Negroes vs. White Men.
May 5, 1869
Is it moral and just to occupationally threaten people to vote a certain way?This is applicable for whites and blacks.
Negroes vs. White Men. The report that in Louisiana employers had last year influenced the votes of their negro employes, thereby securing the vote of that State for Seymour and Blair, was last winter made the text of many a discourse upon the unparalleled wickedness and hopeless disloyalty of the southern people. It was even gravely proposed in Congress to exclude the Louisiana members. In fact, there was no available punishment which Forney and company would not have thought too light for so grave an offence. The idea that any negro should be dismissed, or even threatened with dismissal, from employment because of his political associations was deemed so cruel that none but a red-handed rebel could possibly have entertained it. The same measure of protection from their employers which Forney would fain extend to the negroes he does not wish to extend to white men. These are fair game, and deserve immediate dismissal from the Government employ if they dare to think for themselves. We quote from the Washington Chronicle of Monday the following cold-blooded paragraph. It says: "There are at present employed at the navy-yard some five hundred men. almost all of whom are understood to the Democrats. These Democrats will, of course, vote the Democratic ticket in the coming municipal election. Many of them are from other cities, and are retained here only by their employment at the navy-yard. If retained until after the election they will help materially to carry the Sixth Ward for the Democracy. The ward is close, and this much help may easily turn the scale against us. Should that occur, our defeat in the Sixth Ward would be due to the commanding officer of the navy yard, which, under a Republican administration that has elsewhere indicated its intention to put Republicans in office, would be a curious anomaly. It cannot be said in this case that the interests of the Government would suffer by the change, through getting competent men than the present incumbents, for there are numbers of Republicans equally as well qualified for the work who are in want of employment, and. ceteris paribus. the friends and supporters of the Government are entitled to precedence over its political opponents. The base hypocrisy of the plea set up in favor of the right of the negro to be free from the control of his employer is thus confessed by the leading Radical paper in Washington. Forney teaches that it is right to compel intelligent white men to vote the Radical ticket, but wrong to compel ignorant negroes to vote against carpetbaggers and scalawags. The coolness with which this is done is decidedly refreshing. Men who do not support the Radical ticket are declared to be enemies, not of the Radical party and policy, but " of the Government." They are therefore entitled to no consideration at the hands of Government officials. If any considerable number of the negroes in Virginia should vote for Walker as we understand will be the case--this same Forney, who thus proposes to punish white men for their political opinions, will be the first to raise the cry that the negroes were overawed by the whites, and to denounce the latter a8 no better than savages. He is your genuine " white man with a black heart.
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“Negroes vs. White Men.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1338.