“An Appeal to the Soul of White America” by Marcus Garvey

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“The Problem with Europeans and Asians is Europeans and Asians, the Solution for Africans is Africans”An African Blood Siblings Core Tenet

In 1923, Marcus Garvey wrote “an Appeal to the Soul of White America.”  There he communicated the realities of Racial Cohabitation and the Genocidal Program Europeans have for Africans (see “We Charge Genocide [1951]”).  Ninety-years later, we see his foresight.  Since 1923, the U.S. Population has tripled.  In America, only one Race produces therefore only one Race employs.  Production is rapidly being outsourced.  We need to do the math.  Production rapidly decreases so Employment rapidly decreases; Population rapidly increases so Employees rapidly increase.  When Employment decreases and Employees increase unrest and conflict are expected.  The victim is the weaker, less essential Race.  Already Europeans line up at the Mexican Border and shoot and kill immigrants.  These same Europeans also condemn Africans to living out their lives in perpetual servitude in prison (See “Why do Black Youth go to Prison?”.)  More, we turn on our own flesh because there are no other opportunities but Piracy–see “the Origin of Gangs.”

Marcus Garvey appeals to the Soul of White America which is strange to say the least.  The European’s soul justifies this oppression (see “Occidentals”).  The European is not only at war with Africans, but as pointed out in an African Blood Siblings meeting, he sees an unusual beauty in death, whether he’s marveling at a dead deer, a fallen oak, the dining set carved from an aged tree, or Ancient KMT (Egypt,) the European likes his possessions controlled or dead, to appeal to their soul is to appeal to our Oppression.  It’s worth noting that in a separate document Marcus Garvey understood speaking in public and private were two different things and in private he made it clear that we must understand this enemy.

This appeal is interesting for its foresight.  The response afterward interests too.

As seen in Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (emphasis mine) [Full Text here]

An Appeal to the Soul of White America
(Written October 2, 1923)

Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. Matt. V. 9.

Surely the soul of liberal, philanthropic, liberty-loving, white America is not dead.

It is true that the glamor of materialism has, to a great degree, destroyed the innocence and purity of the national conscience, but, still, beyond our politics, beyond our soulless industrialism, there is a deep feeling of human sympathy that touches the soul of white America, upon which the unfortunate and sorrowful can always depend for sympathy, help and action.

It is to that feeling that I appeal for four hundred million Negroes of the world, and fifteen millions of America in particular.

There is no real white man in America, who does not desire a solution of the Negro problem. Each thoughtful citizen has probably his own idea of how the vexed question of races should be settled. To some the Negro could be gotten rid of by wholesale butchery, by lynching, by economic starvation, by a return to slavery, and legalized oppression, while others would have the problem solved by seeing the race all herded together and kept somewhere among themselves; but a few — those in whom they have an interest — should be allowed to live around as the wards of a mistaken philanthropy; yet, none so generous as to desire to see the Negro elevated to a standard of real progress and prosperity, welded into a homogeneous whole, creating of themselves a mighty nation, with proper systems of government, civilization and culture, to mark them admissible to the fraternities of nations and races without any disadvantage.

I do not desire to offend the finer feelings and sensibilities of those white friends of the race who really believe that they are kind and considerate to us as a people; but I feel it my duty to make a real appeal to conscience and not to belief. Conscience is solid, convicting and permanently demonstrative; belief is only a matter of opinion, changeable by superior reasoning. Once the belief was that it was fit and proper to hold the Negro as a slave, and in this the bishop, priest and layman agreed. Later on, they changed their belief or opinion, but at all times, the conscience of certain people dictated to them that it was wrong and inhuman to hold human beings as slaves. It is to such a conscience in white America that I am addressing myself.

Negroes are human beings — the peculiar and strange opinions of writers, ethnologists, philosophers, scientists and anthropologists notwithstanding. They have feelings, souls, passions, ambitions, desires, just as other men, hence they must be considered.

Has white America really considered the Negro in the light of permanent human progress? The answer is NO.

Men and women of the white race, do you know what is going to happen if you do not think and act now? One of two things. You are either going to deceive and keep the Negro in your midst until you have perfectly completed your wonderful American civilization with its progress of art, science, industry and politics, and then, jealous of your own success and achievements in those directions, and with the greater jealousy of seeing your race pure and unmixed, cast him off to die in the whirlpool of economic starvation, thus getting rid of another race that was not intelligent enough to live, or, you simply mean by the largeness of your hearts to assimilate fifteen million Negroes into the social fraternity of an American race, that will neither be white nor black! Don’t be alarmed! We must prevent both consequences. No real race loving white man wants to destroy the purity of his race, and no real Negro conscious of himself, wants to die, hence there is room for an understanding, and an adjustment. And that is just what we seek.

