THE NEGRO IN THE PRESENT CAMPAIGN. 123
for the bolder proposition to join the Democratic party outright.
Practically this was the end sought in all former modes proposed.
This proposition takes the mask entirely off and gives us plainly
the face of the enemy in all its ugliness. We are asked to vote
with the Democratic party. Strangely enough, we are not asked
to support that party because it has at any time in its history
supported our claims to justice and fair treatment. No one has
been brazen enough to make such a claim for that party. Nor
is it asked on the ground of any promise it now makes us for
better treatment in the future. Any such pretension would be
obviously a piece of rascality too unsophisticated and palpable to
The main argument in defense of this proposition is that the
Democratic party is our open and consistent enemy and has al-
ways been our enemy, but that we will make it our friend when
we vote it into power. This reasoning is the foundation of all
the efforts to withdraw the colored vote from the Republican
party and turn it over to the Democratic party. I state the argu-
ment fairly. At the risk of repeating in some measure what has
before been expressed, I continue. It is acknowledged that the
Democratic party hates us because of our loyal and uniform
support of the Republican party, and hence, in order to gain the
friendship of the Democratic party, we must abandon the Repub-
lican party and go over to the Democratic party. In other
words, we are called upon to sell our friends in order to buy our
enemies; to bore one hole for the purpose of stopping another.
If anything could savor more of folly and villainy than does this,
I have yet to see it stated.
Honor is here asked to bow and bend to baseness, and truth
to succumb to falsehood. When was any people on this globe
asked to commit a more dishonorable act than this, or a more
foolish one? Yet men openly advise it. They speak it in their
little Cleveland Clubs and write it in their little subsidized Afro-
American papers, and do so apparently unconscious of shame.
Now, supposing that we could by this base sacrifice of honor and
principle, gain the friendship of the Democratic party (which we
obviously cannot do), it would be at a cost of something more
valuable than such friendship, or than the friendship of any
party. When a man has lost his honor, he has lost his soul, and
there is no real self left to value anything or to be valued for
anything, by anybody or by any party. The outward form is
there, but the man is gone. Besides, there is no evidence that
the desired end would be gained by any such base surrender.
The Democratic party is no fool! It now hates the Negro as a
citizen, and, after such a venal surrender, would hold him in ten-
But the Negro does not claim even now to be a Democrat on
principle. He, as we have seen, is a Democrat only to gain
favor or to avert disfavor. This is the sole motive and excuse