3 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2018
    1. All these are but passing incidents; but they show clearly that a discrimination practiced in the United States against her own citizens and to a large extent a contravention of her own laws, cannot be persisted in, without infringing upon the rights of the peoples of the world and especially upon the ideals and the work of the United Nations. This question then, which is without doubt primarily an internal and national question, becomes inevitably an international question and will in the future become more and more international, as the · nations draw together, In this great attempt to find common ground and to maintain peace, it is therefore, fitting and proper that the thirteen million American citizens of Negro descent should appeal to the United Nat ions and ask that organization in the proper way to take cognizance of a situation which deprives this group of their rights as men and citizens, and by so doing makes the functioning of the United Nations more difficult, if not in many cases impossible.

      I found this section to be particularly intriguing and a confusing place to end his argument. While I can understand the rhetorical choice in terms of his audience, it seems at best a loose and half-hearted appeal to UN member countries based in the notion of self-interest instead of solidarity and justice, which seemed to be the more prevalent themes underlying Du Bois' argument.

    2. In the meantime, however, white labor had continued to regard the United States as a place of refuge; as a place for free land; for continuous employment and high wage; for freedom of thought and faith. It was here, however, that employers intervened; not because of any moral obliquity but because’ the Industrial Revolution, based upon the crops raised by slave labor in the Caribbean and in the southern United

      I have chosen this paragraph in particular to discuss the structure of Du Bois' sentences. The appeal is marked by long sentences separated by semicolons and commas. Often these long sentences build on each other to create the effect of a kind of breathlessness, an endless list of the conditions that mark the ways in which Blacks are discriminated in the US and the ways in which this hurts prospects for democracy at home and abroad.

    3. There are a large number of white Americans who also descend from Negroes but who are not counted in the colored group nor subjected to caste restrictions because the preponderance of white blood conceals their descent.

      I found the diction used in this sentence to be particularly interesting. Du Bois refers to white peoples has having "white blood" instead of white skin. This is contrasted with his description of the oppression of Blacks based based on black "skin". It is interesting to me that he uses this diction to refer to something that seems more innate or even more deeply engrained than skin. The diction serves to represent the extent of repression Black peoples face in the United States.