Diversity Comes to Africa

This is of the best youtube videos I’ve seen in a long time – imagining the immigration policy of white countries since the 1960s (in the US, since the 1965 immigration act) transposed onto black countries.

Well done, whoever made this.

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Mencken on the trifunctional hypothesis and its connection with race

Mencken’s views on intelligence, as we began to see at the end of the last post, were based on a belief in the biological reality of caste, which he took from an overliteral and superficial reading of Nietzsche. In his book on Nietzsche be explained his doctrine thus:

The order of castes,” said Nietzsche, ” is the dominating law of nature, against which no merely human agency may prevail. In every healthy society there are three broad classes, each of which has its own morality, its own work, its own notion of perfection and its own sense of mastery. The first class comprises those who are obviously superior to the mass intellectually ; the second includes those whose eminence is chiefly muscular, and the third is made up of the mediocre. The third class, very naturally, is the most numerous, but the first is the most powerful.

To this highest caste belongs the privilege of representing beauty, happiness and goodness on earth…. Its members accept the world as they find it and make the best of it. … They find their happiness in those things which, to lesser men, would spell ruin in the labyrinth, in severity toward themselves and others, in effort. Their delight is” self-governing: with them asceticism becomes naturalness, necessity, instinct. A difficult task is regarded by them as a privilege ; to play with burdens which would crush others to death is their recreation. They are the most venerable species of men. They are the most cheerful, the most amiable. They rule because they are what they are. They are not at liberty to be second in rank.

The second caste includes the guardians and keepers of order and security – the warriors, the nobles, the king above all, as the highest types of warrior, the judges and defenders of the law. They execute the mandates of the first caste, relieving the latter of all that is coarse and menial in the work of ruling.

At the bottom are the workers the men of handicraft, trade, agriculture and the greater part of art and science. It is the law of nature that they should be public utilities that they should be wheels and functions. The only kind of happiness of which they are capable makes intelligent machines of them. For the mediocre, it is happiness to be mediocre. In them the mastery of one thing i. e. specialism is an instinct.

Therefore, argued Nietzsche, the proper performance of the manual labor of the world makes it necessary that we have a laboring class, which means a class content to obey without fear or question. This doctrine brought down upon Nietzsche s head the pious wrath of all the world s humanitarians, but empiric experiment has more than once proved its truth. The history of the hopelessly futile and fatuous effort to improve the negroes of the Southern United States by education affords one such proof. It is apparent, on brief reflection, that the negro, no matter how much he is educated, must remain, as a race, in a condition of subservience; that he must remain the inferior of the stronger and more intelligent white man so long as he retains racial differentiation. Therefore, the effort to educate him has awakened in his mind ambitions and aspirations which, in the very nature of things, must go unrealized, and so, while gaining nothing whatever materially, he has lost all his old contentment, peace of mind and happiness. Indeed, it is a commonplace of observation in the United States that the educated and refined negro is invariably a hopeless, melancholy, embittered and despairing man.

This doctrine is essentially a primitive form of the trifunctional hypothesis as formulated by Georges Dumézil. Mencken’s caste theory leans far too much towards an imagined biorealism that simply does not fit biological reality, and he seems to be more concerned with the effect of his intellectual-emotional gestures than with the accuracy of coherence of his thought.

Mencken tries to fit blacks into his tripartite scheme. This is a doubtful endeavor, as that scheme is on solid footing only in the Indo-European context. If we are to extend it, we must either be asserting that each people (blacks included) has its three castes, or that caste can be extended past the Indo-European context by speaking of some kind of spiritual essences. Mencken tries to do the latter while conflating these spiritual essences with his imagined biorealism. Unlike clearer thinkers we have seen (Schopenhauer comes to mind), he did not try to explain low black intelligence, but merely took is as a fact and tried to shoehorn it into his tripartite caste system. All this he expressed in his Men versus the Man:

Now, what I want to insist upon, in all this, is that the distinction I have described is the product, not so much of varying environment as of inborn differences. I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready to hand, and it is inconceivable that the negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated negro of to-day is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a negro. His brain
is not fitted for the higher forms of mental effort; his ideals, no matter how laboriously he is trained and sheltered, remain those of the clown. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.

