It is very common to hear people speak as though it was Republican/conservatives/Christians that opposed intermarriage between black and whites (miscegenation), and that this attitude represented rank bigotry and amounted to open racism. This is a white-washing of history. The truth is that progressives and secularists thoroughly embraced anti-miscegenation. The reader can be assured that they did not believe that they were bigots! Far from it! They believed that they were operating on thoroughly scientific grounds (ie, on the basis of Darwinian evolution). Their motives were as sincere as the wind-driven snow. This can be seen in this chapter on miscegenation and its evolutionary implications, as penned by the eugenicist Paul Popenoe, an atheist, progressive, and humanist. [SOURCE]
CHAPTER XIV of APPLIED EUGENICS by Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson (1918)
THE COLOR LINE
“A young white woman, a graduate of a great university of the far North, where Negroes are seldom seen, resented it most indignantly when she was threatened with social ostracism in a city farther South with a large Negro population because she insisted upon receiving upon terms of social equality a Negro man who had been her classmate.”
The incident seems trivial. But the phenomenon back of it, the “color line,” is so far-reaching that it deserves careful examination.
As the incident suggests, the color line is not a universal phenomenon. The Germans appear to have little aversion to receiving Negroes–_in Germany_–on terms of equality. These same Germans, when brought face to face with the question in their colonies, or in the southern United States, quickly change their attitude. Similarly a Negro in Great Britain labors under much less disadvantage than he does among the British inhabitants of Australia or South Africa.
The color line therefore exists only as the result of race experience. This fact alone is sufficient to suggest that one should not dismiss it lightly as the outgrowth of bigotry. Is is not perhaps a social adaptation with survival value?
The purpose of this chapter is to analyze society’s “unconscious reasoning” which has led to the establishment of a color line–to the denial of social equality–wherever the white and black races have long been in contact during recent history; and to see whether this discrimination appears to be justified by eugenics.
M. Mecklin summarizes society’s logic as follows:
“When society permits the free social intercourse of two young persons of similar training and interests, it tacitly gives its consent to the possible legitimate results of such relations, namely, marriage. But marriage is not a matter that concerns the contracting parties alone; it is social in its origin and from society come its sanctions. It is society’s legitimatised method for the perpetuation of the race in the larger and inclusive sense of a continuous racial type which shall be the bearer of a continuous and progressive civilization. There are, however, within the community, two racial groups of such widely divergent physical and psychic characteristics that the blending of the two destroys the purity of the type of both and introduces confusion–the result of the blend is a mongrel. The preservation of the unbroken, self-conscious existence of the white or dominant ethnic group is synonymous with the preservation of all that has meaning and inspiration in its past and hope for its future. It forbids by law, therefore, or by the equally effective social taboo, anything that would tend to contaminate the purity of its stock or jeopardize the integrity of its social heritage.”
It is needless to say that the “social mind” does not consciously go through any such process of reasoning, before it draws a color line. The social mind rarely even attempts to justify its conclusions. It merely holds a general attitude of superiority, which in many cases appears to be nothing more than a feeling that another race is _different_.
In what way different?
The difference between the white race and the black (or any other race) might consist of two elements: (1) differences in heredity–biological differences; (2) differences in traditions, environment, customs–social differences, in short. A critical inquirer would want to know which kind of difference was greater, for he would at once see that the second kind might be removed by education and other social forces, while the first kind would be substantially permanent.
It is not difficult to find persons of prominence who will assert that all the differences between white and Negro are differences of a social nature, that the differences of a physical nature are negligible, and that if the Negro is “given a chance” the significant differences will disappear. This attitude permeates the public school system of northern states. A recent report on the condition of Negro pupils in the New York City public schools professes to give “few, perhaps no, recommendations that would not apply to the children of other races. Where the application is more true in regard to colored children, it seems largely to be because of this lack of equal justice in the cases of their parents. Race weakness appears but this could easily be balanced by the same or similar weakness in other races. Given an education carefully adapted to his needs and a fair chance for employment, the normal child of any race will succeed, unless the burden of wrong home conditions lies too heavily upon him.”
As the writer does not define what she means by “succeed,” one is obliged to guess at what she means: Her anthropology is apparently similar to that of Franz Boas of Columbia University, who has said that, “No proof can be given of any material inferiority of the Negro race;–without doubt the bulk of the individuals composing the race are equal in mental aptitude to the bulk of our own people.”
