Explicate this passage by Rose Schneiderman (it comes from Todd’s “Remembering the Unknowns”). You answer should include a brief discussion of Schneiderman, who she was and the context in which she was speaking. (You should find this information in the article and not on Wikipedia.) Who was she talking to when she made this speech? What does she mean when she says that public officials “have the workhouse just back of all their warnings”? Why does she say that she “can’t talk fellowship” with those who organized the meeting (and were sitting in the orchestra seats)? Your answer should include a discussion of social class.
I would be a traitor to those poor burned bodies if I were to come
here and talk good fellowship. . . . We have tried you citizens; we
are trying you now and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing
mothers and brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every
time the workers come out in the only way they to protest against
conditions which are unbearable, the strong hand of law is allowed to
press down heavily upon us. Public officials have only words of warning
or us – warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the
workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law
beats us back when we rise. . .. I can’t talk fellowship to you who are
gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my
experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. And the
only way is through a strong working-class movement (Todd, 67).