I have used the negro as an example because in him the inherited marks of the low-caste man are peculiarly conspicuous. In some of the European peasants who are now coming to America and particularly in those from Russia the same marks are to be seen. These peasants differ as much from the high-caste white man as a mustang differs from a Kentucky stallion, and this difference is the product, not of their actual environment, but of their forefathers’ environment through innumerable generations. They represent a step in the ladder of evolution below that of the civilized white man, and no conceivable change of environment could lift them to the top en masse, in a lifetime. Individuals of extraordinary capacity occasionally appear among them the naturalists call such abnormal individuals “sports” and pass over automatically and at once into some higher caste. But they can get no higher than a caste in which individuals fully equal to them are the rule instead of the exception; and the generality of their race must forever remain below.

Castes are not made by man, but by nature.

While some of the race realist opinions that Mencken held are indeed true, his attempts at theorizing race can be justly ignored as derivative and inferior.

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H.L. Mencken on the Negro

While I like and even admire H.L Mencken, I do not respect him. Nor do I understand the often hysterical admiration he receives in certain quarters. He wrote well, and possessed an independent mind, but his poor character often led him astray, for he took so much pleasure in contradicting conventional opinions that his contrariness often won out over the desire for truth and understanding. Like many autodidacts, Mencken had a towering contempt for what he did not understand, and he possessed more wit than learning; moreover, his autodidact’s superiority complex led him to conceive of himself as sharply separated from society, at which he could only sneer, and it pleased him to sneer a great deal. But for all that, Mencken was an intelligent man, and his writings are often worthwhile.

Mencken’s views on race were complex. He enjoyed sneering at white America far more than black, and his assertions that the KKK was typically American will endear him to those who assert that American society is pervasively racist. On the other hand, Mencken’s insistence that everyone and everything be open to criticism distances him from modern “anti-racist” discourse.

The tendency of negroes to avoid criticism was something of a theme for Mencken. In The Negro as Author he criticized the tendency where racial matters were concerned to write apologetics for rather than hard-headed critiques:

Another somewhat defective contribution to negro literature, this time by a white author, is The Negro Faces America, by Herbert Seligman. The author’s aim is, first, to rehearse the difficulties confronting the emerging negro of the United States, particularly in the South, and, secondly, to expose the shallowness and inaccuracy of some of the current notions regarding negro capacities and negro character.

Most of this balderdash, of course, originates in the South, where gross ignorance of the actual negro of today is combined with a great cocksureness. But all of the prevailing generalizations, even in the South, are not dubious, and Mr. Seligmann weakens his case when he hints that they are. For example, there is the generalization that the average negro is unreliable, that he has a rather lame sense of the sacredness of contract, that it is impossible to count upon him doing what he freely promises to do. This unreliability, it seems to me, is responsible for a great deal of the race feeling that smoulders in the South. The white man is forced to deal with negroes daily, and it irritates him constantly to find them so undependable.

True enough, it is easy to prove that this failing is not met with in negroes of the upper classes, and it may be even argued plausibly that it is not intrinsically a negro character–that the pure and undebauched African is a model of honor. But the fact remains that the Southern whites have to deal with the actual negroes before them, and not with a theoretical race of African kings.

These actual negroes show defects that are very real and very serious. The leaders of the race, engrossed by the almost unbearable injustices that it faces, are apt to forget them. here is a chance for its white friends to do it a genuine service.

What it needs most, of course, is a fair chance in the world, a square deal in its effort to rise, but what it needs after that is honest and relentless criticism. This criticism is absent from Mr. Seligmann’s book. the negro he depicts is an innocent who never was on land or sea.

Freeing blacks from criticism has not made the people better disposed towards them any more than feminism made men better disposer towards women. On the contrary:

The more noisy Negro leaders, by depicting all whites as natural and implacable enemies to their race, have done it a great disservice. Large numbers of whites who were formerly very friendly to it, and willing to go great lengths to help it, are now resentful and suspicious. The effort to purge the movies, the stage, the radio and the comic-strips of the old-time Negro types has worked the same evil. The Negro comic character may have engendered a certain amount of amiable disdain among whites, but he certainly did not produce dislike. We do not hate people we laugh at and with. His chief effect upon white thinking, in fact, was to spread the idea that Negroes as a class are very amiable folk, with a great deal of pawky shrewdness. This was to their advantage in race relations. But when the last Amos ‘n’ Andy programme is suppressed the Negro, ceasing to be a charming clown, will become a menacing stranger, and his lot will be a good deal less comfortable than it used to be. ––Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks, 1956 section 232.

