Bishop H. M Turner on the Election Bill—Hot Words and Rough Language
Christian Recorder: August 28, 1890
Mr. Editor: - Upon my return from a few weeks trip in the East, I find in the Christian Recorder an editorial from you, which would seem to imply that I am opposed to the Election Bill now hanging fire before the United States Senate. Please do not make me such a piece of monstrosity, for a Negro who can oppose that bill is evidently a monstrosity. I have read the ignorant babble of some fool Negroes in the South, whom I know not to be worth the salt that goes on their bread, until I have been too indignant to remain in my seat. Worthless asses, what have they ever done to elevate their race by tongue, pen, risk, or endeavor? I can answer; nothing! But play the cur for those fighting against the elevation of our race, I know every Negro in the South who has helped to lift himself and his race up for the last twenty-five years.
The Election bill does not meet my idea; it is too weak, but it is the first bill that Republican Party has offered to pass, much less champion, since the death of Senator Charles Summer. I left the Republican Party after I saw it did not intend to remedy that hell-born decision which the Supreme Court of the United States issued, taking away our civil rights. But when the pending bill was offered and passed the Lower House, I said thank God for that little. The Negro is not entirely forgotten after all. If the bill passes he may be a small factor yet, and in process of time recover his civil rights. Weak as the bill is, it is better than nothing. It would be a menace in our favor at least. But it seems that the bill is to be defeated by democrats, Negro hating republicans and a herd of Negro monstrosities, who want nothing but the smiles of some white man, who curs they are. There are a set of brainless, low babblers belonging to our race who desire nothing but the degradation of themselves and our people.
They endorse the Supreme Court decision in taking away what little civil rights Mr. Summer died in trying to secure for us.
They are opposed to trying to secure one of the territories, and building up a colored State, where we could have a black Governor, Senators, Judges, &c.
They are opposed to the proposition which Mexico holds out, for the Negro to come over there and settle and share destiny with them.
They are opposed to the Butler Bill, appropriating five millions of dollars to assist the Negro who may desire to change countries.
And now they are opposed to Congress doing anything for his elevations here, while over two thirds of the Negro race are scarcely civil and political scullions.
Such monstrosities never find their level until they can raise a howl over something like Mrs. President Harrison discharging some colored cook or Senator Bruce discharging some colored employee whom he finds incompetent or does not want around him. Just as though Mrs. Harrison or Senator Bruce did not have the right to choose their own servants. A convention to pass resolutions over servants, which we have done, enough to disgust degradation itself, while millions of acres of land are waiting to make the Negro rich. This is the bobtail class of Negroes who do not want the election bill to pass. Talk about the blood-shed it would cause! Suppose it did cause some bloodshed, was not blood the seed of the church? Can the Negro be an exception to the world? Has not all advance in all eyes called for blood? But that is all false. There is no more blood in that bill than we have had all the time.
But yet the Republican Senate refuse to pass it, and the Republican Party will be as dead as a mummy, nor will it ever be resurrected, nor will it deserve to be. I thank God from my heart that the Republican Party has at last got where it will be death to retreat from the interest of the Negro.
The duplicity and treachery of the party to the Negro drove it from power before and elected Cleveland, God has, however, put them back to retrace their steps and do the right thing, and their failure will be their lasting overthrow. But for a host of Negro monstrosities to rise up and aid in the slaughter of the only measure proposed, is too much to endure: yet it is the case. What a host of foes the progressive black man has to contend with in this country.
1. The devil and all Hades. 2. The Democratic Party 3. The weak kneed, milk, and water, Negro-frightened and race-prejudiced Republicans. 4. The colored scullions and spittoon lickers, who would sell their race at public auction, for the exalted honor of being called “a good nigger,” or “a very clever coon.”
No sir, Mr Editor, if you meant to class me as an opponent of the election bill, please take my name off of that list. I am in favor of any and everything that has an ounce of Negro elevation in it, and every colored man who is not, holds a place in my esteem as exalted as Satan himself. They are both our devils, only one is purely spiritual and the other has a body, but they are devils all the same.
You may call me a crank, crack-brained, visionary and such like names, because I favor a line of steamers being established between here and Africa by the government, to enable the self-reliant black man to find an asylum, where he can work out his destiny. But you will come to it sooner or later. There are a set of Congo and Pessy Negroes in this Country, who have got no sense and never will have, yet claim to be representatives of this race; that will defeat every reformatory measure proposed in our behalf for generations to come.
That is the reason why I dislike the Congo valley. It is inhabited by the lowest tribe of the African races. But there are giant races there with whom we could mingle, and soon build up a great country, and the sooner our thinking young men open their eyes to these mighty possibilities, and adjust themselves to them, the better for their future. There are about one million and a half of Congo Negroes in this country. Do not take their advice about anything, unless they tell you to go to heaven.