Newspaper Page Text
THE INDIAN AND THE NEGRO
The following address was delivered before the Borrowed Time Club of Seattle on September the 11th by 11. H. Cayton: Whether the Indian or the Negro of this country has been •he recipient of a greater number of abuses at the hands of an intolerant white eiti/enry is a problem, so difficult of answer, as to require the brain of the proverbial Philadelphia Lawyer, of whom the most of us, from time to time have heard, to unravel the tangled web. Suffice it, however, both of them have received ;in undue amount of abuses from a Christian people of culture and refinement, the cornerstone of whose government is, in God We Trust. lioth the Indian and the Negro have not only been greatly imposed upon, but, actually killed, in large numbers, and death is but death and that too however circuitous the route thereto may be. While defending his castle, his home and his relations, the Indian has been shot to death in such overwhelming numbers thai he has been practically exterminated, though not so many Neyroes have been killed by the nifuriated whites as Indians, yet what they lacked in death numbers, in comparison to the Indian, is doubly made up in barbaric brutality at the hands of the white man, much of which is too shocking and revolting to relate to Christian men and women. In the light of the past and amid the burning human fumes of the present the question arises, Wh«t would have transpired, especially to the Negro, if the corner stone of, "this land of the Tree and home of the brave", had not been lain on so sacred a creed as has been quoted above! For a stronger class to trust in (!(»d Tor slill greater strength in order to the more completely humiliate a weaker class, living among the stronger for no greater reason than that, that weaker class differs from them in complexion, would seem to completely neutralize the teachings of that Booh of Hooks, which says, "of one flesh and one blood all men are created." So cruel has been the abuse of the Negro that it has not only warped his mind, but as you may observe, has completely changed his color. Unlike the Indian, who confronted the forward march of General Civilization and refused to accept its doctrines and died in opposition thereto, the Negro was an unwilling visitor to this land of freedom and sunshine, where, "all men are born equal with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of hapiness," and he is therefore deserving of even more Christian consideration, if such be possible, at the hands of the dominant class, than the wild Indians of the forests and plains. In shipload lots was he stolen from bis native heaths and brought to America until the number of black slaves formed a dangerous proportion to the white citizenry. Let us grant, for the sake of argument, that it was a blessing in disguise to bring the heathen blacks to America for the pur pose of civilizing them, but any blessing that might bave lurked nboul those nausiating slave pits and subsequent farm huts, in wliit'll those people were miserably quartered, faded away like snow in June, when brutality for the slave became the watchword of the slaveholder. Hut paradoxical as it may seem, the slaves did their work uncomplainingly and resigned themselves to their Pate in a Christian white man's country. Doubtless some rather remote blessings did come to the im ported slave from having come in contact with the white man's civilization and had. even after bis emancipation, humane treat ment been accorded him. the same would have been apparent, but, not so, he has been insulted, humiliated and classed more a beast of burden than a human being, because he bad been a slave: and Ku-Kluxed, bulldoozed and shot on sight because he endeavored to better his condition by acting like white folks. What think you of the great Metropolitan press of this coun try, which absolutely refuses to devote space to any Negro, how ever meritorious his achievements may be, except he be a criminal or an alleged criminal one.' Is it not but natural that the minds of real and actual Christian white men and women be poisoned against the black men and women, when the daily press all over Ibis country magnifies his criminal acts, but minimizes his meri torious ones.' In your own city papers you have not read of the multiplied thousands <>t' dollars that have been recently put into real estate by your colored citizens, hut you have often read therein much about the big black bootlegger, the black burly brute that insulted a white woman or the Negroes imported to take white men's jobs, al! of which, whether true or false, when constnatly appearing in Ili ■ papers, create antipathy, hatred and bitter opposition to thfl X( i.'ro, and. to the Negro, mind you, is said advisedly, as the designation includes the innocent, the peaceful, the law-abiding, the property owner, and even the Christian —one and the same — the old. old story, "All coons look alike to me!" Do you realize how very untenable is such a doctrine? But while the country is a seething, surging mass of opposition against the Negro in general on account of the criminal acts of a few, millions of them are performing their daily duties among you, apparently not disturbed as to what you think of or about them either singly or collectively. Again, unlike the Indian, he is not fading away and dying from having come in contact with civiliza tion, but he is prospering in spite of civilization*s protests. You, perhaps, are not aware of the fact that since the issuing