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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.

1884PA-National-Pittsburgh_Address (15).pdf

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14

OUR POLITICAL STATUS.

white Republicans in any State, as in Georgia, should issue a circular calling on other white Republicans to assemble in mass meeting to decide what course they should pursue to check the ambition of colored Republicans, who are in a majority, is a serious matter and should be resented in every legitimate way.

The negro is here, and here to stay. The sooner this fact is admitted and legislation is shaped accordingly, the better it will be for the quiet and prosperity of the country, together with all concerned. For my part, I shall not desert the Republican party, as that is the better of the two parties now existing. Nor will I advise any other colored man to do so, but to stick to the old ship.

The Democrats of the North opposed emancipation of negroes on the ground that it would throw upon the border Free States an immense number of colored people to compete with and underwork the whites, and to constitute in various ways an unbearable nuisance if suffered to remain. They did not think it just for the Union soldier to be compelled to free the colored people, to fill the North with a degraded population, to compete with these same soldiers on their return to the peaceful avocations of life. They opposed negro suffrage, declared by resolution that negroes are not equal to white men, and that this is a government of white men. They opposed reconstruction on the ground that it would give the negroes control of the South, and place the lives, liberties and fortunes of white men in the hands of a barbarous people and would, hence, lead to the Africanization of the South. They opposed the Fifteenth Amendment, and loudly clamored for universal amnesty with Jeff Davis included.

If, under the circumstances, we should espouse the cause of the Democratic party and either by word or act, directly or indirectly promote its interests or the interests of any other party that seeks to trample our rights under foot, we would be unfaithful to ourselves, unfaithful to the race and disloyal to our country.

All that has been done for the negro has been done by the Republican party; and while I am not in favor of tying ourselves to any party—especially as they are now constituted—in such a way as to deprive us of our individuality or manhood, I suggest that a petition, full and comprehensive, expressive of our grievances and with our desires explicitly stated as to protection and

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