Monday, June 29, 2020

Racial Pathology In The USA

1901: Atlanta
 The “Machiavelli of the Black Belt”
A former West Virginia slave and the founder of Tuskegee Institute, Booker T. Washington has risen to become the most powerful black man in the United States. In his widely acclaimed autobiography, “Up From Slavery,” he says he did it by hard work and faith in God, the only antidotes to adversity.
Conservative, wealthy, and pro-laissez faire, Washington puts social equality on the back burner in favor of economic uplift. Accommodation, compromise, and propitiation are the price of survival, he says, so blacks must apply themselves to blacksmithing, bricklaying, and carpentry. Then they can buy their citizenship rights. “The black man who spends ten thousand a year in freight charges can select his own seat in a railroad train.”
Washington’s steady stream of bromides and “darky” tales lets him smoothly navigate his way through white society, dissolving tension in condescending chuckles. One of his cheerful maxims holds that lynching “really indicates progress,” since “there can be no progress without friction.” Another praises slavery for having converted pagans to Christianity, thus teaching blacks to work and speak English.
Adrift in a stormy sea of white-sheeted fury, Washington engineers plodding advance by never showing his dislikes. But no matter how much he moderates his moderation and waters down his water, he still evokes white wrath. “I am just as opposed to Booker Washington as a voter,” rails Mississippi Governor Vardaman, “with all his Anglo-Saxon reinforcements, as I am to the coconut-headed, chocolate-colored, typical little coon, Andy Dotson, who blacks my shoes every evening.”


David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. DuBois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, (Henry Holt and Co., 1998) pps. 169, 215, 240, 256-7, 261-3, 274

Noel J. Kent, America In 1900, (M. E. Sharpe, 2000) p. 123

1901: Washington
Tasteless Dining
President Roosevelt invites Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House and a mortified South recoils in shocked outrage.
The New Orleans Times-Democrat complains that, “When Mr. Roosevelt sits down to dinner with a Negro, he declares that the Negro is the social equal of the white man.” The Memphis Scimitar angrily accuses the president of “the most damnable outrage ever.” The editor of the Richmond Times says he has implicitly endorsed Negro-White courtship and interracial marriage. An outraged Memphis editorialist swears that, “No Southern woman with proper self-respect would now accept an invitation to the White House.”


Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt - A Biography, (Harcourt, 1931) pps. 174-6

Clifton Daniel, ed. Chronicle of America, (DK Publishing, 1997) p. 535

1901: Chicago
Clarence Darrow Laments The
Moral Deficiencies of the White Race
“Probably I do not look at the race problem in as hopeful a way as many of our people do, for I am somewhat pessimistic about the white race. When I see how anxious the white race is to go to war over nothing and to shoot down men in cold blood for the benefit of trade, when I see the injustice everywhere present, the rich people uniting and crowding the poor into inferior positions, I fear the dreams we have indulged in of perfect equality and unlimited opportunity are a long way from realization. The colored race should learn this: if the white race insults you on account of your inferior position they also degrade themselves when they do it. Every time a superior person invades the rights and liberties and dignity of an inferior person he retards and debases his own manhood.”

Source: Irving Stone, Clarence Darrow For The Defense, (Signet, 1941) pps. 197-8

1901: Philadelphia
Optimistic Editorial In The Philadelphia Ledger:
“The present war (in the Philippines) is no bloodless, fake, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners, and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of 10 up, an idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog...Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to ‘make them talk,’ and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show that they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses. . . The new military plan of settling the trouble by setting them at each other looks promising.”

Source: Daniel Schirmer,  Republic or Empire: American Resistance to the Philippine War, (Schenken Publishing Company, 1972) p. 232-4

1902: Washington
The Lodge Committee Hearings
General MacArthur denies there is a Philippine war at all, merely an attempt by Americans “to govern themselves” in a “tuitionary annex.” To establish the superiority of the self-governing race he reviews the history of America’s “Aryan ancestors” raising cattle and articulating “imperishable ideas.” He attributes the huge disproportion in Filipino and U.S. war dead to superior American genes and marksmanship, adding that “no war in history has been conducted with as much humanity.”
Carefully screened ex-soldiers instruct the committee on the necessity of shooting and burning all Filipinos as a means of coping with their “inability to appreciate human kindness.” Ex-Corporal Richard T. O’Brien testifies how Captain Fred McDonald and his troops annihilated the village of La Nog, shooting down men waving white flags, but sparing the life of a beautiful mestizo mother so she could be gang raped by the rampaging soldiers.
David P. Barrows testifies that the water cure “injured no one,” adding that the Filipinos in concentration camps are “there of their own volition,” and have actually benefited from the war.
Senator Bacon breaks ranks with the optimists, reading a letter from the commander of one of the concentration camps, who calls them “suburbs of hell”: “What a farce it all is...this little spot of black sogginess is a reconcentrado pen, with a dead line outside, beyond which everything living is shot...Upon arrival, I found 30 cases of smallpox, and average fresh ones of five a day, which practically have to be turned out to die. At nightfall crowds of huge vampire bats softly swirl out of their orgies over the dead. Mosquitos work in relays. This corpse-carcass stench wafts in and combined with some lovely municipal odors besides makes it slightly unpleasant here.”

Sources: Stuart Creighton Miller, Benevolent Assimilation - The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903, (Yale, 1982) pps. 213, 216, 240, 243

Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building (Schocken, 1980), p. 317

1902: Washington
The Lodge Committee (2): Civilized Morality
Senator Rawlins (D, Utah): “If these shacks were of no consequence what was the utility of their destruction?”
General R. P. Hughes: “The destruction was a punishment. They permitted these people to come in there and conceal themselves . . .”
Senator Rawlins: “The punishment in that case would fall, not upon the men, who could go elsewhere, but mainly upon the women and little children.”
Hughes: “The women and children are part of the family, and where you wish to inflict a punishment you can punish the man probably worse in that way than in any other.”
Senator Rawlins: “But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare? Of course you could exterminate the family which would be still worse punishment.”
Hughes: “These people are not civilized.”

 Source: Stuart Creighton Miller, Benevolent Assimilation - The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903, (Yale, 1982) pps. 213, 216, 240, 243

1902: Washington
The Lodge Committee (3): The Way of God
Senator Beveridge (R., Indiana): “When a town or barrio has been notoriously known as a rendezvous, place of departure and return of ladrones [bandits], what then would be a justifiable course to pursue?”
Colonel Wagner: “If the town were notoriously a nest of ladrones, if it was impossible to get the rest of the people to yield them up, it would be justifiable and proper to destroy the town, even though we destroyed the property of some innocent people. The Almighty destroyed Sodom, notwithstanding the fact that there were a few just people in that community—less than ten.”
Senator Beveridge: “How strange; I was thinking of that instance of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

 Source: Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building (Schocken, 1980), p. 319

1902: San Francisco
The San Francisco Argonaut On
Development Obstacles in the East
“...the talk about benevolent assimilation is insufferable cant...We do not want the Filipinos. We want the Philippines. The islands are enormously rich, but, unfortunately they are infested by Filipinos. There are many millions of them there, and it is to be feared that their extinction will be slow...The development of the islands cannot be successfully done while the Filipinos are there. Therefore the more of them killed the better.”

 Source: Oswald Garrison Villard, Fighting Years: Memoirs of a Liberal Editor, (Harcourt, Brace, and Co, 1939) p. 141

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