It’s an age-old argument:
In his March 9, 1935 “Dottings” column, Ebenezer wrote about legislation forwarded by Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Thomas O’Malley, calling for the wealthy to be drafted for the U.S. military first.
“Individuals with the highest income must be sent to the point of hostilities before any other individuals called to service,” the bill read.
Ebenezer wrote: “It has long been conceded that munition makers, financers, and all those who hope to profit by war do more to incite such outbreaks than all the assassinations of archdukes put together. But fortunately for them, and unfortunately for others, these men generally stay at home lounging in soft-cushioned chairs and otherwise enjoying themselves while so-called patriots, who have nothing to gain, wallow in mire and are exposed to all hardships, making cannon fodder for ‘the enemy,’ while defending ‘their country.’”
In the latter half of the column Ebenezer offers a counter argument to fellow West Indian writer Donald Moore, whom my father quoted extensively in his “Dottings” column on Jan. 26 of that year. The column examined the recommendations of what was called the Closer Union Commission, which was considering a West Indian Federation.
“Such a federation, amongst other things, would eliminate the present burden of several high-salaried government officials who are sent out from Downing Street, England and have little interest in the country over which they lord,” Ebenezer wrote.
“We do not want to be misunderstood. Our correspondent is justified in being skeptical or cynical because present day Imperialists in Britain as well as overseas distinctly object to sharing the burden of trusteeship with those over whom they have appointed themselves trustees. . . In each British colony, therefore, the color question has to be tackled and the racial prejudices and disabilities which arose out of slavery and which are very much alive in spite of Emancipation have to be overcome before concessions which are given to other British subjects are obtained by men of color.”