We generally do not want to waste our time duplicating the same research that is supplied by other websites, and several other related websites have a webpage devoted to "WatchTower Racism". However, every time that we accidentally visited one of those other "WatchTower Racism" webpages looking for something else, we not only noted excerpts from WatchTower literature which we did not believe to be "racist", but we noted conclusions and commentary which simply were unwarranted. For two decades, we have been warning the XJW community that such overreaching only makes XJWs appear as dishonest, and adds to the image of the WatchTower Cult as a victim of unfair criticism.
Admittedly, like "pornography", racism is in the eye of the beholder. We have found and included NUMEROUS examples of "WatchTower Racism" NOT previously found by WatchTower critics, and NOT previously published by WatchTower critics, but we also have EXCLUDED several excerpts found on similar websites which we do NOT believe to be racist, and/or should not be attributable to the WatchTower Society. Holding Charles Taze Russell or some other WatchTower official responsibile for every single comment made within a third or even fourth party quote intended to document the point of Russell's own assertion isn't fair -- especially given that, despite his denials, Russell actually WAS lightly burdened with racial prejudice, just as was practically every person of his time, be they "white", "colored", or whatever.
Researchers simply need to take the time to find examples in his WatchTower publications of Russell's racial prejudice published when Russell accidentally revealed such at a time when he did not have up his racism guard. Why? Because, Russell's cult followers then and now believed Russell's WatchTower publications to be God's selected vehicle for the delivery of "the truth".
Additionally, "Negroes" are not and never have been the only victims of racial prejudice, AND, "Whites" are not and never have been the only purveyors of racial prejudice. AND, every negative observation made about "Negroes", or another race, whether a minority or otherwise, either individually or as a group, is NOT "racism". Sometimes, such simply is recognizing "reality", just as are similar observations made about "Whites", individually and as a group.
Former Jehovah's Witnesses who are ACLU and BUTTLOVERS INC supporters, whom have boycotted our website for years, and slandered us for years, calling us "racist", "sexist", "homophobic", "xenophobic", etc., because we identify minority criminals and minority criminal activity as thoroughly as possible, can now explain to their liberal circles why their own supporters failed for decades to adequately expose the WatchTower Society for its racist history. If the ACLU supporters had not been boycotting our website for the past 5 years, we would have published this new webpage five years ago. ACLU fools should know that the editor of this website has historic ties to an institution that boasts of "firsts" for both African-Americans and for females. ACLU fools should understand that we don't respond to threats, nor to their dictating our editorial policies. As for activist BUTTLOVERS who are boycotting us, they should know that the editor of this website has TWICE physically rescued one of their own who was being harassed by a CROWD of persons whom did not like those two males publicly displaying their femininity. Not to mention that this editor's first career mentor was gay, or that this editor once was best friends with a co-worker gay couple for several years, and even traveled with them twice on out-of-state weekend escapes. Our "resume" is at least three times longer, but we can't disclose everything. Well, maybe this. This editor's last girlfriend was an illegal from Guyana -- that's in South America for liberal idiots. This editor likes and enjoys being around black folks, gay folks, women, and especially Asian and Hispanic/Latino women. I just don't like overbearing liberal ACLU activists who demand and require that I live by their rules. F-you.
Visitors will soon note that often we have included much more of the surrounding article in our excerpts. We did NOT do such simply to make our own webpage larger than other similar webpages. If we have included more contextual material in our excerpt, then such was necessary to fully understand that excerpt. DO NOT use our excessive bolding, underlining, and coloring to "short-cut" your reading. We intend our website to be educational, and if we included the surrounding material, then we expect our visitors to read such.
It took only until his second issue of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, August 1879, before editor Charles Taze Russell permitted a racist witticism:
"The practice of many in teaching is no more consistent than was that of the old Negro who made Paul vindicate him in theft: 'Let him that stole, steal.' The words 'no more', did not suit his purpose."
"... no doubt, many of the negroes once slaves in the United States were happier and better provided for in slavery, than now that they are their own masters." -- ZION'S WATCH TOWER, June 1888.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
VIEW FROM THE TOWER.
The negroes of the South were probably happier fifty years ago, in slavery, than they now are; and though now possessed of many more privileges than were ever before accorded them, yet the reports are that a race war, between blacks and whites, is to be feared. It was an increase of knowledge that led public sentiment to a repudiation of human slavery and that emancipated the slaves; and it is a fuller knowledge of his rights as a man, under the law of God, and as a citizen, under the Constitution of these United States, that is stirring within the hearts of the negroes a desire for more and more, until they shall feel satisfied that they have their full proportion of the rights, privileges and common blessings of our day.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
October 15, 1894
BISHOP FOSTER'S NEW GOSPEL, NO. 2
The Apostle Paul corroborates all this, and tells us that all men have some traces of this original and superior law. Referring to some of the most degraded members of the race, he says, these "show the work [evidences] of the law written in their hearts." (Rom. 2:15.) And in the preceding chapter the Apostle shows how it comes that some of the heathen are so very much more degraded than others, -- how the original nature-written law came to be so much more nearly effaced from the hearts and brains of some of earth's families or races than from others. ...
... the Bishop is wandering about looking amongst the most fallen-up men for some modern theory that will prove that death, and pain and sickness are blessings, and that the heathen as well as the saints enter by this gateway into a heaven where the few developed Christians will be perfectly happy, surrounded by myriads of characterless heathen, idiots, etc.
