Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"were turned loose to do almost as they pleased with their guns"

Interesting Chats From Hotel Lobbies

   The State of Tennessee is going to make a terrific fight against conscription it the present war crisis, because it does not want the overwhelming negro population of that State to become too proficient with firearms, according to George F. Milton, well-known publisher of Chattanooga.

   "Tennessee is dry today," said Mr. Milton, "simply because we decided that if we were going to keep out negroes, we'd have to get rid of alcohol. There are two classes of people in our State who cannot be trusted with whiskey, negroes and mountain whites.

   "In the case of the negroes, we feel the same about conscription. If the volunteer system is retained, the United States will have no trouble getting recruits from Tennessee. In the civil war they had to use conscription to keep the men at home and in the fields. If, however, conscription is put into effect, it will means that there will be thousands of negroes from every portion of the South who will be taken out and taught how to drill and use firearms.

   "In our part of the country there is danger in a thing of that kind. If you take a large number of men from peaceful pursuits and make soldiers of them, you eventually send them back home with a certain recklessness in their make-up which is hard to eradicate. The turbulent times that followed the civil war are proof enough of this. Then, also, in the case of the Southern negro, we can never tell when some rascal will get hold of these turbulent elements around election time and turn them against law and order.

   "The South went through fearful times during the reconstruction period, when thousands of negroes were turned loose to do almost as they pleased with their guns, and we don't want any repetition. The Tennessee delegation in Congress is almost sure to lead a fight on the conscription measure, but in these times one can never tell what will be the eventual outcome of an opposition of the President's wishes. Regardless of how we may regard Mr. La Follette, we must pause and think over his statement that Congress was rapidly becoming the rubber stamp of the President."

[The Washington Herald, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 15, 1917. No. 3827 Pg. 6]
   And it is just this same type of thinking as was evidenced above. That has been prevalent in our governments for far too long. And We The People continue to allow them to get away with it....

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