Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 225
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 225
in with the ways of the country; and especially is it not lost on his boy.
  We shall see how it affects him. He is the one for whom we are waging the battle with the slum. He is the to-morrow that sits to-day drinking in the lesson of the prosperity of the big boss who declared with pride upon the witness stand that he rules New York, that judges pay him tribute, and that only when he says so a thing “goes”; and that he is “working for his own pocket all the time just the same as everybody else.” He sees corporations pay blackmail and rob the people in return, quite according to the schedule of Hester Street. Only there it is the police who charge the pedler twenty cents, while here it is the politicians taking toll of the franchises, twenty per cent. Wall Street is not ordinarily reckoned in the slum, because of certain physical advantages; but, upon the evidence of the day, I think we shall have to conclude that the advantage ends there. The boy who is learning such lessons,— how is it with him?
  The president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children says that children’s crime is increasing, and he ought to know. The managers of the Children’s Aid Society, after nearly fifty years of wrestling with the slum for the boy, in which they have lately seemed to get the upper hand, said recently, that on the East Side children are growing up



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