"The negro race is supposed to be descended from Ham, whose special degradation is mentioned in Gen. 9:22,25." -- ZION'S WATCH TOWER, August 1, 1898
OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS
The Bible versus the Evolution Theory
I call your attention to the fact that the Gospel light arose in Palestine, which lies at the juncture ... of three continents -- Europe, Asia, and Africa. It would have been nearest to have sent the Gospel southward into Africa, to its benighted millions: but Africa still lies in darkness, touched with the light of truth only a little upon its northern borders. It would have been almost as near to have sent the Gospel light eastward to India's hundreds of millions, and into China with its hundreds of millions: but India and China have lain in darkness for eighteen centuries, except as little glimpses or flashes of the light of truth have reached them. Europe lay farther away, but to Europe, and through Europe to America, the Lord has been pleased to send the light of the Gospel, "A light to lighten the Gentiles."
Nor are we to suppose that the coming of the Gospel light to these lands that have been so greatly blessed by it was a matter of chance or accident. Quite to the contrary, a few words recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (16:6,7) relating to the mission of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, St. Paul, show us unquestionably that the sending of the Gospel to Europe was of divine intention -- predestination -- choice or election. The narrative is that, while Paul and his company had purposed to go into Asia, the spirit suffered them not to do so, but providentially hindered their going; and while they were thus perplexed and seeking to know the mind of the Lord, the Apostle Paul had a dream in which he saw a man of Macedonia beckoning to him and saying, "Come over and help us." As a consequence of these divine providences, and gathering from them the Lord's will in the matter, the Apostle and his co-laborers at once proceeded to Macedonia, there beginning the preaching of the Gospel in Europe. When Paul returned to Palestine, and apparently with no thought of further prosecuting the work in Europe, divine providence permitted him to be arrested and sent a prisoner to Rome: and there the same divine providence held him a prisoner for a long time, but gave him sufficient liberty to preach the Gospel there for a number of years. It was from these providential lightings of the Gospel lamp in Europe that all the great blessings which have reached us proceeded.
Now tell me, Do not these facts prove that divine providence has had much to do with the progress and direction of the lamp of truth?" Are they not a manifestation of divine election or selection? Mark you, I am following the hypothesis presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN, that the non-elect and non-enlightened are similarly and proportionately uncondemned. Nor am I claiming in this that God is a respecter of persons. It is quite another thing that God may have been, nay, evidently has been, a respecter of races, and has specially blessed and favored certain branches of the Aryan race in Europe and America. But the fact, that the white race has been more abundantly blessed with the light of the Gospel than others, is not to be understood to signify that when members of other races heard and appreciated the Gospel, they were repulsed or rejected by the Lord. This view is in full harmony with the suggestion that God is no respecter of persons, but that "In every land he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him." In harmony with this, the author of MILLENNIAL DAWN holds that, while the elect Church will probably be composed chiefly of the highly favored white race, nevertheless, it will probably have in it representatives out of "every kindred, people and tongue."
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
April 15, 1900
THE VOLUNTEER WORK
... . There are probably as many as a hundred colored brethren on the Watch Tower lists, some of them very clear in the truth, and very earnest in its service, financially and otherwise. We have received letters from several of these, who had intended engaging in the volunteer work, expressing surprise that in the call for volunteers in the March 1st issue we restricted the inquiry to white Protestant churches,. They rightly realized that we have not the slightest of race prejudice, and that we love the colored brethren with just the same warmth of heart that we love the white, and they queried therefore why such a distinction should be made in the call. The reason is that so far as we are able to judge, colored people have less education than whites - many of them quite insufficient to permit them to profit by such reading as we have to give forth. Our conclusion therefore is based upon the supposition that reading matter distributed to a colored congregation would more than half of it be utterly wasted, and a very small percentage indeed likely to yield good results. We advise, therefore, that where the Watch Tower literature is introduced to colored people it be not by promiscuous circulation, but only to those who give evidence of some ear for the truth.
We avoid, so far as possible, putting the pearls of present truth into the hands of the vicious and depraved, whites as well as blacks. Wherever we have reason to believe that people love sin rather than righteousness, we have no desire to remove from their minds any of the shackles which ignorance and superstition have put upon them; rather, we would leave them bound until, in the Millennial age, when these shackles shall all be removed, they will be under the strong hand of a strong governor, who will recompense every iniquity as well as every effort toward righteousness.
Similarly, the exclusion of Roman Catholic churches was not intended as any slight upon the people connected with them, for whom we have only the greatest good will and best wishes. Nor did it indicate that we thought none of the Roman Catholics amenable to the truth, for, on the contrary, there are quite a number of very zealous friends of the truth who were reared in Catholicism; indeed, only last Sunday (April 1st) at our meeting in the Bible House Chapel, four Roman Catholics made public profession of faith in the Redeemer and of full consecration to him, and symbolized it in water immersion. We excluded Roman Catholic churches from the Volunteer service because the vast majority of their attendants (Irish?) are either too ignorant or too bigoted to read and think for themselves. True, much of this would apply also to Protestants; but the percentage of hopefuls amongst the latter is so much greater as to justify, we think, the enormous expense involved in this circulation of free reading matter at the churches throughout this country.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
October 1, 1900
ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: -- Possibly you may remember that when I was in Milwaukee some months ago I sent you a newspaper clipping regarding a colored man in Wilmington who had turned from black to white, through the loss of the pigment under his skin. I now enclose a clipping from the New York World of Sept. 9th, regarding a similar case at Parkersburg, W. Va. Do you not think these may possibly be granted as illustrations of how the Lord purposes to remove race and color distinctions during the "age of the ages"? ... Your brother and servant, CLAYTON J. WOODWORTH, -- New York.
