Joseph E. Callaway.

The road to righteous judgement; a brief on the negro question online

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riot which occurred during the spring of 1921,
one newspaper called attention to the fact
that many clashes between the negroes and
whites had occurred in recent years north of
the Mason and Dixon line. It cited the race
riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, on July 7, 1917,
in which 125 persons were killed. The riot
in Washington, D. C, July 19, 1919, seven per-
sons killed. A few dayvS later in the city
of Chicago 38 persons were killed and five
hundred wounded. Three days before at
Omaha, Nebraska, three killed and many
wounded, the mayor of the city was also
hanged but rescued in time to save his life.

Kacial intolerance was the firebrand in

^^The Road to Righteous Judgmenf^

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each of the instances cited above. It only
needed a spark to produce the conflagration.
That each community in which negroes and
whites dwell, is continually treading over a
slumbering volcano, is putting the situation
mildly. Each needs to be delivered from the
other and our ever preplexing negro problem

Recently there was a movement on foot
with head offices in New York City to found
a negro empire in Africa. It was to be made
up chiefly by negro immigration from
America. It was reported that nearly four
million negroes were adherents to the idea
and that a negro with expansive vision is the
originator and leader. As a matter of course
such an undertaking is doomed to failure, as
all similiar movements have been in the past.
It is a mirage altho beautiful in its concep-
tion, yet never can be grasped. Like the col-
onization of the Jews in Palestine, it is only

"The Road to FigJiteous Judgment'^

a dream. Nostalgia is a disease from whicli
no people are immune. The task is too gigan-
tic and unwieldh'. Tlie negroes in this coun-
try propogate more rapidly than the whites,
and with a colored population of ten million
or more, it is impractical to expect a material
portion of them to leave the land of their
birth hoY>'ever alluring may be the prospects
of an African empire. There is no moral,
legal or constitutional right to forcibly re-
quire them to be exiled to a foreign land.
Neither would Uncle Sam be willing to un-
dertake a friendly deportation of those will-
ing to go.

A negro colony in the Harlem section of
New York City has a population reaching
six figures. Here, it is said that the needs of
the negro for food, clothing and entertainment
are supplied by their own efforts. The experi-
ment is illuminating and prophetic. If segre-
gated under governmental supervision and

The Road to Righteous Judgment'^

placed to tliemselves, tlieir ideals as a race
could be attained. The white man placed the
American negro in his present surroundings
and the white man cannot escape the burden
of securing to him the right to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. These three inalien-
able rights cannot be guaranteed to the black
man unless he is favorably situated and given
opportunity to expand intellectually, morally
and physically.

There can be no question as to white su-
premacy in this country, even though condi-
tions remain as they are and the two races
continue to dwell together. But present condi-
tions will continue to offer an excuse for law-
lessness and the existence of the mob spirit in
every instance where there is a semblance of
a clash between tbe whites and blacks.

Bonie interesting figures are available
from the Federal census of 1920, as to the deu-
&ity Oi population of the various states i-f the

The Road to Righteous Judgment'^

American union. For instance* The number
of inhabitants of Rhode Island is 560.4 to the
square mile. Massachusetts has 47J).2; New
Jersey 420 ; Connecticut 286.4 ; and K^w York

The negro is a native of and thrives in a
warm climate. Some of the northern states and
eastern states with the most dense population
have less than one per cent negroes, while cer-
tain southern states have a negro population
exceeding that of the whites. The negro's home
is in the South, where he has a right to remain
and where he is adjusted to climatic and other
conditions. The population of the southern
states, in density, as compared to those states
cited above, is insignificant. As an illustra-
tion, Alabama has to the square mile only
45.8; Arkansas 33.4; Florida 17.7; Georgia
49.3; Louisiana 39.6; Mississippi 38.6; South
Carolina 55.2; Tennessee 56; Virginia 57.4

In each of the southern states above men-

^'Tlic Road to Righteous Judgmenf^

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tioned there are available areas ranging from
five to twenty miles square which are easily
adaptable as reservations or colonies, much of
the land being productive and capable of a
high state of cultivation if cleared and made
ready for use. The government should no
longer hypocritically insist that the negro is a
citizen and enjoys the rights of a citizen. A
glance at any roster of court officials or jury
list brands such an assertion as a falsehood.
He is not in reality a citizen and has never
been except in name, and candor demands
that w^e deal fairly with him. Regardless of
the adoption of the Fifteenth amendment the
negro belongs to a subject race as nature has
ordained for him. Europe abounds in sub-
ject races. The Croats, Slovenes, Lithunians
and others. Some of these subject races are
of a high intellectual caste, and have thrived
and prospered in Europe for centuries. They
have a history and literature of their own but

