Cox Earnest Sevier - White America

Author : Cox Earnest Sevier
Title : White America
Year : 1937

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Because of its nature, a race problem admits of but one or the other of two forms of solution. To solve the problem, the races concerned must be separated or amalgamated. As long as they dwell together, there will be a race problem. Remedial measures may be instituted for The purpose of reducing race friction, and adjustments more or less satisfactory may be made, but the problem will continue as long as the races are in contact. The student of the American Negro problem (which is but a segment of a world-wide color problem) may approach the subject from two angles. He may seek to assuage race friction; or he may seek to solve the Negro problem. The following pages constitute a study of the Negro problem with the latter purpose in view. Remedial measures tending to assuage race friction are, of course, desirable and may be necessary, but they leave the student where he begins; with a race problem still on his hands. What is needed in regard to the three-century-old American Negro problem is a permanent solution; not a temporary adjustment. With a solution of the problem, the United States will be free to develop a White culture uninfluenced by the presence of the increasing millions of Africans within her borders. Without such a solution, America is to be burdened with a race problem forever, or until such times as the races become amalgamated and the future American a Negroid. By reason of the unusual circumstance attendant upon the securing of the data herein presented, it may be expedient to relate the manner and extent of the research. The writer's interest in the American Negro problem dates back to the last year of his student course at Vanderbilt University. Then for three years at the University of Chicago, his time was given to a study of the American problems of color and to preparation for the making of a study of the world-wide color problems with the purpose of bringing to bear upon the American problems information obtained from a study of the White race in contact with colored races throughout the world. This new field of research appeared to offer much of practical advantage to the American student, for the White race has been in contact with colored races during six thousand years of authentic history, and there are at the present time, some thirteen White nations with the Negro problem to solve. The purpose of the writer was fourfold: to observe the ethnic traits of the colored races; to compare the Negro policies of other White nations; to study the independent Negro governments; to seek to discern the results upon the White race and its institutions of its centuries of contact with colored races. It is the last named purpose which is embodied in the present thesis. Having prepared to make an investigation of the world-wide color problem, the writer set about securing financial aid in furthering his plan. He applied to many institutions for aid. He enclosed with the applications a general statement of the gravity of our Negro problem and the rich field for research beyond America offering enlightenment upon our problem, together with testimonials, given by two of his professors; men of high scholastic standing. All efforts to secure funds for the proposed investigation failed. A few of the institutions approached were practically interested in the Negro problem, but were confining their research to local conditions. The chagrin of the writer was considerable, for the denials of aid were usually accompanied with an expressed appreciation of the practical value of the proposed research. Having exhausted the possibilities for securing funds, he resolved to rely upon his own resources in financing the undertaking. With this in view, he left Chicago in the fall of 1909, and soon thereafter was en route to Cape Town, Africa, traveling as a steerage passenger. In South Africa, employment was obtained in the gold and diamond mines where hundreds of thousands of Negroes are gathered as laborers under White superintendents. Leaving South Africa, he journeyed overland to Cairo, a distance of 4,500 miles. From Egypt, a journey down The east Coast enabled him to see several collinses; French, Italian, British, Portuguese. From Africa the investigation was extended to Australasia: the year following, to the East Indies, South and East Asia. Later, South and Central America and the West Indies were visited. In Africa, the course of the journey including the full length of the Nile. In Equatorial South America, the headwaters of the Amazon were reached in the high Andes, and that river followed to the Atlantic Ocean. During the six years of travel, the mines of Africa and Peru, the newspapers, magazines, and lecture platform of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States yielded the funds that had been so earnestly sought at American institutions. Working two and a half years underground (from 700 to 1,900 feet) may not appeal to one as an enticing way of financing a scientific undertaking, but such a method has two important advantages; the rate of remuneration is relatively high, and one is thrown into intimate and prolonged contact with many colored races. The intimacy of contact is an important consideration to the ethnological student. Both in foreign lands and in America the extensive study of the contact of races, together with the prolonged journeys, have appealed to the press, and some twenty important publications have given lengthy articles to the result of the investigations. The interest thus manifested more than compensates for the hardships of the undertaking, for it is a tribute to the need and possible value of the research. The work was completed just as the United States was drawn into the World War, thereby creating a condition which rendered its publication neither practical nor expedient at that time. Since the conclusion of hostilities, attention has been forced upon the American Negro problem by violent symptoms of unrest of that race, while in the final revision the author has been able to make use of additional information, obtained when in service in the American Expeditionary Force, by a first-hand study of colored contingents in Europe; Asiatic, African, and American, thus completing a study of the color problem upon all continents. While this volume deals primarily with the Negro problem it will readily be seen that this, though the gravest, is not the only color problem to be solved before the realization of a "White America." The danger from beyond the Pacific, rightly called the "Yellow Peril," must be faced courageously. Upon its proper solution depends the attainment of the White ideal as much as upon the segregation of the African race which has been with us for three centuries, has grown to some eleven millions in our midst, and is wholly alien to our race and institutions. In a much minor number we have the red Indians, the absorption of whom will in a measure lower the creative intelligence of the White man. The program proposed for the solution of the Negro problem should be adjusted to a program for the exclusion of the Asiatic and to one for the selection of a desirable type of European immigrant. During the period of preparation of this volume there appeared two publications of importance, in dealing with the racial basis of European history (The Passing of the Great Race, by Madison Grant), the other showing the impending peril of the Asiatic to Europe as well as to America and the rest of the White world (The Rising Tide of Color, by Lothrop Stoddard). The reader is referred to these publications for data bearing upon our immigration problem and the world-wide color problem. It is impossible to deal with a wide range of history without presenting details of data t which exception may be taken. Particularly this is true when use is made of any of the present classifications of the races of mankind, for the current classifications are not without defect. The opinions of others have been sought even when the research of the writer may have placed him in more favorable position for the acquirement of the data presented than the authority cited. Nor has there been an attempt to limit quotations to the best known authorities, for the truths herein presented have been discerned by many students. In presenting data from some of the earlier writers, who worked with less complete information than that available to the ethnologists of today, care has been taken to utilize such of their data as is found in accord with present information. I wish to acknowledge indebtedness to Mr. Madison Grant for his criticism of the ethnological data herein presented. The reader will find his views definitely expressed in a quotation given at the beginning of Chapter XIII. ...

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