling against the students. There was no race antipathy shown by the incident: it was simply the ancient idea of exclusion, of obstruction, asserting itself through the union with perfect, and in this case disastrous consistency.
There are now in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia between four hundred and five hundred cotton-mills, besides about seventy-five knitting-mills. Yet if organized labor succeed in its present agitation, the colored men and women, the cheapest and the most natural working class in these states, who, moreover, it is admitted, are as deft and trustworthy as the average factory operative, will be excluded from their share in this department of activity. Southern sentiment as expressed by the newspapers is almost unanimously opposed to this injustice, and the real struggle of the unions is in opposition to the general desire of the employing class of the South to give the negro whatever work he is capable of doing.
As we extend our inquiry into the Northern states, the effects of the exclusive policy of the unions become more manifest. When a philanthropic movement was started in Philadelphia, recently, to investigate the condition of the colored people, it was suggested that the work should be begun, not in the localities inhabited by large numbers of negroes, but in the workshops and factories, stores and counting-houses, in which colored people are uniformly denied equality of opportunity. The suggestion was not adopted. To the people of the North, whose attitude is so different from the attitude of the people of the South, whom they sometimes criticise, this phase of the color question is particularly unattractive ; and even our sociological students, whose work is endowed by men who practice this discrimination, seem to shrink from the sweeping criticism which this line of investigation must inevitably direct against their patrons.
The Society of Friends, more than sixty years ago, saw the importance of this phase of the question, and with characteristic directness and sagacity it compiled some records which are very important as the basis for comparisons. In the year 1838, the state of Pennsylvania adopted a constitution which deprived the negroes of the right of suffrage which they had enjoyed forty-seven years. In that year, members of the Society employed Benjamin C. Bacon to compile a directory showing the occupations in which colored men and women were employed. There are men who remember Mr. Bacon and the great care with which he secured his data. Among the occupations which he enumerates are baker, basket-maker, blacksmith, black and white smith, bleacher and hair-dresser, bleeder, boat-maker, brass-founder, brewer, bricklayer and plasterer, brushmaker, cabinet-maker, calker, chairbottomer, confectioner, cooper, currier, dyer and scourer, fuller, hair - worker, iron-forger, mason, milliner, nail-maker, painter, painter and glazier, papermaker, plasterer, plumber, potter, printer, rope-maker, sail-maker, scythe and sickle maker, ship carpenter, stone-cutter, sugar - refiner, tanner, tobacconist, turner, weaver, wheelwright. Passing over the reports of intervening years to that of 1859, by the same authority we find that the colored people had dropped out of six trades, and that in twenty-one years the immigration from the South and apprenticeships had brought forward representatives of forty-one trades not mentioned in the report of 1838. In that year nine hundred and ninety-seven men and women had skilled trades. In 1859 the number had grown to sixteen hundred and thirty-seven. The observant Quaker statistician makes this very important note : “ Less than two thirds of those who have trades follow them. A few of the remainder pursue other avocations from choice, but the greater number are compelled to abandon their trades on account of the unrelenting prejudice against their color.”
Thus, in the city of Philadelphia, while ability to work increased, opportunity was more and more curtailed, and to-day one may safely declare that practically all the trades enumerated by Mr. Bacon are closed against colored workmen. The large majority of the colored workmen of a half-century ago and their descendants have come under the mansion-house influence, and the agricultural laborers have kept crowding into the city and entering upon the same menial career.
Two brothers, who were printers, came to Philadelphia several years ago to work at their trade. There was nothing in their appearance to indicate their African descent. One secured work in a large office where white men were employed, and the other obtained a place in the composing-room of a paper published by colored men. At the end of two or three years’ faithful service the first of the brothers had become the foreman of the office where he worked. Then one of his subordinates learned that he was a colored man, and promptly communicated the startling news to his fellows at the cases. They immediately appointed a committee to warn the employer that he must at once discharge the colored printer, or get another force of men. The foreman admitted that he was a colored man, and protested that no discrimination should be made against him because of his race.
