Race Segregation – John E. Rankin, 7/15/1920

Race Segregation – John E. Rankin, 7/15/1920

A negro was lynched in Clarke county Mississippi a day or two ago by a crowd of outraged citizens
of that territory. He was a mail clerk on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, and had attacked and stabbed
a white mail clerk who was forced to work on the same run. This would have been an interesting topic
for an editorial in the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times had it happened a year ago, but they are
so busy writing up their own race troubles that they have not yet been able to give sufficient time and
attention to the lynching in Duluth, Minnesota, where several negroes were recently lynched at one time.
Not at one time either, for instead of having lynching all day and dinner on the ground as they used to
accuse us Southern people of doing, they made two days of it, lynching part of the offenders one day
and part the next. Really. lynching seems to be more of a Northern luxury now adays than a Southern
necessity; but by the time the figures are compiled, we will no doubt run our averages sufficiently high
to maintain our accustomed place in the Lynching League. The season has just opened down here.
Now, the Republican party inserted an anti-lynching plank in their platform, with the ostensible intention
of passing laws making lynching a federal offense, so that when such a thing occurs, the lynchers may
be dragged into federal courts and tried before mixed or negro juries. And if we get much further from
the constitution, it is highly probable that men will soon be taken to other states than the ones in which
their offenses are supposed to xhave taken place and tried by jurors picked for the purpose. That is a
long step backward, we know, but some such long steps have been taken lately. This anti-lynching
plank was placed in the Republican platform at the request of the negro delegates who are burning
with an insatiable desire for social and political equality which can never be brought about unless
we abandon our race pride and permit our Anglo-Saxon civilization in the South to sink
hopelessly into the repulsive mire of mongrelism.

In addition to their demand for anti-lynching laws to protect a lot of black brutes who commit crimes
for which hanging is too good, they are also demanding that the Jim Crow laws be abolished, so
as to force whites and blacks to ride together in street cars and on railroad trains. Then they would
want separate-schools abolished, and no telling what their next demand will be The United States
ruined the negroes during the war by trying to make them believe they were the peers of the white
man. Every boy who went to the service can relate instances of outrages perpetrated by negro soldiers
that would make the hair rise on your head. And the only time they ever reached the front they broke
and ran worse than the Yankees did at the first battle of Bull Run. Placing the negroes in the uniform
and trying to place them on equality with the white, is one of the most fatal mistakes the government
has ever made touching this all-important question, and has resulted in more race trouble than anything
else. When the writer gets to Congress (next year) he is going to fight for the segregation of the races
in all government employment, and for the separation on all common carriers throughout the United
States. Whenever we get laws passed recognizing the negro as a negro and the white man as a white
man and drawing the color line at all times. then we won’t need any anti-lynching law; for we can
shut forever the door of hope in the negro’s face so far as social or political equality is concerned,
and put a stop to the crimes that inevitably lead to lynching. We also want the negroes segregated
in the army, and kept entirely away from white soldiers, and we might add, in tnat connection, that
we are unalterably opposed to commissioning negroes as officers in the army and making our
white boys pay them military courtesy.

No negro soldiers ought to be stationed in white communities at any time; if we are going to have
negroes in the army, they ought to be stationed in some of our negro possessions, not among white
people where they are a terror to the safety of every white woman. Let’s use some reason and
common sense in the settling of the race problem, and then it can be settled along the right lines
and for all time to come. Separation and segregation carried to the limit will do more to solve
the question than all the army discipline or anti-lynching laws the government can produce.

Last Updated on October 4, 2020 by Bill Arp

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