« AnteriorContinuar »
country in the manner he was, is it not a fact beyond any reasonable doubt that this Government is responsible for him?
At the beginning of the late rebellion in this country it was unconstitutional to impose military service on any man not a citizen. If they could have done so, it is a fact beyond question that 4,000,000 Negroes would have had to go to war. Then, if it were unconstitutional to start with, was it not also unconstitutional to end with ? But simply because it became a military necessity military service was imposed on that 4,000,000 Negroes and one and a half millions perished on the battlefields of this country, in violation of every law, for the liberty they enjoyed. That is not all they have got to ask if they can not work out their destiny in this country. This is a white man's country. Water and oil don't mix. Vinegar and soda will not mix, yet they are both harmless. Fairly or unfairly, the two races can not dweli harmoniously together. It is the Negro who is dependent on the white man for his work. There are his wife and children
properly serve his family because he is dependent on the other fellow. Take this railroad out here. It is a white man's road, owned by white men, and on this railroad the Negro can not stick his face in a car except the Jim Crow car, yet that same road could be owned and controlled by Negroes in a country of their own. It could be done by Negroes. Cars must be built and trains must be run and it could be done by Negroes. He must educate his boys as lawyers, doctors, bricklayers, and machinists. He must educate his girls as stenographers and school teachers, and this the Negro must do if he wishes the future to hold out any hope to him and if he wishes to rise above being a common laborer and not have his children become common laborers after him.
Now, his wife goes out washing, but when the avenues of life are open to him and he tries to get ahead his wife will be able to stay at home with her children. He will be better himself, will be happier, and the world at large will be better. If the same money had been spent to put the Negro in a country to himself that has been spent to educate him in this country and keep him satisfied, it would have been spent to better advantage. What we want to do is this: We want to form a State between the United States and Mexico, part in the United States and part in Mexico, and each Negro given what land he can attend to with Government assistance and as fast as the Negroes become dissatisfied in the United States, when he has run from the east to the west, he can run home.
Mr. HUSTED. There is nothing pending before this committee on which this speaker is addressing the committee; there is nothing in it on the separation of the races and no construction of it of that nature. I do not understand his purpose in taking up the time of this committee on something we can not consider.
Mr. MADDEN. I am only endorsing my resolution. I have a bill to introduce and am speaking in relation to it in amendment to Mr. Mason's resolution.
Mr. DYER. If there is anything pending before this committee.
Mr. MADDEN. You want me only to comment on the Mason resolution?
Mr. Dyer. There is nothing pending before this committee providing for the separation of the races.
Mr. WALSH. It is within the scope of it.
Mr. GARD. I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that you ascertain how many desire to speak on this resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. How many ?
The CHAIRMAN. Be as brief as you can as we have other matters to take up.
Mr. MADDEN. I simply want to form a State down there in which the citizens would take an oath to support the United States' doctrines and the two races would be friends forever. This State would serve as a buffer State between the United States and Mexico, and would also serve to eliminate the Negro from the list of problems that face the United States, for all time to come. That is what we want to do but when we can not do what we want to do we will do the next
release he is given a suit of clothes and $5; and the Negro, after 200 years of slavery, through no fault of his own, I think that $3,000 in money and transportation back home is little enough to ask for. Whenever the time comes that the United States will make provision for the Negro to live and set aside a plot of ground for him, they would go there faster than molasses will draw flies.
Mr. SUMNER. Would it interrupt you to suggest that you make some statement to the committee as to why it is more colored people do not show a disposition to return to Liberia, and what, in your judgment, is the opinion of colored people on the segregation of their race ?
Mr. MADDEN. Africa has been pictured to the Negro as a land of snakes; a land of monkeys, tigers, and lions, and that is the way it has been described to him, and it is a feasible thought to him and has tended to confuse rather than to enlighten him. Liberia was set apart at one time for the Negro to colonize, but there was no Government assistance for him to get there, so it was impossible for him to go.
Mr. CURRIE. Are there not communities in this country now practically governed by Negroes, where the banks are run by Negroes, and the business places owned by Negroes ?