To see how then efficient was the 1900s WatchTower grapevine, now tab down to 1904's, "CAN THE ETHIOPIAN CHANGE HIS SKIN?"
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
SEPTEMBER 1, 1901
PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE.
One Sister inquires, Should not we carry to the darker parts of the earth our superior ideas respecting health, cleanliness, care of the sick, civilization, etc.?
If by we is meant the Lord's consecrated people, our answer would be, No. God's commission to us through Jesus and the apostles is restricted ... . ....
As to whether the world (nominal Christendom) is doing well or ill for the heathen, is an open question. The fact that we, born and reared under Western civilization, would be miserable if obliged to live along the lines of Eastern civilization proves little; for so far as we can discern the people of China and India prefer their own methods, customs, etc. ... Will the Chinaman be happier in a European cut of coat, shoes, shirt, collar and tie? Are we certain that the Chinawoman will be happier with larger feet, and shoes of our pattern and with corsets and Paris fashioned gowns?...
... accordingly God's people, realizing that the chosen will be few, should seek to labor in harmony with the Lord's callings. Eighteen centuries show us that while no nation under heaven is refused or discriminated against, and some out of all have been called, nevertheless God's favors have been chiefly toward the white or Caucasian race. If we have done all we know how to do in this the Lord's special wheat-field, then by all means let us go into other fields. But if through the delusions of Satan the "gospel (?) of damnation" has been substituted for the "gospel of the Kingdom," so that the majority of those who profess the name of Christhave no knowledge of this gospel, then, by all means, let us who do know of it, bend all our energies to labor in this field which is "white already to the harvest," and its harvest work rapidly progressing.
The July 15, 1902, ZION'S WATCH TOWER contained a lengthy article dispelling many false claims made against the Negro race and condemning resulting prejudice and discrimination. However, quite amusingly, Charles Taze Russell still could not contain his "slight" prejudices in favor of his own race, which Russell proclaimed was "divine providence".
HOW SHALL WE ACCOUNT FOR RACIAL DIFFERENCES?
... ... In attempting to account for the wide differences between whites and blacks, and the lesser differences bewteen these and the yellow, brown, and red, ... . ... Undoubtedly, the stronger contrast between the white and the black would require a longer time to be brought about, ... .
While it is true that the white race exhibits some qualities of superiority over any other, we are to remember that there are wide differences in the same Caucasian (Semitic and Aryan) family; and also we should remember that some of the qualities which have given this branch of the human family its preeminence in the world are not such as can be pointed to as in all respects admirable. ... However, that the Bible was divinely directed into Europe is most manifest (Acts 16:6, 9), and sooner or later we shall see the full meaning of this divine providence. ... The secret of the greater intelligence and aptitude of the Caucasianundoubtedly in great measure is to be attributed to the commingling of blood amongst its various branches; and this was evidently forced in large measure by circumstances under divine control.
NOAH'S ... CURSE ON HAM
... ... Noah declared, prophetically, that Ham's characteristics which had led him to unseemly conduct disrespectful to his father, would be found cropping out later, inherited by his son, and prophetically he foretold that this degeneracy would mark the posterity of Canaan, degrading him, making him servile. We are not able to determine to a certainty that the sons of Ham and Canaan are the negroes; but we consider that general view as probable as any other.
Regularly, in ZION'S WATCH TOWER articles announcing upcoming WatchTower Conventions and the making of railroad and rooming reservations, those articles specified that "colored" brethren so indicate such in their reservation requests. Such was necessary due to societal circumstances outside of the control of Russell or his Society. Even requests to the Society for a visit from a WatchTower Pilgrim, which required "colored" families or congregations to so specify, are "understandable". However, the following LTTE published in the May 15, 1902 ZION'S WATCH TOWER discloses an internal racist practice of the then Watch Tower Society for which we aren't sure of an "understandable" reason:
Dear Brother Russell: I am sure you will rejoice with us in that this year in Washington [D.C.] 50 (38 white and 12 colored) persons celebrated the Memorial Supper and partook of the emblems of sacrifice, as against twenty-six last year, our company having nearly doubled in numbers.
Promiscuious Association Not Implied
The same argument applies to racial distinctions. ... The interests of the New Creation will, we believe, be generally conserved by the preservation of a measure of separation in the flesh, because the ideals, tastes, appetites, dispositions, etc., of one race necessarily are more or less in conflict with the ideals, [tastes, appetites, dispositions,] etc., of another; hence, the several races of humanity will probably find their spiritual interests as New Creatures best conserved by a measure of separateness. ... As the Apostle's words at the beginning of this chapter [Gal. 3:27-28] would give no excuse for a common herding together of males and females, because they are "all one" brotherhood in Christ Jesus, so neither should they be understood to imply anything promiscuous as between different races. ...
The following article was published in the February 15, 1904, ZION'S WATCH TOWER. At that time, Bible Students were "looking for omens" that might evidence the start of the seven year tribulation period that would precede Armageddon in October 1914. Charles Taze Russell was claiming that they could expect "restitution" to start even prior to Armageddon. The case of "Julius Jackson" is subtly presented as an early instance of the darker skin of Negroes being changed back to implied "original" white skin.
"CAN THE ETHIOPIAN CHANGE HIS SKIN?"
We answer, No. But all will admit that what the Ethiopian cannot do for himself God could readily do for him. The difference between the races of men and the differences between their languages have long been arguments against the solidarity of the human family. The doctrine of restitution has also raised the question, How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was the original? The answer is now provided. God can change the Ethiopian's skin in his own due time.
