Monday, May 12, 2014


CHAPTER II. The White Man and the Negro as Employer and Employee

Yes, for Thou art no respecter of persons Oh, you Christian hearted people, you, who give large sums to build Christian churches and to carry the gospel into heathen lands, can you not make happy and comfortable the condition and home of your ebony-hued neighbor who felled your forests, built up your cities, made you rich and remained as an impregnable adamantine wall around your family during those long years of misery and bloodshed"! Suppose the blacks, as freedmen, do try, many of them, to act independently and dress with neatness: they are copying after you and you ought to encourage them in imitating the virtues of your race to the entire exclusion of the vices.

They are used to your ways, they are acclimated, they are frugal and they are earnest workers. You therefore ought not to suffer any little, puny, superficial prejudice, based on a false sentiment, to drive you apart, as employer and employee. But before you have time to agree to pay him fair wages for his hire, to allow him a chance to buy land, build neat homes, raise up a virtuous family, do business for himself, affording him equal opportunities to live and be happy, and thereby running out the "carpet bag" element, a message comes from Washington, that the slave, made free by the thirteenth article of amendment, ratified in 1865, has another to go with it, the fourteenth amendment, constituted of five sections:

The first, declaring all persons born or naturalized in the United States to be citizens, and prohibiting the States from passing laws which do not bear equally upon all; that is, forbidding class legislation.

The second, section apportioning representation among the States according to their numbers, based on all the people of their respective States except untaxed Indians, and declaring that when any number of male citizens, being twenty-one years of age, were denied the right to vote in national or State elections, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, then the representation was to be proportionately reduced. This section was to take away the representation of the South allowed, for the Negroes as slaves, in Congress, unless said freedmen were allowed to vote.

The third section disqualifies any man who, having ever taken an oath as State or national officer, or to support the constitution of the United States, afterwards engaging in insurrection and rebellion against the Union, from holding any national office whatever: and it was also provided that Congress, by a two-third vote, could remove said disabilities.

The fourth section made valid the public debt, declaring that debts made in suppressing rebellions shall never be questioned, and also providing that no countenance should ever be given by the government to debts incurred in aid of insurrection and rebellion against the United States or for the loss or emancipation of slaves, all such debts and obligations being held illegal and void.

The fifth and last provides that Congress is empowered to enforce this amendment by legislation, which amendment was ratified in 1868. This enactment of course made the Negro more strong, for it not only made him a full-fledged citizen, with a citizenship which knew no legal inequality, but it also practically made him a voter, as it made him a witness, a juror and a man capable of holding office under the government of the United States.

Like all "new departures," this innovation found in the people, "landed," of the South opposition. This is what may be called
Democratic mistake number three. It is firmly believed that had the Democrats welcomed this law and followed it up by asking for the fifteenth amendment to the National Constitution, expressing: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude;" that the colored slave, who had merged freedman, into citizen and into voter, would have naturally, by reason of long acquaintance with the white man of this section, clasped hands with the Democrats and prevented the ignorant, extravagant, outrageous, heartrending and sickening scenes which were presented during the reconstruction period.

But the Anglo-Saxon of the South refused to shake hands with the
free, enfranchised Ethiopian. The abuse which should, if showered at all, have been poured upon the heads of the white men, carpet-baggers, was instead made to deluge the Negro.

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