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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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OUR POLITICAL STATUS.
turn to Fort Wagner, Milliken's Bend, Port Hudson, Fort Pillow and other historic spots, where the negro's blood flowed freely to save the country from the hands of traitors, and a down-trodden race from an untimely end. Where will you find bravery that surpasses this? Where will you find heroism greater than this? Where will you find an exhibition of greater devotion to race or country than was found in the breast of these patriots, who gave up their lives without a murmur, when great interests were at stake and their country was calling for help? All the negro wants, gentlemen, is a chance. It is not that he desires greater favors than other people. It is not that he is never satisfied, and will always be a disturbing element in Church and State. It is not that he does not appreciate blessings already received, and is not grateful to those by whom they were bestowed. No, not at all. It is that he desires to be protected in the enjoyment of natural rights, whether civil or political, which God has given to every citizen, whether white or black.
Mr. Peter H. Clark, in reply to an article of mine, printed in the Ohio State Journal of April 7th, in which I make the "startling" assertion that few negroes with an iota of common sense will dare, openly, support the Democratic party, in Ohio or any other State, says: "The writer's 'vaulting ambition' to be known as an oracle 'o'erleaps itself,' and that I fall into grievous error." Then he adds, with the same "vaulting ambition" which he has attributed to me, "to be known as an oracle," 'that it is not true that the colored people of the country are, as formerly, united in matters of public policy; but it is true that thousands with excellent common sense will openly support the candidate of the Democratic party in the coming Presidential election "
All that I care to say here in reply to this is: that it is a matter to be regretted that the colored people are not more of a unit in "matters of public policy," when, too, their very lives are in jeopardy. And further, no man should be allowed to teach colored youth one hour who has so far forgotten himself as to openly espouse the cause of the Democracy and their Presidential candidates, before he knows who these candidates will be; and further still—when the triumph of the Democratic party of the
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