This is a thousand times truer today than it was then. White guilt and masochism have been manipulated to a truly remarkable extent, but the game is nearing its end.

Mencken defended traditional freedom of association, including restrictive covenants, against the charge that they violated anyone’s rights, and insisted that Americans must be free to associate with whomever they wish, and likewise free not to associate.

The more vocal and ambitious American Negroes talk constantly of their desire for all the common rights of the American Caucasian, but what they really have in mind, in most cases, is privileges––for example, his privilege of going at will into any society or environment that attracts him… What they forget is that color is the most crass and inescapable of all differentiations. The Caucasian is aware of it the moment one of them appears, and whether consciously or unconsciously it annoys him as an invasion of his natural human preference for his own kind. ––Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks, 1956 section 110.

His shallowly contrarian nature, and in particular his intense dislike for Anglo-Saxons and American customs in general, led Mencken to some ill considered statements about race. For example, a desire to tweak the noses of “puritan” Anglo-Saxons led him to write that

That Negroes, in more than one way, are superior to most American whites is something that I have long believed. I pass over their gift for music (which is largely imaginary) and their greater dignity (which Dr. Eleanor R. Wembridge has described more eloquently than I could do it), and point to their better behavior as members of our common society. Are they, on the lower levels, somewhat turbulent and inclined to petty crime? Perhaps. But that crime is seldom anti-social… Professional criminals are rare among Negroes, and, what is more important, professional reformers are still rarer. The horrible appetite of the low-caste Anglo-Saxon to police and harass his fellow-men is practically non-existent among them. No one ever hears of Negro wowsers inventing new categories of crime, and proposing to jail thousands of their own people for committing them. Negro Prohibitionists are almost as rare as Catholic Prohibitionists. No Negro has ever got a name by pretending to be more virtuous than the rest of us. In brief, the race is marked by extraordinary decency. ––”The Burden of Credulity,” February 1931.

Certainly his claims about crime have nothing to do with the contemporary facts. From what I understand, they are not supported by the historical facts either.

Similarly, while Mencken’s beliefs on human biodiversity were out of synch with his egalitarian times, they were not particularly well informed. In particular, he clung stubbornly to his belief in biological castes, which he had taken from his (rather crude) reading of Nietzsche. The following is typical:

The theory that all the races of mankind have descended from one stock is whooped up assiduously by the prophets of egalitarianism, but there is really no support for it in the known facts. On the contrary, there is every evidence that man emerged from the primordial apes in two or three or even four or five distinct races, and that they survive more or less to this day, despite the wholesale intermingling that has gone on in civilized countries. In many of the isolated backwater of Europe––and of America too, as Appalachia witnesses––the traces of Neanderthal Man are much more evident than those of Cro-Magnon Man, who was vastly his superior. In any chance crowd of Southern Negroes one is bound to note individuals who resemble apes quite as much as they resemble Modern Man, and among the inferior tribes of Africa, say the Bushmen, they are predominant. The same thing is true of any chance crowd of Southern poor whites. It offers individuals so plainly inferior to the common run of Americans that it is hard to imagine them descending wholly from the same stock. ––Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks, 1956 section 379.

Such remarks are the enemy of real race realism, and fully deserve the environmentalist rebuttal which they are sure to receive.

There’s more to say about Mencken’s views on the negro question and caste, but I’m splitting it off as a separate post.

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H.P. Lovecraft on the negro, with reference to the distinction between race and culture

H.P. Lovecraft’s views on race have long earned him notoriety as a bigot in politically correct circles. In fact they were rather nuanced, and seem to escape the refutation of “anti-racists” even today. Like most well informed men of his time, Lovecraft acknowledged differences in racial abilities, in particular with regard to the negro. These differences, he argued, justify segregation as a means of cultural self-defence:

The whole U.S. negro question is very simple. (1) Certainly the negro is vastly the biological inferior of the Caucasian. (2) Therefore if racial amalgamation were to occur, the net level of American civilisation would perceptibly fall, as in such mongrel nations as Mexico–& several South American near-republics. (3) Amalgamation would undoubtedly take place if prejudice were eradicated, beginning with the lowest grades of Jews & Italians & eventually working upward until the whole country would be poisoned, & its culture & progress stunted. (4) Therefore the much-abused “colour line” is a self-protective measure of the white American people to keep the blood of their descendants pure, & the institutions & greatness of their country unimpaired. The colour line must be maintained in spite of the ranting & preaching of fanatical & ill-informed philanthropists. ––from a letter written January 18, 1919.

