MUST DEMAND AND FIGHT
PAYS TAXES, OBEYS LAW, SHEDS
BLOOD FOR COUNTRY SO MUST
HAVE RIGHTS, SAYS COLORED
SCHOOL TEACHER AT WASH-
INGTON--MUST WIN RESTAU-
RANT, BARBER-SHOP, HOTEL,
TRAVEL RIGHTS OR BE INFE-
LYNCHING.(Washington Star, Washington D. C.)The colored man has been in this country as long as the Anglo-Saxon white man. He has helped proportion to his numbers to make it the great and powerful nation that it is. He pays taxes, he obeys laws, he sheds blood to defend it. Yet he is denied his civil rights almost everywhere in the land. He does not enjoy the liberty he has earned. The crisis has come in the United States. He must demand his rights. He must fight for them. He must appeal for aid to the millions of white men in American who love justice enough to give him his due.
Foregoing is the gist of a speech entitled "Agitation the Social Lever of the World" made by Neville H. Thomas, teacher of Greek and Roman history Dunbar High School, at a meeting in Plymouth Congregational Church.Discusses President's Attitude.The attitude of President Wilson toward the civil status of the colored man citizen was sharply criticized by the speaker, who described Postmaster General Burleson as the "ignorant autocrat of the Post Office Department said to have some interest in a peonage farm in Texas," and who excoriated Attorney General Palmer and Secretary of the Navy Daniels.
"Discrimination is being practiced against the Colored man in America today by everybody from President Wilson down," said Mr. Thomas "We have got to agitate without thought of personal sacrifice in order to win justice. Remember, freemen throughout history have won no rights without fighting for them.Underlying Cause of Lynching"The business of lynching in this country has got to be stopped, and it is going to be stopped. We must win the rights to patronize the best restaurants, theatres and hotels and to enjoy the best transportation conveniences. Until we do we bear the stamp of inferior beings. And when you are considered an inferior man you invite lynchings.Quotes Palmer.Reading from Senate document No. 153, a communication sent to the Capitol by the Attorney General on the subject of "negro radicalism" the speaker criticised that official for considering as lawless those colored people who agitate, and for failing to prosecute the lawless mobs that lynch colored people.
"Remember the Attorney General is your servant and mine. He wants to keep the colored man from hollering when he is kicked.
"We have found a cure for mob violence against us. It is armed resistance. By that I do not mean armed aggression, but self-defense. We will meet mob law with the same vigor our black heroes displayed in storming the heights near Metz in the great war. Every man must make his home his castle and defend it with his life."
It is the duty of the northern to teach his southern brother to demand and secure the free use of the vote, Mr Thomas asserted. The colored man of the south must be able to enjoy the best of accommodations.Sees Attempt at Suppression."The Attorney General and the Senate cannot suppress 12,000,000 people determined to get their civil rights," he went on to say. The declaration was rewarded with hearty applause. "Every time the authorities repress one man who agitates they make a thousand converts to the cause. They are deporting men for agitation, but they are not deporting their ideas. Bolshevism can't be suppressed with force, but it can be met successfully with true democracy."
The speaker repeatedly paid grateful tribute to the French people for their attitude of fraternity toward the colored American soldier. He said America is the only one of twenty-seven nations represented at the peace table that draws the color line."The Cruelest Autocracy."
"While Wilson preached democracy there," he declared, "our 300-odd representatives in the peace conference knew that in America the colored citizen was suffering under the cruelest autocracy that ever cursed the world."
In conclusion the speaker bitterly assailed race segregation in the government departments. The exclusion from the government navy and military academies was a target for red-hot rhetoric. "Yes, despite President Wilson's bombast on democracy," he finished, "we have none here".
S.M. Kendrick, a deacon in the church presided and made a brief address supporting the attitude of the principal speaker.[The Appeal, St. Paul And Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, February 14, 1920. Vol. 35. No. 7 Pg. 2]