Prof. H. A. Edwards, Supt. of Schools in Slater, Mo., has written for the public press an elaborate description of how Julius Jackson, of New Frankfort, Mo., a negro boy of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-tenths white. He assures us that this is no whitish skin disease; but that the new white skin is as healthy as that of any white boy, and that the changed boy has never been sick and never has taken medicines.
Then, only two months later, in the April 15, 1904, ZION'S WATCH TOWER, the following "Letter To The Editor" was published without comment. Anyone who knows anything about the WatchTower Cult community, even as far back as 1904, knows how these two articles were taken.
DEAR BROTHER. -- Regarding the article in the Feb. 1 TOWER, "Can the Ethiopian Change His Skin," allow me to say, that I have ascertained by inquiry, from different colored people, that in this small town there are several instances of this change taking place. It usually begins with a small spot on some part of the body and gradually enlarges, and, strange to say, the individuals are loath to speak of it. My information extends to other communities, and the same experiences are occurring there. This appears to be general amongst the race all over the country. If a general inquiry was made amongst the colored people throughout the country it would be found that this is generally the case. I think that this is one of the many indications of the great changes that will soon take place when our dear Redeemer assumes his power and reigns. Yours in the service of the loving Master, C. C. SEABROOK. -- Kansas.
"The Jews claimed superiority, and while the Samaritans did not acknowledge this, they nevertheless felt it to some degree, just as colored people are apt to feel toward the whites." -- ZION'S WATCH TOWER, January 15, 1905.
Below is an excerpt from the February 1, 1905 ZION'S WATCH TOWER, which contains a "cleaned up" version of the following racist witticism:
If de Lawd co'mands me to jump through de wall, it is my bis'ness to jump, and de Lawd's bis'ness to take me through de wall.
We include such here because CTR had zero reason to include the fact that "George" is a "colored man", but for readers to recall in their minds the well known racist version of this story. The witticism would have worked just as well if "George" had been presented as a caucasian man, or even as race neutral.
Another lesson is that miracles are only to be expected after we have done all in our power with the means at hand. The colored man had the right idea when, after expressing his faith in the Lord, some one said to him, "Now, George, if the Lord should command you to jump through that stone wall, would you do it?" His answer was that if he were certain that the Lord had commanded it, he would jump at the stone wall and leave to the Lord all that was beyond his power. If the Lord wished to make a miracle out of it he was able to do so, but the jumping part belonged to George. So it is with us in all life's affairs: we are to be sure that we are in the Lord's way, that we are following his directions, and then we are to leave all the results to him, assured of his ability to work the greatest miracles.
Nine years later, Charles Taze Russell again used a "cleaned up" version of this same old racist witticism in the April 15, 1914 ZION'S WATCH TOWER:
The colored brother had the proper thought. When asked what he would do if God told him to jump through a stone wall, he replied, "I would jump at it." In a word, we are to have absolute confidence in the Word of God, not merely to make sure that we have heard and understood His Message.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
November 1, 1905
The Editor's Western Tour
We had but one session here. We arrived too late for a morning meeting and left too early for an evening one. About seventy-five of the interested (fifty whites and twenty-five blacks)assembled for an afternoon session which lasted two hours. ... The colored friends gave every evidence of being as deeply interested and as fully consecrated as their white brethren and sisters -- which is saying a great deal for them.
From 1879 umtil 1909, the magazine owned, operated, and edited by Charles Taze Russell personally (not the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society), was officially named "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence".
For reasons explained elsewhere in this website, in 1909, Charles Taze Russell fled Pennsylvania to New York City. Russell took advantage of that change of location to also change the name of his flagship magazine. Specifically, Russell decided to drop the first word -- "Zion's". Russell explained the change in the December 15, 1908 issue:
With the New Year we expect to drop the word "Zion's" in the title of our Journal, because many of the friends inform us that the word is objectionable, having been so much used by Mr. Dowie and his followers. They report that our Journal is frequently cast aside under the supposition that it is published under Dowie's auspices, or in some manner affiliated with Zion City, which he founded. The new name, THE WATCH TOWER, is the one by which the Journal is usually mentioned. It appears, further, that African churches and papers use the word Zion extensively, which has led to the inquiry whether or not our Journal is published and generally read by colored people.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
February 1, 1909
... We concede that the heathen are not fit for heaven and that since only the saintly, perfected in intention and character, however imperfect in works, will enter the heavenly state, these heathen certainly will not be received there. ... ... ...
... Great things are promised, of money and ambitious hearts. But again we point out the futility of all this. They can never convert the heathen. We are not opposed to missions. God forbid! We are glad that noble men and women self-sacrificingly take up the work of teaching civilization in heathen lands. It is well that heathen children should be taught to spell and read and sew; to sit on chairs and to wear clothing more corresponding to the Western styles. It is well that similar lessons, so far as possible, should be taught to the parents of those children also. It is well that they be taught with the Bibles also. Let us not mistake. Civilization is not Christianization, as many are disposed to force themselves to believe. If all of the heathen sat upon chairs, instead of on the ground, and ate with knives and forks, instead of their fingers, they would thereby be in a measure civilized. But this would not Christianize them, even though they were helped to the civilized methods by the most earnest Christians. ... ...
