A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, like so many other “radicals” of the time were students of Harrison. The feud with Garvey, however, would deteriorate under these two, especially Owen, who in my opinion was a bit of an opportunist (maybe even an agent). After his stint as a socialist, Owen moved to Chicago, Illinois, where after experiencing a change in financial fortunes, became a Republican. (Afrikan Americans still voted Republican at the time.) He became managing editor of the Chicago Bee, a major Afrikan-American publication, and continued to back Randolph in his efforts to unionize Pullman porters on the railroads. Owen went on to set up his own public relations company. He remained interested in politics and wrote many speeches for politicians such as Wendell Willkie, Thomas Dewey, and even for US presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Randolph and Owen believed in democratic socialism; they tied their hopes for Black progress to this idea. Garvey's emphasis on capitalism was at odds with them. Moreover, Randolph, like DuBois, had tried to build a mass-based (socialist) organization, called the Friends of Negro Freedom (FNF). He had also tried to infiltrate the UNIA with socialist doctrine. And in both endeavors, he failed. Part of his attack on Garvey was because of these failures. Like DuBois, Randolph wanted to be the leader and spokesperson for Black folks. Along came Garvey, an upstart; a successful one at that. This had to wound the pride or ego of Randolph; Hence, like DuBois, we must view Randolph's attack as partly ideological and partly personal.
In the 1920s, Randolph and other black leaders, most of whom had supported Garvey after his arrival in the United States, came to believe that Garvey's program for Black advancement was unsound, and that Garvey himself was a charlatan. Many admired his skills as a propagandist and organizer, but thought his plans for Black development, including the Black Star Line and the establishing of a Pan Afrikan state, were unrealistic. Randolph, like Harrison and DuBois, disliked the UNIA's grandiose titles and military regalia, and thought Garvey presumptuous to title himself as "Provisional President of Africa." Randolph said Garvey had "succeeded in making the Negro the laughingstock of the world."
After DuBois published his Crisis attacks, Randolph personally critiqued the economic feasibility of the Black Star Line in the Messenger, accusing Garvey of squandering the hard-earned money of his hard-working, poor supporters. Though the Black Star Line was guilty of some unsavory dealings and record-keeping, this was done by various opportunists in the company that took advance of the situation. It was not part of a grand scheme on the part of Garvey to defraud Afrikan people. Rather than pinpoint those guilty individuals, the whole of the UNIA was held responsible. It is unfathomable that a sincere and honest man, dedicated to uplifting the Afrikan race was portrayed as a charlatan, and literally "run out-of-town."
Randolph and Owen established FNF to garner support for Black-owned businesses and to help provide Afrikan American workers with training in labor union organizing techniques. The organization was unsuccessful in gaining any meaningful membership, however. Its main competition was not the NAACP or Urban League, as it founders had envisioned, but the UNIA--they both relied on the Black working class. As Garvey's troubles grew, the FNF naturally led the attack against him, especially though their mouthpiece, the Messenger. The Messenger led the way in what became known as the "Garvey Must Go" campaign, as the FNF and its supporters appealed to the federal government to step up investigations of irregularities in the Black Star Line, and to look into alleged acts of violence on the part of Garvey's inner circle. The Messenger vowed to begin a vigorous editorial campaign against Garvey, and promised to "[fire] the opening gun in a campaign to drive Garvey and Garveyism in all its sinister viciousness from the American soil." The campaign from this point on was characterized by vitriolic personal attacks on both sides, surpassing in venom the earlier DuBois-Garvey conflict.
The attack on Garvey by the Black bourgeoisie and Black radicals exploded in 1922, after Garvey was indictment for defrauding the mail, and it was discovered that he had a secret meeting with Edward Young Clarke, the imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Garvey's response to his Klan meeting was: “I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying.” Some of Garvey's critics said because he was West Indian, he did not fully understand the history behind white southern violence against black people and the full horrors represented to Afrikan Americans by the KKK.
This last point, which mentions Garvey's West Indian background would be taken up again by The Messenger. Randolph said, if “Garvey is seriously interested in establishing a Negro nation why doesn't he begin with Jamaica, West Indies. An editorial later that month, called Garvey the "messenger boy of the Klan" and a "Supreme Negro Jamaican jackass" while labeling his organization the "Uninformed Negroes Infamous Association." In its attacks, the Messenger took on an increasingly anti-West Indian tone. Another editor, in the most sustain anti-Garvey diatribe wrote:
A Jamaican Negro of unmixed stock, stock, squat, stocky, fat and sleek, with protruding jaws, and heavy jowls, small bright pig-like eyes and rather bull-dog-like face. Boastful, egotistic, tyrannical, intolerant, cunning, shifty, smooth and suave, avaricious; as adroit as a fencer in changing front, as adept as a cuttle-fish in beclouding an issue he cannot meet, prolix to the 'nth degree in devising new schemes to gain the money of poor ignorant Negroes; gifted at self-advertisement, without shame in self-laudation, promising ever, but never fulfilling, without regard for veracity, a lover of pomp and tawdry finery and garish display, a bully with his own folk but servile in the presence of the [Ku Klux] Klan, a sheer opportunist and a demagogic charlatan.
The attacks on Garvey's nationality damaged and ruptured a number of highly functional working relationships between the Afrikan American and Afrikan Caribbean populations. W.A. Domingo, a Jamaican contributing editor for the Messenger, and the person most instrumental in the Jamaican independence movement, asked that his name be removed from the Messenger masthead.
However, the attack on Garvey would be aided and abetted by a number of the "West Indian radicals," who felt that Garvey dishonored them, ideologically, and as a West Indian.