Fallacies and Weaknesses
February 9, 2010
In his article, “Blacks Should Stop Agitating for Political Equality,” Atlanta Exposition, 1895, Booker T. Washington said that blacks should take advantage of the new opportunities given to them rather than fight for more rights. Though he understood this tendency, saying, “… it is not strange that in the first years of our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom; that a seat in Congress or the state legislature was more sought than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy farm or truck garden.” He also said, “The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly.” This means that he did not want his fellow blacks to fight for more rights when they already had many new ones to benefit from.
While Booker T. Washington had many good ideas, some left me with questions. Washington wrote that blacks who questioned their social equality were foolish. If no one asks questions, why would anything change? If no woman questioned their right to vote, then it is possible that women would still not have that right today. Washington also said that his fellow black men should be content being farmers, factory workers, miners, etc. It is unrealistic to expect every man to be happy in these areas. If a man is interested in politics, let him reach for that goal.