Du Bois's Unfair Attack

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" Mr. Washington distinctly asks that black people give up, at least for the present, three things"Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others

I do not agree with what Du Bois is saying here. I am not an expert on Booker T. Washington, but this is not the impression I got after reading about him.  He believed that the black man needed to start at the bottom in order to get to the top.  He also recognized that it would be impossible to reach such a top if they stayed in the mindset of revolt and revenge.  Washington was a leader of both races. I am not surprised then that he would receive oppostion from people of his own race, including Du Bois.  I feel that criticism is healthy, but I do not feel that Du Bois represents Washinton's views (the very thing he is criticizing) fairly and properly and some of Du Bois's opinions were not that far from Washington.  Not everyone during this time will be able to accept Washinton as they are bitter at any idea of compromise, but I do not get any feeling that Booker T. Washington wanted the black community to give into anyone.  He started a movement towards unity, which he thought would end up giving the black man everything Du Bois mentioned in his attack on Washington.  Washington was giving both the black man and the white man the tools to get the black man where Du Bois thought such a man needed to be. 

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5 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

"He believed that the black man needed to start at the bottom in order to get to the top."
I would certainly hope that black and whites would have to do entry level before advancing. That's only fair. No one race should have more control over the other. That is what divides races, and brews racism.

Jessica Pierce said:

I agree. Washington never wanted the black community to succumb, but only to succeed. His philosophy was based on never attacking anyone to reach a common goal: openness. To ask his race to "dumb down" would be an attack on them, wouldn't it? Du Bois's attack was definitely unfair. It included none of the ideals that Washington stated in his writings.

Jamie Grace said:

I completely agree with you. I didn't get that impression of him either. I feel that Washington would be mad that someone was criticizing him like that.

Jered Johnston said:

I agree that Du Bois "attack" on washington may have been out of line but can you really blame the guy for having an apprehension toward the south especially in regard to what he percieved as giving up. Also I think washington would not be too upset about Du Bois "attacking" him but I do think Du Bois would be mad about a bunch of white kids at a private college criticizing him....just a playful thought.

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