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Title: Fifty Years of Freedom - with matters of vital importance to both the white and - colored people of the United States
Author: Grimké, Francis J. (Francis James)
Language: English
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                         Fifty Years of Freedom

                      WHITE AND COLORED PEOPLE OF
                           THE UNITED STATES


                     REV. FRANCIS J. GRIMKE, D. D.

    Delivered before the Presbyterian Council in the Madison Street
      Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland, October 17, 1913.
          And before the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church,
                  Washington, D. C., October 26, 1913.

                "Oh, speed the moment on
              When Wrong shall cease, and Liberty and Love
                And Truth and Right throughout the
                  earth be known
                As in their home above."


                   "Voice of a ransomed race, sing on
                   Till Freedom's every right is won,
                   And slavery's every wrong undone!"


                  "Sail on! The morning cometh,
                  The port ye yet shall win;
                  All all the bells of God shall ring
                  The good ship bravely in!"


                           PRINTED BY REQUEST


                        FIFTY YEARS OF FREEDOM.

                            LEVITICUS 25:11.


On the twenty-second of September, 1862, President Lincoln issued his
Preliminary Proclamation, which was in the nature of a notice to the
states in rebellion, that unless they returned to their allegiance
within a specified time the slaves within their borders would be
declared free. The time expired without accomplishing the desired
result. Accordingly on January 1, 1863, the President issued his
Supplemental Proclamation manumitting the slaves within the rebellious
states. This did not, of course, set them free. They were still slaves
and continued to be as long as the war lasted. Freedom did not come, as
a matter of fact, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Courthouse
April 9, 1865. The effectiveness of the Proclamation depended upon
crushing the rebellion. It was the victorious army of the North, under
the leadership of General Grant, that gave efficacy to the Proclamation.
For all practical purposes, however, we may assume that fifty years have
elapsed since freedom came to us as a race. Fifty years is a long time
in the history of an individual, but not very long in that of a race. It
is sufficiently long, however, to make it worth while for us to stop and
think a little about what these fifty years have meant to us, and to see
if there are any lessons in them that may be helpful to us as we enter
upon the second half of a century of freedom.

At the end of these fifty years we find:

I. That we have made considerable progress. We are not now where we were
fifty years ago. We are not as poor; we are not as ignorant; we are not
as morally debased. The plane upon which we stand now is higher. This
progress, in some respects, has been unparalleled. It is not necessary
for me to speak in detail of what has been accomplished along
educational lines. The record is before the whole country. No one can
read the last report of the Commissioner of Education of the National
Government without realizing that very marvelous changes for the better
have taken place in the condition of the colored people. The facts as
presented there, touching the number of public schools and public school
teachers ministering to the intellectual wants of this race, as well as
the large number of higher educational institutions having the same end
in view, show conclusively that conditions now are very different and
very much superior to what they were fifty years ago. The large number
of teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers, now to be found among us, as
compared with fifty years ago, show the same thing.

Nor need I speak of the changed condition that these fifty years have
wrought in our economic condition. We are still poor; we still have to
struggle to make ends meet, to keep the wolf from the door; but there
can be no doubt that we are very much better off now than we were fifty
years ago. We live in better houses; we dress better; we eat better
food; we own more property; we have more on deposit in banks and other
saving institutions; we have more invested in business; we travel more;
we give more to religion, to charity, to education. Even our worst
enemies, however, they might wish it were otherwise, will hardly be
found affirming that we are no farther on materially than we were fifty
years ago, that no substantial progress has been made by the race. In
every direction the evidences are too plainly apparent to be denied. The
following statement, taken from the declarations of the National
Business League at its recent session in Philadelphia, tells in a word
the simple story of what has been accomplished during these fifty years:
"Starting half a century ago, without experience, without education, and
without property, we to-day own and pay taxes on 20,000,000 acres of
land, an area as large as the State of South Carolina; we own and
control 100 insurance companies, 300 drug stores, 64 banks, 450
newspapers, and more than 20,000 other businesses of various kinds, and
the total wealth of American Negroes in land, homes, schools, churches,
and other forms of property, amounts to more than $700,000,000.

"In submitting this brief record of material progress, we do not
overlook the advance made in other directions. Fifty years ago more than
90 per cent of the race was wholly illiterate. To-day more than 70 per
cent can both read and write."

II. At the end of these fifty years we find the race still aspiring,
still wishing to go forward. The progress that has been made is not
something that has been forced upon the race against its will, as
members of it are forced to ride in "Jim Crow" cars in the South; it is
what the race has wished to do. It is not now, and never has been
willing to remain in the condition in which slavery left it. From the
very beginning there has been the desire for better things, for enlarged
opportunities. And it still has dreams and visions of larger and better
things which it hopes some day to realize and towards which it is still
pressing. Any one who is calculating upon a retrograde movement on the
part of the race will be sadly disappointed, if we may judge from what
these last fifty years have revealed of capacity and aspiration on its
part. The outlook, in some respects, may be dark, but it is not because
of any lack of interest in matters material and educational, or because
of any evidence of decay, of the growth of demoralizing tendencies in
the race as a whole. There is, of course, in all races an idle, vicious,
lawless, dare-devil, reprobate element. And such an element we find
among us, especially in the urban population; but the existence of such
an element in the Negro race is no more evidence of a retrograde
tendency on the part of the race as a whole, than the presence of such
an element among the whites is an evidence of a retrograde movement on
the part of the white race as a whole. The Negro race makes no claim to
superiority over other races. It is simply human like other races. The
same evidences of depravity exhibited by other races it also exhibits,
neither more nor less. As bad as is a certain element among us, it is no
worse than the same element in other races. The trend of the race is not
downward, but upward; is not backward, but forward. Moral progress, of
course, is always slower than any other kind of progress. It is very
much easier to train the head than to train the heart; it is very much
easier to develop brain power than moral power. The most difficult thing
in the world is to keep men straight morally, is to build up, to develop
a strong, upright, virtuous character in men of all races. And this must
be borne in mind in estimating the moral progress of the race as
compared with its intellectual and material advancement. If progress
here has been slower, it is simply because that kind of progress is
slower among all races. That the race is responding, in a measure, to
the many agencies that are at work for its moral and spiritual uplift
can hardly be doubted; nor can there be any doubt that there is an
element, and a steadily increasing element among us, that is laying more
and more emphasis upon character, upon upright living.

