Must Mobs be Mobs?
(The Crimson invites all men in the University to submit signed communications of timely interest. It assumes no responsibility, however, for sentiments expressed under this head and reserves the right to exclude any whose publication would be palpably inappropriate.)
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
What is Mr. Rosenblatt, in his recent letter to the CRIMSON, trying to prove to us? He "agrees . . . . in condemning lynching, but asks any man what he would have done were he a resident of an ordinarily well-conducted and prosperous community in which such crimes had been perpetrated." If this implies anything more than a mere thirst for information, which can easily be gratified by asking any man verbally, it implies that lynching is the only possibility; that the said resident has no way open to him of improving the legal and police administration of his city save that of defying both. This is, of course, conceivable. The electorate, and, consequently, the administration, being hopelessly corrupt, a small but determined band of citizens might possibly feel that there was no alternative to taking upon itself the execution of justice, and proudly abiding the consequences. But does Mr. Rosenblatt really think so badly of Omaha's administration, or see in a herd of men that yelp themselves into blood-lust, and then scuttle like rabbits, her true patriots? We ask leave to doubt it.
Certainly the rest of the letter adopts a very different tone. "Mobs will be mobs" it says in effect. "The writer does not apologize for the outbreak, but merely attempts to explain it cause. . . . only to be expected . . . . who can answer for . . . . No wonder . . . ." Moral censure is certainly an ugly thing, and one likes to see it deprecated; but such deprecation to be effective should be consistent. If Mr. Rosenblatt writes in this truly Christian spirit of the lynching, then the least he can say of the original assault is that criminals will be criminals; that, in view of the number of uneducated negroes in town, such incidents were "only to be expected"; that "who can answer for the foolhardy woman "who went about the city alone under such circumstances, and in short that "no wonder!" But this opportunity he seems to have neglected.
He is perfectly just in pointing out that a city with no "negro problem" has no right to take up a "holier than thou" attitude; but when he belittles as foolhardy the man who risked his life in defence of law and order, we can only regret it; and when even by implication he makes out a lynching mob as in any degree less contemptible than their victim, we cannot join issue with him too quickly. SYDNEY FAIRRANKS, IL.