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STATEMENT OF ME. J. H. NEILL, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. Neill. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have just one thought that I would like to give the committee on this subject and that is with reference to the universal unrest among our people in this country to-day. Now, for that there must be a cause. and the National Equal Eights League has endeavored to find out the cause of this unrest. I know that the gentlemen of the committee are conversant with some of the Negro publications, and they have been able to discover somewhat the trend of thought among the leaders of our people in this country. You will have noticed that some of them are advocating that we join various movements relative to labor, and social organizations, and other lines, but the Equal Rights League believes that primarily and fundamentally the real source of assistance and benefit to our people is the constituted authorities of this country, who have in their hands the enactment and enforcement of the laws by which we are governed.
Therefore we come before this honorable committee and we ask that the amendments proposed, one or the other, be adopted as being the most direct and easy waj- of effecting the results that we desire. We do not believe that by indirect methods we can accomplish what we can by direct methods, therefore we believe that if this committee, in its wisdom and foresightedness, will go into this matter and think of the colored citizens of this country as a part of the body politic and not as a separate race, or as separate individuals, but that it i« a component part of this Nation, and that this Nation must rise or fall, net by the advancement or achievement of a part of its citizenship, whether that part be black or white or whatnot, but it is by the united advancement of all the complex nationalities and racial units that compose the citizenship of this country.
We therefore ask the careful and earnest consideration of this committee of the propositions proposed, believing that if they go into this subject and looking at it not from the Negro s standpoint merely, not from the white man's standpoint, but from the standpoint of the universal good that will come to this country, if not the suggestions made by us then others, that will secure to us the things that we desire, they will be encouched in this document which you are considering. I thank you.
Mr. Trotter. Is there a moment?
The Chairman. I think there is, Mr. Trotter. Yes: you have 10 minutes.
Mr. Trotter. I would like to submit as a part of our hearing these documents which were presented to the peace conference in Paris by the delegate from this country, the secretary of the league.
The Chairman. Would you like to have those inserted in the record?
Mr. Trotter. Yes; included in the record.
(The documents referred to are here printed in the record, a« follows:)
National Equal Rights League Of United States Of Amebic A.
30 Rue Ste. Anne, Hotel Du Ron Pa Situ*.
Pari*, J5 May, taia.
Honorable Silt: As delegate to Paris of the National Equal Rights Ix>artH> of the United States of America ami secretary of the delegation of petitioners of the world peace conference for real and full democracy so notoriously denied Americans of color, I have the honor to transmit to you for your consideration ami action thereon as a delegate of the world peace conference the following protest and petition in brief for and in behalf of all colored Americans, a copy of which was sent on May 7, 1919, to the president and secretary of the conference, and the chairman of the delegations of the United States of America, of Great Britain, and of Japan, at Versailles. A formal communication supplementary thereto will be transmitted later.
I sincerely trust you will be able to see the imperative need of recognizing this claim for democracy. Please do me the favor of acknowledging receipt of this letter.
William Trotter, Delegate to Paris and Secretary of Petitioners to World Peace Conference.
Pabis, France, 1!, Mai, 1919.
Paris, France, May, 1919. Being informed that the world peace treaty ignores the petitions for abolition of the undemocratic color discrimination National Equal Rights League of the United States of America, the secretary of whose delegation of petitioners has Just arrived this afternoon, because of autocratic race restrictions, hereby deplores this grave injustice in behalf of 14,000,000 colored Americans who commissioned the league by a national colored congress held at the Federal Capital of the United States of America, to seek fulfillment of the promises made during the war of democracy for the world. The league protests this awful violation of the war promises of the entente allies and insists pledge should yet be kept in final peace document.
William Trotter, Secretary.
