Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/388

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the wealthy and more book-learned classes than the common people possess or appreciate.

It means that Democratic principles must be followed by individual citizens as well as by the aggregated party, that they must oppose the petty boss in their own caucuses, and the arrogant majority in their own town, when these attempt to coerce the rights of the masses or change the self-governing principle of the free town.

On June 28, he had this to say in defense of the American negro, whose social rights were and are ignored in the North, as his political rights have been denied in the South:

Clement Garnett Morgan, the colored graduate of Harvard, who delivered the class oration last week, held his own manfully. His oration was as good as the average and very like all the others, just as Clement Garnett Morgan is like all other Harvard graduates, except in the color of his skin. Men who have traveled and observed and reflected know that all men are like each other; that the same keyboard touches all their notes; that a black, red, yellow or white skin has no deeper significance; and that there is no greater difference between "races" than between individuals of the same race. But for all that, the position of Clement Garnett Morgan is an unhappy one; for the average American person calling himself an "Anglo-Saxon" is the most mulish of all men in claiming superiority for his own little part of the human family. To him the black man is an inferior, as the brown man is to his British relative in India. If he can throttle a man. and rob his house, that proves that he was created to "govern" him. This colored boy was elected class orator in Harvard partly through class dissensions and partly through the noble instincts of youth still "uncorrected" by society and experience. When his oration was ended, and Morgan stepped out of Harvard and into the world, he ceased to be a "gentleman" and an equal, and at one descent fell to the level of "the nigger," who could never be invited to one's house or proposed at one's club, who would be refused a room at nearly all leading hotels, even in the North, and who would not be tolerated even in church in the half-empty pew of polite worshipers. Clement Garnett Morgan has trials and heart-burnings before him, and we wish him strength and wisdom to bear them. We trust that he, who spoke so well of "vicarious suffering" in his oration last week will feel, that by his superior mental training he is called upon not to evade but to take the blow meant for his colored brethren. Few men have so great a cause nowadays as this educated negro representing ten millions ostracized Americans. These are dignity and power in his hand if he be true to himself, which consists in being true to his people. Let no weak nerve