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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.
and qualification. The appointment of any colored man to office by the government is an insult to the Southern people and provokes conflict and dissatisfaction, when, if left, as they ought to be, in their natural sphere, there would be quiet and good order. The whites can never tamely and without protest submit to the intrusion of colored men into places of trust and profit and responsibility."
What think ye of this, gentlemen? This is said to be christianity—Southern christianity, I suppose.
Is not such doctrine as this enough to stir every fiber of one's being and set every nerve in motion? This is the doctrine of the Southern pulpit. This is the doctrine of the Northern Democrat in his efforts to establish Southern supremacy. This is virtually the doctrine, I am sorry to say, of that liberal and conciliatory class of Republicans who are trying to bridge over the bloody chasm at the expense of human rights.
Jeff Davis, in a recent speech before the Mississippi Legislature, made the remark that the South was fast gaining the ground it had lost, and very soon will assume the helm of the government of the United States. This is not very encouraging, though the state of things seem to indicate the truth of the statement. If the country is carried by the Democrats and the old regime is either wholly or partially restored, as colored citizens, we have more to lose than any other class of individuals. White men may divide on tariff, silver coinage, civil service, whisky bills, railroad and standard oil monopolies, appropriations, star routes, pensions, and on local and national issues of greater or lesser importance, but colored men, for the present at least, are narrowed down to civil and political rights—protection before the law. Until these rights are fully assured, all other questions among us, as it seems to me, must of necessity be subordinate. It is a disgrace to the American people that, with all their boasted intelligence, they can not rise above the infamous color-line. It is on this ground that I favor mixed schools, mixed churches- and mixed every-thing-else that will tend to wipe out these in, vidious distinctions, and will enable one to live without always thinking about his color,—whether he is white or black. That
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