If such a statement is wholly true, the color line can hardly be justified, but must be regarded, as it is now the case sometimes, as merely the expression of prejudice and ignorance. If the only differences between white and black, which can not be removed by education, are of no real significance,–a chocolate hue of skin, a certain kinkiness of hair, and so on,–then logically the white race should remove the handicaps which lack of education and bad environment have placed on the Negro, and receive him on terms of perfect equality, in business, in politics, and in marriage.
The proposition needs only to be stated in this frank form, to arouse an instinctive protest on the part of most Americans. Yet it has been urged in an almost equally frank form by many writers, from the days of the abolitionists to the present, and it seems to be the logical consequence of the position adopted by such anthropologists as Professor Boas, and by the educators and others who proclaim that there are no significant differences between the Negro and the white, except such as are due to social conditions and which, therefore, can be removed.
But what are these social differences, which it is the custom to dismiss in such a light-hearted way? Are they not based on fundamental incompatibilities of racial temperament, which in turn are based on differences in heredity? Modern sociologists for the main part have no illusions as to the ease with which these differences in racial tradition and custom can be removed.
The social heritage of the Negro has been described at great length and often with little regard for fact, by hundreds of writers. Only a glance can be given the subject here, but it may profitably be asked what the Negro did when he was left to himself in Africa.
“The most striking feature of the African Negro is the low forms of social organization, the lack of industrial and political cooperation, and consequently the almost entire absence of social and national self-consciousness. This rather than intellectual inferiority explains the lack of social sympathy, the presence of such barbarous institutions as cannibalism and slavery, the low position of woman, inefficiency in the industrial and mechanical arts, the low type of group morals, rudimentary art-sense, lack of race-pride and self-assertiveness, and in intellectual and religious life largely synonymous with fetishism and sorcery.”
An elementary knowledge of the history of Africa, or the more recent and much-quoted example of Haiti, is sufficient to prove that the Negro’s own social heritage is at a level far below that of the whites among whom he is living in the United States. No matter how much one may admire some of the Negro’s individual traits, one must admit that his development of group traits is primitive, and suggests a mental development which is also primitive.
If the number of original contributions which it has made to the world’s civilization is any fair criterion of the relative value of a race, then the Negro race must be placed very near zero on the scale.
The following historical considerations suggest that in comparison with some other races the Negro race is germinally lacking in the higher developments of intelligence:
That the Negro race in Africa has never, by its own initiative, risen much above barbarism, although it has been exposed to a considerable range of environments and has had abundant time in which to bring to expression any inherited traits it may possess.
That when transplanted to a new environment–say, Haiti–and left to its own resources, the Negro race has shown the same inability to rise; it has there, indeed, lost most of what it had acquired from the superior civilization of the French.
That when placed side by side with the white race, the Negro race again fails to come up to their standard, or indeed to come anywhere near it. It is often alleged that this third test is an unfair one; that the social heritage of slavery must be eliminated before the Negro can be expected to show his true worth. But contrast his career in and after slavery with that of the Mamelukes of Egypt, who were slaves, but slaves of good stock. They quickly rose to be the real rulers of the country. Again, compare the record of the Greek slaves in the Roman republic and empire or that of the Jews under Islam. Without pushing these analogies too far, is not one forced to conclude that the Negro lacks in his germ-plasm excellence of some qualities which the white races possess, and which are essential for success in competition with the civilizations of the white races at the present day?
If so, it must be admitted not only that the Negro is _different_ from the white, but that he is in the large eugenically _inferior_ to the white.
This conclusion is based on the relative achievements of the race; it must be tested by the more precise methods of the anthropological laboratory. Satisfactory studies of the Negro should be much more numerous, but there are a few informative ones. Physical characters are first to be considered.
As a result of the careful measurement of many skulls, Karl Pearson has come to the following conclusions:
“There is for the best ascertainable characters a continuous relationship from the European skull, through prehistoric European, prehistoric Egyptian, Congo-Gaboon Negroes to Zulus and Kafirs.
“The indication is that of a long differentiated evolution, in which the Negro lies nearer to the common stem than the European; he is nearer to the childhood of man.”
This does not prove any mental inferiority: there is little or no relation between conformation of skull and mental qualities, and it is a great mistake to make hasty inferences from physical to mental traits. Bean and Mall have made studies directly on the brain, but it is not possible to draw any sure conclusions from their work. A. Hrdlicka found physical differences between the two races, but did not study traits of any particular eugenic significance.