III. At the end of these fifty years, we find, and very naturally, as
the result of the progress that has been made in knowledge, in material
resources, in social advancement—a growing self-respect on the part of
the race, which makes it very much more sensitive as to the deprivation
of its rights, very much more restive under injustice, oppression, and
all invidious distinctions. It would be strange if it were not so. You
cannot surround a man with conditions which tend to develop his manhood,
his self-respect, and expect him to quietly acquiesce in any line of
conduct which aims to humiliate him, to force him down beneath the level
of what he feels to be his due. The oppressive measures which the
slave-holders took to keep the slaves in an attitude of subserviency by
shutting all light, by keeping them in darkness, by depriving them of
all opportunities of improvement, was the only safe, the only wise
course to pursue. And even under such circumstances, under such rigid
enforcement of repressive measures, the spirit of resistance was not
entirely extinguished. How much less is it to be expected now that we
should quietly submit to unjust treatment, to invidious distinctions!
The race is becoming more and more alive to its rights, and, as it
advances, this sense of what belongs to it, of what it is entitled to
will increase rather than diminish. There is no way by which this
growing insistent demand for its rights on its part can be arrested
except by recognizing these rights, or, by forcing the race back into
the condition of intellectual and moral darkness in which it was before
the great era of freedom, or, by killing it off, either slowly by
shutting it out of all productive industries, or by the wholesale
massacre of it.

The last two lines of action, on the part of the dominant race, are
among the possibilities, but scarcely among the probabilities of the
future. The Negro in this country can never, never again be forced back
into the condition in which he was before the War. Nor is there any
likelihood of a wholesale slaughter of the race. There is very little
hesitancy or compunction about killing an individual or a small group of
individuals, but when it comes to making war on the race as a whole,
with a view to exterminating it, even our worst enemies will hesitate,
will hardly venture upon so violent a measure; if not from a sense of
right, at least, from fear of arousing the moral sentiment of the
civilized world. The race is not likely to be less insistent in the
future in demanding its rights than it is now at the end of the first
half century of growth, of development.

IV. At the end of these fifty years of freedom, in spite of the
remarkable progress that we have made along all lines, we find race
prejudice increasing instead of diminishing. The remarkable record of
progress that we have made has had no appreciable influence, so far as
appears on the surface, in lessening the feeling of hostility to us.
Race prejudice is stronger, is more bitter, more aggressive to-day than
ever before. The enemies of the race are more united and more determined
than ever to throw themselves across the pathway of our progress and to
compel us by sheer brute force, whatever our attainments may be, into a
position of permanent inferiority. Not content with what has already
been done to humiliate us, it is now demanding segregation, is now
insisting upon restricting the rights of colored people to live in
certain prescribed sections of communities only. And it has become so
emboldened, so insolently aggressive that it is demanding segregation
among the employees of the General Government itself. And its demand is
being acceded to. Segregation, as a matter of fact, has already begun in
some of the Departments of the Government. A bill recently introduced
into Congress makes it a criminal offense to mix the races—to have white
and colored clerks working together in the same room. For nearly a half
century white and colored clerks have worked side by side, and nothing
was thought of it; but now through this insane desire to humiliate a
race, to impress it more and more with its inferiority, it is now
proposed to make it a crime, not under laws enacted by Negro-hating
Southern legislatures, but by the National Government itself, which is
supposed to represent all the people, and to represent equality of
rights for all the people. That prejudice is increasing; that more and
more the effort is being made, and in ever-widening areas, to hedge us
about with limitations, with restrictions which are not imposed upon
other elements of the population, is manifest to any one whose eyes are
open to what is going on in the country, not in one section only, but in
all sections.

V. At the end of these fifty years, we find nearly all the rights
guaranteed to us under the constitution, especially under the Fourteenth
and Fifteenth Amendments, practically nullified in a large section of
the country. In the South we have been disfranchised. We have no rights,
civil or political, which the white man is bound to respect. The only
good Negro in the estimation of the dominant sentiment of the South
to-day after fifty years of freedom, is the Negro who knows his place,
and who is willing to keep his place of subjection, of subordination to
the white man.

VI. At the end of fifty years, in spite of the facts just narrated, with
a full knowledge of the gross injustice from which the colored man is
suffering, the rest of the white people of the country, as a whole, are
found standing silently by looking on while this cruel and relentless
warfare against the race is going on, with only occasionally a word of
protest, or of mild remonstrance. The great mass of the white people in
other sections of the Union, seemingly, cares nothing about what
treatment is accorded to us. They don't seem to think that it is a
matter about which they need to concern themselves. If there is any
feeling at all it is rather one of sympathy with the oppressor.

How white men of the North and West whose fathers fought and died to
save the Union, and through whom freedom and the great amendments to the
constitution came, can stand silently by and see the same rebel spirit
that sought to destroy the Union set upon the colored man and rob him of
his rights—the very rights that came to him as the result of the blood
shed by their fathers, I have never been able to understand. The sons of
the rebels are still true to the principles for which their fathers
fought and died. It is only in the North and West, among the descendants
of the men who fought and died for the Union, that we find the
principles for which their fathers stood, forgotten or cowardly
surrendered. For these men to allow the colored man to be robbed of his
rights by the descendants of those who fought to destroy the Union and
to perpetuate slavery is to dishonor the memory of their fathers; is
virtually to say, that they were wrong, and that the rebels were right.
Such an attitude is an affront to every loyal white man who fell during
the war or who fought for the Union and the cause of freedom. It is
amazing that the descendants of these brave men should be so little
concerned about matters for which their fathers were willing to lay down
their lives. Shame on such descendants!

VII. At the end of these fifty years, in spite of the indifference of
the many we still have left, however, a remnant of men and women with
the spirit of the old abolitionists—a remnant of men and women who stand
squarely, uncompromisingly for the principles of liberty, of equality,
of fraternity for all; and who, in one way and another, have shown their
sympathy with us in the efforts we are making to develop ourselves and
to maintain our rights. The number is small; but small as it is we are
thankful for their sympathy and support—thankful to know that we are not
left in our weakness to fight our battles alone. It encourages us to
know that in the city of Boston, there is an A. E. Pillsbury and a
Moorfield Story; in the city of New York, an Oswald Garrison Villard; in
the city of Cincinnati, a J. B. Foraker; in the city of Philadelphia, a
John Elmer Milholland; in the city of Washington, a Wendell Phillips
Stafford; in the city of Chicago, a Jane Addams; in the United States
Senate, a Moses E. Clapp. There are others equally worthy of mention who
are known to be our friends, our sympathizers, our well-wishers.

VIII. At the end of these fifty years of freedom, we find ourselves shut
out of a great many avenues of employment. There are not many things
that we can get to do. This is due mainly to race antipathy, to a
growing indisposition on the part of the whites, to work with us. The
outlook in this respect is not growing brighter, but rather darker and
darker. The disposition seems to be to limit our activities to the most
menial occupations, or to shut us out entirely. This is especially true
in the North; and the same sentiment is also growing in the South, and
would grow very much more rapidly than it has, but for lack of white
labor supply.

