The bulletin of Atlanta University
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Number 171 Atlanta, Georgia March, 1907 Negro Crime and Its Cure The reports of the Atlanta University Conference would probably reach a wider reading public if they were more popular in method and in style of publishing. Rev. Dr. Wilmer, rector of St. Luke's Church in this city, and one of our Trustees, has popularized the last issued report in an address before the Sociological Society. Using the Atlanta riots as a text for his address, Dr. Wilmer unqualifiedly and vigorously condemns the lynch law, showing that it is utterly futile as a de- terrent of crime. He urges a dispassionate consideration of the facts, the better to learn the right method of preventing crime and dealing with criminals. In discussing the causes of crime he quotes directly from the Atlanta Conference Report, commending its list of the Faults of the Negroes in these words: "Bearing in mind that this analysis of the Negro is made by educated Negroes themselves, does it not appear that there is a commendable lack of attempt to "whitewash" their own race? Does not the analysis breathe the scientific spirit, born of a desire to get at the truth? This ought to make us at least patient toward what the same sociological students say of the whites in the same connection." Under the head of The Cure of Crime, Dr. Wilmer quotes the "Appeal to Whites" of the Conference and comments on it: The conference appeals to the white people of Georgia for six things: Fairer criminal laws; justice in the courts; the abolition of state traffic in crime for public revenue and private gain; more intelligent methods of punishment; the refusal to allow free labor to be displaced by convict labor, and finally, a wider recognition of the fact that honest, intelligent, law-abiding black men are safer neighbors than ignorant, underpaid serfs, because it is the latter class that breeds dangerous crime. "Is there anything in that appeal that is unreasonable? And, on the whole, do not these extracts from "A Social Study," made almost entirely by colored men, suggest that we may gain help in protecting our own race from Negro crime by working in conjunction with the best Negro minds?" This address is of peculiar interest because it is delivered by a Southern white man to Southern white people. On this account also it is especially gratifying to us, for we can have no greater encouragement than testimony to the fact that our neighbors appreciate the work which we are doing. Our printing office has issued the address in leaflet form, and we shall gladly send it to any who wish to read it. Ex=Governor Northen's Campaign for Law and Order In a recent letter to the Atlanta Georgian and News Ex-Governor Northen reports the progress of his work, under the auspices of the Business Men's Gospel Union, looking to the better adjustment of the relations between the races in the State. He has visited seventy-three counties in the interest of this cause. In all but three he has received hearty support. For political reasons, however, he finds it hard to gain the general support of the daily press in the State outside of Atlanta. The Home Herald, the Savannah Press, and the Atlanta papers stand heartily with the Governor, but other papers fail to give him the editorial support which his worthy efforts merit. One editor, whose name he does not give, writes, "You are exactly correct in mentioning the gravity of the race problem as affects the future welfare of Georgia. We have considered, and still do, that in the race problem, silence is golden." But without the help of polititians or papers the work goes forward encouragingly. In the seventy counties which have responded, the best and most conservative business men are giving their services on committees for the prevention of all lawlessness and crime. It is the purpose to have these committees cooperate with similiar committees among the Negroes in a civic league to preserve law and order. We wish Governor Northen all success in this noble undertaking to which he is devoting himself with such earnestness, and trust that he will be able through the forces at his command so to mould public opinion that it will be to the advantage of both papers and polititians to flock to his standard. Mistaken Identity The March Scroll quotes the following amusing item from the Ladies' Home Journal, remarking that it is of interest to us because the Johnson side of the firm of Cole and Johnson is represented by two brothers, both of whom were formerly students at Atlanta University and one of whom, J. W. Johnson, is a graduate of the class of 1894. An intelligent Southern woman, judging from her handwriting and the appearance of her letter, writes: "Our local paper says you have accepted a musical composition by------------, of this city. He is a Negro, and I protest against having Southern music portrayed by a Negro. No Negro can reflect correctly the music of our people. Negroes do not know the finer musical feelings of the Southern people. Portray our music, yes : we will welcome it. But it must be done by white people: do it as you did in the compositions of Southern Negro life of Cole and Johnson. They came very close to being classics of their kind: we accept them gladly and unreservedly as good musically and as correctly reflective. But no Negro can do this!" Peonage Defined by Attorney General In answer to a resolution regarding the expenditures of the national department of justice in prosecuting peonage cases in Florida, Attorney General Bonaparte has made a statement from which we quote the following: The crime in question amounts substantially to selling into or retaining in involuntary servitude persons who fail to pay alleged debts, which pretended debts are often fictitious, extortionate, or fraudulent. Such action not only involves a flagrant violation of the statute law and of constitutional rights, but is repugnant to the enlightened opinion of modern times in all civilized countries. Moreover, the testimony taken in recent cases, and other credible information furnished the department, show that the treatment of these captives is often brutal and revolting to every instinct of humanity. In view of these facts, the department has felt confident that it would receive a cordial support from the congress and from the public opinion in doing all that might lie in its power to prevent crimes of this nature and to bring those guilty of them to adequate punishment. Rev. E. J. Penney, '76, was with us one morning in February and conducted the morning chapel exercises.
|Title||The bulletin of Atlanta University, 1907 no. 171|
Universities & colleges
|Description||The bulletin of Atlanta University was a publication sent to faculty, friend and alumni of the institution; Telling of the institution's progress and present needs. This issue is March 1907, no. 171.|
|Holding Library||Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center|