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Scripto | Transcribe Page
An Address Delivered by Prof. W.S. Scarborough, of Wilberforce University, on Our Political Status, at the Colored Men's Inter-State Conference in the City of Pittsburgh, PA., Tuesday, April 29, 1884.
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8 OUR POLITICAL STATUS.
others, who shall rule this country and us with it, I regard that as independantism? and a step in the right direction. While I am a Republican, "dyed in the wool" as some will probably say, I am not blind to the mistakes of that party. The conciliatory and milk-and-water policy of Ex-President Hayes did the country irreparable harm and the negroes great injury, in that it encouraged Southern rascality and Southern outrages, by removing the National rifle and bayonet from the South, and by leaving them to the mercy of their former masters, without protection.
Gentlemen, I speak not as a politician, neither as an officeholder, nor as an office-seeker, but as one desirous of fair play. The colored man is not so different from other people after all. He has desires and aspirations as well as other men. He is generally as ambitious as other men. He desires to better his condition by the acquiring of education and wealth, to the same extent as other men. This is right and laudable, and who will blame him for it? The founders of the grand old Republican party played their part well when they preserved the life of the Nation ; gave freedom to all its citizens ; reconstructed the Union; upheld the National honor; kept the National faith; advanced the National credit; reduced the public debt; fixed the time for specie payment, and gave the country unparalleled prosperity.
But the work is not yet finished. We ask that such laws be enacted as shall secure to every citizen of the country, regardless of race or color, the full enjoyment of every civil and political right accorded to the most favored, and that all statute-laws discriminating against us as a people, be repealed. The emancipation act brought upon the party new duties and new responsibilities and established new relations between man and man. Therefore it is the duty of this great party, with which we have acted so long, to see to it that no unjust distinctions be made in favor of one class at the expense of another.
"A great part of our political life is but one vast laboratory for sifting and ascertaining the rights, the interests, the duties of the unnumbered and increasing parties to our complex form of social life." Questions of rights and duties, that were never thought of years ago, are now agitating civil society: the rights of negro
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