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
June 1, 1911 and November 1, 1911
A COLORED PILGRIM BROTHER
Brother Walton is engaged in Colporteuring, but is pleased to serve classes composed wholly or mainly of colored people, when requested. Additionally we have other colored Brethren of good education, good address, and as clear in the Truth as white Brethren who might give some of their time similarly. We invite classes of colored friends who so desire to send in applications for such service.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
July 1, 1911
OUR MISSIONARY WORK IN INDIA
[CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] discerned, in Divine providence, that although God is no respector of persons He has evidently designed the gathering of the majority of the "elect" from amongst the Semitic and the Aryan races of Europe and America. And, desiring to follow the leadings of Divine providence, and thus to be a co-worker with God, [RUSSELL] turned his special attention to the gathering of "the elect" and has been using his energies chiefly where this "elect" class are mostly to be expected -- in civilized lands.
Note that Russell edited out nearly all of the racist elements of this decades-old "joke". However, Russell failed to understand that it still remained a racist joke. Russell even could have used one of the several "unidentified couple" versions of this joke, but Russell did not. Russell simply could not resist leaving the woman in his joke as a "colored woman" for the "picture" that probably would be created in the minds of his mainly caucasian audience.
Charles Taze Russell
Overland Monthly, 1911
Jesus Taught Parabolically.
... A certain judge, addressing a colored woman who spoke of her husband's ill-treatment, asked her if she had tried the Apostle's remedy of heaping coals of fire on his head. She replied, "No," but that she had tried hot water without avail. An ignorant person might, perhaps, thus misunderstand the Apostle's figurative language. But is that an excuse for us, who claim to be more intelligent, to misunderstand it? ...
Vol. 2 No. 2
The Divine plan being set forth to an old colored woman, she was asked if it was not strange that God should do such great things for us. Her answer was, "No Master, it is just like him!"
Yet another racist tale to make a point easily made in any number of non-racist ways.
Charles Taze Russell
[God] ... has shown special favors to some nations, some races of people, more than others. ... "Why was it that God favored us of Europe? (Because I reckon that the Americans, you know, are all Europeans. The stock came from Europe, it merely has been transplanted to America -- all the same stock.) Why has God so favored the white race above all the other races? Are we better than the others?" And then, I compared matters ...
... I felt somewhat ashamed of my own race, that while we have greater blessings in so many ways and greater ability in some ways, those abilities seem to be largely in the way of taking what other people have and appropriating it to ourselves, ... he was shrewder than the others and therefore more able to grasp. Selfishness is more prominent in the white race ... .
God, in the Jews, had taken the worst and most stiff-necked people, and again, He had taken our forefathers of Europe, and He has taken some of the most rebellious and stiff-necked, hard and selfish people of the whole world; ... . ...
... yet, from this people God is choosing out His jewels, MAINLY, CHIEFLY. First, the Jews got the opportunity, and next came our forefathers, and we have the very best favor of all. Century after century, God's favor has been more with the white man than any other, and even today nearly all the blessings are with US -- our land and territory, and knowledge, and the Bible, in so many convenient forms, nearly all with US. ... ...
... [God] could not find a nation among all the fallen nations of the world, ... now He is taking out of all nations and people and tongues, and He is making a holy nation. How glad WE ARE that in God's providence WE HAVE BEEN INVITED TO BELONG TO THAT HOLY NATION! ...
ZION'S WATCH TOWER,
March 15, 1913
Southern Convention Tour
Kingston, Jamaica, we reached Feb. 25th. We found a large convention already in session, crowding Collegiate Hall -- about 600 -- nearly all colored. ... Their singing was excellent. On the next day ... the public came in crowds. The theater seats about 1,100. Besides these, approximately 700 were jammed into all the aisles and corridors and windows, ... . These were nearly all colored, not more than ten per cent whites. The friends had arranged to reserve certain seats for the whites, desiring especially that they should have an opportunity to hear; but the crowd, while orderly, insisted on taking possession of these.
1913 BIBLE STUDENTS SOUVENIR CONVENTION REPORT
... we are reminded of the worthy clergyman in Jefferson City who was trying to convert a negro and a Irishman who were sentenced to be hung on the same day. ... The negro repented, but he could make no impression on the Irishman. The day before the execution he made a final call and said, "Tomorrow that poor negro will be carried away to Abraham's bosom while you will be suffering the tortures of hell." "Oh, bad luck to you," said the Irishman. "Do you think Abraham will thank you for stuffing his shirt full of dead niggers?" The Irishman was right. ...
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
April 15, 1914
THE COLOR LINE FOUND NECESSARY
WE might have anticipated that many colored people would be deeply interested in THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. But it did not impress itself upon us until gradually their number increased to about twenty-five per cent of the whole audience. Of course, we were glad to see them, glad that they were interested in the DRAMA. We had the same feeling respecting them as others; but it was quickly discerned that it was not a case of feeling, but that, whereas the colored people of New York City are about five per cent of the population, in our audiences they are about twenty-five per cent and the number increasing. What shall we do? As the attendance of the colored people would increase, proportionately the number of the whites would decrease; for explain it how we will, a majority of whites prefer not to intermingle closely with other races. (Here, Russell makes a racist comment about the "majority of whites". In all likelihood, there had been only a few "complaints" made by only a handful of "whites", including Russell's "Bethelite" staffers.)
Recognizing that it meant either the success or the failure of the enterprise of the DRAMA as respects the whites, we have been compelled to assign the colored friends to the gallery, which, however, is just as good for seeing and hearing as any other part of The Temple. Some were offended at this arrangement.
We have received numerous letters from the colored friends, some claiming that it is not right to make a difference, others indignantly and bitterly denouncing us as enemies of the colored people. Some, confident that Brother Russell had never sanctioned such a discrimination, told that they believe it would be duty to stand up for equal rights and always to help the oppressed, etc. We were obliged to explain the facts, assuring all of our loving interest in the colored people, and of our desire to do them good, and not injury. We again suggested that if a suitable place could be found in which the DRAMA could be presented for the benefit of the colored people alone, we would be glad to make such arrangements, or to co-operate with any others in doing so.
