24 Competitors. By Armstrong, Le Roy

This conflict is not only irrepressible; it is hopelessly unending. Oil and water are not more diverse than are the black man and the white. Good humor may bridge the gulf. Hilarity may gloss the scar. But when the laughter and dance are ended, there lies an ocean of difference, of antagonism, of scorn on the one side and spite on the other - for the Caucasian and the Ethiopian are at war. The land which gave the latter birth was pushed in creation far away, below and apart from the land of light. It was divided by seas, and bulwarked by deserts. It was all but cut off, and kept its tiny tendon of connection at the most forbidding point - where the simoom of the South was wasted and lost in the measureless sands of the East. Yet Fate, “whose stepping-stones are ages,“ pierced through all barriers, to leaven with the African the lighter life of Europe and the West. But dominance is not shifted. By a Suez isthmus the darker lad still clings to human recognition. By the preponderance of mighty seas the white denies it.

“I am a master; you, my slave!”
“Prove it for I am a man!”

The street boys, with all humanity in common, with enjoyments akin, with efforts alike, with accomplishments equal, revert to the primal struggle - and force alone can determine. For force is the one language in common, down deep below acquired courtesy. Has Sambo trespassed on the claim of Jim? Then Sambo must move on. Has Jim, in arrogance of fairer skin, pushed his frontiers beyond Sambo’s reserves? Then he shall maintain them there. The black may struggle. He will struggle, because he is upright, because he can laugh; but in the end he shall fail. Land of Goshen shall be taken from him.

Two gamins typify the feud of the races, and the circling sun can find but one solution.

Dieses Kapitel ist Teil des Buches STREET TYPES GREAT AMERICAN CITIES