On the whole, the studies of physical anthropologists offer little of interest for the present purpose. Studies of mental traits are more to the point, but are unfortunately vitiated in many cases by the fact that no distinction was made between full-blood Negroes and mulattoes, although the presence of white blood must necessarily have a marked influence on the traits under consideration. If the investigations are discounted when necessary for this reason, it appears that in the more elementary mental processes the two races are approximately equal. White and “colored” children in the Washington, D. C., schools ranked equally well in memory; the colored children were found to be somewhat the more sensitive to heat. Summing up the available evidence, G. O. Ferguson concludes that “in the so-called lower traits there is no great difference between the Negro and the white. In motor capacity there is probably no appreciable racial difference. In sense capacity, in perceptive and discriminative ability, there is likewise a practical equality.”
This is what one would, _a priori_, probably expect. But it is on the “higher” mental functions that race progress largely depends, and the Negro must be judged eugenically mainly by his showing in these higher functions. One of the first studies in this line is that of M. J. Mayo, who summarizes it as follows:
“The median age of white pupils at the time of entering high school in the city of New York is 14 years 6 months: of colored pupils 15 years 1 month–a difference of 7 months. The average deviation for whites is 9 months; for colored 15 months. Twenty-seven per cent of the whites are as old as the median age of the colored or older.
“Colored pupils remain in school a greater length of time than do the whites. For the case studied [150 white and 150 colored], the average time spent in high school for white pupils was 3.8 terms; for colored 4.5 terms. About 28% of the whites attain the average time of attendance for colored.
“Considering the entire scholastic record, the median mark of the 150 white pupils is 66; of the 150 colored pupils 62; a difference of 4%. The average deviation of white pupils is 7; of colored 6.5. Twenty-nine per cent. of the colored pupils reach or surpass the median mark of the whites.
“The white pupils have a higher average standing in all subjects … the colored pupils are about 3/4 as efficient as the whites in the pursuit of high school studies.”
This whole investigation is probably much too favorable to the Negro race, first because Negro high school pupils represent a more careful selection than do the white pupils; but most of all because no distinction was made between Negroes and mulattoes.
A. Phillips, studying the public elementary schools of Philadelphia, found that the percentage of retardation in the colored schools ranged from 72.8 to 58.2, while the percentage of retardation in the districts which contained the schools ranged from 45.1 to 33.3. The average percentage of retardation for the city as a whole was 40.3. Each of the colored schools had a greater percentage of retardation than any of the white schools, even those composed almost entirely of foreigners, and in those schools attended by both white and colored pupils the percentage of retardation on the whole varied directly with the percentage of colored pupils in attendance.
These facts might be interpreted in several ways. It might be that the curriculum was not well adapted to the colored children, or that they came from bad home environments, or that they differed in age, etc. Dr. Phillips accordingly undertook to get further light on the cause of retardation of the colored pupils by applying Binet tests to white and colored children of the same chronological age and home conditions, and found “a difference in the acceleration between the two races of 31% in favor of the white boys, 25% in favor of the white girls, 28% in favor of the white pupils with boys and girls combined.”
C. Strong, using the Binet-Simon tests, found colored school children of Columbia, S. C., considerably less intelligent than white children.
H. Pyle made an extensive test of 408 colored pupils in Missouri public schools and compared them with white pupils. He concludes: “In general the marks indicating mental ability of the Negro are about two-thirds those of the whites…. In the substitution, controlled association, and Ebbinghaus tests, the Negroes are less than half as good as the whites. In free association and the ink-blot tests they are nearly as good. In quickness of perception and discrimination and in reaction, the Negroes equal or excel the whites.”
“Perhaps the most important question that arises in connection with the results of these mental tests is: How far is ability to pass them dependent on environmental conditions? Our tests show certain specific differences between Negroes and whites. What these differences would have been had the Negroes been subject to the same environmental influences as the whites, it is difficult to say. The results obtained by separating the Negroes into two social groups would lead one to think that the conditions of life under which the negroes live might account for the lower mentality of the Negroes. On the other hand, it may be that the Negroes living under better social conditions are of better stock. They may have more white blood in them.”
The most careful study yet made of the relative intelligence of Negroes and whites is that of G. O. Ferguson, Jr., on 486 white and 421 colored pupils in the schools of Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Newport News, Va. Tests were employed which required the use of the “higher” functions, and as far as possible (mainly on the basis of skin-color) the amount of white blood in the colored pupils was determined. Four classes were made: full-blood Negro, 3/4 Negro, 1/2 Negro (mulatto) and 1/4 Negro (quadroon). It was found that “the pure Negroes scored 69.2% as high as the whites; that the 3/4 pure Negroes scored 73.2% as high as the whites; that the mulattoes scored 81.2% as high as the whites; and that the quadroons obtained 91.8% of the white score.” This confirms the belief of many observers that the ability of a colored man is proportionate to the amount of white blood he has.
