Blease, Vardaman, Hardwick and Company


W.E.B. Du Bois


April 1, 1918

It is no mere coincidence that the President of the United States in publicly naming those who have opposed his administration and made his war program difficult should name the most conspicuous of those who have led the campaign of anti-Negro propaganda. Hardwick was elected to Congress from Georgia on a platform the chief plank of which was the repeal of the Fifteenth Amendment; Vardaman of Mississippi has gone further than any American living or dead in capitalizing race hatred for political gain; and Blease is a demagogue of the Tillman type, with none of Tillman’s redeeming features. It is logical and deeply significant that precisely these Negro haters and fomentors of domestic strife are the ones whose defeat is most strongly demanded by those who wish to win the war against German despotism. Is this not significant, fellow Negroes?

The hatred and despising of men; the doctrine of innate and inborn racial superiority; the determination to settle spiritual values by physical force; the restriction of human sympathies to a minority of human beings—all these things are characteristic of German imperialism and of Blease, Vardaman, Hardwick and— Hoke Smith. To be sure this last name is missing from the President’s list, but Smith is not up for re-election this year.


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1918. “Blease, Vardaman, Hardwick and Company.” The Crisis 16 (6): 268–69.