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think for themselves, to look with more favor on "ncw doctrines."*
Today thic politician who wants the support of the Negro voter will have to give something more than piecrust promises. The old professional "friend to the colored people" must have something more solid than the name of Lincoln and party appointments.
We demand what the Irish and the Jewish voter get : nominations on the party's ticket in our own districts. And if we don't get this we will smash the party that refuses to give it.
For we are not Republicans, Democrats or Socialists any longer. We are Negroes first. And we are no longer begging for sops. We demand, not "recognition," but representation, and we are out to throw our votes to any party which gives us this, and withhold them from any party which refuses to give it. No longer will we follow any leader whose job the party controls. For we know that no leader so controlled can oppose such party in our interests beyond a given point.
That is why so much interest attaches to the massmeeting to be held at Palace Casino on the 29th where the Citizens' Committee will make its report to the Negro voters of Harlem and tell them how it was "turned down" by the local representatives of the Republican party when it begged the boon of elective representation.
All such rebuffs will make for manhood_if we are men--and will drive us to play in American politics the same role which the Irish party played in British politics. That is the new trend in Negro politics, and we must not let any party forget it.-1917.
*The Arnt part of thin editorial to reprinted from an article writton in 1912.
A Negro for President for many years the Negro has been the football of American politics, Kicked from pillar to post, lic goes beyging, hat in hand, from a Republican convention to a Democratic one. Always is he asking someone else to do something for him. Always is he begging, pleadling, (demanding or threatening. In all these cases his dependience is on the good will, sense of justice or gratitude of the other fellow. And in none of these cases is the political reaction of the other fellow within the control of the Negro.
But a change for the better is approaching. Four years ngo, the present writer was propounding in lectures, indoors and outdoors, the thesis that the Negro people of America would never amount to anything much politically until they should see fit to imitate the Irish of Britain and to organize themselves into a political party of their own whose leaders, on the basis of this large collective vote, coull "hold up" Republicans, Democrats, Socialists or any other political group of American whites. As in many other cases, we have lived to ser time ripen the fruits of our own thought for someone else to pluck. Here is the editor of the Challenge making a campaign along these yery lines, llis version of the idea takes the form of advocating the nomination of a Negro for the Presidency of the United States. In this form we haven't the slightest doubt that this idea will meet with a great deal of ridicule and contempt. Nevertheless, we venture to prophesy that, whether in the hands of Mr. Bridges or another, it will come to be ultimately accepted as one of the finest contributions to Negro statesmanship.
No one pretends, of course, that the votes of Negroes can clect a Negro to the high office of President of the United States. Nor woudel only one expect that the votes of white people will be forthcoming to assist them in such il project. The only way in which at Negro could be clected President of the United States would be hy virtue of the voters not knowing that the particular candidate was of Negro ancestry. This, we believe, has already happened within the mentory of living men. But, the essential intent of this new plan is to furnish a focussing, point around which the ballots of the Negro voters may be concentratool for the realization of racial demands for justice and cquality of opportunity and treatment. It would be carrying "Race l'irst" with a vengeance into the arenn of domestic politics. It would take the Negro voter out of the ranks of the Republican, Democratic and Socialist parties and workel enable their leaders to traile the votes of their followers, openly and above-honre, for those things for, which masses of men largely exchange their votes.
Mr. Bridges will find that the idea of a Negro candidato for l'resident presupposes the creation of a purely Negro party and upon that prerequisite he will find himself compelled to concentrate, Doubtless, most of the political wise-acres of the Negro race will argue that the idea is impossible because it antagonizes the white politicians of the various parties. They will close their eyes to the inct that politics implies antagonism and a conflict of interest. They will fail to see that the only things which count with politicians are votes, and that, just as onc white man will cheerfully cut another white man's throat to get the dollars which a black man has, so will one white politician or party cut another one's throat politically to get the votes which black men may cast at the polls. But these considerations will finally carry the day. Let there be no mistake. The Negro will never be ac. cepter loy the white American demeracy except in so far its lic can hy the lise of force, financial, political or olier, win, seize or maintain in the teethi or opposition that position whicli lie finals necessary to look awal security and salvation. And we Negroe's may as well make up our minds now that we can't depend upon the good-will of white men in anything or at any point where our interests and theirs conflict. Disguise it as we may, in business, politics, education or other departments of life, we as Negroes are compelled to fight for what we want to win from the white world.
It is easy enough for those colored men whose psychology is shaped by their white inlıeritance to argue the ethics of compromise and inter-racial co-operation. But we whose brains are still unbastardized must face the frank realities of this situation of racial conflict and competition. Wherefore, it is well that we marshal our forces to withstand and make head against the constant racial pressure.
Action and reaction are equal and opposite. Where there is but slighit pressure a slight resistance will suffice. But where, as in our case, that pressure is grinding and pitiless, the resistance that would re-establish equal conditions of freedom must of necessity be intense' and radical. And it is this philosophy which must furnish the motive for such a new and radical departure as is implied in the joint idea of a Negro party in American politics and a Negro candidate for the Presidency of these United States.---June, 1920,
When the Tail Wags the Dog Politically, these United States may be roughly divided into two sections, so far as the Negroes are concerned. In the North the Negro population has the vote. In the
South it hasn't. This was not always su. There was 1 time when thc Negro voters of the South sont in to colle gress a thin but stcady stream of black men who represented their political interests directly. Due to the misadventures of the reconstruction period, this streamı was shut off until at the beginning of this century Cieorge While, of North Carolina, was the sole and last representative of the black man with a ballot in the South. Th result was
due largely to the characteristic stupidity of the Negro voter. He was a Republicani, he was. He would do anything with his ballot for Abraham Lincoin---who was dead--but not a thing for himself and his family, who were all alive and kicking. For this thic Republican party loved him so much that it permitted the Democrats to disfranchise him while it controlled Con. gress and the courts, the army and navy, and all the machinery of law-enforcement in the United States. With its continuing consent, Jim-crowism, disfranchisement, segregation and lynching spread abroad over the land. The end of it all was the reduction of the Negro in the South to the position of a political serf, an industrial peon and a social outcast.
Recently there has been developed in the souls of black folk a new manhood delicated to the proposition that, if all Americans arc cqual in the matter of baring their breasts to forcign bayonets, then all Americans must, by their own efforts, be made cqual in balloting for Presi. dents and other officers of the government. This principle is compelling the Republican party in certain localities to consider the necessity of nominating Negrocs on its local electoral tickets. Yet the old attitude of that party on the political rights of Negroes remains substantially the
Here, for instance, is the Chicago convention, at which