IX. At the end of these fifty years of freedom, we find that one of the
chief sources of demoralization to the race is strong drink. A careful
examination of the facts as they exist, and as they have existed during
these fifty years will show that to it, more than to any other single
influence, the bad record of crime which the race has made and is still
making, is due. It has been an unmitigated curse to the race, eating up
its hard earnings, sapping its physical strength, engendering idle and
vicious habits, and breaking down character at all points. Thousands of
our young men are finding their way into saloons and into gambling and
other places of demoralization closely affiliated with them. Strong
drink is responsible for most of the things that have given us a black
eye, that have furnished the enemies of the race with the materials
which they have used in the assaults which they have made upon us from
time to time. The intemperate Negro who is found lurking about these
drinking places is the one who is taken as representative of the race;
and in this way the race's good name has been injured and is still being
injured. The race has not escaped during these fifty years the blighting
effects of strong drink, especially, in the cities, is this fact most

X. At the end of these fifty years another fact should be noted in
passing, we have grown in numbers, we have more than doubled in
numerical strength. In spite of many adverse circumstances—in spite of
disease and poverty, bad sanitary conditions and an enormous death rate,
the race has not only during these fifty years been able to maintain its
own, but has steadily increased in numbers. There is no evidence, at the
end of the first half century of freedom, that the race is dying out;
that it is deficient in physical stamina.

Such are some of the facts that stand out in this record of fifty years.

In the light of these facts, as we enter upon the second half of the
century of freedom, there are a few things that we ought to impress
ourselves with; and a few things that ought to be said to our white
fellow citizens.

I. A word to ourselves. There are certain things that we need to
thoroughly impress ourselves with.

(1). With the importance of being industrious. A lazy, thriftless,
indolent race is bound to go to the wall. The necessity of work on the
part of everybody must be fully appreciated ourselves and must be
carefully instilled into the young people who are to take our places
when we are gone. "The man who will not work," the apostle says,
"neither shall he eat." And this should be a fundamental principle with
us. The lazy man should be despised, should be driven out, should be
shown no consideration. "The idle man's brain is the devil's workshop,"
is an old saying, but it is a true one; and unless we continue to train
the race to the idea of steady, fixed employment as the proper, normal
condition for every one to sustain to the social organism of which he is
a part, the devil will be sure to get his work in, and use the
unemployed hand and brain for evil purposes.

(2). We need to impress ourselves with the importance of being
efficient. We must know how to do things; we must know how to do things
well. It isn't enough that a thing is done; it must be well done.
Quality in work is the thing that tells; and more and more as
competition increases we must impress ourselves with that fact. The old
adage, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well," we cannot
too strongly impress ourselves with. Inefficiency puts an individual of
a race always at a disadvantage. It is skill; it is the ability to do
well what is to be done that will always be preferred. It is the
skillful mechanic; the skillful artisan, the skillful stenographer and
typewriter that is always preferred, and that always wins out in the
struggle of life, other things being equal. It is the fittest that
survives in the industrial struggle and in every other avenue of life.
In planning for the future we must lay more and more stress therefore
upon the work of properly qualifying ourselves for service in all the
avenues of life. Carelessness, indifference here, the disposition to be
content with shoddy work, will be fatal to our success. We are living in
an age when the demand for efficiency, and efficiency of the highest
order, is becoming more and more insistent. Unless this fact is
recognized by us, and is allowed to shape our course, the struggle in
which we are engaged is a hopeless one; we are bound to go to the wall.

(3). We must impress ourselves with the importance of being reliable,
trustworthy. However skillful we may become, however efficient, unless
we can be depended upon to do what we undertake to do, our efficiency
will count for but little. If people can't depend on us; if our word
counts for nothing; if we are deficient in a sense of obligation; if
responsibilities weigh lightly upon us, we will be sure to lose the
confidence of others, and will be sure also to lose their patronage.
Even the inefficient man who can be depended upon will be preferred to
the efficient man upon whom no dependence can be put. The two things
must go together, reliability and efficiency, if efficiency is to be of
any real advantage. This is a point which we need particularly to lay to
heart, and to keep before us in the training of the young. Unfortunately
there is considerable ground for just complaint against a large
percentage of the race just here. It is a serious defect, and one that
ought to be remedied, that ought to claim our immediate and earnest

(4). It is well for us to impress ourselves with the importance, with
the transcendent importance of character. Character is the foundation
upon which everything else must rest if it is to endure, if it is to be
of any permanent value in the elevation of the race. There must be a
sound moral basis. In the heart of the race there must be implanted the
great principles of morality. The race must not only be taught, but must
accept, must be governed by sentiments of justice, of veracity, of
purity, of honesty. It must make up its mind to square its life by the
Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. There is nothing that can
compensate for, or take the place of a sturdy, upright character. It
isn't something which it would simply be well for us to possess, which
it would be to our advantage to possess; it is absolutely indispensable.
There is no future for us, no honorable future for us, without it. This
is the way we must feel; this is the way we must make our children feel.
Character, high character, is not something which we may or may not set
before us as we face the future, as we enter upon the second half of the
century of freedom; but something which we must set definitely before us
as of transcendent importance. There is no option left us if we have any
regard to our highest and best interest, and the best interest of those
who are to follow us. If the moral atmosphere in which the race lives
and moves and has its being is not kept pure and healthful and
invigorating it can never hope to become a strong, virile,
self-respecting race, or a race that will be likely to command much
respect from others. The race has, be it said to its credit, all along
attached some importance to character, but the emphasis which it puts
upon it must steadily increase. We must come, more and more, to realize
the fact that while knowledge is power, and while there is power in the
possession of material things, that the greatest power lies in
character, in a strong, sturdy, upright, virtuous manhood and womanhood.