Our explanations were apparently entirely satisfactory to all of the fully consecrated. To these we explained that it is a question of putting either the interests of God's Cause first, or else the interests of the race first. We believed it our duty to put God first and the Truth first -- at any cost to others or to ourself! We explained that we thought that all the colored brethren should know our attitude toward them -- they should know that we love to serve them in any way possible and to give them the very best we have to give of the Gospel Message; and that it is only a question of whether our giving to them in one way would deprive us of giving the Truth to others.
Some who were still tenacious and quarrelsome we merely reminded of our Lord's declaration that in inviting visitors into the house it is the place of the host to say where they shall sit, and then we showed them the parable of the man who chose the chief seat of honor and was given a lower one.
In answer to the query as to how our course of conduct squared with the Golden Rule, we replied that it squares exactly. We would wish others to put God first. If our personal interests are or ever have been in conflict with the real and apparently best interests of the Lord's Cause, it is a part of our consecration vow to ignore our interests in favor of the interests of the Lord's Cause. This is what we mean by the declaration that we are dead to self and alive to our God as New Creatures.
We reminded one dear sister that the Lord enjoins humility, and assures us that unless we humble ourselves we shall not be exalted. If nature favors the colored brethren and sisters in the exercise of humility it is that much to their advantage, if they are rightly exercised by it. A little while, and our humility will work out for our good. A little while, and those who shall have been faithful to their Covenant of Sacrifice will be granted new bodies, spiritual, beyond the veil, where color and sex distinctions will be no more. A little while, and the Millennial Kingdom will be inaugurated, which will bring Restitution to all mankind -- restitution to the perfection of mind and body, feature and color, to the grand original standard, which God declared "very good", and which was lost for a time through sin, but which is soon to be restored by the powerful Kingdom of Messiah.
The following article PROMOTING SCHOOL SEGREGATION was published in the October 1, 1919, THE GOLDEN AGE magazine, which was the forerunner of the later CONSOLATION magazine -- both of which were forerunners of today's AWAKE! magazine. Readers should understand that the following article was written by a staff writer who likely took the "facts" from another magazine or newspaper article. However, the "opinions" in this article were those of the writer and their editors, and were believed to be acceptable to the magazine's readers. Edits and emphasis is ours. The expressed racism belongs to the WatchTower Society. Note that the students are initially referred to as "blacks", but later as "colored":
NEGRO EDUCATION IN CINCINNATI
... Douglas High School of Cincinnati. Blacks from all over the city go to this school by preference. They feel that they get the best chance by staying in their own crowd, AND THEY ARE PROBABLY RIGHT. ... ... the best way to deal with the colored boy or girl to make for contentment and order is to give them a chance, and to give them that chance BY THEMSELVES. While it is true that "of one blood God hath made all nations of men", nevertheless under present imperfect conditions A WISE SEGREGATION IS PROBABLY AN ADVANTAGE TO ALL CONCERNED.
The very same October 1, 1919 issue of THE GOLDEN AGE also published the following racist concern. By the way, "fecundity" means "abundantly fertile":
FECUNDITY OF JAPANESE WOMEN
... So many children are being born to the Japanese women of California so as to CAUSE SOME ANXIETY TO THE PEOPLE of that state. ... There are now more than 30,000 Japanese children in California who are native-born and POSSESS ALL THE RIGHTS OF LEASING AND OWNERSHIP HELD BY WHITE CHILDREN. ... Here we have a very literal fufilment (sic) of the Lord's promised punishment of Mother Eve and her daughters: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception." -- Genesis 3:16.
"Phosphate mines ... are ... open pits. ... The work is all done by NEGRO labor, principally with pick and shovel, ... ." -- THE GOLDEN AGE, Oct 1, 1919. In a paragraph describing how phosphate is mined, how/what does the adjective "Negro" add to the picture of hard manual labor?
"From a CRIMINAL VIEWPOINT the desirability of SOBERING THE SOUTHERN NEGRO speaks volumes for national prohibition." -- THE GOLDEN AGE, Oct 15, 1919. Were "all", or even "most", "southern Negroes" drunken criminals? Of course, not!!!
"Many newsboys are in constant touch with degrading or criminal surroundings. ... dealing with twenty-three supply men, of whom thirteen were COLORED MEN WITH EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL RECORDS." -- THE GOLDEN AGE, Dec 2, 1919. Should readers assume that the remaining ten "white" "supply men" were model citizens???
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
Effective January 1, 1922, "Judge" Rutherford officially segregated the WatchTower Society despite "considerable objection" from some of the prominent colored brethren. A separate "Colored Branch"was established at Brooklyn Bethel, and was headed by a colored "Secretary" and his wife. Colored brethren who were members of mixed race congregations were directed to "organize separate classes and not meet with their white brethren". Colored brethren also were directed to restrict their "separate public witness" to "people of their own color". Contributions and other funds could be sent to the attention of the Colored Branch, but naturally, non-cash items were to be made payable to the Watch Tower Society.
A separate Spanish Branch was already operating in Los Angeles, California by the 1920s. Headed by its own "Secretary", that Branch Office served not only the United States, but also Mexico, Central America, and South America. The Spanish Branch published THE WATCHTOWER magazine, and a small selection of books, booklets, and other essential items. Due to limited success, the Branch was relocated back to Brooklyn sometime in the latter 1920s.
The separate Polish Branch was moved from Detroit, Michigan to Brooklyn Bethel in 1922.
