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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the State Convention of Colored Men of Texas, Held at the City of Austin, July 10-12, 1883.
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brethren here in the South—our home. There are some of us, owing to our misinformed state of mind, who construe their mistreatment by a few white individuals into an act on the part of the whole body of the white race; but we are proud to say, that it shall never be our purpose to so unjustly charge these people, for common sense teaches us that if the whole body of the white people were our real enemies, our annihilation would be sure; however, we know it to be the duty of the whole people to condemn wrong wherever it exists, and lend their support in behalf of every vested right. We also ask the strong arm of the people in suppressing the brutal practice on the part of so-called law abiding citizens, of lynching persons who may be accused of crimes. While we say that the crimes, if committed, in some cases merit death, the danger is in murdering a man who is not guilty, for in these cases the accused is never tried but prejudged. We condemn this whether the victim be colored or white.
Now, as so very much is said about our status as colored passengers on railroads, we in all fairness admit that we do not object to social separation, but since colored people were regarded citizens, it never has been questioned that colored passengers had equal rights to various accommodations on highways.
We know if separation is desirable, the corporation should do as the State does towards these two classes of citizens, that is, provide separate, exclusive cars for each, equal in the various respects, and the colored people will manifest no more a desire to ride in the famous “ first class or ladies car,” than they do to send their children to a white school. Some of the railroads were built by money loaned by counties, and we have been taxed to pay the interest on the bonds upon which said money was raised, and we think we have a right to have what is paid for the same as other citizens. In recognition of the correctness of our position, the management of the Missouri Pacific R. R., and Leased Lines, informs the colored people of the State, that it is not their policy to discriminate against them, and the managers are living up to their declaration. Though the matter here involved may appear of small moment, all fair-minded men will acknowledge that if we are citizens we should make our claim to every vested right when not against the policy of the country or State, and we say it is not against the policy of this State for all classes of citizens to have equal rights to public benefits.
Hence, we submit, that those railroad companies that wish to separate passengers, should make equal provision in separate cars for each class of passengers. Having said so much on these matters, we know that at present the most substantial avenues to peace and happiness are through education, morality and wealth. We congratulate ourselves on the fact that much progress is being made in education, which, all things being considered, is highly satisfactory. The moral status in some of our people needs much improvement. We hereby demand of out people, in the name of God, Virtue and Morality, to set aside entirely all teachers and preachers who are
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