(5). In this connection it is well for us also to remember that the
agencies that are most helpful in the development of character are the
family, the church, the school. I heard the President of the Board of
Education of one of our most important cities say, not long ago, after
listening to an address highly eulogistic of the public schools, that in
his judgment the greatest asset of the nation is the family. And in this
I think he was right. He meant, of course, the family properly
constituted, with the right kind of man and woman at the head of it. The
importance of the home, as an educational force, is seen in the fact
that the children begin life in the home, and that they are under the
almost exclusive influence of the home when the young life is most
plastic, is most easily moulded. Where this home influence is pure,
elevating, ennobling, there is no other agency that is comparable with
it. The church and school also, however, are very important agencies.
And I have called attention, in this connection, to these three
institutions in order that, as we face the future, we may recognize
their importance, and may come to feel more and more the necessity of
improving them, and of utilizing them in the development of the race. We
need better homes and must have them—homes that will not be indifferent
to intellectual culture and material comforts, but that will value more
highly than either the things that make for purity of heart and life. We
need better churches and must have them—churches that will be more
concerned about properly instructing the people in the knowledge of the
Word of God, with a view to spiritualizing their lives, to lifting them
to the high plane of Christian living and thinking, rather than with
endless entertainments and schemes for money getting. We need better
schools—schools in which the teachers will recognize that their vocation
is not simply to train the head, or chiefly to train the head, but the
heart also—schools in which the teachers will recognize the
opportunities which their calling affords of giving shape and direction
to the budding and expanding lives entrusted to their care, and who are
gladly availing themselves of these opportunities. There are some
teachers, of course, who are doing this, who are making their influence
felt in character building; but there are others who are indifferent to
these opportunities—who are not making their influence felt and who feel
that it is no part of their business to do so. Not long ago I was
speaking to a school official in one of our cities about the great
opportunities that teachers have for this kind of work; and his reply
was, "Yes, but many of our teachers teach only for the money they get,
and they want the money simply to decorate their bodies." How far this
is true of our teachers as a class I do not know; but that it is true of
some of them I have not the slightest doubt. What we need, therefore, as
we face the future, is to endeavor to get the active and hearty
coöperation of all the teachers in all of our schools in this higher
mission of character building in their pupils. The teachers, if they can
only be made to see it, hold a place second in importance only to the
home in the service which they can render in the stupendous task which
confronts us as a race. We must all of us, as we begin this new half
century of freedom, be more thoughtful about our homes, more concerned
to make them proper habitats for the rearing of children; more concerned
about our schools and the character of the men and women who are in
charge of them; and more concerned about our churches to see that they
are properly manned, properly conducted, properly supported by our
presence and by our financial aid. None of these institutions can be
allowed to deteriorate, to fall behind, without affecting unfavorably
the progress of the race.

(6). It is important that we impress ourselves with the evil of strong
drink, and that we set definitely before us the work of educating the
race with reference to the poisonous nature of alcohol and its baleful
effects. Sobriety, abstinence from all alcoholic liquors as a beverage,
we must be at special pains to impress upon all—old and young alike. We
must organize temperance societies; we must encourage those that are
already in existence; we must gather the children into temperance bands,
in our Sabbath schools and in our day schools as far as may be possible.
In the new half century upon which we have now entered, we must firmly
resolve, and must bend every effort towards lessening the evil of strong
drink among us. At the end of the present half century, let us hope that
there will be less intemperance among us; that a larger number of homes
among us will be definitely committed to total abstinence, than we find
to-day. Whatever we can do to lessen this evil; whatever we can do to
produce a sober, temperate people we must do, and we must all do our
part to secure this result. Every member of the race is interested in,
or, at least, ought to be, in saving it from the curse of intemperance,
not only because it will help the race economically and morally, but
also because it will set it in a better light before its enemies, it
will take away one serious ground of complaint against it.

(7). We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged because of the
obstacles which our enemies are constantly throwing across our pathway.
These obstacles, if we are made of the right stuff, will help to
strengthen us, to make us more resolute, more determined. It is in
breasting opposition, in overcoming difficulties that we develop

(8). Nor should we allow ourselves to become embittered by the mean and
persistent opposition of our enemies; by the studied efforts that they
are ever making to insult and humiliate us. Unless we are watchful,
unless we are tolerably sane, it is so easy to allow such things to
rankle in our breasts, to engender feelings of bitterness and hatred.
Natural as it is, however, we must resist it. It is bad business for an
individual or a race to allow itself to become embittered against
another individual or race. Such a spirit will destroy our own
happiness, our own peace of mind, and will not help to win over our
enemies. Out of a spirit of mutual hatred no good can possibly come to
either race. The result is bound to be evil; and the evil will grow as
the hatred grows.

If we are to fight successfully, fight in the most effective way, we
must be calm, we must not be spurred on by bitterness, by hatred, but by
the consciousness that what we are contending for is right, and,
therefore, is best for all, even for those against whom we are
contending, who are foolishly trying to obstruct our way. Let us possess
our souls in patience; let us be calm, self-possessed. These enemies who
are fighting us deserve our pity. The course which they are pursuing, in
the long run, will prove more injurious to them than to us. The more
they fight us, the more they resist us, the more they seek to insult and
humiliate us, the more are they injuring themselves, the more are they
sinking to lower levels, the less are they becoming worthy of the
respect of decent, right-thinking people. We may suffer in our feelings;
we may be deprived of our rights for a time; but they are suffering in a
way that is eating away the only thing of real value—the only thing that
is worth having—character. We may suffer, but the penalty which we pay
is not near so dear, so costly as the penalty which they are paying.

There is something really pathetic in the spectacle here presented, of
vast numbers of people claiming to be intelligent, claiming to be
civilized, some claiming even to be Christians, allowing themselves to
be dominated, to be controlled absolutely by such an utterly ignoble
sentiment as race prejudice. You can't help asking yourself the
question, Can these people really be sane? Jesus, we are told, wept over
Jerusalem. As he saw her condition—saw her in her blindness, stupidity,
obstinacy—as he saw the end towards which she was madly rushing, it
touched his great heart with pity, and wrung tears from his eyes. And
this is the way, it seems to me, that any right thinking man, any man
who has a heart of pity must feel as he looks out on the multitudes in
this land who are yielding themselves up to the sway of this bitter,
degrading, Negro-hating spirit; as he sees how they are being driven
more and more into doing so many utterly contemptible things; and, when
he remembers also that the reaping is to be as the sowing. It is easy
enough to hate such people, if you don't stop to think; but when you
remember that they are human beings; that they are under the dominion of
moral laws that are just as inexorable in their operations as are
physical laws; and remember also, under these laws, what the result is
sure to be, there is no room for hatred, for bitterness, but only for
pity, for the deepest commiseration. The thing that we ought to do, and,
that I wish very much that we would do, and do more than we have been in
the habit of doing, is to pray for these misguided, unfortunate, greatly
to be pitied individuals who are fighting us. The Spirit of God can open
blind eyes, can unstop deaf ears, can soften the hardest hearts. The
Spirit of God can regenerate, can give an entirely new bias or direction
to character and life. And this is what is needed. These people need to
be changed, to be set right. The possibility of such a change, both for
their sakes and for ours, should lead us to work and pray earnestly for

(9). It is also well for us, as we face the future, not to be deceived,
not to be misguided by the assumption upon which some of our race
leaders have been proceeding. It has been assumed by some that the
reason why we are treated as we are is because we are poor, because we
are ignorant, because we are degraded, in a word, because of our
condition; and, that if we will only improve ourselves—will only work
hard and better our condition—will get more knowledge, more money, more
character, it will be all right in the end. Those who act upon this
assumption think that the wise thing for us to do, therefore, is to lose
sight entirely of the manner in which we are treated, to take no account
of it, to make no ado about it, to bear it patiently and give ourselves
up entirely to the work of improving ourselves. This is what they
counsel; this is the way, they say, this race problem is to be solved.

