Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/248

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at over forty-three millions, and the number of the latter at over six millions; and, in every reference to the distribution of population for causes, it fails to distinguish between the black negro and colored white, but includes them as one. It fails to tell how many of the six millions of "colored" are of pure negro blood, how many are mulattoes, quadroons, octoroons, or of a less degree than pure white. It fails to tell how many of the mixed blood are of pure white fathers, or pure white mothers—information necessary for the prediction of the future progress, endurance, and social position of the "colored race." This neglect, both in the last and preceding census reports, if not willful, is not creditable to the science side of our Government.

Before the war, citizenship was qualified by the word "white" in the Constitutions of the several States, but there was no uniformity in the definition of the word. Some States held that a person who had more white blood than black blood in his veins was white within the meaning of their Constitutions. Other States held that a person who had less than three fourths or seven eighths of white blood was black, and still other States held that anything less than pure white was black. But since the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, which declares that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and the State in which they reside," and that "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," this qualification of citizenship by the word "white" has no application, so far as the civil and political rights of the citizen are concerned. Nevertheless, wherever the law affects the social or semi-social relations of the citizen, his rights are qualified, and the word white excludes from the equal privileges and protection of the law all citizens having the least particle of colored blood in their veins. In one of the recent civil-rights cases decided by the Supreme Court—a case of the marriage of a white woman with a colored man—the court held that the State law punishing the parties was not in conflict with the fourteenth amendment, or with the civil-rights law founded on it, for the reason that the State law applies the same punishment to both offenders, the white and the black, without distinction! True, the punishment was equal without distinction of color, as it would have been in a case of larceny. But the law in prohibiting the marriage could not be constitutional, because it abridges the privileges of the citizen on account of color; it denies to the colored male citizen the equal privilege and protection of the law extended to the white male citizen—the right to marry a white woman. It also denies the white female citizen the equal privilege and protection of the law granted the colored female citizen—the right to marry a colored man.

However much the prejudice of the law and the courts may give an enforced unity to the negro race and the "colored whites," there is no ignoring the physical fact that a person who is seven eighths white,