Source: Cleveland Citizen
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Citizenisms”
City of publication: Cleveland, Ohio
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 35
|“Citizenisms.” Cleveland Citizen 21 Sept. 1901 v11n35: p. 1.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); McKinley assassination (public response: criticism).|
|Leon Czolgosz [variant spelling below]; William McKinley; Charles D. Williams.|
Since the last issue of this paper, and contrary
to general expectations, President McKinley died from the effects of the bullet
wounds received at the hands of the Anarchist Czolgasz, and on Thursday his
body was consigned to its last resting place in the pretty little city of Canton,
the home of his boyhood, the scene of his triumphs. In a few days the miserable
assassin will be led to the electric chair, and then the last act of the tragedy
will have closed.
Nothing has been accomplished by the idiot Czolgasz except to inspire with new life the forces of reaction, and if for no other reason than this he and his kind are enemies of mankind. Not satisfied with visiting vengeance on the head of the murderer, certain newspapers, public orators and even ministers of the gospel, all of whom take a superficial view of social problems, who find fault with effects and care nothing for causes, are wildly blaming men and institutions other than themselves for the wrong done and are clamoring for ways and means to prevent a repetition of the crime committed.
Demands are made to “pass laws,” as though those who are to enforce the laws can smell out culprits and would-be murderers from afar. Free speech and a free press come in for reckless criticism without the slightest regard for the new dangers that suppression would arouse. Speakers, writers and cartoonists who opposed McKinley in the last campaign are singled out for attack, and it has been almost treasonable to oppose the political principles that he espoused. In fact, a sort of reign of terror has existed during the past couple of weeks.
And this in a republic—where we are taught to put principles above men, and that the humblest citizen is the peer of his fellow!
No sane man, no man who believes in humanity, can endorse murder; and, therefore, the intemperate utterances of those who are supposed to be looked up to are inexcusable and are bound to prove injurious if persisted in.
As we pointed out last week, those who are now anxiously discussing plans to prevent crime should go to the root, aid in removing economic oppression and to establish social justice. In this connection we cannot help but commend the wise words of Dean Williams, of Trinity Cathedral, last Sunday, the most sensible that have come from the pulpit in reference to the Buffalo tragedy. Dean Williams did not cry for blood, for revenge. He advised that steps be taken to wipe out the crime-breeding slums, to remove the causes of degeneracy and unrighteousness and uplift mankind.
As the Socialists and progressive trade unionists appear to be the only ones who are attempting, in a legal, rational, ethical way, to remove the causes that foster crime, when it comes to classifying patriotism they are the real patriots.