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Negro in the Present Campaign
            THE NEGRO IN THE PRESENT CAMPAIGN.                 119

The answer to this is: That if the Democratic party is entitled
to any, so far as we are concerned, it is entitled to all. Besides,
as already stated, the parties are now so equally balanced as to
numbers that any diversion from the Republican party gives
victory to the Democratic party. It is committing the folly of
attempting to ride two horses going in opposite directions, and
as the result, falling from both. The greatest teacher that man-
kind has ever known has taught us the folly of endeavoring to
serve two masters. The black vote, to be respected, must ob-
viously be governed by principle, and to be one thing or the other,
or amount to nothing. There must be no halfness about it. We
now have that vantage ground of consistency in acting with the
Republican party. We are identified with its principles, history
and objects. When we attempt to become both Democrat and
Republican we simply become neither. It is better to be a part
of a great whole than the whole of a great part.  Manifestly we
should in no case place ourselves politically in such an equivocal
position as that proposed. The trumpet should with us give no
uncertain sound. If there is reason for us to be Republican, let
us be that.  If, on the other hand, there is reason to be Demo-
cratic, let us be that. Any other straddling attitude here is not
only unwise and weak, but fatal.
  It is argued, however, that the fact that we now, as a class,
belong to the Republican party, makes us hated and persecuted
by the Democratic party, and hence the conclusion is reached
that if we shall divide our vote with the Democratic party we
shall be allowed by that party to live in peace. Well, what is
this peace? It is, to use a familiar illustration, the peace between
the lamb and the lion. What is it but the peace between the
white man as the master and the Negro as the slave? Is it
reasonable to suppose that the Democratic party will change its
attitude toward us when it shall have us completely in its power?
Can we safely debase our manhood by joining a party that hates
us, and yet hope to have our manhood respected by that party?
But we join the party to gain its good-will. Are we foolish
enough to think that an old bird like the Democratic party can
be caught by a snare thus laid in its sight? We have heard of
people marrying to get rid of each other, but who ever heard of
a people uniting with a political party in order to get rid of its
hatred and persecution? But, alas ! nothing seems to be thought
too degrading and unmanly for our poor, long-enslaved people.
Have we, indeed, become so accustomed to servitude as to bow
and cringe to the party of oppression and to kiss the hand that
smites us? Do we wish men to think of us as a people divested
of every honorable sentiment and instinct of common manhood?
I hope not. Look at the cause of Ireland! The Tory party of
England hate and persecute the Irish, but no Irishman with a
drop of pure Irish blood in his veins has ever yet been so base
and foolish as to advise the Irish voters to divide their support


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 09, Num. 2

Negro in the Present Campaign

Volume:  09
Issue Number:  02
Page Number:  114
Date:  10/01/1892


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