The Negro Problem.
wishes, they could not but feel that it was little else than
another badge of conquest, all the more hateful because not
affixed by the mailed hand of the warrior but by the sleek
attorney hand of legislative oppression, guided by the cool,
calculating machinations of the committee room. The conse¬
quence is that finding themselves debarred from denying one
form of equality beyond their control, they have all the more
jealously denied others within their control. What the negro
has gained in political privileges, he has lost twice over in social.
The freer his access to the polls, the more difficult has become
his access to all the human relations that law cannot reach.
In the normal progress of a despised race, the political standing"
always precedes the social, but whatever hopes of social advance¬
ment the negro might have justly based upon a citizenship, con¬
ceded by the people with whom his lot was cast, after he had
demonstrated his right to it, he cannot well base such hopes
upon a citizenship granted him by the arbitrary fiat of a third
party at a time when he could not, as he did not, fail to exhibit
as slight credentials to political as to social preferment.
Nor should the reader forget here that the race prejudices
of the whites are heartily returned by the blacks. The white
man does not more cordially despise the black man than the
black man hates the white man. In Hayti, no white person
can own an inch of soil or indeed obtain any footing but that
of bare toleration. In the same island, Sir Spenser St. John
once heard a negro advocate pleading before a black jury
defend a member of his race, who had murdered a white, on the
ground that it was only one white the less. So at the South
there are abundant evidences that if the negro but had the
power he would not lack the prescriptive spirit. Every year
of the Reconstruction Era saw him more impatient of white
leadership and more disposed to take the reins into his own
hands. On the eve of an important election, it is a common
habit in parts of the South for negroes to assemble in the
recesses of the forest at night for the purpose of giving expres¬
sion to sentiments and aims, so congenial with the hour and