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Word Count: 939
During the height of World War I WEB Dubois issued one of the most widely-known and least-understood propositions in the history of civil rights protest In the July 1918 issue of the monthly NAACP journal the Crisis he DuBois called on African Americans to forget their special grievances and close ranks with white Americans and the Allies for the duration of the war This article of course left many Black political leaders as well as the general African-American public utterly baffled The wider significance of the controversy over Close ranks and the proposed commission lies in what it reveals about the potential for schism among black leaders and organizations at a pivotal moment in the development of civil rights thought Marcus Garvey wrote in the Negro World August 1918 that DuBois defense was a desperate effort to bolster up a bad case by far-fetched conclusions Garvey dismissed the idea that by putting their country before their rights during the war blacks would ultimately benefit By dickering with an official position he claimed Du Bois had show he was no longer the leader he had been in the Niagara Movement Instead he was a follower of the masses How can one who claims he is for the advancement of the Black man call on the Black man to unite or Close Ranks with the very enemy that he the black man is trying to advance from Simple this person has exterior motives and in the case of DuBois this solution is correct Ironically Close Ranks was published during a period when DuBois was seeking a commission as a captain in the Military Intelligence Branch MIB an antiradical agency of the United States Army General Staff Oddly enough he applied to MIB at the suggestion of his friend who in his first autobiography he DuBois wrote I do not think that any other white man ever touched me emotionally so closely as Joel Spingarn the white
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