Starting in the mid-1920s, "Judge Rutherford" began making heavy use of "radio" to spread his anti-religion, anti-government, and anti-everything else propaganda -- including the use of radio stations which he secretly owned partially and wholly himself, radio stations owned by the WatchTower Society, and other stations from which he purchased air time.
The WatchTower Society recruited skilled musicians, singers, actors, playwrights, etc., along with support personnel, for orchestras, bands, solo and group singing, and radio dramas. At least one of those 1920s dramas included the all too frequently used "old happy Negro" character, who despite his poor English ultimately had more common sense than did the main caucasian characters. Here is a sampling of the racist dialogue from one of those WatchTower Society radio drama scripts:
While waiting for Attorney Trout, the Lieutenant is talking with his former truck driver, a jolly old Negro.
Houston : "Yes, Nathaniel, I got back safe and sound, and am glad to see old Nathaniel still carrying on."
Nathaniel: "Boss, I sho nevah tho't I'd see you agin. Tho't sho one of dem bullets would drap ya right in yo tracks. When I see'd you lef de house dat day, I jes close me eyes and sed to de boys, 'I guess dats de las time what we see de boss.' But heah ya is, lookin jes like yo'sef. I know de missus is sho glad today."
Houston: "Well it was hard to leave the folks, Nathaniel; and yet I was anxious for the experience. You know I had been trained for that purpose and wanted to put my training into execution -- just wanted to see the troops I had been training with in action; to see the reality."
Nathaniel: "Boss, I wants to know sumpin bout de war -- 'bout dem big bum's what drap right outen de sky. I hearn tell 'bout dem by de preacher. He sed we better all git religion, cause dey mought be anothah war some day. But he hopes dis is de las one. But dat is jes what he sed 'bout dis one, He said 'twant go be no mo wars, for de kingdom of hebben was almost heah, and dat de people was almost converted -- jes a few mo years and den de people would all be on de Lawd's side. But lo, der comes de war, and jes like one of dem big bums what drap from de sky and blowed up all de plans of de preachers. We looked for de poirly gates of hebben, and since den we ain't found nothin but de fire and brimstone. It oos to be dat nobody but de cullud folks oos to fight and kill one anothah on Sattaday nights. But nowdays de white folks dey worse dan de cullud folks ever been. Dey doint wait till Sattaday night; dey fights all de time. Oh, oh, heah come Marse Trout." ...
... ... ... (Skip to end.)
Nathaniel (laughing) : Well, sah, boss, if dat ain't de fust time I evvah see'd Marse Trout git whipped. Huh, he jes hang his head and walk away and say nothin. Well, sah, if dat don't beat me. Befo' de jedge in de co'troom Marse Trout is some fighter; but he ain't so many on de Bible. He jes' walk away and hang his head. Ev'body said Marse Trout know de Bible; but boss, he jes think de sun rise and set on de preachah. If de preachah say de worl' gonna burn up, de worl' gonna burn up. And if he say all de sinnahs goin-ta burn, das what Marse Trout say, too. (Pause) Boss, yo sure hit de nail squarr on de head when yo say de preachahs is libbin offen de fat of de Iamb. All de cullud preachahs dey ride round in big fine lemmy-zeens, while we poor cullud folks has to jes keep on walkin. Dey sho is libbin offen de fat of us lambs. But, boss, yo didn't know nuthin 'bout de Good Book when you lef. I wants to know mo 'bout what you been tellin Marse Trout. Tell me where you git dis good news 'bout de kingdom.
Houston: Nathaniel, I haven't time now to tell you about it, but I'll send you a book that will give you the whole story.
Nathaniel: I sho is gonna look fo dat book and, boss, don't forgit next time I sees you, I wants you to tell me 'bout dem big bum's what drap right outa de sky.
Houston***: Well, be good, Nathaniel.
Nathaniel: Good-bye, Boss.
***Boycotters of our websites should know what students of our website know -- that "Houston" is loosely modeled after "Judge" Rutherford's then best buddy and righthand man, Gene Orrell.
In July 1927, "Judge" Rutherford had planned the main summer WatchTower Convention for Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, Rutherford did not want all of his "not-quite-white" Eastern European followers living in the upper Midwest to flood into Canada, so he scheduled a separate Convention only for them in Detroit, Michigan.
Rutherford sent to Detroit his personal "representative" -- Bethelite Evander J. Coward, who told the audience of immigrants that Rutherford had lovingly provided a separate but equal convention for them to avoid the language and customs barriers that they would have encountered traveling to Toronto. E. J. Coward also gave his immigrant audience the following brief American history lesson. We invite readers to attempt to verify the "new facts" related by Evander Coward:
There is no question but that the hand of God is discernible in the hiding of the American continent from the warring powers of Europe until God's due time, and it is interesting that that due time coincided so closely with the invention of printing.
To be sure, America was really discovered by [Northern European] Leif Ericson. This fact is now universally conceded by American scholars. Relics of his expeditions to this land have been found which leave the matter no longer open to question. But the Norsemen did not continue their voyages, and the few whites that they left on American shores drifted south, and were manifestly the progenitors of what are called the White Indians of Panama, a race of Indians far above the average indicating in various ways their origin in one of the Nordic races.
[Southern European] Columbus obtained his first knowledge about America from Norse records in Iceland, and with this knowledge in his possession he was able to sail the western seas with a confidence born of assurance that he would find land in due season.
As a matter of fact the land was found just in God's due season. The Reformation was at hand, and God had prearranged that liberty lovers from all over the world [from Africa?] should sail across the great sea and find conditions which would be more favorable for the unhampered study and circulation of the truth than was possible in most European lands.