Mr. MADDEN. Bodey, Okla., a town of 6,000 inhabitants, which has three banks, postmaster, and the operator at the depot, all colored men, and they do anything in that town that they are doing in any other town of its size. The Negro has been trying many years to solve the race problem and to be the white man's equal in the white man's country, but has found that everything has proved a failure.
Mr. DYER. Who would do the work if the Negro were to go away?
Mr. MADDEN. I was in England, Germany, and France, and they get along nicely without the Negro, and you can do the same here.
Mr. DYER. Suppose there were 25 per cent of the Negroes who did not want to leave the United States, are you advocating force to compel them to go? Do you seriously think of such a thing as that?
Mr. MADDEN. This is to be a voluntary act.
Mr. DYER. Then would not three-fourths of the Negroes stay where they are ?
Nr. MADDEN. There might be 25 per cent stay here, but there would not be enough to raise riots or support the Jim Crow car.
Mr. DYER. I am afraid that is just conjecture on your part.
Mr. MADDEN. I feel safe in saying that 90 per cent of the Negroes in the United States would be glad to go.
Mr. DYER. I am afraid you have no solid basis for that opinion.
Mr. GOODYKOONTZ. Your idea is to erect a nation to be run by the Negroes?
Mr. MADDEN. Yes, sir; I say that by virtue of the fact that this is a white man's country and should be conducted by the white people, and by virtue of the fact that I believe there have been enough white women and girls offered upon the bloody altar of African lust. I believe enough Negroes have died at the stake, tied there and coal oil poured upon them, with their groans going up to God and the earth swallowing up their blood as a protest of the highly civilized people. I believe that you will agree with me that the only solution is to separate the races.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you have a bill or resolution to offer ? Mr. MADDEN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anyone who wishes to be heard in opposition?
STATEMENT OF MR. NEVAL H. THOMAS. Mr. Thomas. In the first place, I am representing the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People. Locally we have 7,000 members whom I am representing, and nationally we have 100,000 members in 310 branches, which are organized to oppose just such a recommendation as has been presented here to-day. I do not know where this man comes from
Mr. DYER. He says he comes from St. Louis. How long have you lived in St. Louis, Mr. Madden?
Mr. MADDEN. About two years; I came there from Oklahoma.
Mr. THOMAS. I am acquainted with the leaders of thought among colored people all over this country, and I never even heard of this man before. He represents nothing but himself. Beware of any Negro who comes recommending a segregation scheme to you; he is simply seeking to be head of the group if we are segregated. When Woodrow Wilson became President, there were some venal Negro politicians who asked him to segregate the colored clerks in one department, and at the same time everyone presented an application for the headship of that department; so pay no attention to them. The masses of the colored people are unalterably opposed to segregation. Civilization has been spread and prejudices softened by the contact of peoples with each other. Even President Wilson is on record as saying that you can not hate a man whom you know, although he has segregated men to keep them from knowing, so that they can hate.
We recognize, in the first place that every man is lord of his castle; complete master of his own home. We seek no association, but cooperation with the white people of this country in the up-building
carrier, we are not seeking contact with the other people, we simply want to travel from place to place; we do not even expect another passenger to say “Good morning” to us. That is an ordinary civil right. The common carrier, like all other institutions, belongs to all of us alike. They are supported by our taxes, protected by the
police power of our State, and every one is a taxpayer because the ultimate consumer is the taxpayer. The owner of property does not pay the taxes. He charges enough rent to make a profitable return on his investment, plus the insurance, water rent, and all other expenses, and the tenant pays it. The owner of the property is simply a messenger through whom the tenant sends his taxes to the taxgatherer. Therefore, we have equal right to all public places, such as the common carrier, the theaters, restaurants, and hotels, and we will never cease to clamor for our rights until we gain admission. What we want the Congress to do, and also the Department of Justice, is to enforce the thirteenth, the fourteenth, and the fifteenth amendments to the Constitution. Even the thirteenth amendment, forbiding slavery and involuntary servitude, is violated in the Southern States by the infamous system of peonage. We demand the ballot, for in a Government where men vote the voter is king, and the disfranchised man is the victim of the man who does vote. We demand the abolition of the infamous “Jim-Crow” car, which was simply made to insult us. We demand admission to all public places, in fact, we demand equality of treatment everywhere, and equality before the law. Again, I say that segregation keeps men apart and is opposed to all sound principles of Government. My own experience in this