The Negro Is The South’s Drawback, Says Hoke Smith

Astonishing to remember how much room was given to racism 100 years ago.

In this article, Georgia Senator Hoke Smith poses a question in the process of making his case that black people are a blight on the south:

“It is logical to ask the question: What have the negroes of Africa, after thousands of years of opportunity, in a country rich with possibilities, where they have had things their own way, free of the white man’s control, accomplished for civilization and for themselves?

“This is a fair and pertinent question. Those who honestly consider it and as honestly reply to it, must cease to thrust back at our New England ancestors harsh criticism for having brought the negro to America and made of him a slave. They may, ever, admit that the negro was advanced from savagery to civilization during slavery — an enforced advancement, to be sure, but an advancement which, where he has had the opportunity, he has not voluntarily made. We must keep these historic facts in mind as we consider the present and predict the future.”

In next week’s issue, the Magazine publishes some responses from scientists that try to educate Senator Smith. Naturally, I’ll publish it here.

THE NEGRO IS THE SOUTH’S DRAWBACK, SAYS HOKE SMITH: But, Adds the New Senator From Georgia, in Spite of the Burden Laid Upon It by the Black Man’s Presence a Marvelous Agricultural New South is Springing Triumphantly Into Being. (PDF)

From September 17, 1911

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