Protests Allowing Negroes to Mix With Whites at Ball-Parks – W.L. Creath, 3/5/1913

Protests Allowing Negroes to Mix With Whites at Ball-Parks
– W.L. Creath, 3/5/1913

In the almost wild excitement and deep interest displayed in the baseball situation that has prevailed here
in Tampa during the past few days by the general sight seems to have been lost entirely by the promoters
of the Tampa Baseball association, recently organized here, in their desire and plans to rake in the general
public’s dollars in admission fees to witness the recent games played at the Tampa Bay baseball grounds
between the Cuban baseball team and the Chicago National Leaguers, to the fact that someone to whose
duty it is, and was, to do so, has been very careless, and totally indifferent about separating the negroes from
the white people in the bleachers that attended those games, and this failure and neglect to attend to this
very important matter by the proper party, or parties whose business and duty to the white public it is to do
so, has been the cause of much soreness and complaint by the bleacher patrons of those games, and several
fights and small-sized race riots almost occurred, on account of negroes being admitted to the white people’s
bleachers, and other sections of the grounds occupied by whites. This sort of carelessness and Indifference
to the white patrons’ rights, by those whose business it is, and was, to have arranged a separate bleacher, or
separate space in the bleachers for the negroes, has done the game no good so far, and will injure it and the
gate receipts also very materially in the future, if this carelessness is, not remedied, and I have no doubt; whatever,
but that this degrading affair of mixing negroes promiscuously in with the white patrons in the bleachers, has
had equally as much or more to do with reducing the numbers of white people in attendance at the two last
games than did the disgust and chagrin of the local Cubans at seeing their “idols” and countrymen slaughtered
by the Cubs. It is a well known fact that a certain class of niggers and especially the “sporting” ( ?) class amongst
them, are never so happy, and “smart Alecky.” as when he or she is mixed In with the white people, and on an
equality with them.

And it is also another well known fact, that this class of niggers will not voluntarily stay in a crowd to themselves
at a public gathering, where they are admitted on equality with the whites, as this would be beneath their “dignity”
(?) and “raising” to do so, and nowhere at such mixed gatherings, and especially so at a “big league” base-ball
game, no place on the ground will suit “Mr.” or “Miss” Nigger but the best to be had, up in front of, or closely jammed
up against, some clean and respectable white person, and oftentimes the white person is a woman, as was the
case in many instances during the game played on Wednesday last-a fine sight to look upon, it This is the sort
of brazen effrontery on the niggers’ part that causes so much friction and soreness between the two races at such
times, and under such circumstances as I have related, and the promoters of these games are largely responsible
for such conditions, and it ought to be stopped NOW, and for all time to come, here in Tampa, before somebody
gets badly hurt, on account of somebody else’s neglect and indifference to the white man’s rights and welfare, for
he certainly has rights in such matters that should be respected and attended to, even if the nigger bleacherite
has paid the same price of admission as the whites did, to see the game. The niggers are not mixed in promiscuously
amongst the white people’ in the grandstand, and they dare not be either, even though he or she has paid the same
price for a seat there-, on as the white patrons thereof have, and there is no plausible right or reason why they should
be mixed in promiscuously with the white people out on the bleacher seats, or anywhere else on the grounds. There
are Just as good, and as fine white people in Tampa as anywhere else, who use the bleachers to witness a baseball
game from choice, rather than of necessity, and these same white people are the equals in every way and respect to
those who use the grandstand as a matter of choice, to witness a game of baseball, and these and all other white people
who use the bleachers to witness a ball game, whether from choice or necessity, are entitled to the same sort of fair
consideration in so far as mixing in niggers promiscuously among them is right or wrong, as are those of the whites
who use the grandstand to witness the ball games.

The niggers who are admitted to the white peopie’s bleachers to witness ball games are no better than are the
niggers who are admitted to one end of the grandstand to witness the ball games, and for this reason if no other
they ought to be kept within a space to be set apart exclusively for them, the; same as is done in the grandstand,.
or else keep them away from the white people’s games of all kinds altogether. I am no lawyer and know not whether
there is any written law in Florida relative to keeping the niggers separated from the white people at ball games,
and other places of amusement where an admission fee is charged, but I do know if there is none, there certainly
ought to be, and the next legislature soon to convene in Tallahassee would do the state at large a great favor if it
would put such a sane and reasonable law on the statute books of Florida as soon as possible, and along similar
lines as they have done in the past in regard to other cases of necessity in separating the races under similar conditions.
Be that as it may whether there is a written law or not, now, or in the future, there is certainly a moral law, existing
that all self-respecting white. people usually follow voluntarily regarding such things, and there is also an unwritten
law here in our fair southland regarding such things that usually separates the niggers from the whites under such
circumstances, that but few promoters of any kind dare to violate and this being the case, this and all other laws
regarding the separation of the races at such places as I have referred to, should apply Just as strongly here in
Tampa as in any other southern city I know of at present. Tampa is too far south in these fine big United States of
ours, to allow such a mixture of the whites and the blacks to prevail under such circumstances, merely to condone
somebody’s indifference to such disegusting practices; and Tampa is also too far north of Cuba, and other similar
islands, to think of allowing such things to continue in the future as they have in the past, at baseball games, or any
other places where amusements for white people are given, under any circum-stances, and this for the greatest
good for the community.

A photograph of a “mixed audience” at a baseball game such as occurred on Wednesday evening last at the Tampa
Ray grounds, and twice since then, would not look well, or “speak” well, to the white people of other southern cities,
as the strong mixture of “black” in it would completely spoil the effect of numbers present and it would not be such
a fine advertisement for Tampa as the number present might seem at first glance. I do not believe there is a baseball
city, or park in the south outside of Florida. in which negroes are allowed to mix promiscuously in the bleachers, or
anywhere else on the ball rounds, with the white people as has been done recently In Tampa, and it ought not be so
here either. It brings absolutely nothing worth having to Tampa’s credit in any way to allow such things to prevail here
either. Negroes are not allowed to mix promiscuously in with white people in the Tampa street cars, or in her play
-houses, or even In circus tents, or In her churches, or even in her Jails (so I am told) and these things being facts
and based on sane and reasonable laws, whether they be written or unwritten, or moral laws, it matters not, the law
of some kind is in effect pertaining to these things, and as It Is such a sane and peacemaking law between the two
races. Here’s hoping the new Tampa Base-ball association management, and all other similar associationse, will In
future apply It to the remaining games to be played, as well also as to all future games of all sorts that may be played
on the Tampa Bay baseball grounds, and on all other sporting grounds in Tampa, I am yours for complete success
along these lines.

Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Bill Arp

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