country and Europe with white people has taught me how segregation works against my people. I have met people in this country and in Europe who were surprised that I could write; that I knew history; that I knew what I was traveling for; could explain a painting or piece of sculpture or a great work of architecture. They had lived side by side with me for all these years, the segregation had kept them from knowing me. Suppose there were no prejudices in this country, the races would mingle and discover their common humanity, and learn that color is the least of differences among men, and we would have no resulting friction. There are people living right in Boston who have gone over Boston Common, the most historic park in this country, where there is a statue of Crispus Attucks, a Negro, the first to shed his blood in the American Revolution. Near by is the famous Robert Gould Shaw
Negroes in the Civil War, who died like men at Fort Pillow for the preservation of the Union, and yet have never looked up to find how much the colored men of this country have done for it. The system of segregation prevents that mutual interest that should exist between the races; we are all opposed to segregation. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the largest institution among the negroes, with 700,000 members. This church issued a declaration of 14 points, the number of which is in imitation of the President's 14 points, and the strongest point in it is a declaration against segregation. This church supports 24 institutions in the South and collects from the pockets of washerwomen $350,000 every year for the education of the Negro youth, and this in addition to the expense to which colored people are put for education of their own in the South because all the people are taxpayers.
As this great church is against segregation, so are the Baptists and other denominations. The great organization for which I am talking to-day is opposed to it. We are all opposed to it, and this man is simply seeking his own personal gain. 'The gentleman from Oklahoma asked if we were willing to leave this country and said he believed three-fourths of us would not leave. No. Nine hundred and ninetynine out of every thousand would not leave. This man has falsely stated that this is a white man's country. He knows nothing of the history of his people. The Negro came here when the white man did, and he has contributed to the upbuilding of this country by his labor, by his suffering, by his sacrifices and blood. There are none of the highest callings he has not entered. In art, the highest calling of man, the greatest name is Henry O. Tanner, a Negro, whose paintings the French Government seeks and purchases and puts in her great art galleries as soon as they are painted. So it is foolish to talk about
Americans, and we are not going to leave in spite of our sufferings, but are going to work out our destiny right here in our own land. We have almost enough law in this country. What we want is enforcement of the law. We have a Constitution with 19 amendments, and with its imperfections, it is the greatest political document that has ever come from the hand of man. What we want Congress to do is to enforce it. Think of it; even the House of Representatives has closed its public restaurant to Negroes, where we have been going for 50 years without friction. This was done at the very time that brave black boys were dying in the trenches in France. This is a new reward to give the returning black soldier for his heroic sacrifices in every part of far-off France.
In this town the theater, the great educational agency, supported by the black as well as the white, since it is a public institution, is closed to the black people, and I have to go to New York when I want the cultured entertainment of the opera. Is this right? No. We have done our full share of the dying for this country, and it is high time we were getting some of the living. This war, which was waged for world democracy, as President Wilson said, has meant no democracy for us. It has not only given us no relief for the thousand burning wrongs we were suffering before the war but it has increased discrimination against us. The black boy who left this country at the command of Woodrow Wilson to go to France to die for democracy comes home to find more obstacles placed in the way of those he fought to save. At this very hour there are thousands of brave black heroes who never knew what liberty was that are now sleeping on the hill slopes of France, and we, who are left behind, would be unworthy of the glorious tradition of sacrifice they left us, if we did not work to secure the democracy for which Mr. Wilson told them to die. We would be false to their sacred memories. We are determined to get democracy in this country. We expect the cooperation of our honorable Congress and all just white men, and we are going to urge it and continue until we set up here in this Western Hemisphere the first democracy the world has ever seen. Think nothing of segrega
is not surrender. We should face the problem with courage, with resolution, and with statesmanship. We should enforce the laws that are flagrantly violated in most of the States of this Union; admit all the citizenship, regardless of color, into all public places, and if there is friction punish the transgressor and not his innocent victim. That is justice; nothing else will we accept, and we ask nothing more.