THE RACE PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES.
kum, Little Skookum, and Adams—few if any of the side gulches of the Bonanza are known to be really rich in gold, and for the moment, at least, they can hardly be looked upon as having furnished the main supply to the main stream.
|THE RACE PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES.|
PRINCIPAL OF THE TUSKEGEE NORMAL INSTITUTE.
I HAVE been asked a number of times during the last few months the cause of and the cure for the riots that have taken, place recently in North Carolina and South Carolina. I am not at all sure that what I shall say will answer these questions in a satisfactory way, nor shall I attempt to narrow my expressions to a mere recital of what has taken place in these two States. I prefer to discuss the problem in a broader manner.
In the first place, in politics I am a Republican, but have always refrained from activity in party measures, and expect to pursue this policy in the future; so in this article I shall refrain, as I always have done, from entering upon any discussion of mere party politics, in the narrow and usual sense. What I shall say of politics will bear upon the race problem and the civilization of the South in the larger sense. In no case would I permit my political relations to stand in the way of my speaking and acting in the manner that I believe is going to be for the permanent interest of my race and the whole South, regardless of mere party name and organization.
In 1873 the negro in the South had reached the point of greatest activity and influence in public life, so far as the mere holding of elective office was concerned. From this date those who have kept up with the history of the South have noticed that the negro has steadily lost in the number of elective offices held. In saying this I do not mean that the negro has gone backward in the real and more fundamental things of life. On the contrary, he has gone forward faster than has been true of any other race in history, under anything like similar circumstances.
If we can answer the question as to why the negro has lost ground in the matter of holding elective office in the South, perhaps we shall find that our reply will prove to be our answer also as to the cause of the recent riots in North Carolina and South Carolina. Before beginning a discussion of the question I have asked, I wish to say that this change in the political influence of the negro has continued from year to year, notwithstanding the fact that