5 OCTOBER 1895, Page 7

WHITES AND BLACKS. T HE white race is taking charge of

the black race every- where—we do not mean the Asiatic race, but the African—and it will have to make up its mind very soon as to the conditions of its guardianship, otherwise there will be misery among the blacks and demoralisation among the whites. Except in Hayti, there is now no black race which is not under white sovereignty, or expecting white sovereignty, or preparing itself for a last fight in protest against that encroaching dominion In East Africa, South Africa, West Africa, the Congo State, the West Indies, and the Southern States of America, the white dominion is supreme, and the tide is still rolling On, Dahomey being submerged yesterday as Ashantee will be submerged to-morrow. Twenty years hence no black will be able to live happily save by consent of some white people, and the responsibility assumed by the latter will be complete, and, we are compelled to add, most terrible. They must, there- fore, think out what it all means, and discover some rctethod by which they can "reconcile the races,"—that is, can enable them to live together to the advantage of both, or at all events without direct deterioration to either. The method has not been found yet; all experiments, so far, having proved partial or total failures. Slavery must be accounted among the latter, for it fossilised the blacks and demoralised the whites, produced no reconciliation, had little educative effect, and socially was so unsuccessful that it was by a sort of consensus of white humanity given up. Black independence, besides being an admission of white failure, works badly, old history, as well as the records of Hayti and Liberia in modern times, both proving that while individual blacks have displayed con- siderable powers, the race as a whole requires white guidance and control to enable it to advance. Equality does not succeed either. It is being tried in the Southern States of the Union and it bids fair to breed a race-war of the most terrible kind, while even now it produces no cordiality in the governed, and a base and tricky hypocrisy in those who govern. We, who are Abolitionists of the stronger type, who would treat the slave-trade as piracy and slave-holding as an offence, warned the North that in giving the blacks the vote they were making, for the sake of mere logic, an experiment of extreme rashness. The vote was, however, given, and proved worthless. The black man was not competent to govern, and the white man would not endure his attempts to do it. He was deprived of his vote by force applied in ways that produced excessive cruelty and injustice, and severed the two races worse than ever slavery had done ; but force as usual settled nothing. No security is possible where half the population is always under arms to prevent the other half from exercising its legal rights, and the whites of the Southern States are now seeking to disfran- chise the blacks by legal means. They cannot alter the Constitution but they can, they think, make it inopera- tive, and a Constitution; is now sitting in South Carolina to devise the means. The favourite plan of the Conven- tion, which will, it is said, be adopted, is a very mean one. It is to disfranchise all illiterate voters, and hand over to a State officer the right of deciding whether any one 'Who claims to be literate, really is so. That officer, it is admitted, will have Secret instructions to admit whites, but not blacks, and so the whole race will cease to claim the suffrage, and will be legally disfranchised. That is trickery, not statesmanship, but we see reason to fear that it will be imitated in the Colonies of South Africa, where already the question of race is a burning one, and where, we may rely on it, the white race, once closely pressed in its interests or its pride, will submit to no government but its own. There is no place on earth where fifty thousand Englishmen consent to foreign rule, and we may take it as certain that the obedience which they, refuse to Dutchmen and Spaniards, they will not concede to negroes or half-castes, however numerous or however "civilised." The white race as a race will obey no other, whatever happens. There will be perpetual discord; rising frequently to the dignity and horror of local civil.war, and the end will be either white with- drawal, or more probably an angry and ,sullen submission on the part of the blacks, almost as fatal to true ciVilisation as civil" war itself. We do not believe, in spite of the recoil in German and French opinion, that slavery Will e'er be tried again; and we hope that economic necessities, if not philanthropic feeling, will avert the expulsion en =see which was the Spanish plan, and which De Tocque- vine feared would be the end in the North American Republic.

Is it impossible_ to discover a principle or theory of government under which the two colours can live together, and yet observe the two essential conditions without which there can be no progress ; that the black man shall be free and contented ; and that the white man shall have the guidance of him ? Incomparably the best system of course is the Indian, which is the impartial rule over both colours of an enlightened but despotic Committee, dele- gated and controlled by a wise and Christian Government far away ; but that method, which is in an extraordinary degree vivifying, is in most places now inapplicable. We want a principle on which Republicans can work, and we believe that the one which would be most fruitful is that the black people should be declared to be foreign immi- grants, guests of the State, entitled to the benefit of every law and every privilege, education, for example, but de- barred from political power and from sitting on juries, i which latter, indeed, n mixed cases ought to be super- seded by properly qualified Magistrates and Judges. This principle, honestly acted on, would leave all power for a time in the hands of the white men, without violence and without trickery, and all the rights in the possession of the black men which they are able to exercise wisely. To say they would be oppressed by such a rule, is not true, for they would be precisely in the position of the majority of Englishmen before 1832, a position found to be perfectly compatible with much happiness, and a fairly rapid progress in civilisation. It would, of course, be a condition of the system that the legislature should not pass caste-laws, should not impose taxation on any basis except ability to pay, and should not accept any labour code not applicable to all alike. The black men if aggrieved could then strike, just as Italian workmen do in New York, and the question of industrial position would get itself settled by fair competition. There would be plenty of trouble, no doubt, of different kinds • but the fact and the theory would be brought into accord, and the discredit- able trickery of granting political powers with one hand, to take them away with the other, would be done away with. The superior competence of the white man, which for the present is undeniable would be legally acknowledged ; while nothing would be demanded of the black man not accorded by the man who is white. It will be said, of course, that the black man would resent his "legal inferiority ; " but we do not find that the mass of white women in the Stites, or in South Africa, resent theirs, and do not believe that the black is at heart so blind to what he feels, as regards all black men but him- self, to be a self-evident truth. We want, in fact, first of all, to be done with lying about the matter. The black man has exactly the same right to happiness, liberty, and the pursuit of knowledge as the white man, but he has not the same right to govern, because he is not so capable of doing it. Whether he will become capable we do not know, nor does anybody else. The experience of three thousand years is against him, but during those years he never had the guidance of another and higher race, and never accepted a creed which strengthened him as Mahom- medanism has strengthened the Houssas, or sc:ftened him, as undoubtedly Christianity has softened the emancipated blacks of Jamaica.

It has been pointed out that it is necessary in any plan of this kind to define a "black," or, as he would prefer to be called, a "man of colour,"—a feat which Americans have never yet succeeded in accomplishing. ' We'§liould define him as "a person of African origin, whose family bad not been crossed twice in succession with white blood," thus admitting all quadroons, octoroons, &c., into the white class. We think it most dangerous to exclude them, and believe that the inefficiency for which, and not for colour, we would disqualify pure negroes, does not exist in the mixed race. They often show, as we are now seeing in Cuba, and formerly saw in Hayti, great capacity for leadership ; and their permanent ambition is to be registered among white men. They would feel" exclusion excessively, and our object is not to depress this or that race, but to secure the means of happiness to the blacks without depriving the whites of that leadership which it is better they should have, and which, in the long- run, they will inevitably take, if necessary, by the sword. We want, in fact, Christian principle and the facts of life to be thoroughly harmonised ; to give up lying about a non-existent equality, and to put down oppression but not variations of political grade.