The employer said: “ I agree with you, and your work is entirely satisfactory. Besides, I do resent this dictation by men who have worked with you all this time in perfect harmony. You know more of my business than any of the others, — the contracts which I have on hand, and the loss which I would suffer if these men should suddenly leave. If you can find me a force of colored men as efficient as yourself, I 'll let the others go, and take your force, retaining you in your present position.” The foreman replied : “ I cannot get such a force, but I can suggest a plan which will insure my obtaining work. I have a red-haired brother who is a first-class printer. Discharge me, and take him. I can then secure his place.”
The plan was adopted : the brothers changed places, and harmony reigned in the printing-office until the fair-haired brother’s identity was discovered. But the first brother finally gave up the struggle in despair. He left his friends and family one day, and entered a wider world. He became a white man among strangers, and is now successful.
About three years ago I advised a colored printer to apply for admission to one of the unions. As the place of his residence he named a street on which many colored people live. A week or two later three men called at his house, and were received by his mother, who offered to take any message they might have for him. They gave her a sealed envelope, and departed without a word. The envelope contained the same sum of money that the colored printer had sent with his application for admission to the union. He cannot say that the money came from the union. He cannot say that he was denied admission.
At the time of the last strike of streetcar conductors and motormen in Philadelphia, the question of employing colored men was presented both to the company’s managers and to the labor unions. The managers declared that they feared the resentment of the men, and the labor leaders declared that they would make no discrimination in their organizations. Yet, although applications have been filed for more than a year, no colored men are employed in this work in a community one twentieth of whose residents are colored people. In Pittsburg negroes have been able to break through the outer line of the union’s intrenchments, and it will not be amiss to recite their experience in one of the largest workshops in that city. The Black Diamond Steel Works, owned by Parke, Brother & Company, has firmly insisted that no color-line shall exist in the establishment. More than twenty years ago, when Irish puddlers drew their heats, and refused to return to work except upon terms which were not acceptable to Mr. Parke, the father of the members of the present firm, colored laborers were brought in and taught the work. Since that time colored men have been employed in the several departments, including one die - grinder, one plumber, one engineer, and one man in the crucible melting department. It is the testimony of the resident member of the firm that these men, including colored puddlers at twenty-six furnaces, have done satisfactory work. Mr. Parke says that they have the same aptitude and other characteristics as other workmen, with the advantage that they show more personal loyalty to employers than foreign workmen show. In the iron and steel works at Braddock, Homestead, Duquesne, Sharpsburg, Etna, and Temperanceville, colored men are employed. While this is the most successful attempt that colored men have made toward regaining their former place in the industries of the state of Pennsylvania, and while in some branches of the iron and steel workers’ organization they have been able to break down the color-line, one incident will serve to illustrate the difficulties which have arisen. After Mr. Parke had succeeded with his experiment and colored workmen were doing satisfactory work, organizers representing the unions insisted on their joining the organizations. Carried away by the eloquence of the agitators, several of the men became members, and they soon gave more of their time and attention to agitation than to the work for which they were paid. They were discharged by Mr. Parke, and they proudly presented themselves at other shops where union workmen were employed, and applied for places, as victims to the cause of labor organization. The union workmen refused to work with them, and in a short time they returned to Mr. Parke, asking for their old places, with the lesson of the exclusive idea impressed upon their memories by bitter experience.
In other Northern states the colored workmen have passed through the same experience as in Pennsylvania, but there are instances which indicate a degree of uncertainty in the attitude of the local organizations. In New York the ill feeling of the foreign workmen seems to have reached its climax during the war, when colored laborers were mobbed in the streets. The printers in New York admit colored men to the unions, and there are instances of colored engineers and masons working at their trades without molestation. Colonel Waring as street commissioner made the experiment of employing a colored foreman. Here and there colored clerks are employed in stores. Though colored stevedores have almost disappeared from the wharves, in January, 1897, a new organization was formed whose constitution declares that there shall be no discrimination because of “race, creed, color, or nativity.” It is in this uncertainty of the labor unions’ attitude, this apparent local hesitancy here and there, that the colored man finds whatever hope he may have for the future. The situation, otherwise, is one of gloom for him ; and information that any colored man has entered upon a line of work from which people of his race are usually excluded is passed from city to city as a word of encouragement.
