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Send the Rockefellers, Fords and Mellons to war first

8 Jan

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.

The only other reference I could find on this legislation was in a book titled Wealth, War & Wisdom by Barton Biggs.

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.”

Guest column: The Closer Union Federation

8 Jan

Ebenezer offers his space to colleague Donald Moore. You’ll see in the “Dottings” column March 9, 1935, that Ebenezer offers his own take on the Closer Union Federation. If there are to be any changes in or of the present system of government which has been, and is still, a system of futility,” Moore wrote, “then let those changes be the elimination of said system and a government as given to the Irish, take its place for the general progress of the islands and their people.”

The New York Age, January 26, 1935

Merry Christmas, Joe Louis, the Communists, the Scottsboro Boys and Mother

25 Dec

Joe Louis 1935

I love the fact that my father gave a shout out to his mom, whom he said was responsible for all that was good in him.  (Sadly, he used the same line nine months later when she died.) He also sent greetings to Joe Louis, the “uncrowned king,” “the Scottsboro lads with a sincere hope for their ultimate freedom,” and  the Communists who took up the Scottsboro Boys cause and saved their lives. There was some reluctance among supporters of the NAACP about whether the Communists efforts on behalf of the Scottsboro Boys would hurt their cause.  Ebenezer did not seem to have those concerns. He did give props to the NAACP for its “untiring efforts on behalf of the Negro race.”

The New York Age, December 28, 1935

‘Vacation days are here!’

14 Dec


The New York Age, July 20, 1935

“Vacation  days are here!,”  Ebenezer wrote in his New York Age column published in July 20, 1935.  “A human current moves toward parks, playgrounds, camps, beaches and other vacation and summer resorts. The dust has been blown from the old lunch kit; the abbreviated bathing suit has been removed from the moth balls; the house holds but little charm; the typewriter, well we’d better skip it!”  Zuri and I arrived in Barbados yesterday on a flight filled mostly with folks headed “home” for the holidays. I envied them.  My seat mate on the JFK to Bridgetown was headed to St. Philip to spend six weeks with her daughter. Of course, I could not let an opportunity pass without asking if she knew any Wrays, Rays or Alkins. She didn’t.  We will head to the archives today. But first, the beach . . .

A cancer grows in Brooklyn

10 Dec

Georgia and Alabama’s “cancer” seems to be spreading its tendrils in Brooklyn. The sooner its growth is checked the better for all concerned – Negroes especially.

The New York Age, March 2, 1935

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