Summarizing a large body of evidence, Dr. Ferguson concludes that “the intellectual performance of the general colored population is approximately 75% as efficient as that of the whites,” but that pure Negroes have only 60% of white intellectual efficiency, and that even this figure is probably too high. “It seems as though the white type has attained a higher level of development, based upon the common elementary capacities, which the Negro has not reached to the same degree.” “All of the experimental work which has been done has pointed to the same general conclusion.”
This is a conclusion of much definiteness and value, but it does not go as far as one might wish, for the deeper racial differences of impulse and inhibition, which are at present incapable of precise measurement, are likewise of great importance. And it is the common opinion that the Negro differs in such traits even more than in intellect proper. He is said to be lacking in that aggressive competitiveness which has been responsible for so much of the achievement of the Nordic race; it is alleged that his sexual impulses are strongly developed and inhibitions lacking; that he has “an instability of character, involving a lack of foresight, an improvidence, a lack of persistence, small power of serious initiative, a tendency to be content with immediate satisfactions.” He appears to be more gregarious but less apt at organization than most races.
The significance of these differences depends largely on whether they are germinal, or merely the results of social tradition. In favor of the view that they are in large part racial and hereditary, is the fact that they persist in all environments. They are found, as Professor Mecklin says, “Only at the lower level of instinct, impulse and temperament, and do not, therefore, admit of clear definition because they are overlaid in the case of every individual with a mental superstructure gotten from the social heritage which may vary widely in the case of members of the same race. That they do persist, however, is evidenced in the case of the Negroes subjected to the very different types of civilization in Haiti, Santo Domingo, the United States, and Jamaica. In each of these cases a complete break has been made with the social traditions of Africa and different civilizations have been substituted, and yet in temperament and character the Negro in all these countries is essentially the same. The so-called ‘reversion to type’ often pointed out in the Negro is in reality but the recrudescence of fundamental, unchanged race traits upon the partial breakdown of the social heritage or the Negro’s failure successfully to appropriate it.”
Again, as Professor Ferguson points out, the experimental tests above cited may be thought to give some support to the idea that the emotional characteristics of the Negro are really inherent. “Strong and changing emotions, an improvident character and a tendency to immoral conduct are not unallied,” he explains; “They are all rooted in uncontrolled impulse. And a factor which may tend to produce all three is a deficient development of the more purely intellectual capacities. Where the implications of the ideas are not apprehended, where thought is not lively and fertile, where meanings and consequences are not grasped, the need for the control of impulse will not be felt. And the demonstrable deficiency of the Negro in intellectual traits may involve the dynamic deficiencies which common opinion claims to exist.”
There are other racial and heritable differences of much importance, which are given too little recognition–namely, the differences of disease resistance. Here one can speak unhesitatingly of a real inferiority in respect to the environment of North America.
As was pointed out in the chapter on Natural Selection, the Negro has been subjected to lethal selection for centuries by the Negro diseases, the diseases of tropical Africa, of which malaria and yellow fever are the most conspicuous examples. The Negro is strongly resistant to these and can live where the white man dies. The white man, on the other hand, has his own diseases, of which tuberculosis is an excellent example. Compared with the Negro, he is relatively resistant to phthisis and will survive where the Negro dies.
When the two races are living side by side, it is obvious that each is proving a menace to the other, by acting as a disseminator of infection. The white man kills the Negro with tuberculosis and typhoid fever. In North America the Negro can not kill the white man with malaria or yellow fever, to any great extent, because these diseases do not flourish here. But the Negro has brought some other diseases here and given them to the white race; elephantiasis is one example, but the most conspicuous is hookworm, the extent and seriousness of which have only recently been realized.
In the New England states the average expectation of life, at birth, is 50.6 years for native white males, 34.1 years for Negro males. For native white females it is 54.2 years and for Negro females 37.7 years, according to the Bureau of the Census (1916). These very considerable differences can not be wholly explained away by the fact that the Negro is crowded into parts of the cities where the sanitation is worst. They indicate that the Negro is out of his environment. In tropical Africa, to which the Negro is adapted by many centuries of natural selection, his expectation of life might be much longer than that of the white man. In the United States he is much less “fit,” in the Darwinian sense.
