More Thoughts on the Nigger Question – R.E. Thompson, 5/15/1911

More Thoughts on Nigger Question – R.E. Thompson, 5/15/1911

Known as “R.E. Thompson from Toomsuba Mississippi”

A string slipped, the “old lady” fussed at me, I had to run off before breakfast and borrow some
soda, I “stumped” my toe, had to kill a snake, write a letter to a man that was dunning me for
three dollars that I should have paid without having to be dunned, had to “give in” my assessment
for taxes, sharpen a saw, fix the sittr pipe at the spring, head a butt-headed cow off from her calf
and do a world of other little things, and then do all the big things that I am supposed to do in order
to get credit for the bread and butter I eat, and by the time all this was completed I had no time
to write a letter for last week’s paper. I even worked late of nights, and all of one night, hoping to
make ends meet and get my usual fifteen minutes in which to write my letter for The Issue. I now
come to “some more” on the nigger question. I am told by “old people” that before the uncivil war
between the states, and even “enduring” of the war, that we did not have to disgrace good plow
-line rope by tying it around the necks of big, greasy nigger bucks and pulling them upto a limb of
a tree or the cross-arm of a telegraph pole. What has brought about this; change of affairs? Before
the war the niggers were in slavery, and were under complete control of human beings. They were
fed and clothed and worked just like the horses and other animals of the brute line. They had no
cares to shoulder, and knew their duty and performed same to almost perfect satisfaction to their
masters and to themselves. They were happy and contented to a degree unknown to them now.
They were as happy as could be, and did not have time to study meanness, as they now do. They
were compelled to work nearly every day in the year, which let them no time to idle around and
form imaginations that finally break their infernal necks.

The niggers were freed from slavery at the close of the war, and ever since that time. they have
been piling up trouble on the human race of the United States and also upon themselves. Niggers
are just like most other animals of the brute family, and to a certain degree are like the human family.
As long as you can keep a bunch of goats fenced and under your complete control, they are going
to remain happy and contented, and give you no trouble. But as soon as you turn them out on the
public range—free them—you are going to have trouble with them, and they are going to make
trouble for themselves. And so it is with the niggers. Book knowledge is not good for a nigger.
He seldom fails to put his “edikashun” to a bad use. It would be alright if he had the make-up of
the human being, for then he could apply his education to a good purpose. But he Is not made
up that way, and it is just as imposbible to try to make anything of a nigger by giving him a book
education as it is to try to make a gentleman of a billy goat by teaching him how not to butt, and
to ride a bicycle. The nigger is just what he is, and nothing more, just as a billy goat is a billy goat
and nothing more. And when you go to trying to make something else out of either animal, then
you are heaping coals of fire on your head, and you can only end the trouble by hanging the
nigger and cutting the throat of the billy. The nigger is alright—in his place. And so is the goat.
And they have their places in life to fill and as long as we, the human race, confine the nigger
and goat, which belong to the brute race, to their natural stations in life, then we need fear no
danger from them, and at the same time will confer everlasting contentment and happiness
upon them. And when we do this much we will have done what we were intended to do, so far
as the nigger and goat Is concerned. We do not need any argument to convince us that the
nigger is not of the human family.

His daily life before our eyes tell us more plainly than words that he is of the brute family, Just as the
horse, goat, bear and other animals of the earth. And we should not despise him on this account. We
do not despise a horse because it Is a horse, nor a goat because it is a goat. But when we give the
horse and the goat unnatural privileges they seldom fail to take advantage of them, and then they do
things that displeases us, and which generally hurts them. But we should not despise them on this
account, but should give ourselves a good kicking for allowing these animals privileges that does
not belong to them. And the does not belong to them. And the same applies to the nigger. And we
should not be blaming the nigger so much for the many things that he does and which he should
have not done. We should blame ourselves. We should step off to one side and take a good look
at ourselves. And no harm would be done if we would kick ourselves before coming back.If we ever
expect to make the nigger contented and happy, and stop this infernal meanness, we must put him
under our control just as we have the horse and dog under out control. If we ever expect to make
the nigger under our control we must first take away the political privileges the ignorant Yankees
forced upon him without an Invitation. When we do this, the balance will be easy. When a nigger
commits a crime, let us tell him that such must not occur again. But if he repeats the crime, then
give him a good whipping with a switch or leather strap. This will teach him more morality and
honesty in five minutes than a million dollars’ worth of law-suiting will.

It used to work alright, so “old people” tell me, and I see no reason why It will not do so again.
You can not teach a billy goat anything by lawing him. It would simply make him “honorable”
and “smart” He is unable to conceive of the right from the wrong. But a good switching will
bring him across, and don’t you forget it. I tried it once on a billy we had. He got in the habit
of coming into the house through a window and would always jump up on the little table
where we had a glass lamp that cost forty cents, and after, prancing around the lamp a
time or two, he would give his familiar billy bleat and then Jump off the table with an air
that was as good as to say, “See how smart I am?” But somehow or other I never could
see where the “smart” part came in, so would chase the little rascal out of the house with
a parting warning never to come in again without an invitation. But my warnings never
amounted to anything that I could see, and so one day I thought I would try a peach-tree
limb on him. We had no children, and so switches were plentiful, and I got two of them,
using one to take off the rough and the other to put on the finishing touches. When I got
through I was a little hot and had goat smell on me. But billy had an education that he
never forgot. I forgot to state that billy broke that lamp the day I taught him a lesson. He
simply made one trip too much. The way to control the nigger is to whip him when he
does not obey without it. And another, is, never pay him more wages than is actually
necessary to buy his food and clothing. By doing this he will be compelled,to work every
day for his living, and when he has to put in his whole time at work he is going to be
contented and happy, and at the same time do you some good.

And working him this way he is going to do the work like you tell him to do it. If you pay
a nigger more for his day’s work than it takes to live on while doing the work, he will do
nothing the next day, and while doing nothing he will be loafing around and packing his
head on stuff that will finally result in getting his neck in the loop of some good plow-line
rope. These are facts, and if you have ever watched a nigger closely you know It to be
true. I have watched the lazy rascals looking from foot to head of every white woman that
passed them, and could almost hear his unholy thoughts and imaginations. But if he had
been at work he would not have had this opportunity, and as a consequence he could have
slept soundly that night, and the white women could have slept in rooms with windows and
doors wide open without the least fear of being molested by the brutes from Africa. I hope
to see the day when all political privileges will be taken from Sambo, and then we can easily
do away with all their social aspirations, and when this is done all the balance will be easy
sailing. But until this much is donr we may expect to have to put up with continued trouble
with the brutes, and It will be from bad to worse. I wish to say some more along this line,
but my “piece” is already too long. I will come later with the balance.

I wish to state to the coward that malled me that John Allen mess from Yazoo City that he
cannot make me believe it was Hon. John Sharp Williams who did it. Mr. Williams is not
ashamed to sign his name to anything he mails out. Neither Is he afraid to do so. And as to
my “piece” in The Issue, where I referred to the Lauder-dale-Percy episode, being “Rot, rot,
rot, rot, rot.” I presume the unknown accuser has the proof that it Is “Rot.” If he has, let him
bring It forth over his signature. Until then, it stands just as I wrote it. I despise a coward. I
am not very brave, but I despise a coward just the same.

– R.E. THOMPSON

Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Bill Arp

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