Our Negro Citizens
THE POLITICAL and economic status of our citizens of Negro blood assumes an importance in the election of 1944 which has not been equalled since the period immediately following the Civil War. The Negro people and their spokesmen both in the North and in the South know this; thoughtful Americans of whatever racial background know it; our enemies and our allies know it. Only those leaders of our two political parties who wrote and influenced the party platforms apparently have failed to grasp the import of this fact.
The war has given new opportunities to the Negro and at the same time has emphasized the injustices in our attitude toward him. More than that, it has made us conscious of the contradictions between our treatment of our Negro minority and the ideals for which we are fighting. The equitable treatment of racial minorities in America is basic to our chance for a just and lasting peace. For it cannot be too much emphasized that in the world today whatever we do at home affects our foreign policy, and whatever we do abroad affects our domestic policy. The two are necessarily interrelated. On no single question is this truth so inescapable as in the repercussions all around the world that result from our treatment at home of our colored citizens.
One of the widespread consequences of this war is the growing determination among colonial, subject and minority peoples everywhere to win for themselves a share of the freedom for which the allied nations are fighting. This is the great quest of our time. To future historians it may well overshadow all other aspects of the present conflict. We, as Americans, cannot be on one side abroad and the other at home. We cannot expect small nations and men of other races and colors to credit the good faith of our professed purposes and to join us in international