Status: Needs Review

July 23rd, 1919.

Hon. Woodrow Wilson,
President of the United States,
Executive Mansion,

My dear Mr. President,

As Commander of the Arny and Navy of the United States, and
as the eloquent preacher of democracy, twelve million loyal colored people
in this country ask your aid in making the capital safe for democracy.

During the past week no colored person, however law abiding,
can walk the streets or remain in his home without serious menace of his
life. The District goverment has broken down. Your appointees, the
Commissioners and the Chief of Police, not having had any previous ex-
perience in administration so necessary for the performance of their
duties, and distinctly Southern in the prejudices, are unable to cope
with the situation, thus forcing us to the necessity of self-defence.
They have steadfastly refused to place superior colored men on the police
force who command the respect of colored people, but persist in making
white boys and incompetent white men their sole appointees, men who
think the function of the law is not to keep order, but to fill prisons
with Negroes. The majority of white policemen are the enemies of colored
people. They are now arresting colored men for carriny weapons, when it
is so necessary to their safety since the police will give no protection,
and allowing white men to carry them at will.

What will the statesmen of Europe think when, after
hearing your lofty idealism preached to distant peoples, they hear that
right in front of the White House an unoffending Negro, the brother
of those same black heroes that share d so gloriously in the salvation
free peoples, was lynched by a mob? What will they think of your
eloquent pleas, even for the German Kaiser, that justice should be done?

Knowing that we will get immediate relief from mob rule in
the interest of the whole country, I have the honor to remain,

Very respectfully yours,
Neval H. Thomas


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