« AnteriorContinuar »
6. Compositions of School Boys
To indicate the results of the citizenship training, on her own initiative, of one teacher, herself of foreign parentage, we quote from two compositions written by boys in Grade 6 B 4 of Public School No. 103 on the upper East Side on "What I do to Uphold the Constitution." Both compositions are typical of the work of an entire class. The first was written by Abraham Fleischman, a Russian boy, who had been in the United States only one year. Soon afterward Abraham died from influenza contracted in discharging his duties as monitor of his class, by keeping order among the younger boys after a snow storm when snow-ball fights were the order of the day.
A. "What would become of our country if the Constitution was lost? In order to keep the Constitution we must obey it ourselves and teach others to obey. We must obey the laws and love our flag and our country. We must convince our good American citizens that they should not listen to radical talk that might lead their thoughts astray.
"We must teach the foreigners our language and our history and show them how to be good citizens and love our flag and our country. We must teach everybody to obey the laws and show the people that no one has a right to interfere with somebody's business and show them that no country can exist without laws."
B. "While my father and my cousin were talking about the Bolsheviks my cousin said that they were smart and I interrupted and said: 'If Bolsheviks were smart they would not make so many strikes. They want to be rich without working. They want to sit on a rocking chair and smoke a cigar like Rodman Wanamaker. If you want to be rich you got to work for it. They want to work shorter hours and get more pay. I think they ought to work longer hours and get more pay and then the United States would be the leading country in the world,' and then I went downstairs after doing a good hour's work."
7. Resolutions of the Teachers' Council
In connection with the question of the loyalty of teachers, the action taken by the teachers themselves in the Teachers' Council, May 16, 1919, is of interest. The following resolution was adopted:
Whereas the Socialist Party of the United States, by ref erendum vote in 1917 after the United States had declared war, adopted in its platform: The following are measures which we believe of immediate practical importance, and for which we wage an especially energetic campaign:
...6.. Resistance to compulsory military training and to the conscription of life and labor.
7. Repudiation of war debts. And
Whereas the Socialist Party in 1917, after the United States entered the war, adopted by referendum vote the majority St. Louis Report on War, declaring:
The Socialist Party
proclaims its unalterable opposi
tion to the war just declared. As against the false doctrine of national patriotism we uphold the ideal of international working class solidarity. In support of capitalism we will not willingly give a single life or a single dollar; in support of the struggle of the workers for freedom we pledge our all. We pledge ourselves to the support of all mass movements in opposition to conscription. And Whereas the phrase "mass movement" meant the use of violence. It has never meant anything else in Socialist writings. (New York "Call," May 13, 1917.) And
Whereas every person becoming a member of the party, according to their constitution, signs a pledge that "In all my political actions while a member of the Socialist Party I agree to be guided by the constitution and platform of that party." (See Const., Art. II, Sec. 5.)
Whereas Debs, Berger, and other leaders are in jail or under sentence for expressing their Socialist sentiments.
Whereas the preceding principles were adopted by overwhelming majorities of the votes cast; those supporting the patriotic attitude were expelled or maligned; and the attempts to modify the attitude of the party on the war met on May 7, 1918, the following request: "The National Executive Committee requests the party locals not to attempt to initiate any referendums on the subject of war, as the Committee cannot submit such motions to the membership." (See the "National Office Review," Vol. I, No. 8. May, 1918, page 4.)
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Teachers' Council is of the opinion that membership in the Socialist Party, while it upholds such views, and membership in the teaching body of our public schools are incompatible,
Be it further resolved that, in the opinion of the Teachers' Council, it is "conduct unbecoming a teacher" in our public schools to accept public money and at the same time to engage in propaganda for the Socialist Party of America, to run for public office on the Socialist ticket, or to teach in a school, whose bulletin for 1917-18, states, that for "eleven years
has served the revolutionary Socialist movement."
a. Testimony of Reverend Kenneth D. Miller
Rev. Kenneth D. Miller, Associate Director of the City Immigration Work Department of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, in a public hearing before the Committee, said, in substance, the following:
One thing which I have tried in my own work to emphasize and have tried to get the churches to emphasize is to bring out and preserve the best there is in the traditions and ideals and backgrounds of these people that come here to this country and to tie that up with the best that America has to give.
We have a great many centers, some in New York City and others throughout the country where we deal with various racial groups. Here in New York we have, for instance, a Bohemian Colony, where we are trying to establish a place which in its architecture and in its general atmosphere will preserve the artistic surroundings that have come down through the traditions of the Czecho-Slovak people. Here, under the leadership of the highest type of Americans we can get, we are trying to teach these people real Americanism and also give them a chance to exhibit their folk music and folk dancing.
We conduct English classes here for both men and women and our experience with the women of this group is especially interesting. Most of them are cigar makers and work all day. We find that even though they have been here twenty or twentyfive years, they do not speak English, for they work in a Bohemian factory where no English is necessary. But as their children grow up, they find they have no control over them and they take up English to break down the barrier between themselves and the second generation. It is a slow process for them, and they do not learn English perfectly at this age.
Every Sunday night we have an open forum at Labor Temple at 14th Street and Second Avenue, which is in a great polyglot community. This used to be a church and now it is a center for Christianizing influences. I spoke down there recently on Bolshevism and got into the biggest bunch of radicals I have
met in a long while. It is gratifying work because they are all people of radical tendencies, and you can give them something really constructive. The audience is very fair about seeing the other person's point of view. There are a number of labor unions that meet in Labor Temple. Some of their members are Socialists and some are inclined to radicalism, but not all.
The following figures give an idea of the immigrant work done by 106 of our Presbyterian churches or missions aided by the Home Board:
Following is a list of Foreign Language Presbyterian churches in New York City:
Bethlehem Memorial Church of the Gospel, 5-7 King Street. Chinese Presbyterian Church, 225 East 31st Street.
Bohemian Brotherhood Church.
American Parish, 324 Pleasant Avenue.
Church of the Sea and Land, 61 Henry Street.
French Evangelical Church, 126 West 16th Street.
b. Church Publications Quoted
The Presbyterian Board publish considerable literature from which we quote to describe their activities with the foreign-born in New York City.