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The Civil Rights Bill

The Civil Rights Bill image
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The debate on the lata Mr. Sutuuer'a JivU Kighls bill was in tin uittil) titir tuul j eOetit. A few ut the Washiugtuu apeó itil uui'i'sjiiiiiili'ii!.. lut'et to fuma t'uulish ■ talk uliuul " HLualgamütioii " umi ■' unsügBUMtlOll," UIKl All'. AlcOlll, Ol .li.l3slppi, thuught tlittl tliu ia.ssugoot the Ijill wuuld Uii'ow open the aoois ut' institutioii ut Itntrniug 111 ttie iioithuin sVutua tu hu negro, apparently ïgnoruiit of tiiact tlmt aircady no boy is de barred on iccount ot tlio color vi liis km troui atending mich colleges as Harvard and Yale, where au enlightencd pubho sontimoiit had aooómpliiiued what wt; are otmvmcud ït wuuld have been UupoBsiblu lor tlie most comprehensivo and stringent Legislation ot it-solf to effect. Tliu bill as pussed does not dlftur essentially trom tüe ouo dravvn by Mr. Humner. iJuimg lus litetmiK, u wnl m reinembered, he wti not bie to obtaiu lor tlio measuro the oaudid eonsidurauon of the Henate. The pathetic ruluLunce to this favorito measuru just belore iiis deatli howevur, gaiued lor it an attentiou whicü was persintuutly ïelusud to tue foruui uiforts mude by üim personully 111 its bohalt'. Tliis of itsult is sufüuient to awnken doubt as to the oharaeter ot tlio bill. lts nominal object is to give tlio negro oqual rights with the white man iu thu usa of all public means of transpoitation, of inus, ot theatres and otlier places ot public amusement, and of schools of all kinds and biirutl places, wlutn suppoi ti-d wholly or in part by a general tax. J'mialUes are providod tor any violatiou ot these rights, aud it is made the duty ot district attorneys, marshals and other otlicers ot thu United iStates to eni'orue the penaltiea, whether the person ed maken a eomplaint not, through the aid of the Unitetl States Oourts. lt inoruover pro vide that no negioshall be excluded froin a jury solely on account ol' hia color, uuder u heavy penalty. TUe constitutional authority tor this propostd statute is sought tot iu that cluutse ot the Fourteeiith auiondment whioh declares that " no state shaü make or any law which shall abridgo the privileges or imuiunities of eitizeus ot' the United States," aud the later elausü which says that " the Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriatu legislation, the provisions of this article." lt will be observed that the bill doe not purport to affect the sooiaL relat ion of black and white uien. lt simuly ignoies color, aud declares that uu of the people shU be dispossessed of any right belonging to the people. Nevertheless it must be aduiitted, we think, that the bill does affect social relations. - Indeed, Senator Boutwell opeuly declared that he wauted to extirpate any existing prejudiees bet ween the two races by edueating the children together. lt did not need to be shown during the debate that the negro already possesses, under the couimon law, the same as his white neighbor, the right to recover for the reg fusal of any transportation couipauy to move him from oue part of the country to another, or of an iunkeeper to give him shelter over night. Practically, therefore, the important part of the bill is that which appliea to schools - that is, the part which relates to the social relations. The establishment of mixed schools throughout the South at present by legislativa enautment we believe to be iuipossible. It is truo thüt negro childreu eau be admitted to all schools supported by taxation, aitnougü wiietuer lue ttjuenu govornment has power to interferí; in the expenditure of state taxes is a very seiious question ; but there is 110 metliod ky whioh white childreu can be retaiaed m them. All the evidence we have seon pn this subject points the sauie way. The best friends of the negro believe in sep.irate schools for the present in most placed. General Arinstrong, who isdoingso much at Hamptou, in Virginia, for the educatiou of the negro, is eoiphatically opposed to mixed schools. Senator Browuloy says that "itisuot a questiou whuthcr we will have mixed schools, but wbélUar we shall have any systeru of public instruction at all." The address 'issued on Friday by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South says that they have kept the two races distiuct in their ecclesiastical organizatiou, while their brethren in the nortliern states have mixed conferences, mixed congregations and mixed schools. " Wé' they say, "do not ask them to atiópt our plan. We cannot adopt theirs." Without regard, then, to any constitutional objections to this oièasure, it appears to us that in many important parïiculars it will be unwise and practicully inoperative; wise and just in some of its provisions, it seems to us to ignore in otliers that time is au important element iü all reforms. If it is not enforced it will simply be irritating. Whatever injury if inflicta will f all upon the negro, without enough compensating good, so far as we can see. We believe that the bill will nut be passed by the Houso of Representatives without important ameuilments. - N. Y. EoenitiQ l'oat. The assessed valuation of Bast Saginaw from the assessment just eompleted, is 12,550,000 or more than doublé that of Hay City. The assessed valuation of the third ward alone is $1,331,000 or nearly as much as Bay City entire. The assessed valuatiou of East Saginaw is more than the whole of Buy courity. The total amount of taxes to be raised this yeaï is $289,536, as against 20S,000 lust yciir. The percentage ot' taxation on the eity list this yoar is $5 52 on 100 of the assessed valuation, ngainst tí 0(3 lust year.-


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