Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

The worst of anarchists is the perjured Mayor who sets aside the authoritative expression of State public sentiment in the ballot box because of what he guesses to be the “public sentiment” of a city where criminal elements are noisy if not numerous. Any city government that deliberately tolerates habitual violations of State laws is of the same sort as the mountain outlaws that shot

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

“IN THE NAME OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS I

COMMAND PEACE"
Monument of State Sovereignty on Scene of Anarchists'

Haymarket Massacre of Chicago Police

cancer.

to death the judge and jury of a Virginia village. The day that news was published I said in Savannah, then "wide open" in liquor lawlessness: "What about a city government shooting to death a whole legislature? To assassinate the laws is as much worse than killing the legislators, as treason is worse than murder. How absurd to assume that those good citizens in a State who live in big, bad cities, where they most need the protection of the State laws, are the very ones who should not expect to receive that protection because an unusual number of criminals about them object ?"

It is amazing that so many good citizens are fooled by the cry of “Home rule for cities.”

As well may a surgeon grant home rule to a

Against the sophistry of Home Rulewe should revive the sentiment of State patriotism.

Inasmuch as city crimes and riots are increasing, and city elections are habitually corrupted by franchise brokers and vice dealers, the law-abiding citizens of cities should claim the right, in the name of State patriotism, to the enjoyment of the best civilisation that the majority sentiment of the whole State can provide—not content with what may be conceded by the criminals that are massed in the cities.

Instead of giving increased power to cities of decreasing moral worth, let all good citizens, in the name of home protection and for the sake of their imperiled children, elect legislators, State and National, who will give full effect to State laws-in Congress by establishing a proper comity between National and State governments in place of the collusion of Congress with the interstate nullifiers of State laws-in 1922 it was on gambling and divorce; and in the State Legislature by putting such increased powers into the hands of the Governor, Attor

ney General, and State courts, as will make it their duty to remove from office any perjured officer of town or county who is not loyal to the laws of the State.

Especially should it be made the duty of all public schools and State colleges and normal schools to promote State patriotism as a refuge against the increasing misrule of our cities. We suggest that Governors should appeal to parents and teachers to begin the teaching of patriotism and good citizenship to children as early as eight years of age, which should be signalized as the age when childhood ends and legal responsibility begins.

State Patriotism Successfully Invoked As an illustration of the lack of real "State Sovereignty” where it is most talked about, and of the way "States' rights” and State patriotism can be and should be invoked against cities that nullify State laws in the interest of commercialized vice, I put on record here the encouraging story of how I secured law enforcement in 1912, against heavy odds, in Georgia, a prohibition State, in co-operation with the State and local Woman's Christian Temperance Union. At Macon, Georgia, I found the “near beer” restaurants, that had been unwisely licensed to sell two per cent. beer, were selling beer in full strength, openly advertising even “Bock Beer," which is strongest of all. (Permission for sale of "small beer" always leads to secret sales of all other drinks.) I found that in aticipation of the annual Confederate Reunion of the whole South, scheduled for a month later, arrangements had been made for a trainload of real beer. The Mayor, on the remonstrance of the husband of the local W. C. T. U. President against this proposed nullification of law, had said ingenuously that he "would do whatever a majority of the people of

Macon desired," that is, he would enforce the law or allow it to be broken on a guess at local sentiment, regardless of the State law he had sworn to enforce. The Sheriff had even allowed himself to be put on a “Concessions Committee," whose chief “concession” was to a local brewery for the sale of beer in the big park during the Reunion. Any doubt that all kinds of beer would be sold was removed by his official offer of a reward for the detection of any one selling "whiskey,” the sale of which was no more illegal than that of beer. The train load of real beer was shipped from Indiana and came across two States into Georgia with flying banners, proclaiming its defiant attack on the Georgia law. Liquor papers also boasted of this “Liquor Tide Flowing into a Dry State," and no doubt anticipated that by wide-open liquor selling at the Reunion they would convince visitors from every license State of the South that prohibition was a failure. The only local agency that was not accepting the situation was the brave W. C. T. U., the State President of which had placed my meetings for twelve days in the State.

I counselled with the local W. C. T. U. and the Macon preachers and with the President of the Law and Order League. Most important of all, I secured, single-handed, from the President of the Chamber of Commerce the promise of a hearing before that body on a resolution asking for faithful enforcement of the law. feared that no favorable action would be taken, but when the Chamber of Commerce must vote for against law enforcement, or dodge, it could hardly do otherwise than vote for it. The State Anti-Saloon League Superintendent was brought into the fight. Syndicate articles were sent all over the South, appealing for letters to the timid Governor, who did not even make

It was

or

a protest, so far as the public knows (he said he was "only a figure-head”—had no power for local enforcement, and he really had too little), but the letters affected public sentiment. A new Solicitor General, as the local prosecutor is called, promised to enforce the law, and the Sheriff at last thought it expedient to aid him.

The result was that the trainload of beer stood idle on a side-track, and the vast throng of sixty thousand visitors at the Reunion was free from disorder and almost free from drunkenness. Mrs. T. E. Patterson, the State W. C. T. U. President, who herself took a strong part in the fight, wrote me: "We are under many obligations to you for your valuable help. That work in Macon would never have been done but for your visit there.” To which it is pertinent to reply that it would not have been done but for the following up of the W. C. T. U., whose slogan, coined by Dr. Frances E. Willard, is "Home Protection.That banner covers all the manifold battles against moral evils, whose worst indictment is that they endanger our homes.?

It is a curious anomoly that many of the Southern States that talk much of “State sovereignty” have not restored to their Governors the powers taken away by the Legislatures in “Reconstruction” days when these executives were appointed by the National Government. As a result some Southern States have really less rather than more State sovereignty than States North and West. Some Southern Governors and Attorneys General have declared themselves in doubt whether they could even use the militia to suppress defiant lawlessness.

There should be some legal means by which State sov

2 The International Reform Bureau initiated similar victories in Pennsylvania and New York State against race gambling, which afford added illus. trations of the response that States which seem indifferent to commercialized vices will make when courageous and tactíul leadership is provided.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »