[Transcription of Editorial]
A Mrs. Felton from Georgia, makes a speech before the Agricultural
Society, at Tybee, Ga., in which she advocates lynching as an
extreme measure. This woman makes a strong plea for womanhood
and if the alleged crimes of rape were half so frequent as is
oftimes reported, her plea would be worthy of consideration.
Mrs. Felton, like many other so-called Christians, loses sight
of the basic principle of the religion of Christ in her plea for
one class of people as against another. If a missionary spirit
is essential for the uplifting of the poor white girls, why is
it? The morals of the poor white people are on a par with their
colored neighbors of like conditions and if one doubts that statement
let him visit among them. The whol lump needs to be leavened by
those who profess so much religion and showing them that the presence
of virtue is an essential for the life of any people.
Mrs. Felton begins well for she admits that education will better
protect the girls on the farm from the assaulter. This we admit
and it should not be confied to the white any more than to the
colored girls. The papers are filled often with reports of rapes
of white women and the subsequent lynchings of the alleged rapists.
The editors pour forth volumes of aspersions against all Negroes
because of the few who may be guilty. If the papers and speakers
of the other race would comdemn the commission of the crime because
it is crime and not try to make it appear that the Negroes were
the only criminals, they would find their strongest allies in the
intelligent Negroes themselves; and together the whites and blacks
would root the evil out of both races.
We suggest that the whites guard their women more closely,
as Mrs. Felton says, thus giving no opportunity for the human
fiend, be he white or black. You leave your goods out of doors
and then complain because they are taken away. Poor white men
are careless in the matter of protecting their women, especially
on the farms. They are careless of their conduct toward them
and our experience teaches us that the women of that race are
not any more particular in the matter of clandestine meetings
with colored men than are the white men with colored women.
Meetings of this kind go on for some time until the woman's
infatuation, or the man's boldness, bring attention to them,
and the man is lynched for rape. Every Negro lynched is called
a "big burly, black brute," when
in fact many of those who have thus been dealt with had white men
for their fathers, and were not only not "black" and "burly" but
were sufficiently attractive for white girls of culture and
refinement to fall in love with them as is very well known
Mrs. Felton must begin at the fountain head if she wishes to purify
Teach your men purity. Let virtue be something more than an excuse
for them to intimidate and torture a helpless people. Tell your
men that it is no worse for a black man to be intimate with a white
woman than for the white man to be intimate with a colored woman.
You set yourselves down as a lot of carping hypocrites in fact
you cry aloud for the virtue of your women while you seek to destroy
the morality of ours. Don't ever think that your women will remain
pure while you are debauching ours. You sow the seed--the harvest
will come in due time.