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Conference for the Colored People of Texas
1879 TX State Convention in Houston 6.pdf
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THE NEGRO EXODUS QUESTION.
The resolutions and address of the colored conference at Houston on the exodus question are of no trifling significance. It is clear that there is as much method as madness in the part which the colored people, through their commonly recognized leaders, are taking in the exodus movement. The address to which we refer is a remarkable jumble of facts and fallacies, declamation and sophistry, a little learning and a fearful amount of ignorance and foolish presumptions. Its citations from the Bible and from secular history are equally irrelevant. In both particulars it is grotesquely absurd. There is no present occasion to review critically or contradictorily its arguments in favor of the migration of the colored people from Texas and other southern states to a latitude where their race may finally throw off the enervating effects of their tropical origin. Neither history, with which the authors of the address profess such familiarity, nor contemporary experience, which is not unworthy of the serious consideration of those who set up as philosophers, teachers and guides or their fellow-men, presents any example to sustain the position that latitude may efface the spots of the leopard or work a complete physiological transformation of the negro. Nevertheless such colored people as are decidedly infected with the exodus fever should be encouraged rather than discouraged. Disconnected, morbid, at moral if not open war with the society around them, their presence must be anything but desirable or wholesome. It is the inevitable tendency of such an element to be disturbing and mischievous. The colored leaders in the exodus movement should by all means go at once and make proper preparations for establishing their followers in the promised land. A decent consistency demands nothing less. To remain voluntarily among the fleshpots of Egypt, after raising the banner of exodus, would be to convict themselves of fraud and hypocrisy, and incur the universal contempt of whites and blacks. That this movement has a political aspect, and is more or less directed by some exterior political influence, is not to be questioned. The republican politicians have despaired of utilizing the vote of the colored population in Texas and other southern states. Negro Suffrage proved to be a double-edged weapon, and, as the colored population is now distributed, the keener edge has been turned against the republican party. Hence the scheme to transplant colored voters to quarters where they may be made to count as a solid and positive factor in the interest of that party. It is questionable, in a political sense, whether the republicans will not lose by what they gain, and whether the south will not gain by what it loses, through the exodus business. Time will tell.
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