Taft's Attitude


Taft had written in 1906 that the Jim Crow laws designed to codify segregation and to disenfranchise Southern black voters were not harmful because African Americans were not ready to use the vote well anyway. In Taft’s words, "When a class of persons is so ignorant and so subject to oppression and misleading that they are merely political children, not having the mental stature of manhood, then it can hardly be said that that their voice in the government secures any benefit to them." In 1906, over forty years after emancipation, Taft still favored a "gradual acquisition of political power" for Southern blacks.

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During the campaign, President Taft wanted to break the Democratic Party’s stranglehold on the "Solid South," and so he appealed to Southern whites. 

Just like the other party platforms, the Republican Party Platform never mentions race. After receiving a great deal of pressure from African Americans the Republicans did include a statement condemning lynchings.