Looked at in the abstract this seems to be very plausible. The
assumption that if we improve ourselves; if we show ourselves worthy of
being treated properly, that we would be, is what would naturally be
expected. Unfortunately, however, the facts are all against it. Things
have not panned out as might have been expected, under this theory of
race adjustment. The race problem, as we understand it, may mean one of
two things. It may mean the problem of the race's development, which
would include all the agencies to be employed in securing this result;
or it may mean the problem of getting the white man to behave
himself—getting him to treat the colored man properly, as a man, as a
brother, as a citizen, having common and equal rights with himself. That
the race's development may go on without at all affecting favorably the
white man's attitude towards it, is clearly evident from what is going
on about us, and from the experience of the last forty or fifty years.
During these years the colored people have steadily improved along all
lines; and yet the same feeling of antipathy, of hostility to them
exists. There is no indication of a desire to treat them any better. The
progress that they have made has counted for nothing in their favor; has
not lessened, in the least, the opposition to them.

A short while ago a Congressman from Louisiana, J. B. Aswell, introduced
a bill in the House of Representatives to segregate colored employees of
the Government. Among other things in presenting his bill, he said:

"Every informed and right-thinking white man, while sympathizing with
and anxious to help the Negro in his place, recognizes the necessity of
preserving the integrity and supremacy of the white race. The purpose of
this bill is to check a bad tendency in this country, before it is too
late, and cause thinking people everywhere to find themselves in
relation to the race problem and thus deal fairly and give justice to
both races. The bill seeks to help the Negro by making him proficient in
his own sphere and by correcting a false idea of his proper
circumscribed position in the republic, and, at the same time, relieve
the white man in the public service from the intolerable humiliation of
being compelled, in order to earn his daily bread, to work side by side
with an objectionable people, the continuation of which practice must
result in irreparable injury to both races, and ultimately destroy the
efficiency of the public service. Such practices will drive the
self-respecting proficient white man and woman from the civil service of
the Government."

The bill provides, "That the heads of all executive departments shall
issue all such orders as shall be necessary to secure in all branches of
the civil service of the United States to the utmost extent consistent
with public interests, the segregation of civil employees of the white
race from those of African blood or descent, in the performance of their

It also provides that, "In all executive departments within the District
of Columbia, clerks or employees shall not be required to occupy the
same office or work rooms with clerks or employees of African blood or
descent; nor shall any white clerk or employee be placed under the
orders, direction, or supervision of any person of African blood or

It also provides that, "In the railway mail service of the Post-office
Department white clerks shall not, except in cases of emergency, be
ordered to duty in the same mail car with postal clerks of African blood
or descent."

You will notice that the course which he recommends here, and which he
seeks to enforce by law, is not because the Negro is ignorant, not
because he is inefficient, not because he is ungentlemanly in his
deportment; but simply because he is a Negro, or has Negro blood in his
veins. The fact that he is in the service at all proves that he isn't
ignorant, that he isn't inefficient, for he is there as the result of
civil service examination. It makes no difference how much he knows, how
efficient he is, how gentlemanly he is, the thing that makes him
objectionable is that he is a Negro, or is of Negro descent. It doesn't
make any difference how highly cultivated he is, it becomes, in the
language of the Representative from Louisiana, "an intolerable
humiliation for a white man to be compelled, in order to earn his daily
bread, to work side by side with an objectionable people." It isn't the
condition of the people; it isn't their backwardness that discounts
them, but the fact that they are of African blood or descent.

Senator Vardaman, in his insane ravings over the nomination by President
Wilson of Adam E. Patterson, a colored man from Oklahoma, as Register of
the Treasury, speaks in the same strain. He says:

"The appointment of Patterson is a most unfortunate thing. Two races
cannot mix; it is contrary to the laws of nature. I am not acquainted
with Patterson. It is not he, personally, I am fighting; it is the
principle involved. I do not think any government office should be held
by a Negro. I think the defeat of this appointment of a Negro is of more
importance than the passage of the tariff bill and the enactment of
currency legislation. It rises like a mountain peak above all other
questions of the day. It seems that the appointment was made in view of
Patterson's campaign activities in the interest of Democracy. I do not
think much of the policy that pays party obligations at the expense of
the purity of the greatest race on the globe. I shall fight every Negro
appointment that is made."

It is not necessary, he admits, to know anything personally of the
candidate—anything about his character or qualifications; it is enough
to know that he is a Negro or of Negro descent, to disqualify him for
any office under the Government. And this, he affirms, is the sentiment
of all Southern senators. Even a man like President Wilson, with all his
brains and culture and high Christian character, or rather, I would say,
avowal of high Christian principles, after nominating Patterson for the
position permitted him to withdraw from the contest in the face of
Vardaman's declaration, "No government office should be held by a
Negro." And instead of sending in the name of another colored man, in
order to rebuke that sentiment, he sent in the name of an Indian, which
was a virtual acceptance, on the part of the President, of the position
taken by Vardaman and other Negro-hating senators. And the fact that a
white man was named almost immediately afterwards for the post at Hayti
shows how completely the President has surrendered to the dictation of
Southern Negro haters. If the progress we have made during these fifty
years has had so little effect upon a man like Woodrow Wilson, how much
is it likely to have upon the average white man? Any one who has kept in
touch with the movements of the last half century that have had to do
with this vexed question, cannot fail to see that the two phases of the
race issue have very little to do with each other. The development
within the race has had no appreciable influence in creating within the
white man a disposition to behave any better towards the colored man, to
accord to him his rights, to treat him as a man, as a citizen, as a
brother. So far as we may judge from the experiences of the last fifty
years and from what is transpiring about us to-day, there is no hope of
things ever being any better as the result of race improvement. It is
right, of course, for us to make the most of our opportunities, and to
press forward as rapidly as possible along all lines of endeavor,
material, intellectual, moral, spiritual; but let us not be deceived,
let us not imagine, though we ourselves will be greatly benefited by
such a course, that the attitude of the white man towards us will change
for the better in consequence. There may be a change in him, let us hope
that there may be, but if it comes at all, it will come in some other
way. It will not be because we are improving ourselves, because we are
getting to be more intelligent, are getting more property, getting on a
higher social plane, getting to be more virtuous, more self-respecting.
That kind of thing has little or no influence in favorably inclining the
average white man towards the Negro. It makes no difference what he has,
what he has achieved, what he has made of himself, he is still only a
Negro, is still undesirable, is still to be hedged about by limitations
and restrictions.

