transcription of a foreign newspaper
ZNANJE, Vol. II, No. 1, Nov. 24, 1919
INJUSTICE TO FOREIGN WORKMEN
It seems that for all the wrongs which torture the world in its social unrest foreigners are to blame in this country.
If there is a strike, it is the work of foreigners or of foreign agitators. If there is an explosion somewhere, of which the origin cannot be explained, this occurence is blamed on foreigners. It looks as if the foreigners in America were not here for any purpose but to create chaos and disturbance.
This situation is becoming unbearable for foreign workers, and they are eager to leave this country.
On the other hand the foreigners are apparently treated well... to be better exploited.
This has happened to most foreigners in America. Most of them came from countries, where they were treated brutally by the officials of bureaucratic governments. They had to take their hats off and bend their backs before anyone who had the humblest official position.
This humiliation was a crying shame, not only for the people but also for the whole country from which they came -- the more so because they were pictured as heroes in their national poetry and as saviours of culture. It is easy to believe that our workers were agreeably touched by the fact that they will not be humiliated in America by being servile to officials. If they were hard driven at work -- they attributed that to the necessities of American life, or to their ignorance of the language. However they agreed they were treated better here than in their own country.
This was the principle reason why our workers kept away from any movement to better their condition. They were astonished to find workers in America who wanted a change for the better. Such fighting workers were called malcontents, unruly persons, socialistsand the like. As long as they could call the foreman by his first name, they thought that everything was all right; whatever the foreman said must go.
That is not the way to treat foreign workers -- assault them, jail them, beat them up, break up their organizations -- that does not lead to anything. That is not the way to make good Americans. On the contrary that will give a bad reputation to America.
America must devote more time to social questions to maintain better order; it should not turn over the fate of the country to a chauvinistic Legion.