The Next Step (1913)

The Next Step (1913)

The vicious attempts to degrade colored women in Washington, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and the District of Columbia have been killed by the defeat of the intermarriage bills.

But let no Negro be deceived. This is but the first step and the Negro haters may congratulate themselves on the good showing made in the North. They will hasten to try again.

For this we must be prepared. Do not let the organized effort so well shown be lost. Make the organization permanent. Make it a branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People if possible. Then proceed to systematic work.

Get the records of the men who introduced these bills and supported them. Find out their future intentions. If they propose to persist, go to the party leaders. Put the argument strongly before them. If they cannot dissuade the men from their purpose, then make every effort to defeat them at the primaries. Do not wait for elections, but defeat them at the primary elections.

If the vicious, promoters of race hatred succeed in being nominated, then use every effort to defeat them. No matter what parties they belong to, it is our duty to vote for the opposite party.

Here then is two years’ work for an organization. Only in this way can we win our battle. Will you do it?

You will, if you love this land, for the greatest menace to the well-being of the United States lies in the fact that there are ten millions of people in this country who can be treated in certain unreasonable and uncivilized ways without arousing in the minds of the mass of the people of the United States any thought of protest.

Citation: Du Bois, W.E.B. 1913. “The Next Step.” The Crisis. 6(2):79.