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Riots & Equality

We are dealing with issues today we have never faced before. But many others have. The following are some timely gems of wisdom learned from experience and passed down in the printed page. They are reminders that “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecc. 1:9). Kerry


“Nothing that we could say could add to the impressiveness of the lesson furnished by the events of the past year, as to the needs and the dangerous condition of the neglected classes in our city. Those terrible days in July — the sudden appearance, as if from the bosom of the earth, of a most infuriated and degraded mob; the helplessness of property holders…immense destruction of property — were the first dreadful revelations to many of our people of the existence among us of a great, ignorant, irresponsible class who were growing up here without any permanent interest in the welfare of the community or the success of the government…

It should be remembered that there are no dangers to the value of property, or to the permanency of our institutions, so great as those from the existence of such a class of vagabond, ignorant, and ungoverned children. This ‘dangerous class’ has not begun to show itself as it will in eight or ten years when these boys and girls are matured. Those who were too negligent or too selfish to notice them as children, will be fully aware of them as men. They will vote. They will have the same rights as we ourselves, though they have grown up ignorant of moral principle…They will poison society. They will perhaps be embittered at the wealth and the luxuries they never share. Then let society beware, when the outcasts, vicious, reckless multitude…swarming now in every foul alley and low street, come to know their power and use it.” (Children’s Aid Society, 11th Annual Report, “written in the aftermath of the draft riots of 1864,” according to Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who quoted from it August 25, 1966.)


“After all that can be said about the advantage one man has over another, there is still a wonderful equality in human fortunes. If the rich have wealth, the poor have health; if the heiress has booty for her dower, the penniless have beauty for theirs; if one man has cash, the other has credit; if one boasts of his income, the other can of his influence. No one is so miserable but that his neighbor wants something he possesses; and no one so mighty, but he wants another’s aid. There is no fortune so good but that it may be reversed; and none so bad but it may be bettered. The sun that rises in clouds may set in splendor; and that which rises in splendor may set in gloom.” (from the Millennial Harbinger, 1833).


West End Bulletin 8/2/20


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