Let white and black stop deceiving themselves. Let the white race stop thinking that all black men are dogs and not to be considered as human beings. Let foolish Negro agitators and socalled reformers, encouraged by deceptive or unthinking white associates, stop preaching and advocating the doctrine of “social equality,” meaning thereby the social intermingling of both races, intermarriages, and general social co-relationship. The two extremes will get us nowhere, other than breeding hate, and encouraging discord, which will eventually end disastrously to the weaker race.

Some Negroes, in the quest of position and honor, have been admitted to the full enjoyment of their constitutional rights. Thus we have some of our men filling high and responsible government positions, others, on their own account, have established themselves in the professions, commerce and industry. This, the casual onlooker, and even the men themselves, will say carries a guarantee and hope of social equality, and permanent racial progress. But this is the mistake. There is no progress of the Negro in America that is permanent, so long as we have with us the monster evil — prejudice.

Prejudice we shall always have between black and white, so long as the latter believes that the former is intruding upon their rights. So long as white laborers believe that black laborers are taking and holding their jobs, so long as white artisans believe that black artisans are performing the work that they should do; so long as white men and women believe that black men and women are filling the positions that they covet; so long as white political leaders and statesmen believe that black politicians and statesmen are seeking the same positions in the nation’s government; so long as white men believe that black men want to associate with, and marry white women, then we will ever have prejudice, and not only prejudice, but riots, lynchings, burnings, and God to tell what next will follow!

It is this danger that drives me mad. It must be prevented. We cannot allow white and black to drift along unthinkingly toward this great gulf and danger, that is nationally ahead of us. It is because of this that I speak, and now call upon the soul of great white America to help.

It is no use putting off. The work must be done, and it must be started now.

Some people have misunderstood me. Some don’t want to understand me. But I must explain myself for the good of the world and humanity.

Those of the Negro race who preach social equality, and who are working for an American race that will, in complexion, be neither white nor black, have tried to misinterpret me to the white public, and create prejudice against my work. The white public, not stopping to analyze and question the motive behind criticisms and attacks, aimed against new leaders and their movements, condemn without even giving a chance to the criticised, to be heard. Those of my own race who oppose me because I refuse to endorse their program of social arrogance and social equality, gloat over the fact that by their misrepresentation and underhand methods, they were able to have me convicted and imprisoned for crime which they calculate will so discredit me as to destroy the movement that I represent, in opposition to their program of a new American race; but we will not now consider the opposition to a program or a movement, but state the facts as they are, and let deep souled white America pass its own judgment.

In another one hundred years white America will have doubled its population; in another two hundred years it will have trebled itself. The keen student must realize that the centuries ahead will bring us an over-crowded country; opportunities, as the population grows larger, will be fewer; the competition for bread between the people of their own class will become keener, and so much more so will there be no room for two competitive races, the one strong, and the other weak. To imagine Negroes as district attorneys, judges, senators, congressmen, assemblymen, aldermen, government clerks and officials, artisans and laborers at work, while millions of white men starve, is to have before you the bloody picture of wholesale mob violence that I fear, and against which I am working.

No preaching, no praying, no presidential edict will control the passion of hungry unreasoning men of prejudice when the hour comes. It will not come, I pray, in our generation, but it is of the future that I think and for which I work.

A generation of ambitious Negro men and women, out from the best colleges, universities and institutions, capable of filling the highest and best positions in the nation, in industry, commerce, society and politics! Can you keep them back? If you do so they will agitate and throw your constitution in your faces. Can you stand before civilization and deny the truth of your constitution? What are you going to do then? You who are just will open the door of opportunity and say to all and sundry, “Enter in.” But, ladies and gentlemen, what about the mob, that starving crowd of your own race? Will they stand by, suffer and starve, and allow an opposite, competitive race to prosper in the midst of their distress? If you can conjure these things up in your mind, then you have the vision of the race problem of the future in America.

There is but one solution, and that is to provide an outlet for Negro energy, ambition, and passion, away from the attractions of white opportunity and surround the race with opportunities of its own. If this is not done, and if the foundation for same is not laid now, then the consequence will be sorrowful for the weaker race, and disgraceful to our ideals of justice, and shocking to our civilization.

