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Albert Parker

The Negro Struggle

“Labor with a White Skin Cannot Emancipate Itself Where Labor with a Black Skin Is Branded.” – Karl Marx.

(26 October 1940)


From Socialist Appeal, Vol. 4 No. 43, 26 October 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Recently, Roscoe Dunjee, editor of The Black Dispatch, made the keynote address before the National Colored Democratic Association, in the course of which he said tire following:

“I want to insist here and now that as American citizens we demand the right to be integrated into every branch of the American Army. Recently I appeared before the resolutions committee of the Oklahoma Democratic State Convention ...

“When I did get an opportunity to talk I told that committee about the obvious discrimination in the American Army. I told them how Pat Hurely, from my state, when Secretary of War under Herbert Hoover, had practically demobilized all of the Negro combat troops of the Army. I told them that at Fort Sill, in my state, and at Fort Riley in Kansas, Negroes were nothing more than manure handlers. I told them that if Hitler was going to come over here, Negroes wanted to be armed with something else other than a mop and a broom.

“The Republican Party under Herbert Hoover struck at the Negro’s right to fight for this country and we want to ask our party convention this year to put a gun in the black man’s hands. We want the right to fight in the Army, Navy, the air, and the National Guard ...”

Dunjee correctly puts part of the blame for the Jim Crow conditions in the armed forces on the Republicans, who today are promising the Negroes everything they can think of ... that may possibly win them a vote.

But how he prostitutes himself when he pretends that the Democrats are any better in this respect! Assume for a minute that the Republicans were solely responsible for these conditions. The Democrats have had eight years now to correct them, haven’t they?

Talking about that reminds us about the committee of Frank Crosswaith, William Pickens and Alfred Baker Lewis, who signed that rotten article, Colored Americans Have a Stake in the War, issued as war propaganda by the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies.

We’ll discuss that article again in future weeks. Here we’ll limit ourselves to George Schuyler’s comment on it in the Pittsburgh Courier of Oct. 12: “They speak of the Hitler menace to freedom of speech, press and assemblage, forgetting all about Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama. They say the NAACP would be illegal under Hitler, forgetting how dangerous is membership therein in the Deep South outside of a few cities, one member having recently been lynched outside of Brownsville, Tenn.

“Ironically enough, in proof of the fact that British imperialism ‘is softening’, they boast that in Jamaica, Bustamente, a prominent Negro trade unionist and radical, has had freedom to organize and agitate even under British imperialism ... In Germany or Italy, Bustamente would have been put in a concentration camp or perhaps executed ...’

Here’s the laugh on that ... Last week several Negro newspapers announced that Bustament HAS been thrown into a concentration camp.”

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Last updated: 15 August 2020