In rural districts of the South, according to C. W. Stiles, the annual typhoid death rate per 100,000 population is:
_Whites_ _Negroes_ Males 37.4 75.3 Females 27.4 56.3
These figures again show, not alone the greater intelligence of the white in matters of hygiene, but probably also the greater inherent resistance of the white to a disease which has been attacking him for many centuries. Biologically, North America is a white man’s country, not a Negro’s country, and those who are considering the Negro problem must remember that natural selection has not ceased acting on man.
From the foregoing different kinds of evidence, we feel justified in concluding that the Negro race differs greatly from the white race, mentally as well as physically, and that in many respects it may be said to be inferior, when tested by the requirements of modern civilization and progress, with particular reference to North America.
We return now to the question of intermarriage. What is to be expected from the union of these diverse streams of descent?
The best answer would be to study and measure the mulattoes and their posterity, in as many ways as possible. No one has ever done this. It is the custom to make no distinction whatever between mulatto and Negro, in the United States, and thus the whole problem is beclouded.
There is some evidence from life insurance and medical sources, that the mulatto stands above the Negro but below the white in respect to his health. There is considerable evidence that he occupies the same relation in the intellectual world; it is a matter of general observation that nearly all the leaders of the Negro race in the United States are not Negroes but mulattoes.
Without going into detail, we feel perfectly safe in drawing this conclusion: that in general the white race loses and the Negro gains from miscegenation.
This applies, of course, only to the germinal nature. Taking into consideration the present social conditions in America, it is doubtful whether either race gains. But if social conditions be eliminated for the moment, biologists may believe that intermarriage between the white and Negro races represents, on the whole, an advance for the Negro; and that it represents for the white race a distinct loss.
If eugenics is to be thought of solely in terms of the white race, there can be no hesitation about rendering a verdict. We must unhesitatingly condemn miscegenation.
But there are those who declare that it is small and mean to take such a narrow view of the evolution of the race. They would have America open its doors indiscriminately to immigration, holding it a virtue to sacrifice one’s self permanently for someone else’s temporary happiness; they would equally have the white race sacrifice itself for the Negro, by allowing a mingling of the two blood-streams. That, it is alleged, is the true way to elevate the Negro.
The question may well be considered from that point of view, even though the validity of such a point of view is not admitted.
To ensure racial and social progress, nothing will take the place of leadership, of genius. A race of nothing but mediocrities will stand still, or very nearly so; but a race of mediocrities with a good supply of men of exceptional ability and energy at the top, will make progress in discovery, invention and organization, which is generally recognized as progressive evolution.
If the level of the white race be lowered, it will hurt that race and be of little help to the Negro. If the white race be kept at such a level that its productivity of men of talent will be at a maximum, everyone will progress; for the Negro benefits just as the white does from every forward step in science and art, in industry and politics.
Remembering that the white race in America is nine times as numerous as the black race, we conclude that it would be desirable to encourage amalgamation of the two races only in case the average of mulattoes is superior to the average of the whites. No one can seriously maintain that this supposition is true. Biologically, therefore, there is no reason to think that an increase in the number of mulattoes is desirable.
There is a curious argument in circulation, which points out that mulattoes are almost always the offspring of Negro mothers and white fathers, not of Negro fathers and white mothers. Therefore, it is said, production of mulattoes does not mean at all a decrease in the number of white births, but merely substitutes a number of mulatto births for an equivalent number of pure Negro births. It is therefore alleged that the production of mulattoes is in the long run a benefit, elevating the Negro race without impairing the white race.
But this argument assumes that most mulatto births are illegitimate,–a condition which eugenists do not sanction, because it tends to disintegrate the family. Rather than such a condition, the legitimate production of pure-blood Negroes is preferable, even though they be inferior in individual ability to the illegitimate mulattoes offered as a substitute. There are not at the present time enough desirable white fathers in the country. If desirable ones are set aside to produce mulattoes, it would be a great loss to the nation; while if the mulattoes are the offspring of eugenically undesirable white fathers, then the product is not likely to be anything America wants.
From whatever standpoint we take, we see nothing good to be said for miscegenation. We have discussed the problem as a particular one between the blacks and whites but the argument will hold good when applied to any two races between which the differences are so marked that one may be considered decidedly inferior to the other.