Of course Lovecraft knows that there are intelligent negroes, but he knows that the exception is no guide to sound policy.

The genius of a few individuals is never an index of collective racial capacity. In spite of all the Booker Washingtons & Dunbars we can see that the negro as a whole has never made any progress or founded any culture. We cannot judge a man sociologically by his own individual qualities; we have the future to think of. Two persons of different races, though equal mentally & physically, may have a vitally different sociological value, because one will certainly produce an incalculably better type of descendants than the other. We must see that the best retain social & political supremacy, in order that our best traditions may be preserved. Therefore, to me, racial prejudice is not irrational or unexplainable; nor in any way unjustifiable. It has awkward phases, but its benefits immeasurably outweigh its disadvantages. ––ibid.

But Lovecraft went beyond race realism to embrace cultural preservationism as well. Our people may sometimes be superior objectively, but even when they are not they should be favored simply because they are ours, just as parents favor their own children regardless of ability.

Now the trickiest catch in the negro problem is that it is really twofold. The black is vastly inferior. There can be no question of this among contemporary and unsentimental biologists—eminent Europeans for whom the prejudice-problem does not exist. But, it is also a fact that there would be a very grave and very legitimate problem even if the negro were the white man’s equal. For the simple fact is, that two widely dissimilar races, whether equal or not, cannot peaceably coexist in the same territory until they are either uniformly mongrelised or cast in folkways of permanent and traditional personal aloofness. No normal being feels at ease amidst a population having vast elements radically different from himself in physical aspect and emotional responses. A normal Yankee feels like a fish out of water in a crowd of cultivated Japanese, even though they may be his mental and aesthetic superiors; and the normal Jap feels the same way in a crowd of Yankees. This, of course, implies permanent association. We can all visit exotic scenes and like it—and when we are young and unsophisticated we usually think we might continue to like it as a regular thing. But as years pass, the need of old things and usual influences—home faces and home voices—grows stronger and stronger; and we come to see that mongrelism won’t work. ––from a letter written in January, 1931.

Lovecraft makes two distinctions. The first is between superior and inferior races, and closely resembles Darwin’s distinction between higher and lower, or civilized and savage, races. The second is between us and them, between what is our culture and way of life and what is not, between those who can be members of our communities and those who cannot. This second distinction, Lovecraft freely admits, is not a purely racial classification, but race does underlie it.

Immigration policy, Lovecraft maintains, must be guided by both distinctions. Allowing the lesser races into your country is an own goal of spectacular proportions, but other superior races must also be treated carefully. If too many of them are allowed into the country, they will disrupt its harmonious functioning and destroy its culture:

What we mean by Nordic “superiority” is simply conformity to those character-expectations which are natural and ineradicable among us. We are not so naïve as to confuse this relative “superiority” (we ought to call it conformity or suitability instead) with the absolute biological superiority which we recognise in the higher races as a whole as distinguished from the negro, australoid, neanderthal, rhodesian, and other primitive human and humanoid types both living and extinct. We know perfectly well that the Italians excel us in the capacity to savour life and beauty—that their centres of taste are better developed than ours—but they annoy us and fail to fit into our group because their gland-functionings and nerve reactions do not correspond to what our own heritage has made us expect. We do not call them inferior, but simply admit that they are different beyond the limits of easy mutual understanding and cultural compatibility. If we wisely kept vast masses of such foreigners out, we could regard them with a more impersonal appreciation. It would be wholly possible, too, to assimilate a few to our own fabric. But when we get so damn many of them that a wholesale test of strength betwixt their ideals and ours starts up on our soil—well, forget your idealism for a second, use your horse-sense, and guess what will happen! ––from a letter written January 18, 1931.

