Status: Complete


But, Mr. President, so far as all of this concerns the
American colored man--in the light of segregation and dis-
franchisement--both the letter and the spirit of the Consti-
tution are now dead and inoperative. The spirit is dead. The
letter is dead. As a result our State institutions and our
other social institutions offer no inspiration to the colored
American, and little or no hope of reward for efficiency and
self-government. Even the bare suggestion of the highest citi-
zenship for the American man of color-- fifty years after the
destruction of American slavery--is regarded with a disgust
in many quarters, and with a degrading influence, benumbing
in its effect in the struggle for higher achievements in the
matter of American citizenship.

The country,indeed, needs the greatest efficiency in all
classes of its citizens, and any contentment with a low scale
of living, or lack of initiative, whether arising from an in-
surmountable hopelessness or from any other obstacle of progress,
will prove fatal to the strength and perpetuity of our common
country. You have well spoken, Mr. President, in your declara-
tion entitled "The New Freedom," an extract from which I here
quote, as published in the "World's Work" of February,1913,
as follows:-

"But the beauty of democracy is that when you are
reckless you destroy your own established condition of
life; when you are vindictive, you wreak vengeance upon
yourself; the whole stability of democratic polity rests
upon the fact that every interest is every man's in-

We would, therefore, Mr. President, in view of the fact that
you are an exponent of the modernized democracy of the great
Thomas Jefferson, a statesman who loved his country, its insti-
tutions, its people and their rights, we would have you, as
President of the United States and as {President of all the peo-
ple of our common country, to encourage the extension of sympa-
thy and justice to the American colored man--regarding him solely
in the light of an American citizen and not as a peculiar ra-
cial entity. We ask you in every way possible, and from now on,
to discourage this wanton and insulting propaganda which aims
to treat American colored citizens as though they should be
specially discriminated against on account of their race, color,
and former condition. Let me refer in passing to such rank dis-
crimination as that now being attempted to segregate the colored
American employees in the several Executive Departments, under
your administration, and for the first time in the history of


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