Paris, 7 tnai, 1919. Kraut informee que le traite mondial de Paix ignore les petitions tendant a l'aboiition du prejuge antidemocratique de couleur et le secretaire d'une Delegation de petitionnaires etant arrive cet apres-midi ft cause des restrictions de race de caractere autocratique, la LIgue Nationale des Droits Egaux des Etats I'nls d'Amerique deplore cette grave injustice faite au detriment de 14 millions d'Americans de couleur qui ont charge la LIgue, ft un Congres National des Gens de Couleur tenu dans la enpitalie Federale des Etats-Unis d'obtenir l'execution des promesses faites par les Allies pendant la guerre de la Democratic pour tous. Le Ligue proteste contre cette violation flagrante des promesses faites pendant la guerre par les Allies et insiste pour qu'il doive en ttre tenu eompte dans l'instrument final de la Paix.
William Trotter, Secretary.
Office Of The Secret Art Of The National Equal
Riohts League Democracy Congress.
900 T Street NW„
Washington, D. C. This Is to certify that the National Equal Rights League Democracy Congress, representing the 14,000,000 colored Americans in the United States, In convention assembled, did on December 18, 1918, elect and commission William Monroe Trotter, of Boston. Mass., as one of the nine delegates elected for similar purpose, to present the petition of said Congress to the world peace conference, asking for the abolition of discrimination, proscription, and restricted democracy based on race or color, in all countries where such discrimination, proscription, and restricted democracy are practiced, and thus hasten the ushering in among the peoples of the world and time when every man shall see in every other man his brother and in God the Father of us all.
Done by order of the National Equal Rights League Democracy Congress at Washington, D. C, this 27th day of January. A. D. 1919.
James L. Neill, Recording Secretary.
Colored America's Protest And Petition For World Democracy To The Wow*
Peace Conference Colored American Delegate Now In Paris Represents
The Organized Action And Desire Of Colored American People A8 A Race— The Nature Of The National Colored World Democracy Congress Axd It* Action With Regard To The World Peace Agreement.
Paris, May 2j, 1919.
At Chicago, 111., September 17-20, 1918, the eleventh annual meeting of the National Equal Rights League of the United States of America, In accordance with the official call of the convention, and with 90 delegates from 22 State*, voted to call a national colored representative congress to select delegates id proceed to the world peace congress at the termination of the fighting to a*t for the enjoyment of full world democracy by the colored people of the United States. The date was set back because of the early surrender of Germany.
The official call was as follows:
"The time having come in the dispensation of Almighty God when, by, and through a terrible world war of blood and devastation the doctrine of world democracy has become the slogan and avowed policy of allied nations in rwi. hemispheres, and colored Americans being still the victims of caste discriminations of the most drastic kind with regard to civil and political rights and even the right to life itself, an historic and imperative call has come to colore-! America to exhaust every peaceable means to bring to pass the end of the undemocratic condition in which they alone, of all citizens, live in the <xiunti7 which is the moral leader and military savior of the ailed nations. Hence the National Equal Rights League, to carry out the vote of this body to have titcause for the enjoyment of full democracy by colored Americans presented at the world peace negotiations and that such representatives may be the chosen delegates of colored America, shall call a national equal rights representative congress at the National Capital on or after January 1. 3919, to elect such peace petitioners for this, the only group denied democracy in the United; States of America.
Delegates at this representative congress shall be elected on the following basis: Every colored community is hereby Invited and authorized to Smx! delegates through the organization of equal rights leagues. Every such leagofalready or hereafter organized shall be entitled to send one delegate to this representative assembly and an additional delegate for each 50 members «*er the first 50. Every local religious, labor, civic, fraternal organization of tt* race may on request to the corresponding secretary of the league become >>tfcially an affiliated member and send delegates to this assembly, one for e**rj 50 members.
Every national organization for the rights of colored Americans shall I* entitled and invited to send two delegates at large, each such delegate to t« entitled to one vote.
The executive officers of this league, the president, secretary, treasurer, chairman of executive committee of the District of Columbia branch, and the nitional executive committee shall issue the call and make the arrangements for this representative assembly.
The registration fee for delegates shall be $1.
This representative assembly shall elect the race petitioners for the errand to the seat of peace negotiations for full democracy for colored Americans.
