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Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People Held at Cleveland, Ohio, On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The 24th, 25th, and 26th of August, 1854

1854 Cleveland OH State Convention 63.pdf

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In a few of the States, as in New York, the coloreJ inhabitants have a partial privilege of voting a white man into office. This privilege is based on a property qualification of two hundred and fifty dollars worth of re~!l estate. In others, as in Ohio, in the ab- sence of organic provision, the privilege is granted by judicial de- cision, based on a ratio of blood, of an admixture of more than one-half white; while in many of the States, there is no privilege allowed, either partial or unrestricted. The policy of the above named States will be seen and detected at a glance, which while seeming to extend immunities, is intended especially for theobject of degradation. In the State of New York, for instance, there is a constitutional distinction created among colored menalmost necessarily compel- ling one part to feel superior to the other; while among the whites no such distinctions dare be known. Also, in Ohio, there is a legal distinction set up by an upstart judiciary, creating among the color- ed people, a privileged class by birth! All this must necessarily sever the cords of union among us, creating almost insurmountable prejudices of the most stupid and fatal kind, paralysing the last bracing nerve which promised to give us strength. It is upon this same principle, and for the self same object, that the Geoeral Government has long been endeav6ring, and is at pres- ent knowingly designing to effect a recognition of the independence of the Dominican Republic, while disparagingly refusing to recog- nize the independence of the Haitien nationa people four-fold greater in numbers, wealth and power. The Haitiens, it is pre- tended, are refused because th6y are Negroes; while the Domini- cans, as is well known to all who are familiar with the geography, history, and political relations of that people, are identicalexcept in language, they speaking the Spanish tonguewith those of the 1-Jatiens; bein~ composed of negroes and a mixed race. The gov- ernment may shield itself by the plea that it is not familiar with the origin of those people. To this we have but to reply, that if the government is thus ignorant of the relations of its near neigh- bors, it is the heighth of presumption, and no small degree of assu- rance, for it to set up itself as capable of prescribing terms to the one, or conditions to the other. Should they accomplish their object, they then will have succeed- ed in forever establishing a barrier of impassable separation, by the creation of a political distinction between those people, of superior-

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