The Negro must have a country and a nation of his own. If you laugh at the idea, then you are selfish and wicked, for you and your children do not intend that the Negro shall discommode you in yours. If you do not want him to have a country and a nation of his own; if you do not intend to give him equal opportunities in yours. then it is plain to see that you mean that he must die, even as the Indian, to make room for your generations.

Why should the Negro die? Has he not served America and the world? Has he not borne the burden of civilization in this Western world for three hundred years? Has he not contributed of his best to America? Surely all this stands to his credit. But there will not be enough room and the one answer is “find a place.” We have found a place; it is Africa, and as black men for three centuries have helped white men build America, surely generous and grateful white men will help black men build Africa.

And why shouldn’t Africa and America travel down the ages as protectors of human rights and guardians of democracy? Why shouldn’t black men help white men secure and establish universal peace? We can only have peace when we are just to all mankind; and for that peace, and for the reign of universal love, I now appeal to the soul of white America. Let the Negroes have a government of their own. Don’t encourage them to believe that they will become social equals and leaders of the whites in America, without first on their own account proving to the world that they are capable of evolving a civilization of their own. The white race can best help the Negro by telling him the truth and not by flattering him into believing that he is as good as any white man without first proving the racial, national, constructive metal of which he is made.

Stop flattering the Negro about social equality, and tell him to go to work and build for himself. Help him in the direction of doing for himself, and let him know that self-progress brings its own reward.

I appeal to the considerate and thoughtful conscience of white America not to condemn the cry of the Universal Negro Improvement Association for a nation in Africa for Negroes, but to give us a chance to explain ourselves to the world. White America is too big, and when informed and touched, too liberal, to turn down the cry of the awakened Negro for “a place in the sun.”

Racial Reforms and Reformers
Who thinks of the poor but the poor? The rich and self-satisfied are too busily engaged in the enjoyment of their own pleasures, and the patronage of their own class, to halt to any great extent to give the underdogs of human society a thought that would help them rise above their condition.

The missionary work that is being done to lift the unfortunate to the height of a new social order is surrounded with hypocrisy and professionalism; hence, its usefulness is not seen or felt among those to be served.

As in the struggle to lift the unfortunate poor we have no real, honest effort; so, in the struggle of race to find a place in the affairs of the world, we get very little, if any, sympathy and encouragement from the progressive and successful.

There is a vast difference between the white and black races. The two are at extremes. One is dazzlingly prosperous and progressive; the other is abjectly poor and backward.

The fight is to lift the backward and non-progressive to the common standard of progress and civilization; but, apparently, no appreciable number of the prosperous and progressive desire this change. The selfishness of class and monopoly of standing seem to dictate a prejudice of race that creates a barrier to the accepted Christian belief that all men are brothers, and a God is our common Father.

In this conflict of life each human being finds a calling. Some of us are called to be preachers, ministers of the Gospel, politicians, statesmen, industrialists, teachers, philosophers, laborers and reformers. To the reformer, above all, falls the duty or obligation of improving human society, not to the good of the selfish few, but to the benefit of the greatest number.

Persecution of Reformers

The history of the world and of the human race tells us the story of the reformer, of his trials, persecution and suffering in his efforts to reach the heart of man, in creating there a common sympathy for his brother. If it was not a Christ, it was a St. Augustine, a Luther or a Caesar, Alfred the Great, Garibaldi, Lincoln or a McSwiney. But all down the line of human progress we have met the man ready to suffer and to die to make others free while a light-hearted, selfish populace laughs at him and passes by the effort.

Twentieth century humanity and civilization have not changed much, except to their discredit, since the time of Christ, Caesar and Lincoln. Christ sought to help and save a world of human souls, and His fellows nailed Him to a cross; Caesar, in the fullness of his human love and his patriotism to Rome, fought for the elevation of his countrymen, and the ascendency of his country, but there was one to strike him even to the fall at the base of Pompey’s statue; Lincoln, as stated, had a burning love for all humanity, not desiring to see half slave and half free, but all free, for the practice of which love he was shot by an assassin, and withal we have not gone far in solving the peace of the world. We are still in chaos. We are still drifting toward the universal pit of destruction, and that is why we need reformers now, those who are not afraid to suffer and die for a cause; men, despite the opposition of an organized social system, of a malicious and malignant school of oppression, who will stand up for the good of the larger humanity, and tell the world of its mistakes and blunders.

Revenge Guiding Force of Human Destruction

And it is here that we must call the attention of the white race to the wrong and injury that they are inflicting upon the rest of the world. It is all well for those who revel in their immediate power to turn a deaf ear to the cries of the suffering races, to oppress, exploit, and even murder them, but what of the consequence?