N. B.—Race loyal citizens are eligible to form equal rights leagues an! notify the corresponding secretary, W. Monroe Trotter, 34 Cornhill, Boston, Mass.
The CoMMiTTrt Wm. Monroe Trotter, Massachusetts, chairman; Rev. A. A. Burns, Georgia, secretary; Lieut. J. T. M. Graham, Tennessee; Rev. A. C. Powell, New York; Jos. H. Stewart, District of Ov lumbia; Rev. B. J. Prince, Illinois; Rev. J. R. Little. Mississippi; Dr. Wm. Howard, South Carolina; J. B. Coleman, Missouri; Rev. B. P. Maddox, Illinois; N. S. Taylor, Mississippi E. T. Morris, Massachusetts; Rev. J. D. Gordon, California: Rev. Wm. B. Baber, Michigan; Lee L. Brown, Kentucky; Edw Richardson, Oklahoma; Rev. E. W. Moore, Ohio; Rev. H. !• Prowd, California.
December 16, 1918, the Colored World Democracy Congress wns held by the league with 250 delegates from nearly 40 States. The following were elnctwl as race petitioners to the world peace conference: Rev. M. A. N. Shaw, Boston. Mass.; N. S. Taylor, Esq., Greenville, Miss.; Rev. W. T. Johnson, Richmond, Va.: Bishop L. W. Kyle, St. Louis, Mo.; Rev. J. R. Ransom, Wichita, Kans.: William Monroe Trotter, secretary, Boston, Mass.; Rev. R. H. Singleton, Atlanta, Ga.; Mrs. Idn B. Wells Barnett, Chicago, 111.; Mrs. C. J. Walker. New York. N. Y.; Rev. W. D. Carter, Seattle, Wash.; Rev. David S. Klugh, Boston, Mass.
The spirit and purpose and action of this congress and the duties of these race petitioners were publicly declared in the following "Address to the World," which was unanimously adopted and given to the American press:
Address To The Country And The World, Adopted By The National Colored Congress For World Democracy, Under The Auspices Of The National Equal Rights League At Washington, D. C, December 18, 1918.
Colored America, through delegates assembled from 37 of the United States of America, sore and bleeding with persecution because of race and color, hails with hope, peace with victory, for the motto on the banners of the armies of the victors was "Away with tyranny and its injustice everywhere." Speaking for 14.000,000 colored Americans, the National Colored Representative Assembly for World Democracy, under the auspices of the National Equal Rights League, congratulate their fellow countrymen and their Government on being the instrument by which the God of Righteousness turned the tide of battle for the forces of liberty.
WAR PUT ON WORLD BASIS AS TO THE RESULTS.
Two hemispheres and two oceans furnished without regard to race or color the armies of this bloody and terrible war. Shameful It would be if its close did not mark a new human era. To the President of our Republic, Commander in Chief of our Army and Navy, it was given to name the principles on which the winners fought this war, and Its purpose. By his declaration, accepted by France, Britain, and the rest openly before the human race, the principles and the aim of this war were put upon a world basis. Secondly, these principles and alms were for the wiping out of autocracy, inhumanity, and injustice, and for the establishment of world justice, world humanity, and world democracy.
WRONGS TO INDIVIDUAL ON WORLD BASIS FOR REDRESS.
With the ushering in of the new year, 1919, the nations of the world are assembled to settle the terms of peace for the world, for the establishment everywhere of the principles for which this World War was waged by the forces of democracy.
Therefore every denial or violation of justice, humanity, and democrncy has become a matter for correction and abrogation on a world basis by a world court
Hence, colored America, which furnished 400,000 brave soldiers for this war backed by over 14,000.000 loyal citizen-soldiers without n traitor, appeals to the allied world for justice and democracy in the peace settlement.
