To train a negro to the habit of taking care of himself, requires much time.
Long used to leaning on the White
man, he finds it hard to stand alone.
In many cases he understands personal freedom as the liberty of idleness.
What, in his eyes, was the chief distinction of a White?
Immunity from labour.
A White man never put his hand to spade or plough.
A friend of mine, who planted cotton on a large scale in Alabama
, one day asked his White
overseer to lend a hand to something needing to be done.
The man refused.
“No, sir,” he answered, with a jerk, “Guess I won't; for fifteen years I never do anything but oversee.”
His right had been defined by usage, and my friend the planter had to put his
shoulder to the wheel.
It is the old, old story of the Magyar Prince
who cleaned his own boots; of the Castilian
queen who perished at the fire; of the English
Governor-general who cooked his own rice.
The Negro notion of liberty is the faculty of standing by and looking on while others toil and spin.
He always saw the White
man standing by and looking on. Why should not he?
Poor fellow, he is not yet wise enough to read