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Bishop Henry McNeal Turner Speaks

Note: Bishop Turner (1834-1915) was a leader in civil rights through the AME church. He also spoke on other subjects which we excerpt from Respect Black: the Writings and Speeches of Henry McNeal Turner, ed. Edwin S. Redkey, Arno Press, 1971.

     "Social equality carries with it civil equality, political equality, financial equality, judicial equality, business equality. Wherever social equality is denied by legislative enactments and judicial decrees, the sequel must be discrimination, proscription, injustice, and degradation." (1895, p. 166)

     "Much is being said about fighting poor little Spain, the eighth power of the world, for the purpose of humanity, that the Spanish are cruel and brutal in their treatment toward the Cubans. 'Physician, heal thyself,' very appropriately comes in here. ... The United States puts more people to death without law than all the other nations of the earth combined. So our humanitarianism is too ridiculous to be made a count in the argument of justification." (1898, p. 173)

     "Paralyzed as I am, and nearly speechless, I feel called upon in my declining days to enter my solemn protest against the unholy war of conquest now being waged by this country against the Philippines. I hole William McKinley and his advisors responsible for this crime of the century. These Filipinos are a feeble band of sable patriots, not white, on their native soil, surrounded by their homes and the graves of their sires, maintaining a heroic but pitifully unequal struggle for their God-given rights and for their liberties. ...
     "These Filipino and their Puerto Rican brethren are being taxed without representation, the very outrage that gave birth to the American revolution. McKinley's present policy does not contemplate that to take their country away and deny them the humble honor or representing their own people in a legislature there or in the National Congress here, the very thing for which the patriots of 1776 fought, bled and died, to secure to their posterity." (1900, p. 186)

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