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cepted by the white American democracy except in so far as he can by the use of force, financial, political or other, win, seize or maintain in the teeth of opposition that position which he finds necessary to his own security and salvation. And we Negroes 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 inheritance 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 slight 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 so.
There was a time when the Negro voters of the South sent in to Congress a thin but steady stream of black men who represented their political interests directly. Due to the misadventures of the reconstruction period, this stream was shut off until at the beginning of this century George White, of North Carolina, was the sole and last representative of the black man with a ballot in the South.
This result was due largely to the characteristic stupidity of the Negro voter. He was a Republican, he was. He would do anything with his ballot for Abraham Lincoln—who was dead—but not a thing for himself and his family, who were all alive and kicking. For this the Republican party loved him so much that it permitted the Democrats to disfranchise him while it controlled Congress 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 dedicated to the proposition that, if all Americans are equal in the matter of baring their breasts to foreign bayonets, then all Americans must, by their own efforts, be made equal in balloting for Presidents and other officers of the government. This principle is compelling the Republican party in certain localities to consider the necessity of nominating Negroes 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 whichi
the Negro delegates were lined up to do their duty by the party. Of course, these delegates had to deal collectively with the white leaders. This was to their mutual advantage. But the odd feature of the entire affair was this, that, Whereas the Negro people in the South are not free to cast their votes, it was precisely from these voteless areas that the national Republican leaders selected the political spokesmen for the voting Negroes of the North. Men who will not vote at the coming election and men who, like Roscoe Simmons, never cast a vote in their lives were the accredited representatives in whose hands lay the destiny of a million Negro voters.
But there need be no fear that this insult will annoy the black brother in the Republican ranks. A Negro Republican generally runs the rhinoceros and the elephant a close third. In plain English, the average Negro Republican is too stupid to see and too meek to mind. Then, too, here is Fate's retribution for the black man in the North who has never cared enough to fight (the Republican party) for the political freedom of his brother in the South, but left him to rot under poll-tax laws and grandfather clauses. The Northern white Democrats, for letting their Southern brethren run riot through the Constitution, must pay the penalty of being led into the ditch by the most ignorant, stupid and vicious portion of their party. Even so, the Northern Negro Republican, for letting his Southern brother remain a political ragamuffin, must now stomach the insult of this same ragamuffin dictating the destiny of the freer Negroes of the North. In both cases the tail doth wag the dog because of “the solid South.” Surely, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether!” “ July, 1920.
The Grand Old Party
In the early days of 1861, when the Southern Senators and Representatives were relinquishing their seats in the United States Congress and hurling cartels of defiant explanation broadcast, the Republican party in Congress, under the leadership of Charles Francis Adams of Massachusetts, organized a joint committee made up of thirteen members of the Senate and thirty-three members of the House to make overtures to the seceding Southerners. The result of this friendly gesture was a proposed thirteenth amendment, which, if the Southerners had not been so obstinate, would have bridged the chasm. For this amendment proposed to make the slavery of the black man in America eternal and inescapable. It provided that no amendment to the Constitution, or any other proposition affecting slavery in any way, could ever be legally presented upon the floor of Congress unless its mover had secured the previous consent of cvery Senator and Representative from the slave-holding States. It put teeth into the Fugitive Slave Law and absolutely gave the Negro over into the keeping of his oppressors.
Most Negro Americans (and white ones, too) think it fashionable to maintain the most fervid faith and deepest ignorance about points in their national history of which they should be informed. We therefore submit that these facts are open and notorious to those who know American history. The record will be found slimly and shamefacedly given in McPherson's “History of the Rebellion”; at indignant length in Blaine's "Twenty Years of Congress” and Horace Greeley's "The Great American Conflict.” The document can be examined in Professor Macdonald's "Select Documents of United States History.” These works are to be found in every public library, and
we refer to them here because there are "intellectual” Negroes today who are striving secretly, when they dare not do so openly, to perpetuate the bonds of serfdom which bind the Negro Americans to the Republican party. This bond of serfdom, this debt of gratitude, is supposed to hinge on the love which Abraham Lincoln and his party are supposed to have borne towards the Negro; and the object of this appeal to the historical record is to show that that record demonstrates that if the Negro owes any debt to the Republican party it is a debt of execration and of punishment rather than one of gratitude.
It is an astounding fact that in his First Inaugural Address Abraham Lincoln gave his explicit approval to the substance of the Crittenden resolutions which the joint committee referred to above had collectively taken over. This demonstrates that the Republican party at the very beginning of its contact with the Negro was willing to sell the Negro, bound hand and foot, for the substance of its own political control. This Thirteenth Amendment was adopted by six or eight Northern States, including Pennsylvania and Illinois; and if Fort Sumter had not been fired upon it would have become by State action the law of the land.
The Republican party did not fight for the freedom of the Negro, but for the maintenance of its own grip on the government which the election of Abraham Lincoln had secured. If any one wants to know for what the Republican party fought he will find it in such facts as this: That thousands of square miles of the people's property were given away to Wall Street magnates who had corrupted the Legislature in their effort to build railroads on the government's money. The sordid story is given in "Forty Years in Wall Street,” by the banker, Henry