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The Hon. W. Cameron Forbes, editorial for May 15, 1909

Saturday, May 15, 1909

The Hon. W. Cameron Forbes

Let us have the truth about the Mr. Forbes. Let us give him credit for working when he might retire into a life of privacy and ease. Let us pay tribute to his generosity if there be merit in a generosity which feels little or no loss in the giving. Let us applaud his close attention to his official duties and his indefatigable labors in the common weal. Let us admire his readiness to assist any deserving cause. Let us acknowledge some degree of business ability.

At the same time let us not shut our eyes to Mr. Forbes’ shortcomings. Let us admit that he has neither social charm nor a winning personality. Let us confess that his manner is unfortunate, that as a public speaker he does not impress or inspire his audience, that he seems to lack energy and aggressive force of character, that rumor commonly credits the staff of men with whom he has surrounded himself as contributing in very large degree to such success as he may have attained, and that he is never regarded as a strong man or one could successfully guide the administration here through a long term of trying years.

As to the “accomplishment of the man” we fail to see much so far. Some promise, yes, but little performance. As to “the trust and affection of all elements of the people” we simply say—buncombe!

We do not wish to be understood as feeling unkindly towards W. Cameron Forbes the man or Forbes the official. But we do wish to be understood as protesting against this intolerable atmosphere of cant and gush and benevolent misrepresentation when it comes to our men in office. Here the lack of an opposition has bred an atmosphere of complacent self-deception, of extravagant appreciation, of stereotyped and indiscriminate praise and panegyric.

Wither are we drifting? Editorial for May 1, 1909

Saturday, May 1, 1909

Whither are we drifting?

ONE of the most significant in our administration of these islands today is the growing estrangement between American and Filipino. Ever since two or three months after the Taft visit and the inauguration of the assembly there has been a steady drifting apart and the tension seems to be daily increasing. This condition is not imaginary. It is matter of comment among many Americans and Filipinos in touch with racial sentiment here, and former residents returning to the islands say they have been forcibly struck by it.

The causes conducting to this state of affairs are not obscure. In our political relationship there exists an inherent and prolific source of discord.

This political antagonism, sufficient in itself to make the situation one of exceeding difficulty, is intensified by racial antipathies. Between the two peoples there seems to lie a social gulf which is crossed in only rare instances. The average American, with whom usually rests the initiative, is not concerned about making a friend of the Filipino; rather does he enjoy showing his open contempt for him. The feeling of racial superiority, not always justified, will not down. Even where the American may display a perfunctory solitude for the Filipino and a desire to maintain social relations the latter, possessed of a pride equal to our own and gifted with a delicate intuition sometimes superior to our own, discerns and resents the veiled condescension.