of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation four thousand colored men. women and children have been lynched by the white citizens of this country, none of whom was given the remotest semblance of a court trial. In addition to the number of lynched colored human beings multiplied hundreds have been shot down for dar ing to dispute a white man's word or for other infractions of the regulations of the South, so far as the colored man is concerned, and, be it remembered, there is no record of such white mur derers ever having been punished therefor. As intimated earlier in this discourse, many of the punish ments meeted out to the accused colored criminals are too horrible in detail to tell to a Christian audience, but that you may fully understand just how barbarous has been some of the punishments inflicted upon accused colored criminals a few instances will be briefly related. While the world was running riot over the shooting of Miss Edith Cavil by the German Huns a mob of Christian white men down in Georgia took a colored woman, who was eight months in pregnancy, and hung her up by her heels, disembowled her. and when the unborn featus fell to the ground, it was stamped into mince meat by the howling mob. The crime, for which this woman met this horrible death, was for protesting against the lynching of her husband, and he was lynched because "the right niggah could not be found." Subsequently, a son of this unfortunate mother and father fought to make the world safe for democracy. For shooting a white man. who while he held a gun in one hand, horsewhipped his man with the other, a Tennessee colored man was chained to an iron post and Christian white men gath ered about him and poked red hot irons into his eyes, his mouth and other sensitive points of his body and while he yet breathed they saturated his body with kerosene and set it on fire. A young white man, who only loafed on his father's Mis sissippi plantation, forced an eighteen-year-old colored girl to sub mit to his brutal passions, and not yet satisfied, he accomplished the ruin of her sixteen-year-old sister. Both were to soon become mothers, but in spite of this two young colored men were willing to marry them, but they were warned to keep hands off. They, however, refused to do so, and a fight followed, in which the white man was killed. For this the two men and the girls were lynched to a bridge and while one woman w ras strangling to death her baby was born and dropped into the icy waters below, from which it was never recovered. Because a colored man was found cohabitnig with a white woman in Vieksburg, Mississippi, he was bound hard and fast and then a hole was dug in the ground deep enough to bubry him, in a standing position, but leaving his head above the ground, and then the hole was filled by packing the dirt about his body. A vicious bull dog that had been made mad with red pepper, after an iron cage had been placed over the man. was thrown under the cage —and—oh well, you can imagine the rest. Numerous other instances of like attrocities could here be enumerated, but it would serve no good purpose to recount more of them. However, before leaving this phase of this discourse we will read briefly from a magazine, the editor of which has been most decidedly opposed to the equal rights of the Negro in times past. Hear him: UEORdIA'S SHAME "There lies before us as we write a sworn statement which follows. To give our informant's name would be equivalent to signing his death warrant but there is not the slightest doubt about the abhorrent facts. " 'I wish to inform you of an outrageous lynching which oc curred at Milan, Georgia, May 24, 1919, Telfair County, John Williams, sheriff. On May 24th, at 1 o'clock at night, John Dandy and Lewis Efans, white, went down into the colored people's section of the town and went 'to the home of a widow by the name of Emma McCollers, who had two daugh ters. They knocked, but the occupants refused to open the door, and Dandy shot through the door. The ball went through the organ and the sewing machine. That frightened the girls and they ran out to another old lady's home. Her name was Emma Tisber, and is a widow with two little children. The white men went after these colored girls; the girls ran under the porch and hid. These white men broke down the door and tore up the floor. The old widow got frightened, ran and jumped in the well, and the children screamed for help. " 'Berry Washington, colored, seventy-two years old, ran out with his shotgun in his hand. When he got near the hall he met both of the white men. John Dandy, twenty-five years old, with a wife and two children,'asked the old man what he came for. He said: "To see what was the matter with the women and children;" then John Dandy tired at him and said: "I will kill yon, old man." The old man tired and killed him (John Dandy) first. lie fell with his pistol in his right hand and a cigarette in the other, and a tlask of liquor fell out of his pocket. The other white man ran (Lewis Evans). " 'Another colored man came out and advised Washington to go uptown and wake the chief of police and give himself up. The policeman's name is Stuckey. He sent Washington to McCrae jail at 2 o'clock on the night of the 24th. He stayed in jail until Saturday night the 25th at 12 o'clock. A mob of seventy-five or one hundred brough him back to Milan. They carried him to the same spot where he shot Dandy and lynched him. He was ha Hired to a post, his body shot into pieces and left hanging there until 2 o'clock Sunday morning, May 26th.