''The Road to Rigliteous Judgment"

had no national existence prior to the world

Through a governmental commission the
available waste land of the southern states
above mentioned should be investigated with
the view of providing colonies or reservations.
Each reservation could now be obtained at a
nominal cost and accomodated to the proxim-
ity of the negro population. If needs be sev-
eral reservations could be located within a
single state. Thus populated with negroes
these reservations or colonies could be given
territorial status or status of insular posses-
sions, and offered the opportunity to demon-
strate their ability for self government. No
home owner should be required to abandon his
home against his will, yet by appropriate na-
tional legislation sufficient inducements and
encouragement could be offered which would
soon locate the bulk of the colored population
happily and amicably within the given terri-

•Tfw Road to Righteous Judgment'

tory. By gradual process of proper adjust-
meuts our entire negro population would ul-
timately occupy tbe area set apart to them.
Here towns would be built, farms opened,
school houses constructed, and churches erect-
ed. It would mark the beginning of a felici-
tious era in the life of the American negro, and
open an avenue for his moral and intellectual
development whicli has hitherto been closed.
The Fifteenth amendment, if expedient, might
be repealed. Thus under favorable conditions
and unmolested by fear, the negro could work
out his destiny among his own people. Being
self supporting he would not be a public bur-
den as in the case of the Indians. No further
objections could be urged against educating
him in the arts and sciences, and he would
find his place in our government without con-
tact with the white race and removed from
those who would subject him to servile treat-
ment. The purity of the Caucasion blood

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» II n Bl 1 n — »»■■ ■■ 11 111 M ill ■ « »■ M ■ I ■ I I I 1 1 m M I H ■

would be preserved, and our children and chil-
dren's children relieved of a cloud which oth-
erwise will remain over them like a pall. Is
not this, indeed, "the road to righteous judg-
ment/' referred to by Mr. Harding?

Indifference to a subject so vital to ou»
national life is a crime against civilization.
Yea, it is more, it is a crime against those who
are yet unborn. The age and generation,
which through inertia, indifference or coward-
ice, refuses to deal wath a subject of such su-
preme importance as the race question, but
passes it along in an aggravated form to the
next generation, evinces no statesmanship and
deserves the condemnation of those who come
after them. Until the question is settled
rightly, once for all, the American negro must
of necessity continue to be the white man's

In my dreams I stood upon the bank of a
wonderful river, — the river of American civili-

The Road to Righteous Judgment'^

zation. It was broad and deep, and upon its
mighty bosom were myriads of crafts of va-
rious sizes and shapes, some black, the others
white, all intermingled and gliding upon the
current to the ocean. The white crafts seemed
of superior construction and speedier than
the others. The mist hung low, and my heart
was heavy as I beheld the haunted look upon
the faces of the beings within the crafts, and
especially upon those within the black crafts
as the two colors jostled each other. I be-
held the disregard which the white crafts had
for the black crafts and the resentful conduct
of the black crafts as they each sped on their
way. Often they would by chance collide and
the air resounded above the din of the waters
with the shouts and curses from those on
board. A fierce conflict would ensue, result-
ing in the destruction of many crafts of each
color. And I heard the moans of those who
went down and heard the voices of infants and


■The Road to Righteous Judgment^^

Rged ones who had no part in the conflict.
And I heard the voice of the wise man w^ho
said, "It is unnecessary to recount the difficul-
ties incident to this condition, or to empha-
size the fact that it is a condition w^hich can-
not be removed.''

The scene shifted. I stood further down
stream. I saw a dividing line in the middle
of the river with the white crafts on the right
and the black crafts on the left, each gliding
sw^iftly and peacefully to the ocean. The sun
was shining and my heart w^as glad as I
heard the laughter of children and the songs
of those on board as each color sped onward
towards its destination without contact with
each other. I heard the voice of the wise man
again and he said, "I am convinced that in
mutual tolerance, understanding and charity
between the races lies tJie road to righteous
judgment. '^ And I saw the crafts all finish
their journey, the white crafts keeping to the

^'Tlie Road to Righteous Judgment^'

light and tbe black crafts keeping to the left,
and altho the speedier and superior crafts on
the right were often called to the assistance of
those on the left, yet discord had left the river
and there were smiles on the faces of those
who formerly had haunted looks as they all
sped onward toward their common destina-




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Online LibraryJoseph E. CallawayThe road to righteous judgement; a brief on the negro question → online text (page 2 of 2)