Of all the conflicts between the Democrats and the Socialists in Caddo, nothing seemed to upset the editor of the Caddo Herald more than the idea that the Socialists embraced the Negroes as equals. In the August 7, 1914 issue of the paper, in his regular feature “What Socialism Stands for”, Mr. Carraway makes the following statements:
“Clarence E. Darrow, a Chicago lawyer and perhaps one of the foremost socialists of the United States, in an address to the National Negro Committee, in Cooper Union, New York, on the night of May 10, 1910, said: ‘It may be a long way in the future, but intermarriage between the races will finally settle all difficulties as it has with the Irish and Germans, and other people who had to be formally kept apart to preserve the peace. It is not the color that causes the distinction between the Negroes and the white people. The real basis is that the Negroes were once slaves and are now in the ranks of labor. It is a race question rather than a race problem that the way for a Negro to gain recognition is to cast his lot with the poor and fight with them and for them.’
In other words, according to Darrow, if the Negro will cast his lot with the socialists they will embrace him as a brother and “Kumrid” and will help him to solve the race problem by giving their sons and daughters in marriage to the Negroes. He can not mean anything else, he says it in words so plain that even a fool may not misunderstand the meaning.
(A few more long quotes from Darrow about fellowship with Negro workers.)
Do you think there can be any mistake as to the socialist position in regard to the Negro? If you believe that your sons are none too good to marry Negro wenches and that your daughters should not be above marrying a n___ buck, then you should join the socialist party—it is the only political party that has gone on record as in favor of amalgamation of the white and Negro races. It is the only political party that has ever tried to regulate the family, home, religion and prescribe the clothes that you wear and what you shall have for your daily meals. There it is, if you like, take it, it’s your privilege to go to hell if you want to.”
**Perhaps this is enough of the Socialist issue for a while. There is more in the paper- two years worth, but it doesn’t sound very different from this piece. I think studying editorials like this one is important. It gives us a greater understanding of the basis for problems and situations that occurred later. If you look at Caddo’s history on a timeline you will see that many events, both good and bad, didn’t just “happen”, but rather “evolved” as a result of what came before. When you read about the KKK or the race riots or lynchings, remember this piece. And when I post an article about Caddo boosters tomorrow compare the tone of the two pieces, written only weeks apart, by the same editor.