Sunday, May 11, 2014



The once slave is now a free man. No one is responsible for his well-being but himself. His house, his raiment and his food he must earn in winter and in summer. The once humble slave drinks in the atmosphere of freedom and holds up his head. Loves a “Yankee" or Northern man as he loves his Saviour, learns to hate the former owner that once he loved to obey.

The former master sees in this changed condition the Negro becoming intolerant — an eyesore, a thorn in the flesh. Unlike heretofore, the Negro stops before going to work to knots- what pay he is going to receive as remuneration for his labor. The subject of contract is discussed on equal terms, the Negro often refusing to work because the amount offered is not commensurate with his idea of the service to be performed.

The man who once owned so many Negroes, that he really did not know all of their names, must now be humiliated by inviting the laborer to discuss with him the justice of the “wage" offered. The man once rich as slave owner, now poor from the results of war, sees the Negroes he once owned, many of them, living surrounded by as many comforts as he. Can you be guilty of surprise, if an unpleasant word is uttered by him, who was once in the "lap of luxury," now so degraded by freedom? The sensible man fully appreciates the feeling which comes over a man once rich, when he observes the individual he once owned with a "silk hat" on his head, standing collar around his neck, a ruffled bosom shirt adorning his front, and a long-tailed coat covering his back, set off by English bottom pants, fitting neatly over his patent leather shoes; while he, who once owned the now full blown dandy, is in want. He speaks to this black Chesterheldian, and, as his reward, is impudently scowled at for having done so  the two men, representatives of different races, honestly mistaken concerning the true condition of the mind of each towards the other.

The unscrupulous politician has done his poisonous and deadly work. The colored man regards this old man who once owned him as one of the greatest sinners in the world. To think that he should have been held in bondage so long is to so insult his nod feeling as a free man, that he pledges himself never to forgive the sin committed against him as long as he lives. He takes no time to think about the great work of civilization, which has been performed on his behalf. He takes no time to remember that if he had been white, living South, he would have done the same thing. He forgets entirely that there were plenty of men who held slaves, not because they loved the system, loved to enslave their fellows, but because it was legal and because it was believed by them to be a source for increasing their revenue. A great many Southern men found themselves, by the custom of the country, forced to maintain the "institution;" many of them having all of their wealth wrapped up in "blacks", left to them by their parents or purchased from the men of the North, who found no profit in the "blacks."

The colored man, when thinking about the "old" regime, "the before the war times”, is so filled with prejudice that he is unable to give an honest, fair, unbiased opinion. There are men today engaged in selling alcoholic drinks to their neighbors, carrying on what is known as the saloon business, not because they love that kind of work(they despise it) , but because it is legal; many others are following it, because it pays larger profits than any other occupation they can find. It is not right to hate a man for engaging in a "traffic" when he found that calling the rule in the community where he lived, with not even an exception, among those who were able to buy slaves.

Bishops, preachers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, farmers, everybody who wanted to be respectable, had to have a factotum, a Negro. Men gave their daughters and sons when marrying, a slave as a beginning in their new life. When this picture is honestly looked at, the Negro will find he is unable to hate the white man who owned slaves, and the white man will not confess himself guilty of gross wrong-doing for having so owned them for a time, except where those held were abused. It is not believed that it was the plan of God that slavery should always exist. It may be that God intended that the poor Indians, beaten back and destroyed, until hardly one of them is left to tell the story, should have in the Negro an afflicting nemesis, who, through slavery's "cruel season", should learn the "walks" of civilized man, and out of these civilized Negroes should come the civilizing and christianizing of the whole world. It may be that the "penance" exacted for the harsh and cruel treatment of the Indians was the civilizing and bringing to the truth the inhabitants of Africa. "That which you measure out to men shall be meted out to you again".

It is stated that the two races of the South, holding the relation of employer and laborer, are honestly mistaken about each other. This is true.

The picture of the Negro regarding the white man as a great sinner for having held him has been exhibited. The Negro believes that the white man of the South is eternally and everlastingly opposed to his elevation, this lesson having been taught him by the unscrupulous politicians, of carpet-bag times, who swarmed over this section like the flies did in Egypt upon a certain historic occasion. The Negro being emancipated, empty handed, without anything, not so much as a place to lay his head, fell an easy prey to the human, graveyard hyenas, "whose insides crave continually to live on the blood of this recently made free individual".

Then it was that the Southern white man made mistake number two. Instead of closing in around these blacks, and giving them to understand that although they were free the Southern white man was their friend, you either stood still and refused to do anything, or said: "Let them go”, “They are free”, “Let the damned Yankees have them”, or “let them starve to death”, a great many pious. Christian hearted property owners of the South did proceed to make terms with these liberated people; but even these, for a number of years after the war, treated the Negro with indifference.

Hence, the Negro was found drifting farther and farther away from the white people of the South — a people dear to him in every particular.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Oh yeah?

Tweets by @hotchocolatefox