"Whale Them With Sticks," Raleigh News and Observer, June 27, 1900
Raleigh News and Observer
"Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad."
From the incendiary utterance of Butler before the Populist State committee and the threat of assassination voiced by Blackburn at Newton, down to the attempt by Lt. Gov. Reynolds, to scare registrars by the silly threat of Federal marshals, the Fusion orators seem to talk and act like a set of cut-throats and bloody handed butchers. We know very well that if any fighting is to be done these bad men who give this bloody advice will be far from the firing line, but their advice is liable to precipitate trouble. Most of the negroes are peacable, but when bad negroes get full of whiskey they are liable to put into practise the incendiary threats which their leaders make in their public addresses and private talks.
We publish elsewhere a statement made by Haywood H. Knight of Wake county, which is in line with the dangerous utterances of Butler, Blackburn and others. A gentleman of character swears that Mr. Knight said that negroes and Republicans would have to "STAND OVER THE BALLOT BOXES AND WHALE THE REGISTRARS AND POLL HOLDERS OVER THEIR HEADS WITH STICKS" in order to get the correct count at the election. Mr Knight would be in a sense morally responsible if the negroes of St. Matthews, misled by his statements, should "whale the registrars over their heads with sticks," and in his calmer moments would regret having suggested such lawlessness and ruffianism to ignorant negores. If Mr. Knight can talk that way, may we not expect negroes, inflamed by political prejudice and mean whiskey to do acts of violence?
Let us have an end of incendiary talk and bluster. The good white people of North Carolina will not trust any party or any men whose words are calculated to incite to bloodshed. The election in August is not going to be carried by force or fraud or bluster. In 1894, though the Democrats had every department of the state government and an election law almost identical with the present law, the Fusionists carried the State. In 1898, though the Fusionists had every department of the State government and an election law of their own planning, the Democrats carried the State. The people rule in North Carolina, and this tommy-rot and bluster cannot change their determination to eliminate the mass of ignorant negro voters so that polics may be put on a higher plane.
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