Society,–white society,–long ago reached the instinctive conclusion, which seems to us a correct one, that it must put a ban on intermarriage between two such races. It has given expression to this feeling by passing laws to prohibit miscegenation in 22 states, while six other states prohibit it in their constitutions. There are thus 22 states which have attempted legally to prevent intermarriage of the white and black race. While in 20 states there is no law on the subject, it is needless to say that popular feeling about it is almost uniform, and that the legislators of New England for instance would refuse to give their daughters in marriage to Negroes, even though they might the day before have voted down a proposed law to prohibit intermarriage on the ground that it was an expression of race prejudice.
In a majority of the states which have no legislation of this kind, bills have been introduced during the last two or three years, and have been defeated through the energetic interference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization of which Oswald Garrison Villard is chairman of the Board of Directors and W. E. B. DuBois, a brilliant mulatto, is Director of Publicity and Research. As this association represents a very large part of the more intelligent Negro public opinion, its attitude deserves careful consideration. It is set forth summarily in a letter which was addressed to legislators in various states, as follows:
“The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People earnestly protests against the bill forbidding intermarriage between the races, not because the Association advocates intermarriage, which it does not, but primarily because whenever such laws have been enacted they have become a menace to the whole institution of matrimony, leading directly to concubinage, bastardy, and the degradation of the Negro woman. No man-made law can stop the union of the races. If intermarriage be wrong, its prevention is best left to public opinion and to nature, which wreaks its own fearful punishments on those who transgress its laws and sin against it. We oppose the proposed statute in the language of William Lloyd Garrison in 1843, in his successful campaign for the repeal of a similar law in Massachusetts: ‘Because it is not the province, and does not belong to the power of any legislative assembly, in a republican government, to decide on the complexional affinity of those who choose to be united together in wedlock; and it may as rationally decree that corpulent and lean, tall and short, strong and weak persons shall not be married to each other as that there must be an agreement in the complexion of the parties.’
“We oppose it for the physical reason that to prohibit such intermarriage would be publicly to acknowledge that black blood is a physical taint, something no self-respecting colored man and woman can be asked to admit. We oppose it for the moral reason that all such laws leave the colored girl absolutely helpless before the lust of the white man, without the power to compel the seducer to marry. The statistics of intermarriage in those states where it is permitted show this happens so infrequently as to make the whole matter of legislation unnecessary. Both races are practically in complete agreement on this question, for colored people marry colored people, and white marry whites, the exceptions being few. We earnestly urge upon you an unfavorable report on this bill.”
Legislation on the subject of marriage is clearly inside the province of government. That such an argument as is quoted from William Lloyd Garrison can still be circulated in the United States and apparently carry weight, is sufficient cause for one to feel pessimistic over the spread of the scientific spirit in this nation. Suffice it to say that on this point the National Association is a century behind the times.
The following policy seems to us to be in accordance with modern science, and yet meet all the legitimate arguments of the National Association. We will state our attitude as definitely as possible:
We hold that it is to the interests of the United States, for the reasons given in this chapter, to prevent further Negro-white amalgamation.
The taboo of public opinion is not sufficient in all cases to prevent intermarriage, and should be supplemented by law, particularly as the United States have of late years received many white immigrants from other countries (e. g., Italy) where the taboo is weak because the problem has never been pressing.
But to prevent intermarriage is only a small part of the solution, since most mulattoes come from extramarital miscegenation. The only solution of this, which is compatible with the requirements of eugenics, is not that of _laissez faire_, suggested by the National Association, but an extension of the taboo, and an extension of the laws, to prohibit all sexual intercourse between the two races.
Four states (Louisiana, Nevada, South Dakota and Alabama) have already attempted to gain this end by law. We believe it to be highly desirable that such laws should be enacted and enforced by all states. A necessary preliminary would be to standardize the laws all over the Union, particularly with a view to agreement on what a “Negro” legally is; for in some states the legislation applies to one who is one-sixteenth, or even less, Negro in descent, while in other states it appears to refer only to full-blood or, at the most, half-blood individuals.
Such legislation, and what is more important, such public opinion, leading to a cessation of Negro-white amalgamation, we believe to be in the interests of national eugenics, and to further the welfare of both of the races involved. Miscegenation can only lead to unhappiness under present social conditions and must, we believe, under _any_ social conditions be biologically wrong.
We favor, therefore, the support of the taboo which society has placed on these mixed marriages, as well as any legal action which can practicably be taken to make miscegenation between white and black impossible. Justice requires that the Negro race be treated as kindly and considerately as possible, with every economic and political concession that is consistent with the continued welfare of the nation. Such social equality and intercourse as might lead to marriage are not compatible with this welfare.