Status: Complete


the American Government.

In short, Mr. President, we ask you to hurl your great
power and influence against this new form of caste prejudice,
and to follow in some degree the policy of the Great Lincoln--
now so often misquoted by present-day statesmen--whose policy
was to give to every American citizen, irrespective of race,
equal justice before the law and a free man's chance. Once
again, and in this connection, I have the honor to quote from
your recent work "The New Freedom", in which you declare that
this country should be a land lifting

"to the admiration of the world its ideals
of absolute free opportunity, where no man
is supposed to be under any limitation ex-
cept the limitations of his character and
of his mind; where there is supposed to be
no distinction of class, no distinction of
blood, no distinction of social status, but
where men win or lose on their merits."

Yet, to the discouragement of the American colored man,
blood distinction counts, and to such a degree, in some sec-
tions of our common country, that his very life is endangered
in the exercise of his prerogatives as a citizens, in look-
ing to the betterment of his social and political condition.
The laws, indeed, should protect him in his thrift and in his
freedom, and they should not be construeds so as to restrict
his uplift, as they are made to do in such segregation ordinan-
ces as recently enacted in the City of Baltimore, Maryland.

And it should cause little or no wonder then, if some of
the simple souls among our colored citizens are at times in
painful quandry as to whether or not it would be wiser to vio-
lently resent the open insults which the enforcement of some
of these discriminatory statutes inspire, or to silently suf-
fer and trust to the proverbial generosity and sense of fair-
play of the better part of their white fellow-citizens, many
of whom are none the less responsible for the enactment of
such laws and for their enforcement.

Many of the leaders among the American colored people
are at all times anxious to allay any violent resentment, and
continually plead that this ill-advised and un-American legislat-
tion should no longer find a place in the statues of the
country. If, Mr. President, you could as the Chief Executive
obtain a clearer conception of our status, and from the

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