We live not by ourselves. It is either Providence, God, the First Cause or Nature — any one you wish to call it — that will call us to our judgment, not so much in the world to come, as in the retribution of our own lives; and when that time comes what will the white, once powerful and oppressive race say if another should be lifted to power and supported there by the Grace of Divine Authority?

History, religious and profane, have so many beautiful lessons to teach that none of us should doubt the wonders of God or Nature. In the one age or period the one race or people rule and triumph, while the other stalks under the heel of oppression — the Jews in Egypt, the Britons in Rome, the Negroes in America — to say nothing of the rest in Europe and Asia who have had similar experiences. What do we gather therefrom, but the spirit of revenge, a spirit that has traveled up to the twentieth century and which seems to be the guiding force of human destruction?

Why we have not gone farther in our civilization is because we are still fearful and suspicious of each other. We have done each other so many wrongs and inflicted so many injuries and injustices that we are just afraid to loosen up, believing that the other fellow’s time will come. It is natural, because of sin, for the robber to protect his loot; so do we find reason for even the powerful races to still crush and grind the less fortunate. The murderer has to continue murdering so as to protect his own life, but generally there is a hangman; so in the eternal fitness of things all human power hath an end, today for me, tomorrow for thee.

Good Will to All Will Save World

Realizing all that has been written is reason why the world’s greatest reformers strive to make a human race with love and sympathies, not having the one group, whether white or black, hating the other, but living in peace, good will and brotherhood without endangering the rights of either. It is such a reformation that will save the world; not the building of battleships, guns, aeroplanes or the invention of gas, but a reasonable coming together of the human groups that will rescue us from our human doom.

If the great statesmen and religious leaders of the world would only forget the selfishness of their own races, and call their conferences and give out their edicts not from the Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic, Celtic or Anglo-American point of view, but from the view of all humanity considered, then we would indeed come face to face with a new world evolving a new civilization.

Friends, white cannot prosper to the disadvantage of black. Yellow cannot prosper to the disadvantage of brown, for in so doing we but pile up confusion and remorse for our children. This is history; it tells the tales of the past, it will of the future. Then why not make the future right?

Few the reformers are who struggle for such an ideal. Here and there a white man and a woman, a yellow, brown and black man, while the great army of selfish pleasure-seekers and their slaves march on to their doom. Gandhi in prison, a George V. in his castle; a Congo native massacred; an Albert of Belgium drinking his wine; a Senegalese Negro kicked on the plantation of his master; a Poincare driving in his landau in the Champs d’Elysees; a Negro lynched in Georgia; a Wilson, Harding or Coolidge talking about a world court or league; a Chinaman shot down at Kia Chow and the Emperor of Japan drinking tea in his palace at Tokio; a Jew murdered on the borders of Eastern Europe, and His Holiness the Pope seeing no further than the Vatican, will not save the human race. But that lonely man or woman, of whatsoever race, who cries out for justice to all humanity, including Europe with its whites, Asia with its browns and yellows, Africa with its blacks, and America and the rest of the world with their mixed populations, will, even though there be persecution and injustice done to him, bring succor and aid, late though it be, to the rest of us mortals that we may see everlasting life.

Black Reform

There is a fraternity of humanitarians, unknown though it be, that is working for a true solution of our human problems. Wilberforce, Clarkston, Buxton, Lovejoy, John Brown, white though they were, had the vision of the future of men. They worked for the freedom of black humanity, therefore, in the midst of our sorrow and in the racial thought of revenge come up the spirits of such great humanitarians that silence the tongue of evil; as in the white race, so among the blacks, our beautiful spirits stand out, for wasn’t there a Douglass, a Washington and even the typical Uncle Tom?

We hope that the humanitarians of today of all races will continue to work in furtherance of that ideal — justice, liberty, freedom and true human independence, knowing thereby no color or no race.

The Negro of the world, and America in particular, needs a national homeland with opportunities and privileges like all other peoples. If we work and fight for this why should others jeer and laugh at us? Why should they say that we are “ignorant” and “benighted”? Was it ignorance to free Britain from the grasp of the invader? Was it ignorance to free America from the heel of the oppressor? Was it ignorance to liberate France from the yoke of the tyrant? Surely not. Then why is it ignorant for Negroes to work for the restoration of their country, Africa?

Broad and liberal-minded white men, although surrounded by the selfishness of a material environment, will not condemn and persecute the work of even black reform, but for justice’s sake give unto each and everyone his due.

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