Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 70
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 70
 
Jersey, and kept as virtually prisoners as if they were locked up behind jail bars until they have lost all semblance of womanhood; where small boys are taught to solicit for the women of disorderly houses; where there is an organized society of young men whose sole business in life is to corrupt young girls and turn them over to bawdy houses; where men walking with their wives along the street are openly insulted; where children that have adult diseases are the chief patrons of the hospitals and dispensaries; where it is the rule, rather than the exception, that murder, rape, robbery, and theft go unpunished—in short, where the premium of the most awful forms of vice is the profit of the politicians. “There is no ‘wine, woman, and song’ over there. The ‘wine’ is stale beer, the ‘woman’ is a degraded money-making machine, and the ‘song’ is the wail of the outraged innocent. The political backers have got it down to what has been called a ‘cash-register, commutation-ticket basis,’ called so from the fact that in some of these places they issued tickets, on the plan of a commutation mealticket, and had cash registers at the entries.”
  Lest some one think the newspaper exaggerating after all, let me add Bishop Potter’s comment before his Diocesan Convention. He will not be suspected of sensationalism:
“The corrupt system, whose infamous details have been steadily uncovered to our increasing horror and humiliation, was brazenly ignored by those who were fattening on its spoils; and the world was presented with the astounding spectacle

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