Color, Communism, and Common Sense - Manning Johnson

Race Pride is Passé

The Negro business man has always been a chief target of the reds. They despise him because of his conservatism. They label him "a tool of the white imperialists" and an "enemy of the Negro masses." Such labels are reserved for those the reds plan to liquidate and since the Negro business man is an inspiration and example to other Negroes to take advantage of the countless opportunities of the free enterprise system, he is therefore an object of derision by Communists. An enthusiastic response of the Negro to the appeal and opportunities for Negro business is a cardinal bulwark against Communism. Consequently, the reds seek to discredit, discourage and liquidate Negro business.

Only during the period of the Popular Front did the reds cease their attack on Negro business in order to link the Negro banker, broker, realtor, business man, merchant, lawyer, physician, preacher, worker and farmer with Bolshevism under the guise of a National Negro Congress.

Basically, the reds' policy is now, and always has been, anti-Negro business. The fact that Negro business is sustained in the main by Negro patronage, that it exists almost entirely in the Negro community, makes it vulnerable to attack by the reds. They term it a product of "segregation," "social isolation," "the ghetto," etc. And, too, the reds use the example of sharp competition between small and big business to discourage Negro entry into the general arena.

While it is true that Negro businesses in only a few instances function outside the Negro community, this does not mean that they cannot function in other areas if the Negro provides attractive goods and services. But what is wrong with the Negro owning and operating community business? The Germans, the Italians, the Irish, the Jews, the Chinese have their respective communities where they own and operate most of the businesses. At no time do they consider it as a crime. Chinatown in New York and San Francisco are splendid examples of the community resourcefulness and pride that draw, like a magnet, multitudes from all walks of life. The Negro can learn much from the Chinese.

I recently attended a luncheon at the Hotel New Yorker in New York City, sponsored by a very fine and cultured group of Negro ladies. We were served in a private dining room by white waiters and waitresses. There was not a white person present except the hotel employees, yet these Negroes considered this integration. Any one of a number of Negro caterers could have supplied the same service. What is more important is that large sums paid to this hotel could have helped develop and expand a Negro catering service. Other races have such services which are not considered "integrated." Yet the Negro bitten by the integration bug is so naive that he thinks that boycotting his own race and spending his money in a place where he is unwanted and isolated is "putting his own best foot forward." One of the officers of the group said, "It's good to be seen in such places," as if some special honor had been conferred upon her. She was so carried away with the fact that she could walk through the lobby of a white hotel to a private (segregated) dining room that had I suggested that it did not mean acceptance, I would have made an enemy.

The disastrous effect of "integration," so ardently advocated by the reds and the N.A.A.C.P. is evident in the following article:


"Negro businessmen, such as hotel owners, tavern operators and sellers of cooked food, are up in the air in some cities because Negro money is bypassing their cash registers and falling into the pockets of white proprietors who run choice spots in downtown areas.

"This is especially true in the convention cities of Detroit and Miami. Detroit businessmen on the Negro side raised quite a howl a few months back when an all-Negro female conclave hit town and none of the delegates as much as looked through the doors of Negro-operated businesses. They slept in white-owned hotels, convened in white convention rooms, ate in white dining rooms, drank at white bars, and danced in white ballrooms.

"Owners and operators of Negro businesses in Miami, Fla., were quite angry last year after the African Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference packed up and got out of town. They claimed AME delegates, and there were hundreds of them, spent their money with white hotels on Miami Beach and even took their meals in Miami Beach restaurants. Negro taxicab drivers were pretty hot, too.

"Not too far back, Negro cab drivers chased a white cab driver out of Miami's Negro area because he was riding a Negro passenger.

"Somebody down in Miami must have talked to officials of the Church of God in Christ before they held their International Youth Conference there last week, because the conference was held in a Negro church, delegates lived in Negro hotels, ate in colored dining rooms, and held their banquets in big rooms made available by Negro hotels. They even held an open air festival at the all-Negro Virginia Beach just out of Miami."

Betrayal of the Negro people may well come through Communist corruption of the Negro intellectual. This is not so difficult since the Communists, the "white liberals" and the "white progressives" do the thinking for most of them.

The utter bankruptcy of the Negro intelligentsia is startlingly evident by reason of the absence of any strong and dramatic movement for genuine Negro organization, leadership and thinking. Deep in the swamp of inferiority, lack of ability, muddled thought, the Negro intelligentsia looks to the phony white liberals, politicians and progressive hypocrites for leadership, guidance and money. These "whites" are carriers of "isms" other than Americanism which spreads like an epidemic in the ranks of the hapless Negro intellectuals. Due to the lack of race pride, there is no immunity.