Take Your Choice
Separation or Mongrelization

By Theodore G. Bilbo


WHEN SENATOR BILBO introduced his Greater Liberia bill (Full copy of this bill will be found in Appendix A in the United States Senate, April 24th, 1939, more than three-fourths of the Senate Gallery was occupied by Negro delegates whose several organizations had produced a giant Negro Petition asking Federal aid for Negroes who desire to migrate to Liberia and settle upon the lands held in trust by that country for American Negro colonists. The names in support of the Petition were listed fifty to each single sheet of paper, and totaled approximately two and one half million names. The Virginia General Assembly had memorialized the Congress to grant aid to Negroes who desire to continue the colonization of Liberia. The Senate of Mississippi had gone on record as favoring Federal aid for Negroes who desire to live in a Negro nation, and had proposed that the Federal Government should negotiate with France and Great Britain for large areas of land adjacent to Liberia to widen the borders of that country, payment for these lands to be credited upon debts owed by France and Great Britain to the United States. Such was the immediate support, white and black, which Senator Bilbo presented for his bill.

But there was another form of support for his measure, that given by eminent American statesmen to the cause of Negro colonization. With the Negro Petition stacked in front of him and with a large number of Negro delegates intent upon his every word, Senator Bilbo, in a speech of more than two hours duration ably set forth the efforts made by Jefferson and Lincoln, and by other eminent Americans, to effect the colonization of the Negro.

He pointed out that the efforts of Jefferson had been thwarted by the Slave Power, and that Lincoln's ideals had been repudiated and his plans reversed by a faction in Lincoln's own political party. Jefferson and Lincoln knew that a race problem is a biological one that cannot be solved save by separating the races, or by their blood amalgamation. This view of the race problem was advanced by Senator Bilbo in his introductory speech. The Negro petitions were received and by direction of the Vice President were referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. The bill (S. 2231) was not brought to a hearing because of the impending war. Senator Bilbo intends to bring forward the bill, or a similar measure, at an early period and his book with which we here deal gives evidence of the need and the feasibility of a racial separation movement.

In the pages which follow the reader will find oftimes repeated the statement that a race problem arising from a contact of races is of a nature that precludes any form of solution save SEPARATION of the races or their blood AMALGAMATION. This analysis of the race question is a true one, and is known as well to the Negroes as it is to the whites. Neither race doubts that, if the Negro is not given a home of his own, the blood of the two races will tend to form a composite race and that the United States will eventually be a negroid nation. Separation and amalgamation are alternatives, and from these alternatives there can be no escape. Senator Bilbo presents the alternatives in the title of his work, TAKE YOUR CHOICE - SEPARATION OR MONGRELIZATION.

It is evident that the Negroes who had signed the Petition had taken their choice, that of racial separation. The text will show that their choice was in alignment with the expressed choice of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Clay, Webster, Fillmore, Lincoln, Grant, and other great Americans.

In keeping with the high ideals of the nation's greatest statesmen, the Greater Liberia bill proposes Federal assistance of such nature as to place this measure among the noblest gestures that have been made by one race to another. The Negroes sensed the spirit of this bill. They did all that they could do to show their appreciation. The officials of the various groups of Negro Nationalists sent letters of thanks to the Virginia General Assembly for that body having memorialized the Congress on their behalf. These letters of thanks were later published in pamphlet form under title of, THREE MILLION NEGROES THANK THE STATE OF VIRGINIA.

But the Negro race, like the white, is divided on the question of racial separation as a solution of the race problem. A portion of the Negroes, and a portion of the whites, take their choice, that of blood amalgamation. These elements, black and white, favor a general miscegenation of the races as the text will show. There is no evidence that the miscegenationists constitute any great proportion of either race, but they are voluble and are producing considerable miscegenation literature.

The miscegenationists confront the alternatives of separation or amalgamation, and choose the latter boldly, supporting their position by advancing a philosophy which denies the validity of race. They say that man, regardless of his several biological variations, is essentially the same; that race is constituted of biological evidences which are "superficial," and for that reason races are "equal." The miscegenationists, however, are weakened by their own conclusions for if races are "equal" it is difficult to see that any biological advantage would flow from commingling them.

In dealing with those who desire to maintain race, Senator Bilbo is exceptionally considerate. Here, there will be found no harshness in ideal or in statement. But when he deals with those who propose to eliminate the white type of man from the United States and substitute for it a generalized mulatto type he trades blows with the miscegenationists in a manner that they can understand. He denies their theory of the equality of races and quotes many authorities in support of his thesis.

The greater number of whites, I would say, have but an inkling of the ferment that is in a considerable portion of the Negro race in relation to the matter of social equalization of the white and Negro races. This agitation is led almost wholly by certain mixbreeds, the products of race mixing and the advocates of it. The text sets forth in detail this phase of the subject. Far from the author resting his case on dogmatic statements the text will include quotes from numerous authors with citations of their works. In fact Senator Bilbo has produced an assemblage of information upon the race question that most certainly has not been exceeded by any other publication dealing with this subject.

In the latter part of the book there will be found a survey of the cause of Negro colonization during the period of our national history. It has been my good fortune to have been closely associated for more than two decades with the Negro Nationalist leaders who are striving to continue the colonization of Liberia. A very large number of American Negroes hope for a Negro nation in the land of their forefathers. Senator Bilbo has made a great contribution in this field of study. I believe that his historical summary of the "Back to Africa" urge of the American Negro is the most comprehensive survey yet made of this subject. This survey has required much research. When he brings forward his colonization bill his own research will have established that his proposal is not a novel one, but has historical antecedent in proposals made by many of the greatest Americans, white and black.

Richmond, Virginia
August 1, 1946

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