Dziennik Chicagoski -- February 14, 1891America and Poland (Editorial)
Come to me all you who are oppressed and enslaved. You, who are not allowed to act, speak, feel, and think, according to the dictates of your heart in your own land; come under "protecting wings of freedom." Here you may profess your religion, express your emotions, and love your country openly, for here we have freedom and independence.
Free America appeals to the Irish, Poles, and all similarly oppressed nations. Those who have lived in bondage can seek freedom here. Here they breathe freely, and rest in peace, and here, with pride, they become citizens of a free country, which is not ruled either by the Czar or knout.
To this country have come the Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, Spaniards, Englishmen, and Swedes, whose fatherland they will always cherish, but 2their government was a burden to them. To this country have come all nationalities for the purpose of creating a great Republic of the free, and unfortunate; here also have come those who are unworthy of freedom and liberty, and for this reason the right kind of citizens must make laws which will protect us against the evil influence of the undesirables.
However, a person does not cease to be a son of his motherland on account of becoming a naturalized citizen of this country. His presence and exemplary life in this country are a living protest against conditions created by a certain clique in his native land. It is an example of a life which he desires to see in his fatherland. It is an endeavor to introduce these conditions in a country which he left.
If we wish to make this example affective, if we wish to open the eyes of the blind, or of those who abuse authority, we must enact practical laws and obey them.3
This example is workable, for it operates in all countries which have introduced democratic constitutions, except in Russia.
These reforms in the democratic countries have been affected by the good example of the United States. This example has opened the eyes of the oppressed, and also of the oppressors; the first demanded more rights, and the second granted them. If the governments of those democratic governments do not function properly, it is because the example was not, and is not yet perfect. Let us improve this example. Let us make it worthy of imitation, and the results produced by its influence in the next hundred years will be more apparent.
In order to accomplish this, we must have, above all, good schools, for "knowledge is mother of wisdom, and ignorance is mother of bondage. We must have good schools, schools that educate mind and heart, because one is incomplete without the other; schools which teach knowledge and morality; schools that are not below the standard of those in Europe, 4if we wish to bring up good citizens, an example for Europe.
Freedom does not mean giving up the faith, language, or traditions, of the fathers. Only the Czar's government is depriving its people of these things by means of the knout. Democratic governments do not do that.
The English language has been adopted as a medium of thought exchange in the United States, because the English originally, were predominant in this country. As good citizens, we should know the language of the country, but this does not mean that this country is forcing any one to give up his native tongue. A country must have a common language for the good of the whole nation, and every good citizen should know it.
I C, I A 1 a, I A 3, I E, I F 2, I F 4, I F 6
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