Senator Vardaman in his "high-blown pride" speaks of the white race as
"the greatest race on the globe." If the Senator is a specimen of its
greatness, the so-called inferior races need not concern themselves very
much about catching up with it in the march of progress. As a matter of
fact, there are scores of colored men who, in intelligence, in brain
power, in scholarship, in all the elements that go to make up true
manhood, are superior to Mr. Vardaman. The only respect in which the
Senator shows any superiority, in the sense of surpassing others, so far
as I can see, is in the exhibition of a coarse, vulgar, and brutal
spirit. The white race may be the greatest race on the globe, but the
assertion of that fact would come with a little better grace from one
who reflects its greatness rather than from one who is a reproach to it,
who discredits it. The white people themselves would hardly select Mr.
Vardaman as a specimen by which it would care to be judged in this or in
future generations. The Negro may be inferior, greatly inferior to the
white race, but there would have to be some better specimen of the white
race than Mr. Vardaman to prove it. My purpose, however, is not to
criticise the honorable Senator from Mississippi. I have mentioned his
name in this connection merely as illustrative of the aggressive,
ever-growing spirit of race hatred, of race antagonism, which still
confronts us after fifty years of freedom.

(10). In this connection we ought to impress ourselves also, as we leave
the first half century of freedom and enter upon the second half, with
the fact that God is and that he is a present help in time of need. We
need to emphasize, more strongly than we are in the habit of doing, the
importance of religion as a factor in this race struggle in which we are
engaged. In Exodus 14, we are told that after Pharaoh had given the
children of Israel permission to leave Egypt, and after they had left,
he repented, changed his mind, and started in pursuit of them with all
his hosts, his chariots and horsemen, to bring them back. We are also
told that when the children of Israel saw them approaching they were
terrified. And then occurs this passage: "And the angel of the Lord,
which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and
the pillar of cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
and it came between the camp of the Egyptians, and the camp of Israel,
and it was a cloud of darkness to them, but it gave light by night to
these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." God stood
between Israel and the enemy. And that is just where we want to have him
stand, between us and our enemies. What we need to do is to rest in the
Lord, is to put our trust in him. He is more than a match for our
enemies. The song which Moses and the children of Israel sang after they
had seen the advancing hosts of the enemy approaching was,

          "The Lord hath triumphed gloriously.
          The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
          The Lord is my strength and song,
          And he is become my salvation."

And if we trust him, if we make him our hope, we will be able in the end
to sing the same song; we, too, will triumph gloriously.

In the voyage of the apostle Paul to Rome the ship was caught in a
terrible storm. For fourteen days and nights it raged. The wind blew
furiously; heavy, dark clouds shut out the light of the sun by day and
of the stars by night. There seemed no hope of escape. Of the nearly
three hundred souls on board, all except one man were filled with the
most appalling apprehension. That man was the apostle Paul. During all
those awful days and nights he alone was calm, self-possessed; he alone
showed no fear, no apprehension. And why? It was because the angel of
the Lord had stood by him and had said to him, "Fear not, Paul; thou
must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that
sail with thee." And it was because he believed what the angel had said
to him. The fierceness of the storm, the raging of the elements, the
appalling darkness that enveloped them, had no disquieting effect upon
him. It was the triumph of faith—faith that saw safety, and rested in
sweet content in the face of the raging storm. And faith in God is what
we need if we are not to become discouraged in face of the gathering
hosts of darkness, in face of the constant accessions to the ranks of
the enemy. David once exclaimed,

               "Jehovah, how are mine enemies increased!
               Many are they that rise up against me."

But he comforted himself with the thought,

              "But thou, O Jehovah, art a shield about me;
              My glory and the lifter up of my head."

And we may find comfort in the same thought. Let this new half century
be one of abounding trust in God; let us more and more accustom
ourselves to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, under the
shadow of the Almighty.

II. In leaving this first half century of freedom and in entering upon
the second half, a word also ought to be said to the white people of the
country. There are four things that I want to say to them:

(1). I want to remind them of the fact that we came here originally
through no volition of our own. We were brought here against our will,
and brought here for purely selfish purposes, to serve their interest.
We are not responsible for being here—the responsibility is with the
white race. That fact ought to be remembered by them. If our presence in
this country is undesirable, as is frequently alleged, it is not for the
white man to set that up as an excuse or justification for ill-treating
us. If it had not been for their selfishness we would not be here. If
our presence here is an evil, they are not the ones to complain, they at
least, ought to be willing quietly to accept it as it is an evil of
their own making. This is one of the things that has always seemed to me
to render the treatment of the Negro by the white man particularly
contemptible. After forcing him away from his home against his will; and
after getting out of him all that he could without compensation, when
that is no longer possible, then to turn upon him and tell him to get
out, that he is no longer wanted, is conduct of which even savages ought
to be ashamed. Whenever you are tempted to ill-treat the colored man, to
deny him a man's chance in the race of life, remember that you brought
him here, and that the least that you can do, the least that you owe
him, is to treat him decently, humanely.

(2). I want to say, that for two hundred and fifty years you had our
unrequited toil; we tilled your soil, we gathered your crops, we cut
down your forests, we built your houses, made your clothes, worked for
you in manifold ways. We worked for you in the days of slavery, and you
seemed satisfied with our labor; why do you withhold your work from us
now? Why do you now shut us out of employment? We are just as able, and
just as willing to work now as then. Work is what we need; work is what
we must have if we are to support ourselves in decency, if we are to
live honestly and honorably. You are bound by every consideration of
justice, of fair play, to make a place for us, to give us the same
chance that is given to others to support themselves and their families.
For two hundred and fifty years we worked for you, as your slaves; are
you unwilling to help us now that we are free and are working for
ourselves? You, who brought us here; you, who are responsible for our
presence here, ought to want to encourage us to be industrious, to be

