They Should Disavow It, June 12, 1917


<June 12 -- 1917>


According to the telegraphic reports, a profound silence followed the reading of a paper by Jane Addams in which she associated pacifism and patriotism in such a way as brought out subsequently an indignant and stinging challenge from Judge Carter of the Illinois superior court.

Here is an opportunity for the suffragists of the country to disclaim the attitude of Miss Addams as representative of the political equality movement. If this is not done; if it is permitted to be taken as expressing the general suffragist sentiment; if the people of the country are to assume that suffrage stands for the species of pacifism advocated by Miss Addams, it will set back the cause of equal suffrage for years to come.

Miss Addams challenged the justice and righteousness of the war into which the United States has entered, after the most solemn consideration of its duty to the cause of humanity. No American has the right to such a challenge now. If it is not treason it is dangerously near it. If such utterances are not calculated to give aid and comfort to the enemy, what is their effect?

Just before reading this paper Miss Addams must have read the communication to Russia by President Wilson. How any loyal American, with the sentences of the President ringing in his ears, could have uttered the seditious balderdash of Miss Addams is past conception. It will be equally surprising if the intelligence and loyalty of the suffrage movement does not issue, if not a rebuke, at least a disclaimer.

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