Thursday, July 19, 2012

Virginia Health Bulletin, November 1925

Vol. XVII, Extra No. 12

Shall America Remain White? *
By W. A. Plecker, M. D.

From the Booklet:
Issued by
Bureau of Vital Statistics
State Board of Health
Richmond, VA

* Read before Section on Public Health, Southern Medical Association,
Eighteenth Annual Meeting,
New Orleans, La., Nov. 24-17, 1924.

The negro as a laborer is valuable, and if it were possible to preserve the race in purity with him in our midst, he would be a great asset.  Because this cannot be done, and because the mixed breeds are a menace and not an asset,we have them as the greatest problem and most destructive force which confronts the white race and American civilization.

 Both remote and recent history of many nations shows that in none of them have white and colored races lived together without ultimate amalgamation, and without the final deterioration or complete destruction of the white or higher civilization.

 We behold with awe the evidences which we now find in Egypt of the wonderful civilization of the past, when that country was white. The Pharaohs extended their conquest south and brought back as captives large numbers of negro men and women. Intermixture of the races began and progressed to such a point that one of the Pharaohs took as wife a negro woman whose son succeeded to the throne. This was about the time when Jeremiah the Prophet warned Israel to break with Egypt and affiliate with Babylon.  His warning was disregarded, Egypt was as a broken staff upon which to lean. The fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity resulted.

 Egypt, then a mongrel nation, soon went down before Assyria and is today a feeble and helpless nation of brown-skinned people devoid of initiative and dependent upon white leadership and protection.

 Four thousand years ago, India was ruled by Aryan conquerors, who instituted an elaborate caste system to prevent intermixture of the races. This system failed and the few survivors who might be called white are now looked upon as curiosities.

 South America and Mexico were subdued by Spanish and Portuguese adventurers, who began at once to raise up a mixed breed.

 Indians would not make docile slaves, and negroes in large numbers were brought in.
Much of South America and Mexico is today inhabited by a mongrel race of white-black-red mixture, one of the most undesirable racial intermixtures known, as I can testify from my own observation of similar groups in Virginia.

 Professor A. E. Jenks, of the University of Minnesota, and his assistant,made a house-to-house study of families the result of mixed marriages, the marriage records not even showing the color of the man and woman. These people have in Minneapolis an organization known as the Manassas Society, membership in which is dependent upon the intermarriage of a negro man and white woman. Already 200 such families are included in this society, with probable omissions.

 Similar conditions exist in many parts of the North and West. That condition alone, if unchecked, will in a few centuries legally mongrelize that portion of our country.

If we turn our eyes southward, we find a different but even more serious situation. None of our Southern States permits the intermarriage of whites and pure blacks, but all except Virginia and perhaps two others allow the intermarriage of whites with those of one-sixteenth or one-eighth negro blood.

 This serious situation calls for the speedy enactment of laws based upon that of Virginia, which defines a white person as one with no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian and forbids the intermarriage of whites with those with the slightest trace of negro blood.

 Clerks who issue marriage licenses are required to assure themselves that both parties are white, according to the new definition, when that fact is claimed and are instructed to withhold the license, when in doubt, until satisfactory proof is submitted to them.

 The enforcement of the law naturally falls upon the Bureau of Vital Statistics, to which are reported the births, deaths, marriages and divorces of the State, all of which require a statement as to color.  Our office has accepted this task and has undertaken seriously, as far as possible, to secure from all sources the truth as to this point.

 Circular letters have been sent to all clerks physicians, local registrars, undertakers and midwives, with copies of the law, urging them to use all possible care to furnish us with correct statements.
School authorities have been reached through their journal, and the public is being instructed by newspaper articles and lectures.

 Much interest has been aroused and many cases of mixture are being called to our attention.
When this condition is found on the birth certificate if the mother has other children, we refer back to previous births to the same parents and make the certificates agree. We have thus caught a number of families in the act of passing over from the colored to the white class, some of their children being already recorded as white and some as colored.

 Our custom is to notify the head of the family that this situation cannot be allowed and that if one of his children is colored, they are all colored.

 The case is different, however, when the process of intermixture has so far advanced that communities of mixed breeds have been formed, particularly if they have or claim to have some intermixture of Indian blood.

Discussion (by other doctors)
From the booklet:
Issued by
Bureau of Vital Statistics
State Board of Health
Richmond, VA

 Dr. A. T. McCormack, Louisville, Ky. - I had the opportunity of going to Panama, where every race had contributed something, and the negroid influence was predominant, and where degeneration of all races had been more rapidly brought about by that element. I think it of extreme importance to white civilization to prevent the contamination.

Dr. W. A. Evans, Chicago, Ill. --Dr. Plecker calls attention to the fact that, independent of the strength or weakness of the strain, when strains are crossed there is begotten a something which fails to have the characteristics of either parent stock. That is well recognized in animal breeding.
The health officer, whether working in epidemiology or not, who does not recognize racial hygiene and racial peculiarities, the advantages and disadvantages of mixing these stocks, is failing in the responsibility that rests upon his shoulders.

Dr.Geo. Dempsey, New Orleans, La. - No mixture of Japanese, Chinese, negro, etc., has ever attained the high pinnacle for which the white race is known.

Dr Carl F. Raver, Charleston, W. Va. -- During slave days it no doubt was advantageous, from a commercial standpoint, to produce as many offspring of negro parentage as possible and many slave owners must have encouraged the mixing of the races.

 This produced the mulatto. Now it is this mulatto, or his offspring, thatis causing all the trouble. They do not wish to be classed as negroes and, if light enough in color, try to pass as white and marry into white families. Every possible means should be used to prevent this. The strongest weapon is public opinion. Public opinion allowed the mulatto to become started as an institution. It condoned the situation.

Note:  It is a peculiarity of American racism that as much or even more hatred is directed to those of mixed race as to those who are "pure" black.  Or "pure" American Indian for that matter, Hollywood westerns once regularly featuring the perfidious halfbreed, rightly shunned by whites and Indians alike.  Yet in reality millions upon millions of Americans have mixed white, black and/or Indian ancestry to one degree or another.

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