(3). I want to remind you of the fact that we are now free; that we are
American citizens; that under the laws we are entitled to the same
rights and privileges as yourselves. Slavery no longer exists in this
country—all are now free men. What is freedom to mean to us? Why were we
made free? Why were the fetters stricken from our limbs? Why were we
made citizens? Why have schools been provided for our intellectual
development? Why emancipation at all, if we are not to have the same
chance as other freemen? What is the value of freedom if it doesn't
carry with it the guarantee of protection in the enjoyment of all rights
that are common to all citizens? Is freedom to mean one thing to the
white man, and another thing to the colored man? Freedom and citizenship
cannot mean one thing to a white man and another to a black man in a
republic without creating needless and endless trouble; and without in
the end destroying the spirit that is essential to the perpetuity of
republican or democratic institutions. Is it wise? Is it consistent? Is
it the part of true patriotism to continue longer to make invidious
distinctions between citizens who must forever live side by side, and
upon the mutual co-operation and sympathy of whom, the welfare and
happiness of the whole will depend? Is it wise to encourage, to help fan
the flame of race prejudice from which no good can possibly come, but
only evil, and evil more and more as it is encouraged? Isn't it a great
deal better to use a little common sense, now that we are here, now that
we are here to stay, now that we are free, now that we are citizens, to
recognize us as such, and to accord to us the same treatment as is
accorded to others? One thing you may be assured of, we will never be
satisfied with anything less. Unless these rights be conceded; unless we
be treated as we have a right to expect you to treat us, this friction,
which is doing so much to demoralize the whole country, will continue.
Is it not better for the thoughtful, sane, sober, right-thinking men and
women among you to call a halt to those, who, keeping the humiliation of
the Negro before them as their chief aim, are willing to sacrifice
everything else to it? The humiliation of the Negro; the hedging of him
about with degrading restrictions; the forcing him down into a position
of subordination, of inferiority, even if you should succeed in doing
it, after all, is it worth the price that must be paid; that you are
paying? The policy of giving the Negro a man's chance in the Republic;
of treating him with the same consideration as others are treated, has
vastly more good in it for the Republic than the measure of repression,
of enforced subordination, of invidious distinctions upon which you are
now insisting. Such a policy will make the Negro forget that he is a
Negro, and will lead him to think of himself simply as an American
citizen; will stimulate his patriotism; will render it no longer
necessary for him to be particularly concerned about race interests, but
will leave him free to be concerned about those interests which are
common to all the people. Such a policy will also set free for higher
and nobler uses all the ability, the energy, the resources that are now
being expended in efforts to keep the Negro down and which will be of
incalculable benefit to the Nation. Think of how much time, how much
thought, how much energy are used up in this needless race friction, and
how much the Nation is losing by this misuse of valuable time, thought,
energy! If you, who are fighting the Negro,—you who are determined to
reduce him to a pariah class, would only turn your thought and energy
towards upbuilding the Republic—materially, intellectually, morally,
spiritually,—towards fighting those evils that are really endangering
the Republic,—greed, corruption, impurity, lawlessness, intemperance,
how much more valuable your services would be. There never was a time
when the Republic needed your services more than if does to-day, in
harmonizing the elements of its population, in encouraging a spirit of
fraternity, of brotherhood. It is not the function of a patriot, of a
lover of his country to array class against class, race against race;
that is the role of the demagogue, the low panderer to passion and
prejudice for selfish ends. This race friction ought to cease; and it
will cease if you will do the right thing; if you will listen to reason
and common sense. It is not the Negro that is keeping up the friction,
but the white man.

(4). I want to say to those who are friendly to us; who believe that we
have rights under the constitution, and that those rights ought to be

(1). We are profoundly thankful to you for your sympathy, for your
good-will, and for all that you have done to cheer and encourage us.
Some of you have taught in our schools, have worked among us as
missionaries, have contributed of your means to aid us in our education,
in our development; for all of which we are grateful.

(2). We wish very much that you would be a little more outspoken in your
sympathy. We have, it may be, many silent friends among you. It is
better, of course, in some respects to have a silent friend than to have
no friend at all. Such friends constitute a reserve force which may
serve us well at some future time, in an emergency which may arise
unexpectedly. The friendship, however, that counts for most, that is of
most value, is the friendship that is known, that openly, publicly
expresses itself. The importance of thus openly showing your sympathy,
your friendship is to be seen in that in this way public sentiment is
made and influenced. The people who speak out, or, who act out their
sentiment are the ones who count in shaping, in moulding public
sentiment. Our enemies are never silent. The opposition, the hostility
which they feel is never concealed, it always comes to the surface,
always expresses itself. And this is one reason why they have influence,
why they are so potential. Take the segregation idea which has been
projecting itself upon the attention of the country. When the agitation
was started, e. g., in the city of Washington, there were many meetings
held in various parts of the city among the whites; but they were all in
the interest of segregation, they were gotten up and managed by those
who wanted to force this humiliation upon the colored people. I cannot
believe that the purpose of these meetings met the approval of all the
white people of the capital; I know that it did not of some of them. And
yet no meeting was held; no public expression was given to indicate that
such was the case, that there was any dissenting opinion among the
whites. Not one white church; not one ministerial association; not one
Christian Endeavor society, nor any other organization among the whites,
including the Young Men's Christian Association, the Young Women's
Christian Association, gave expression to any dissenting opinion. So far
as any public expression was concerned, it looked as if the entire white
population approved of the movement to segregate the colored people in
street cars and otherwise. What we are asking of you, our white friends,
is to show your colors, is to be just as pronounced in your sympathy for
us as our enemies are pronounced in their opposition to us. If you will
do this; if you will let the people about you know where you stand, it
will greatly help matters. Lowell, in his sonnet on Wendell Phillips,

               "He saw God stand upon the weaker side,—
               And humbly joined him to the weaker part."