Lovecraft was perfectly able to make this distinction in practise, even when his own sentiments were involved, His famous dislike for Jewish influence did not, as the rationalization theory of “racism” would predict, lead him to claim that Jews were unintelligent:

In 1903-4 I had private tutors, but in the autumn of 1904 I mingled with the world once more—to the extent of entering Hope St. High School. Here I was confronted for the first time with cosmopolitanism. Slater Avenue school is public, but it is rather a neighborhood affair, with most of its pupils drawn from the old families. But Hope Street is near enough to the “North End” to have a considerable Jewish attendance. It was there that I formed my ineradicable aversion to the Semitic race. The Jews were brilliant in their classes—calculatingly & schemingly brilliant—but their ideals were sordid & their manners course. I became rather well known as anti-Semitic before I had been at Hope Street many days. ––from a letter written November 16, 1915.

His dislike for Jewish culture did not stop him from marrying a well assimilated Jew, and from opposing from the first the National Socialist regime:

By the way—it’s hardly accurate to compare the Jewish with the negro problem. The trouble with the Jew is not his blood—which can mix with ours without disastrous results—but his persistent & antagonistic culture-tradition. On the other hand, the negro represents a vastly inferior biological variant which must under no circumstances taint our Aryan stock. The absolute colour-line as applied to negroes is both necessary & sensible, whereas a similar deadline against Jews (though attempted by Hitler) is ridiculous. ––from a letter written May 29, 1933.

His rejection of the ideology of racial purity did not cause him to announce that there were only social constructions which could be modified arbitrarily. On the contrary, he always maintained his preservationist impulse:

While of course the demand for more than 0.75 Aryan blood in full citizens is an excessive one except where the diluting blood is biologically inferior—as with Negroes and Australoids—it remains a fact that many modern nations need to take steps to preserve the integrity of their own native cultures against shrewd and pushing alien influences. One must view such problems realistically—without patriotic sentimentality like Hitler’s on one hand, and without idealistic sentimentality on the other hand. Certainly, a dash of alien blood of a superior race (among which a large section of Jews as well as Mongols must be included) does not harm another superior stock so long as the culture is unimpaired. But that’s where the rub comes. When the alien element is strong or shrewd enough to menace the purity of the culture amidst which it parasitically lodges, it is time to do something. ––from a letter written June 12, 1933.

(all quotations cribbed from greatmindsonrace)

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Women in the Laws of the Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables are the famous (and famously fragmentary) early laws of Rome. They tend to be concise and not all that exciting – for example, they say that you can kill an intruder in your home at night, but not during the day unless he defends himself with a weapon. They do contain a couple of laws pertaining to women. First, a law showing that the early Romans were keen on preventing paternity fraud:

A child born more than ten months after the father’s death shall not enter into the inheritance

Second, a law which echos the Laws of Manu (one wonders: does it reflect a proto indo-european cultural understanding of women?), stating that women are not fit for independence:

Women, even though they are of full age, because of their levity of mind shall be under guardianship

Compare this with the Laws of Manu, which lay out the same principle in greater detail:

Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males of their families, and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control.

Her father protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and her sons protect her in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

The Twelve Tables also contain one law that pertains to eugenics:

A notably deformed child shall be killed immediately.

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Theodore Roosevelt on Race

In Theodore Roosevelt we see the racial views of a 20th century president. We have seen the views of Jefferson, a man of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and of Lincoln, a man of the middle 19th. How will a man of the 20th century differ?

While T.R. was in many ways a great friend to the negro, he was no racial egalitarian. That races might differ in intelligence was an idea so evident to him as not to occasion much remark – he was more concerned with bravery and organization anyway. In his critical review of Benjamin Kidd’s book Social Evolution, Roosevelt notes that

A perfectly stupid race can never rise to a very high plane; the negro, for instance, has been kept down as much by lack of intellectual development as by anything else; but the prime factor in the preservation of a race is its power to attain a high degree of social efficiency. Love of order, ability to fight well and breed well, capacity to subordinate the interests of the individual to the interests of the community, these and similar rather humdrum qualities go to make up the sum of social efficiency. The race that has them is sure to overturn the race whose members have brilliant intellects, but who are cold and selfish and timid, who do not breed well or fight well, and who are not capable of disinterested love of the community. In other words, character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment’s hesitation.

