This is the advertisement that the Democratic Party placed in The Crisis right before the 1912 election. Be sure to compare this advertisement to the ones placed by the other parties.
THE CRISIS ADVERTISER
Subject: Make Friends of Thine Enemies
The greatest boon which civilization has conferred upon free men is the privilege to have a voice in the government and conduct of their own affairs. The symbol of that privilege is-the ballot. The legislatures of the several States* determine the methods of acquiring, holding, selling and taxation of property, both real and personal. These legislatures are elected by the people who possess the right to cast a ballot. The legislatures of the* several States define and prescribe the civil rights of the people within their jurisdiction. Chief among these rights is the right to obtain an education; the right of the people -to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures; the right, when. accused of crime, to have a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury; the right to freedom of speech and the free and. unabridged expression and practice of their religious beliefs are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land. And if Mr. Roosevelt's policies triumph the Constitution of the United States will be subject to amendment and repeal by any temporary majority of the people enjoying the right to cast a ballot. The ballot then is the bulwark of our property, our liberties and our lives.
The bulk of the Negroes in the United States reside in the States of the South. Here they are, practically disfranchised and have no voice whatever in the shaping. of laws which affect their most vital interests. What, then, is the crying need of the Negro to-day? The right to cast a vote for the protection of his property and life and the welfare of his posterity.
How Can He Obtain That Right?
For forty-two years the Negro has supported the Republican party in the hope 'that the party which stood iponsor for his freedom would stand as the guardian of his constitutional rights. With the exception of eight years that party has been, for the greater part of the time, in nearly absolute control of all departments of the government. Instead of gaining in the momentous struggle which he is making for his rights, the Negro has steadily lost ground from year to year. To-day the Republican party, after a fair trial, stands before the world, confessedly unable to secure for the black man the enforcement of the laws which the founders made nearly a half century ago. It is clear then that the Democratic party, which dominates the Southern States, is the one party which has the power to restore to the Negro the right of suffrage.
Since the great majority of educated Negroes are satisfied that the race has paid off in full and with compound interest whatever debt of gratitude it owed the Republican party, their chief concern is the fear that should 'the Democrats come into power some greater misfortune will befall them. The decisive argument against this fear can be found in the record of the Democratic Congress which adjourned last August. Here was a Congress overwhelmingly Democratic, the first of its kind since 1894. In all its lengthy session but two speeches were made containing a trace of Negro hatred and not a single bill against Negroes was reported from any committee. On the contrary, this Congress passed the greatest of all pension bills, which included, among its beneficiaries, thousands of old Negro soldiers. But the act for which this Congress will be forever remembered is the-formation by its Congressional, Campaign Committee of the 'National Colored Democratic League, the first bona fide national political organization of Colored men ever formed in this country. This fact sets at rest for all time the argument that the Democratic party does not want the Negro. It has met us half way.
Having lost nearly everything, we have but little to' lose, but much to gain. The invitation is offered. Reason and intelligence command us to lay aside our prejudices and fears and reach out for the friendship and support of the people who are to- day oppressing us because of our political hostility toward them.
EXANDER WALTERS, President.
.Bishop A. M. E. Zion Church. ROBERT N. WOOD,
Chairman Executive Committee.
NATIONAL COLORED DEMOCRATIC LEAGUE
"There never was a gentleman born in Virginia who was an enemy of the Negro."-JOHN B. SYPHAX.