And it is necessary that this be done—that the weaker part be joined,
and joined openly as he did, if it is to be strengthened. There is a
good deal in numbers. Somehow people have a great deal more respect, are
inclined to be very much more considerate of a cause that has many
adherents, or whose adherents are increasing in numbers. Where we are
silent we are never counted. Elijah is sometimes criticised for his
so-called pessimistic statement when he was running from Jezebel—"The
children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars,
and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only am left." In
this he was mistaken. It seems there were seven thousand who had not
bowed the knee to Baal. But, as some one said, no one knew it, and
therefore they counted for nothing. Now we don't want our friends among
the whites who want us to get our rights, who think that we ought to be
treated fairly, justly, to count for nothing; we don't want them to be
so silently sympathetic that no one will know of it. We want them to be
outspoken; to be openly for us, and thus help to mould public sentiment
in our favor. It would have helped greatly if, during this segregation
agitation there had been some meetings held among the whites giving
expression to a different sentiment. Even a simple protest from a single
individual helps. A letter like the one published not long ago by the
Hon. A. E. Pillsbury of Boston, Massachusetts, declining to pay his
annual dues to the treasurer of the National Bar Association, and giving
as his reason his positive and emphatic dissent from the action of the
Association in discriminating against colored men, is bound to have its
effect in educating public sentiment, in helping to break down invidious
distinctions. Carl Schurz, in his Life of Henry Clay, in speaking of the
Abolitionists, says, "The immediate effect of their work has frequently
been much underrated. They served to keep alive in the Northern mind
that secret trouble of conscience about slavery which later, in a ripe
political situation, was to break out as a great force." And so here,
the protest of our white friends in the struggle we are making now will
serve to keep alive in others the sense of right, which will ultimately
become a great force before which the wrongs from which we are now
suffering will be righted. Silent sympathy is better than no sympathy;
but the sympathy that expresses itself in word and act is greatly to be
preferred. If you think we are not treated right; if you think that
invidious distinctions based upon color, upon race ought not to exist,
say so; and say it so loud that all about you will hear it. This is the
request that we make of you, as we enter upon another half century of

And now just a word more. The struggle before us is a long and hard one;
but with faith in God, and faith in ourselves, and indomitable
perseverance, and the purpose to do right, in spite of the forces that
are arrayed against us, we need have no fears as to the ultimate result.
Success is sure to crown our efforts. We are not always going to be
behind; we are not always going to be discriminated against; we are not
always going to be denied our rights. For as Sojourner Truth said, "God
is not dead." And some day, in his own good time, the right will
triumph. As the poet has expressed it,

                   "Right is right since God is God,
                   And Right the day will win."

What is needed is a New EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION—a proclamation that
will set the white man free from the degrading influence of race
prejudice—a proclamation that will register a decree or purpose on the
part of the white race to free itself not only from the narrowing lust
of gold, but from the still more narrowing lust of race hatred and
proscription. O, for another and greater Lincoln to speak the word of
power,—another and greater Lincoln to set the thought and heart of white
America going in a new and better way—the way of righteousness—the way
of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. In the inspired
record we read: "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the
fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and
the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the
lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on
the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the
adder's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters
cover the sea." Surely if this be true; if this is a prophecy of what is
to be, there is reason and good reason to believe that the savage
element in the white man's nature, which corresponds to the nature of
these ferocious animals, and which leads him to devise and execute his
various schemes of disfranchisement, of segregation, of restricted
opportunities, in order to annoy and degrade us, will yet undergo a
change. If the wolf and lamb can dwell together, and the lamb be
perfectly safe, surely the white man in this country is not so
absolutely beyond being amenable to reason and common sense and decency
as to make it impossible, some time in the future, for him and his
brother in black to dwell together, and the brother in black feel no
uneasiness, no fear of being molested, or of having his rights infringed
upon by him. The white man, when it comes to the Negro, is pretty bad, I
know, but I cannot believe that he is so hopelessly bad as to render it
impossible for the colored man to dwell with him and be treated by him
as a man and brother. It may ultimately turn out to be true; but I am
not yet willing to believe it. It cannot be that this white race, which
prides itself upon its superiority to all other races, under this
highest test of superiority—the ability to accord to every man his right
and to treat every man as a brother of whatever race or nationality, is
going to be found so sadly deficient. It is a great race. It has done
many wonderful things. All the greater is the reason, therefore, why it
should not permit itself to be controlled by such an ignoble spirit. It
has done, too, many wonderful things to have its greatness marred by
settling down permanently on the low level of race prejudice. No; I
cannot believe that the white man is so hopelessly bad, so absolutely
possessed by this demon of race hatred that there is no honorable future
in this country for the colored man. The Tillmans, Vardamans, Hoke
Smiths are not always going to be the leaders of even Southern public
sentiment. A better day is coming, with truer, saner, wiser leaders. Dr.
Josiah Strong, in his last volume, "Our World," in the chapter on "The
New Race Problem," after some remarks on the improbability and the
undesirability of blending all races into one says,—"If we recognize any
plan in creation, we must accept a differentiation of the human family
as an expression of the divine purpose, infinitely wise and benevolent.
And it behooves us as colaborers together with God to find that purpose,
if possible, that we may work with him and not against him."

"This conclusion affords not the slightest excuse for race antipathy.
The experience of mankind has convinced all peoples that close
consanguinity must be a bar to marriage; and scientific observation
seems likely to show that the mixture of races most widely divergent is
perhaps hardly less a violation of nature. But there is in this fact no
reason why there should not be as genuine respect and esteem and
fellowship between the races as between brother and sister; no reason
why the spirit of brotherhood which obtains in the home should not
extend to the family of nations and races." And Hamilton W. Mabie, in
his article in the Outlook for August 2nd on "Americans and the Far
East," says: "Race differences must be clearly and frankly recognized;
economical differences must be candidly faced; but race hatred must be
driven beyond the pale of civilization; it is a survival of barbarism
and it must go back where it belongs."

This great white race will some day, I believe, in its sober second
thought, recognize the truth of these words; and will augment its
greatness by emancipating itself from this detestable spirit of race
hatred. It cannot be that this great white race is always going to be
content to prostrate itself before this mean and degrading spirit. It
owes it to itself, as well as to this black race and to all the other
races to free itself from so debasing an influence. If it is to maintain
its leadership in the world, under the ever-growing influence of
Christianity, which knows neither Greek nor Jew, barbarian, Scythian
bond, nor free, it cannot hope to do so with race prejudice inscribed on
its banner. It must change, or else it will be relegated to the rear.
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND BROTHERHOOD are the great forces that are to dominate
the future. The white man may be strong enough to fight the black man in
this country, but he is not strong enough to fight God Almighty and his
eternal and inexorable laws of RIGHTEOUSNESS and BROTHERHOOD. These laws
will ultimately remake him, or break him and cast him "as rubbish to the
void." Which shall it be? Let this great white race take warning.

            "Short is the triumph of evil.
              Long is the reign of right.
            The men who win by the aid of sin,
              The nation that rules by might,
            The party that lives by corruption,
              The trickster, the knave, the thief,
            May thrive for a time on the fruits of crime,
              But their seeming success is brief.

            Know that the truth shall triumph,
              That evil shall find its doom;
            That the cause of right, tho' subdued by might,
              Shall break from the strongest tomb,
            That wrong, tho' it seems to triumph,
              Lasts only for a day,
            While the cause of truth has eternal youth,
              And shall rule o'er the world for aye."


                           TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

Some spelling mistakes have been corrected.

Italicized words and phrases are presented by surrounding the text with

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