"The Negro Problem," from the Watauga Democrat, March 12, 1903
The 17th annual dinner of the New York Southern Society was given on Saturday night last in the banquet hall of the Waldorf-Astoria. Members of the society and their guests, including their wives and daughters, were present. It was a brilliant assemblage, numbering nearly 700 people and was presided over by A.J. VanWyck, president of the society. President VanWyck, after reviewing the South's resources and development, touched upon the race question in these terms.
"What the South needs and must have is peace at home, and jointly with the rest of the nation, international peace. There is but one unsettled problem peculiar to that section commonly called the negro question. The South understands it and if left alone will settle it rightly and justly in a Christian spirit. The natural friendship between whites and blacks of long standing, with no idea of social equality, is well known to those at all familiar with the subject. The best friend of the black race is the white race of the South. The future welfare and development of the former rests upon the absence of conflict between the two. Let no American citizen who loves his country be a party to stimulate a war of races."
This is brief but straight to the point, and we trust it will come under the eye of each and every fanatic, and theorist at the North who through willful ignorance or sectional hatred, is constantly adding fuel to the flame of race prejudice in the South and make the solution of the problem all the more difficult. If these people will profit by the utterances of Mr. Van Wyck and other intelligent and conservative men of this section, it will do the negro and the South much good.
The final settlement of the negro question is desired but we can not boast that we are well on the way toward a solution of the problem until the voice of the Northern intermeddler has been stifled.