White and Black

June 10, 1868


Whites did discriminate against :negroes", but "negroes" in Hayti and Liberia have discriminated against whites as well.


White and Black. In this American Union there has prevailed for some years an enthusiasm exaggerated into phrenzy concerning the African. It originated among the descendants of the northern men who, in the last century and the first of this, abducted the African from his native land and imported him, under the horrors of the slave ships, to this country. The first enthusiasm was in a crusade to set the African free from slavery; and the politicians, to profit by this impetuous current, joined it. The result was the war and the freeing of the African. No sooner was that done than a fresh enthusiasm fired these people, fanatics and politicians, not only to make the freed negro a voter, but to give him control of the southern State Governments by disfranchising thousands of white men! This is the policy of the white people of the North now controlling the Government of this Union! Now, what is the negro view of suffrage where he is supreme? In Hayti, a negro country, no white man can own land. He is a disfranchised being - a pariah who is reprobated and forbidden. In the Government of Liberia, founded by the white people of America, the laws are not more liberal. There no one is allowed to vote who is not of African descent, and no one but a voter can acquire or possess real estate in the Republic. Thus no white man can vote or hold real estate in Liberia, a Republic which was, as we say, established by the white people of this country, and has been the especial pet of the American philanthropists. And moreover, the United States is bound by treaty to protect this Liberia from the hostile neighboring African tribes! Here is something to reflect upon. This exclusion of white men from Liberia was beyond question the suggested policy of the white founders of that country. It grew out of the evident incompatibility of the races, and the white founders desired to protect their infant colony from the troubles that assuredly would follow the intrusion of a number of whites amongst them. The same idea was instinctively impressed upon the Haytiens, and they have rigidly enforced it since they came into possession of the Government by their murdering the white people to whom the island had belonged! Yet what do we behold here? A denial by the United States Government of this principle of incompatibility of the races in the exercise of political privileges, and an attempt absolutely to place the negro in control of the white race! So great an outrage on nature and common sense has not been known in the history of government nor has there been in the history of this country an act which is so disastrous to the national peace and the national prosperity as this enfranchising the black man and making him a voter immediately after he is taken out of a state of slavery!
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Contributed By

Joshua Hurlburt




“White and Black,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1061.