An impartial review of the way by which the unions and the colored workmen have reached their present relations — or lack of relations — indicates that one cannot apply the threadbare explanation of an innate racial antipathy. Negroes and white men formerly worked side by side under conditions more likely to cause friction than those that now exist. Employers who have insisted on giving colored men a fair chance agree in their testimony that after a short probation ill feeling subsides, and the negro takes the place among other workmen which he merits, — whether the place be high because of his efficiency and common sense, or low for lack of them.
The labor organizations themselves are hesitating in their course in the struggle between the two contending ideas, the idea of exclusion or obstruction and the broader idea of inclusion. Men of influence among the workmen are beginning to appreciate the fact that strikes do not pay, and that there is something radically ineffective in the idea of obstruction. Still, there is no evidence of an active movement to abandon what has been the animating principle in the undoing of the colored workman. The field-hand class is coming to the cities. Those who would naturally have developed into the great artisan class of the country are forced into work along menial lines. Public sentiment has been so generally affected that the colored man has come to be associated with this kind of work, and his effort to secure the opportunity to do better is regarded with indifference or with a sense of helplessness. The great crowds of immigrants constantly coming into the country, seeking precisely the same equality of opportunity which the negro needs, soon imbibe the prejudice against him. They aggravate and complicate the situation. The effect on the character of the growing generation of colored people is that endeavor is restrained by a sense of the hopelessness of the struggle. Educational facilities are improving every year, and an already large class is rapidly becoming more numerous, half educated, without financial resources, denied the work which it is capable of doing and detesting the work it is forced to do. It is remarkable that this class has not shown a greater disposition to vice and crime than is the case.
There is another effect which may be noticed. The number of men and women who “ go over to the white race ” is increasing. Men and women of spirit struggle against the conditions of negro life ; and in desperation, when their complexions and their hair permit, they simply enter general competition and remain silent. Colored people whom they have known in youth, as a rule, remain silent as to their identity; and in a short time marriage and associations give them a permanent standing as white citizens. This is known among colored persons as “ passing for white.” If it were not for the social injury which might possibly accrue to families of excellent people, — people who are thoroughly respected for their cultivation and public spirit, — one might easily give instances. Under normal industrial conditions, such as exist everywhere in Europe, and in America beyond the limits of the United States, these men and women, as a rule, would be perfectly contented with their families and friends within the lines of their own race, working at their chosen callings and without molestation, taking the places in the community which their aptitude and application earn for them. Forced from the natural course of development, they are living illustrations of the fact that this hostile American sentiment hastens the very process of amalgamation which it is generally believed to prevent. In a country having so large a population as this, the number of those who are at present “ passing for white ” is not considerable from the economic and sociological points of view ; but with the number constantly increasing by recruits, and with the natural increase in their families, one cannot predict how soon their case may be regarded as worthy of attention.
If this be a fair statement of the facts, a problem worthy of serious thought is presented: about one tenth of the population are denied the opportunity to grow, as the other nine tenths are invited, encouraged, forced by open competition, to grow. This abridgment of opportunity affects the character of the whole class. The public conscience in regarding the matter becomes benumbed.
At bottom American sentiment is a just and practical sentiment. It must sooner or later consider the results of such a state of things. Nowhere else in the world is to be found such a large class arbitrarily restrained in its efforts to work. This restraint is unnatural. It cannot be removed by legislation unless legislation be supported by a strong, favorable public sentiment. From whatever point of view we choose to regard the problem, it is clear that it is to be solved in the minds of individuals, employers and employed, after due deliberation as to its importance as an act of justice and as a matter of high social importance to the community.
John Stephens Durham.