Title: "Race Problem is World Vexatious"

Journal: Chicago Daily Tribune

Place of Publication: Chicago

Date: December 9, 1906

Place: Congo Free State


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Race Problem is World Vexatious

White Man's Burden Stirring Minds of Diplomats in All Europe.

Africans Soon to Rise?

Fear Felt of General Massacre by Blacks; Fight Hindus in Transvaal.

[By Cable to the Chicago Tribune]

London, Dec. 8. -- The question of relations between the white race and peoples or other colors is one of almost worldwide agitation at the present moment. It occupies the public mind in England, Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain.

The Congo question has passed from the stage of sentimental discussion to a serious international issue. Despite the scathing condemnation of King Leopold in the Belgian parliament, it is doubtful if genuine reforms will be voluntarily adopted which will lead Great Britain to abandon its declared intention to intervene in behalf of the natives.

Should England step in the world shall see the first serious test of the Anglo-French entente, for in all previous international attempts to deal with the Congo question France has supported Germany, and there is little doubt that Germany will continue to oppose any interference by the powers.

If the Clemenceau government reverses its former position and supports Great Britain, then for the first time the world will realize the momentous and far reaching importance of the recent regrouping of the powers, which has changed the direction of modern political history.

Rough Work to Quiet Moors.

France and Spain are on the eve of the execution of their mandate to reduce the turbulent Moors to order. There is every indication that their task is more formidable than the delegates at Algeciras expected. Rough work, approaching war on a small scale, seems probable.

Germany watches with jealous eye, but apparently it has no intention to render the task more difficult either by real or threatened interference.

Germany, indeed, has a race scandal of its own of the blackest description. No story of the Congo or of Russian antebellum atrocities in Manchuria can compare in horror with the fold in the reichstag this week by Herr Bebel.

The socialist leader described the extermination of whole villages in southwest Africa by German troops, which massacred adults and then drowned children in the river. The most the government could say in reply was that there had been abuses, but that the reports were exaggerated. The Spectator today says:

"There is positive danger lest the whole native population of Africa become permeated with a dread and hatred on white men. It is reported from many quarters that this feeling already is betraying itself throughout the vast dominion of the Congo state. It may easily spread southward and northward till the entire continent is filled with a hostility to Europe resembling that which 800 years ago undermined the ascendancy of the triumphant Spanish monarchy.

Blacks May Band Against Whites.

"There is a comity of the blacks as there is in the white world. Though the balck is prepared to be govered by his white superior with a certain absolutism, he will not bear that unreasonable cruelty which keeps him in perpetual terror as well as a kind of bewilderment concerning what is required of him.

"However stern the conquerors are in enforcing their own superior civilization they must be on the side of justice, however harsh it may be to themselves. They must avoid a cruelty which suggests to their victims that they are in the hands rather of evil demons than of able fighting men.

"The whites must learn what was early learned in India -- to let the women alone. Negresses are not English ladies, but they care for their children. If some of the stories told in the German parliament be true there may be hatred of white men handed down through villages from generation to generation, and Europeans won't rule Africa.

"Mussulman missionaries, already thousands in number, can say with truth that where the Christian is there is the habitation of cruelty."

The British government finds itself faced with a similar difficulty, in the Transvaal as confronts Roosevelt in California's anti-Japanese action.

The inhabitants of the Transvaal resent the competition of the natives of India who have immigrated into the country. They have endeavored to discriminate against them by imposing serious disabilities by law. The victims appealed to the home government, which has vetoed the act.