UTTERLY UNDEMOCRATIC TREATMENT OF COLORED CITIZENS OF UNITED STATES OF
Citizens by law of the United States of America, the famous Republic of the West, we first appeal to the civilized world for the discontinuance of all race or class discrimination in the world peace settlement. At this supreme moment in the cause of universal humanity, when wrongs to man should be banished, we must call world attention to the utterly undemocratic conditions under which every person of color Is forced to live in this country. Because of race autocracy, our color in the Nation's Capital deprives us of every civil right except In public carriers and subjects us to rejection or to the restriction of the Ghetto as employees of the Federal Government. Otherwise our color in many parts of the country deprives us of every civil, political, social, and judicial right, subjects us to obloquy, Imposition, deprivations, injustices, cruelties, atrocities worse In degree than exist anywhere else In Christendom. Segregation in public carriers, disfranchisement, lynching, are essentially violations of that world democracy for which the war was fought.
SELF-DETERMINATION FOB DARKER NATIONS.
That the tremendous material and appalling human losses of this World War may not be without result for good, we appeal to the peace conclave to gram self-determination and rights without discrimination to all of the darker nations.
APPEAL BY RACE PETITIONEES FOR UNIVERSAL ABOLITION OF COLOR PROSCRIPTION.
On our part we shall send race petitioners to the assembly of the representatives of the civilized world meeting to make good the promise of the victors In the World War, to petition for the abolition of autocracy of race against colored persons everywhere, and to appeal to this world court for the discontinuance of color proscription and all distinctions based on color, civic, political, and judicial in every nation as an article of the peace agreement, that the world may be remade truly on the basis of the liberation of the peoples of the earth. and of the enjoyment by every human being of world democracy.
ELSE THERE IS NO "NEW DAY."
For without this there will not be the dawning of a new day of democracy. nor of a new era of permanent peace after the most terrible and gigantic war ever known, embracing two hemispheres In a death grapple between the forces of autocracy and of democracy.
The Committee On Address. William M. Trotter, Massachusetts, Chairman; Rev. P. C. James, New Jersey; Dr. W. T. Coleman, Maryland; Rev. M. L. Johnson, Arkansas; G. W. Goode, Virginia; Rev. W. L. Gibbons. Mississippi; Rev. W. McDonald, Connecticut, Atty, L. A. H.: Mrs. Ida B. Wells Barnett, Illinois; Dr. A. Walker. Louisiana ; Dr. Porter Davis, Kansas; Rev. W. D. Carter. Washington (State): Dr. Chas. Sumner Long, Florida; R. W. Westberry, South Carolina; J. W. Ross, Minnesota; Bishop G. C. Clements, Kentucky: Atty. J. D. Ellis, West Virginia; Rev. C. V. Page, Missouri; Rev. Thomas W. Davis, Tennessee; Prof. L. B. Cash, Texas; W. C Brown, District of Columbia; Dr. R. A. Whitaker, Oklahoma; Hon. Isaac B. Allen. New York; R. B. James, Michigan; G. W. Boyer, Ohio; Bishop J. S. Caldwell, Pennsylvania; Rev. J. C. McDanlels, New York; Rev. H. H. Jackson, North Carolina; Rev. John V. Goodgame, Alabama.
To all these delegates, the only ones elected by the colored citizens nationally to proceed to the seat of the peace conference, the United States State Department refused passports. The evident tyranny of the same magistrate who proclaimed world democracy as the object of the war refusing to permit the elected representatives of the element denied full democracy to petition aroused indignation, and so the Secretary refrained from applying to the State Department for passports and, acting within the law, arrived only after an effort of three months.
THE CLAUSE PETITIONED FOB.
Noting that the commission on the league of nations was to consider amendments at sessions beginning March 22, the league cabled a petition to this commission, on which the Secretary has written Mr. Trotter, the secretary, at Paris as follows:
American Commission To Negotiate Peace.
Paris. 16 Map, 1919. Dear Sir: In reply to your letter received by me on the 16th I beg to state that a cablegram petition of the National Equal Rights League of the Uult«l States (without date) was received in Paris on the 24th of March.
An accurate copy of the cablegram as it was received is inclosed iu accordance witli your request.
W. H. Shephardson. Secretary of the Commission on the League of yvtion*. William Tbottf.r, Esq.,
Hotel (lit Bon Pasteur, Paris.