The Colby Echo: The white man of the South has not yet risen above his prejudices

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1864-1913

Jan. 1, 1886

scroll icon

While there are many things that are commendable and suggestive in the article of “Race Prejudice,” in the North American Review for November, that came from the pen of so popular and accomplished a writer as Gail Hamilton, and while too, the writer meant to be candid and unbiased, yet there is an evident lack of knowledge on her part respecting race prejudice in the south, and this expecially so as respects the negro; there is also an unchristian fling at the noble, Christ-like efforts of the Congregationalists, and other educational societies at work in the negro’s behalf. No such general feelings exists on the part of the negro to the white man as was represented by her, based on the authority of a Rev. B.W. Pond, of Falls Church, Virginia. Every effort that is brought to bear to put aside the feelings of hostility, and to bring the two races more together on a plane of equality is eagerly seized. It may happen in a few instances that there may be a few persons who would not appreciate such efforts, but those few would be found to be the most illiterate; those whose prejudices were the less ineradicable, because they have conceived the notion, and not without some degree of plausibility when it is taken into consideration that their conceptions are based on the unjust treatment of the white man as a slaver, and the subsequent barbarous, inhuman, diabolical, treatment to which they have been subjected, –that every white man is their born foe; but even in this class, when their eyes are open to the fact that the Congregationalists and other educational societies are deeply interested in them, and do seek their best interests as fellow brethren–creations of one and the same source, and by one and the same Creator, children of one and the same Father,–even this class, we repeat, will give over their prejudices, and will gladly enter the tent of Japhet that he may do them good. Miss Hamilton quotes Mr. Pond in saying, also, that “Black men of large means and first-rate business talents are not wanting, but all the temptations of gain do not bring them and white men into partnership relations.” True and why not? Doubtless Miss Hamilton herself could have given an answer if the question had been pressed upon her. The reason why these business relations do not exist between the white men and the black men of the South must be evidence prima facie to every candid mind. The white man of the South has not yet risen above his prejudices that the negro is a servile thing of necessity, to be used only as a valet de chamber, a boot-black, or in some other servile capacity, and hence vastly his inferior in every way.

scroll icon

It is very much to be deplored that such as state of feelings does exist, but that it does is evident to every man who ever visited the South.