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Jem of the colored race, and the problem of making our democracy work in respect to the colored race, remains still unsolved.

There are to-day about ten million people of African or of mixed African and Caucasian descent in the United States—mainly in the South; and they remain to-day, as they were before the war, an inferior class. It could not, of course, be otherwise than that a people so long enslaved and so recently emancipated should still be, on the whole, poorer, more ignorant, and more debased than the white descendants of people who for centuries have been among the most civilized in the world. This in itself would not make the problem of the colored race a special and particularly difficult one.

There are perhaps as many poor, ignorant, and debased people among the white inhabitants of the United States. What makes the problem of the colored race a serious one is the fact that they are a class apart. The inferiority of the colored man is not an individual, but a racial matter; however prosperous, intelligent, or cultivated a black man becomes, he is still, in virtue of being a black man, in a position of inferiority as compared with white men of similar attainments and capacities.

The amalgamation of the two races would in any case be slow because of the radical differences, mental and physical, which keep them apart. But that this would not be an insuperable barrier is proved by the large number of people of mixed blood among the colored population. What the whites object to is intermarriage with negroes, and to associating on equal terms with them; and the chief reason for this is the indelible stigma which the tradition of slavery has placed upon them. The Southern people very frankly maintain the pre-war attitude of mind in respect to their relations with the colored race. They like the negro well enough in a condescending way; they have for him less instinctive physical repulsion than the Northerner has, and they are even more disposed to treat him kindly—as long as he “keeps his place.” But his “ place” is still one of inferiority; in every respect, except in legal status, the colored race is still regarded in the South as a servile and an outcast class. The attitude of the Northerner toward the negro is much the same, although the Northerner is less frank in admitting it. On the whole, the Northerner dislikes the negro more than the Southerner does, understands him less well, has less patience with his habits and idiosyncrasies; and however much he may say that this repulsion is a mere prejudice, that the colored man is “as good as any one else" and ought to be treated as an equal, he does not commonly treat him as an equal; in spite of theories and good intentions, some subtle repulsion keeps the two races apart, in the North no less than in the South.

The negro is not only in a position of social inferiority; in the economic field he labors at a great disadvantage. Carefully prepared statistics show that the per capita wealth of the negroes throughout the country is $34, while that of the whites is $885 in the South and $1,320 in the North. That a people so recently emancipated should be poor is natural enough, but the natural economic backwardness of the negroes is accentuated by the social prejudice which virtually closes many occupations to them, or restricts their advancement in such occupations as they may enter. Apart from all natural or racial handicaps, it is still true that the negro in the United States does not enjoy an equal economic opportunity with the white man of similar intelligence and industry.

To the social and economic disadvantages must finally be added a marked political discrimination. The federal Constitution confers upon the negro the same right of voting which white men possess; but the social prejudice and economic inequality under which he lives and labors, in the Southern States especially, give such an ascendancy to the whites that it is possible for them practically to exclude the negro from any effective exercise of his political rights. In spite of the Constitution, the colored people are in fact a disfranchised people in all the Southern states. Thus it happens that, so far as the ten million colored people are concerned, American democracy does not work, or at least it works badly. The negro is an American, but he is an American who remains apart, unassimilated with the white population, economically still a servile class, socially inferior, and politically unfranchised.

If slavery was a menace to free institutions, the existence of this unassimilated class, which is regarded as inferior and practically treated as such, is also a menace, in however less a degree, to free institutions. It may be true that the United States was "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”; but it must be admitted that there is an ugly contrast between the actual fact and the ideal profession so long as one-tenth of the population is deprived of its liberty and treated as inferior on account of its

race, color, and previous condition of servitude.” Perhaps the problem is unsolvable; if so, it must be noted as one

of those situations to which our democratic formula does not apply.

No doubt the practical application of any ideal of government and society can never be perfect; and it is obvious enough that democracy works best in communities where there is a great degree of homogeneity in the population. There are exceptions to the rule, as, for example, Switzerland (even in Switzerland it is a question whether the lack of homogeneity is not more apparent than real); but generally speaking, where racial or cultural or economic interests tend to divide the population into distinct groups, and where the difference between the groups tends to become deep-seated and permanent, there the practical application of democratic principles becomes difficult or impossible. Such group differences are common and chronic in many European communities; but in the United States the unassimilated negro group is the more striking phenomenon precisely because of the astonishing rapidity with which the great number of foreign immigrants has been assimilated. The people of the United States have been recruited from every country of Europe; but hitherto the characteristics of nationality, of language and culture, which distinguish the immigrant when he arrives have disappeared within a generation; his

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