WILL THE AFRO-AMERICAN RETURN TO AFRICA? 389
Now, what are some of the reasons why Afro-Americans have
refused to go to Africa in the past, and have no intention of going
in the future ? Affecting to believe that there are no reasons
against going, the philanthropists and other good people who
insist that we must go, will hardly be able to contain themselves
when they discover that they have been slumbering in the day-
(I) Afro-Americans are not Africans. The slave trade be-
tween the United States and Africa ceased in 1808. Since that
time a few stragglers have come here, but, in the main, the acces-
sions have been too inconsiderable to enter into the calculation
at all. In consequence of this, Afro-Americans know, practically,
nothing about Africa, and take only a sentimental interest in it
and its people. They have forgotten the language of the country
and abandoned the religion of its people. They have thrown off
all heathenish practices.
(2) Africa is a country without an organized government, an
accepted religion, and a uniform language. In a different article
from this, I have said that habitat, language and religion prescribe
a man's nationality and fix his citizenship. If Africa had a regular
government, a great many of us might seek its protection.
Civilized men don't abandon organized government for chaos.
The population of Africa is supposed to be 100,000,000; the in-
habitants speak as many languages as there are tribes. Now, if
every one of the 8,ooo,ooo Afro-Americans should go to Africa,
would they swallow up the 100,000,000 natives, or would they
be swallowed up? Jonah could not swallow the whale, and,
therefore, the whale swallowed Jonah.
(3) What assurance have Afro-Americans that they would not
starve to death in a country without organized industries, or be
slaughtered by hostile natives, or die from the ravages of climatic
diseases ? Some who have spied out the land relate that each
one of these hoodoos has a tooth as sharp as a serpent's, and
about as deadly. People go to a new country to better their
condition; not to starve or be slaughtered by accommodating
natives or an inhospitable climate. Many of these disadvantages
will be overcome in time; but they will be overcome by Euro-
peans, with home governments and fabulous wealth behind them.
European rule in Africa is no more advantageous than the rule
of descendants of Europeans in the United States; and wherever
the European goes in Africa, he subjects or exterminates the
natives. In the organized European governments in Africa, they
are barred out.
(4) Afro-Americans feel that the United States is their country,
and that they have as much right to enjoy its advantages as have
others of their fellow-citizens. They have labored to build up
its grandeur; they have fought and died to defend its honor and
to perpetuate its integrity; they own a vast volume of real and
personal wealth here, which they have acquired by infinite in-