UNDER THE leadership of Lincoln, in the fires of Civil War, the Republican Party's struggle to save the union was transposed into the great moral issue of human freedom. By the Emancipation Proclamation and by amendments to the Federal Constitution, under Republican leadership, the Negro was legally and constitutionally guaranteed exactly the same rights as every other citizen of the United States.
It is therefore strange that Republicans, year after year, yield to the old states rights argument and a narrow interpretation of federal power, to prevent the passage of federal statutes which constitute the only practical method by which the Negro's rights can be assured him.
One of these basic rights is the right to vote. Another is the right to live free of the haunting fear and the too-frequent actuality of mob violence. The first can be guaranteed, under the circumstances existing today, only by a federal statute eliminating state poll taxes and other arbitrary prohibitions against the free exercise of the voting franchise; the other, only by a federal statute making the crime of lynching tryable in federal courts and punishable by federal law.
The Republican Party in its platform and in the declarations of its candidates should commit itself unequivocally and specifically to federal anti-poll tax and anti-lynching statutes.
The Negro people of the United States understandably refuse to accept the technical arguments against cloture in the debates on anti-poll tax and anti-lynching bills, or even the sincere claims of constitutionalism which prevent such just measures from becoming law. And the very fact that the Republican Party was the instrumentality through which the Negroes were given freedom makes them the more resentful