John C. Minkins on Race Purity

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-02-23 23:00Z by Steven

John C. Minkins on Race Purity

The Indianapolis Recorder: A Weekly Newspaper Devoted the to Best Interest of the Negroes
Saturday, 1910-05-07
page 1, columns 4-5
Source: Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis: University Library: Program of Digital Scholarship

No Objection to Prohibitive Laws Against Miscegenation.


Mixed Bloods Praised For Their Loyalty to tho Race—Eighty-one Percent of All the Mixed Blood Negroes In the Country Are In the South. Where There Is No Intermarriage.

A large and representative audience was present at the recent meeting of the Boston Literary and Historical association to hear an address by John C. Minkins, editor of the Providence (R. I.) Evening News, on miscegenation and the fight for race purity.  His address was enthusiastically received. William Monroe Trotter, the president, introduced the speaker. A piano solo was contributed by Miss Ester Francis, a contralto solo by Miss Mae Smith and a tenor solo by Mr. Robert M. Johnson, each being encored. A resultion was unanimously adopted against the report of the Brownsville board, thanking Senator Foraker, Attorney Dagget and N. B. Marshal for their good work in behalf of the discharged soldiers. The resolution calls for a bill in congress to reinstate the discharged soldiers.

Mr. Minkins discussed “Miscegenation and the fight for Race Purity,” treating the subject broadly and answering especially magazine articles that have appeared recently on the subject. He declared whtat the American Negro was the victim, not the enemy of the white man. He declared that the “Negro problem,” the problem of miscegenation, was the white man’s problem, the Negro being the clay and the nation the potter; that as the hybridization process began under slaver and continued for 240 years it was not difficult to place the blame for the original attacks upon racial purity, as in 1790 there were hardly any mulattoes, quadroons and octoroons, white in 1890, 100 years later, the black had increased but 400 per cent and the mixed Negroes so much so that is was impossible to approximate it mathematically. After pointing out that hardly two southern states prohibit white intermarriage with a person who has some Negro blood, he said: “Few indeed of the states flatly prohibit intermarriage of the races, as they would do were their legislators genuinely in earnest in their abhorrence of Negro blood. If they had the courage of their convictions they would bar one drop of Negro blood. They leave us instead to infer that they believe there is a point at which intermixture of Negro and white blood is beneficial or they have other, to them, good an sufficient reasons for compromising and deciding to lower the legal bar sinister, such, for instance, as South Carolina had when she desired to protect some of the leading white families who were known to be ‘tainted.'”

He said the Negro need have no objection to absolutely prohibitive laws against miscegenation, as they would give him a far wider range of matrimonial choice than any other race on earth, since he could have all the thirty-second degree Negroes and more than 1,100,000 others, ranging from half white to thirty-one thirty-seconds white, from which to choose, adding, “The range is wide enough and attractive enough to satisfy the most adventurous and exacting among us.” He was not disposed to be disturbed by legitimate miscegenation and its ultimate effects, as they would take care of themselves as they had done ever since the present European Caucasian races sprang from the Negro’s ancestors, the Euro-Africans.

He asserted emphatically that the mulatto had increased faster than either white or black from 1850 to 1890. the increase being 92 per cent, the black increase 65 per cent and the white Increase, excluding about 13,000,000 immigrants, only 52 per cent. He accounted for the larger proportionate number of mulattoes In the north by immigration of mulattoes from the south, by intermarriage and by the counting of many octoroons at the south as white and asserted that more than 81 per cent of all the mixed Negroes in the country are in the south, where there is no intermarriage, the proportion to the whites in South Carolina. Louisiana and Mississippi being larger than it bears to the Negro population of those states. He praised the bulk of the mixed bloods for showing unalterable loyalty to their race and emphatically denied that the Negro was responsible for the “great black plague,” asserting that it was and always had been “a concomitant of the white man’s civilization” while he charged the white man also with responsibility for the “white slave” traffic.

Referring more particularly to Louisiana, where the anti-miscegenation crusade is under way, he said the intelligent Negroes of that state heartily endorsed the movement and accounted for the prevalence of the practice by so much ignorance among both white and black, asserting that Louisiana Negroes and Louisiana whites were the most illiterate In the country, Louisiana having twenty-one out of the thirty counties in the country in which more than two-thirds of all the Negroes were illiterate. He added that education decreases the desire for amalgamation. He deplored the fact that white men, who make the laws, had erected every conceivable defense around the white woman, but up to the time of the Louisiana crusade had interposed no barrier at all around the black woman, simply stipulating that there should be no intermarriage. Thousands of Negroes had been lynched for crimes, attempted and alleged, against white women, but no white man had ever been lynched for a like crime against a Negro woman.

In conclusion he denied that the Negro woman was immoral and insisted that the concurrent testimony of unprejudiced investigators proved “the most marvelous advancement in history” had been made by the Negro “along every conceivable line.” He advocated better protection through education and the unwritten law by both Negroes and whites for the Negro woman and the Negro home as the most effective means of making the Negro safer and the white woman also, as “the well being of the white race in this country is inseparably bound up with that of its fellow citizens in black,” adding that “the sooner this is realized tbe better it will be for both races, even though they are destined to live, as some people believe, as united as the hand, as separate as the fingers.”

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