But T.R. was greatly concerned with Negro affairs. In his 1905 Lincoln Dinner Address he expressed great concern for the American negro, in particular his condition in the south, basing himself on the principle of color blind citizenship:

One of the gravest problems before our people, the problem of so dealing with the man of one color as to secure him the rights that no man would grudge him if he were of another color. To solve this problem it is, of course, necessary to educate him to perform the duties a failure to perform which will render him a curse to himself and to all around him. Mind that. And it is true of every one. In addition to rights in every Republic there are correlative duties. And if the man, black or white, is not trained to do his duty he becomes necessarily a festering plague spot in the whole body politic.

He holds to the

principle of giving to each man what is justly due him, of treating him on his worth as a man, granting him no special favors, but denying him no proper opportunity for labor and the reward of labor.

and adds that

Our effort should be to secure to each man, whatever his color, equality of opportunity, equality of treatment before the law.

T.R. hoped to educate and improve the black man, but he never doubted that the white man is superior to the black man, and that whatever improvement education might offer would not reverse this distinction of rank:

Every generous impulse in us revolts at the thought of thrusting down instead of helping up such a man. To deny any man the fair treatment granted to others no better than he is to commit a wrong upon him — a wrong sure to react in the long run upon those guilty of such denial. The only safe principle upon which Americans can act is that of “all men up,” not that of “some men down.” If in any community the level of intelligence, morality and thrift among the colored men can be raised, it is, humanly speaking, sure that the same level among the whites will be raised to an even higher degree, and it is no less sure that the debasement of the blacks will in the end carry with it an attendant debasement of the whites.

The problem is so to adjust the relations between two races of different ethnic type that the rights of neither be abridged nor jeoparded; that the backward race be trained so that it may enter into the possession of true freedom — not false freedom — true freedom, while the forward race is enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers. The working out of this problem must necessarily be slow; it is not possible in off-hand fashion to obtain or to confer the priceless boons of freedom, industrial efficiency, political capacity and domestic morality.

Still less would T.R. countenance any notion that the Negro’s problems were simply caused by the behavior of whites. He deplored many aspects of the Negro’s treatment, but emphasized that the principle causes of social problems among the Negroes lay in their own behavior:

it is true of the colored man, as it is true of the white man, that in the long run his fate must depend far more upon his own effort than upon the efforts of any outside friend. That applies to every man. There is not one of us that does not occasionally stumble, and shame to each of us if he does not stretch out a hand to help the brother who thus stumbles. Help him if he stumbles, but remember that if he lies down, there is no use in trying to carry him. It will hurt both of you. Every vicious, venal or ignorant colored man is an even greater foe to his own race than to the community as a whole. The colored man’s self-respect entitles him to do that share in the political work of the country which is warranted by his individual ability and integrity and the position he has won for himself. But the prime requisite of the race is moral and industrial uplifting.

Laziness and shiftlessness, these, and, above all, vice and criminality of every kind, are evils more potent for harm to the black race than all acts of oppression of white men put together. The colored man who fails to condemn crime in another colored man, who fails to cooperate in all lawful ways in bringing colored criminals to justice, is the worst enemy of his own people, as well as an enemy to all the people. Law-abiding black men should, for the sake of their race, be foremost in relentless and unceasing warfare against lawbreaking black men. If the standards of private morality and industrial efficiency can be raised high enough among the black race, then its future on this continent is secure. The stability and purity of the home are vital to the welfare of the black race as they are to the welfare of every race.

The Lincoln Dinner Address also contains an interesting remark concerning interracial fraternization. In an approving discussion of the work of a southern bishop who opposes “social intermingling of the races,” he notes that this is

a question which must, of course, be left to the people of each community to settle for themselves, as in such a matter no one community, and indeed no one individual, can dictate to any other; always provided that in each locality men keep in mind the fact that there must be no confusing of civil privileges with social intercourse. Civil law cannot regulate social practices. Society, as such, is a law unto itself, and will always regulate its own practices and habits. Full recognition of the fundamental fact that all men should stand on an equal footing as regards civil privileges in no way interferes with recognition of the further fact that all reflecting men of both races are united in feeling that race purity must be maintained.

The idea that society is a sphere separate from government and that it has an independent dignity which ought to be respected is today positively quaint. The belief in the desirability of social engineering is universal among the modern elite. Consider this a gesture towards an analysis of this historical shift in the relationship between society and government and its deleterious consequences. The ambitious reader should carry out such an analysis himself.

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A Useful Site

I just happened on a very nice blog, Great Minds on Race. It should provide fodder for some more posts on the views of historical figures on race.

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