Memorandum re the Progressive Service and the Negro, April 17, 1913



It has been suggested that the Department of Social and Industrial Justice of the Progressive Service organize a sub-committee dealing with social and industrial justice as it affects the colored people of the country. While it is true that this problem has a special cast in the case of the negro, and therefore may be dealt with by a special committee, this arrangement has the disadvantage of suggesting to the negro that his problems are being "segregated" by the whites of the Progressive Party, and of suggesting, in the second place, that this problem is different from the other forms of race adjustment which the country has to face, and that it is wholly summed up by what is commonly called "social and industrial justice".

An alternative is therefore suggested, in the most tentative manner, as follows: That a separate Department of the Progressive Service be formed, [coordinate] with the Departments of Conservation, Social and Industrial Justice, and the like, to be called the Department of Race Adjustment, or Race Relationships, or any kindred name. This Department would naturally include the problems of all races whose immediate past has not been the normal political and social past of the great majority of the American people, and would deal with these races solely or chiefly from the standpoint of their early assimilation and adjustment to the conditions of normal American life. The Negro and the Immigrant would therefore constitute the main subdivisions of this Department. While it might not be illogical to deal with this matter as a subdivision of the Department of Social and Industrial Justice itself, the importance of the problem would certainly justify the creation of a separate Department to deal with it exclusively.

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