“A Fair Proposition”

April 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

To know why you’re where you’re at now, you’ve got to know where you’ve come from. With the fall elections nipping at our heels like a pack of rabid canines, the following editorial from the Austin Weekly Statesman, June 24, 1875, makes it pretty clear that the fears and prejudices of a certain voting class that resonated then still resonate now; just add “Beaner” to “Sambo” and it’s 2015, not 1875.

Is It Not a Fair Proposition?

About one-fourth of the whole population of Texas is black, and about three-fourths of the criminals are black. The greatest burden to which Texas taxpayers –negroes paying nothing – are subjected is evolved from the terrible jury and judiciary systems. Two-thirds of the cost of prosecutions arise from negro criminality, and yet negroes contribute not a groat to the payment of such costs. The burdensome public school system, costing about one-third of the whole burden of taxation levied by the State, is imposed largely in behalf of blacks, who pay nothing directly, as taxpayers, into the State Treasury. In view of these facts the black elephant assumes mastodon-like proportions, and the question arises how far we should burden ourselves to gain an impossible end and one not desired if sustainable – the equalization and homogeneity of the two races. We did not import Sambo, but bought him and gave gold when he was sold under prospective emancipation acts by the Northern people. They took the money and we the blessed negro; but now, when a day of divine settlement comes, we must lose the moneyed value of the African, to which we do not object since this trade is a good one, but would it not be fair to relieve Texas of this tax imposed to educate the sons of Ham? We have not any alarming degree of faith in the perfectibility of a race whose story and position and degree of intelligence are the same for five thousand years, and if facts, presented by the negro’s fortunes in the South since emancipation, signify anything, the race liberated will soon lose by freedom all it gained by slavery. But would it not be proper for our Northern fellow-countrymen, while we maintain courts and Ward, Dewey & Co., to relieve us of burdens incident to Sambo’s education?

 

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