And so it happens that we now have on American shores all kinds of nationalities. Among these, in the United States, are several million people who trace their origin to Poland. Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Lithuania. It was not possible for some of these to find their way into Canada and back again, and it would have been difficult for some for whom it was entirely possible; and so, having in view the difficulties of language and of customs barriers, Judge Rutherford decided that these should have their convention in Detroit, at the same time that the other I.B.S.A. conventions are being held ... in Toronto.
November 15, 1927
Letters From Afield
... In canvassing a colored preacher before his church, he asked me if I could get his money back for four volumes of Pastor Russell's books, which he had purchased from one of our sisters (undoubtedly the wife of this author), saying very solemnly and piously, "I, I don't handle dem books; I, I don't handle dem books; they are Russell's books." ... He turned around, and ran with his long pious coat, to the surprise of members of his congregation outside. He never again asked the money back. As he ran into the church, I canvassed some of his church members. -- submitted by David Davidian, an Armenian immigrant who was a prominent WatchTower Cult colporteur for decades in California.
The November 30, 1927 issue of THE GOLDEN AGE included the article, "The Story of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'", and was authored by an apparent northern European Rutherford follower, named J. L. Bolling, given content which included the WatchTower's period teaching that the development and history of the United States had been predestined and directed by Jehovah, such that Charles Taze Russell could be born and reared to start and lead the "Millennial Dawn" movement.
The point of this overall article was that Satan had led the decades-long fight against slavery in the United States in his hope that such would lead to a civil war. As a major part of Satan's plans, he inspired and manipulated Harriot Beecher Stowe to author an anti-slavery book which inaccurately portrayed slavery and the southern United States so as to stir up the passions of northern citizens against both slavery and their fellow southern citizens, which Satan hoped would lead to a civil war, which Satan hoped would disrupt Charles Taze Russell from initiating the "Millennial Dawn" age. See above.
Included in this article was a racist "shot" at all "Spaniards", and presumably all "Italians" and other "Catholic" southern Europeans, probably including the "French". Included is the insinuation that God had chosen for His plans northern European settlers who had settled the northern coast line of America, rather than southern Europeans who had settled the southern coast line, the Caribbean, and central and south America.
Centuries before, anticipating the settlement of North America by a liberty-loving people, and the founding of a government favorable to enlightenment, Satan had sought to forestall it through the voyages of Columbus and the resulting effort to people it with Spaniards and other backward races under the influence of Rome. This undertaking failed.
Grandly, God's plan went forward, and in due time the nucleus of a new nation appeared along the NORTH ATLANTIC COAST (which had been settled by northern Europeans.) Satan was dismayed, and inspired a tyrannical ruler to cruelly oppress the colonies, in the hope that the torch of freedom, then burning so brightly, would be extinguished.
... But Jehovah raised up a Washington, through whose instrumentality He ... "brought forth on this continent a nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal".
God's plan provided that America should be ... the workshop and experimental laboratory of the TIME OF THE END; and accordingly, from this central source He has distributed His chief blessings of the MILLENNIAL DAWN PERIOD. ... This, therefore, accounts for the repeated attempts of Satan to destroy its institutions.
... ... ... ... the Devil instituted a double program, that of slavery agitation through the Abolition Societies, churches, newspapers, etc., and by harassing Congress with petitions ... . Satan well knew that if Congress could be induced to abolish slavery, war would result. ... ... Crude, slowing trains crawled through the land, in fulfilment of prophecy. (See FINISHED MYSTERY book) ... ... ... Providence ... insured the election of Lincoln, God's chosen instrument in saving the Union. ...
The October 31, 1928 issue of THE GOLDEN AGE included an article about "labor" and "workers". Under the heading, "The Value of Organization", the following "joke" introduced that section. Admittedly, the joke well makes the point, but that same joke could have been re-worded to eliminate the racist characterization of a Negro farmworker and his exaggerated accent. Why not two white guys? (Edits and emphasis ours.)
Sam, the colored driver of an ox team, saw a little lizard crawling up a tree. He flourished his LONG WHIP (sorry) and very deftly snapped off the lizard's head. Farther along the road, with skilful precision, he picked a horsefly off the fence with the same weapon. His skill as a marksman was next exhibited on a chipmunk that showed its head above the ground. A WHITE COMPANION (the white straight man) finally said: "Sam, take a crack at that hornet's nest." Sam grinned and replied: "No suh; no suh, boss. Them (Dem) fellahs (is) are awganized."
July 24, 1929
Bible Questions and Answers
Question: Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?
Answer: It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, "Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren," he pictured the future of the Colored race. They have been and are a race of servants, but ... the only real joy in life is in serving others; not in bossing them. There is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and the joy that he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world.
THE GOLDEN AGE
January 8, 1930
"It worked fine, like the colored man's coon trap."
In other words, the "proverbial trap" was capable of "ketching 'em cumin' an goin'". Notably, there are multiple versions of this racist tale in which multiple varieties of "traps" are mentioned -- fish traps, varmint traps, etc. However, this WatchTower Society author abbreviated the racist tale into a mere proverb, thus counting on his readers' knowledge of the complete racist tale for the author's point to be made. Additionally, it was no accident that this WatchTower Society author decided that his abbreviated version of this racist tale should specify a "COON" trap.
JUDGE RUTHERFORD MOCKS "COLORED" FOLLOWERS
The 1931 THE MESSENGER Convention Report included a photograph of "Judge" Rutherford posing with 19 members of the London, England Bethel, when he visited there in May-June 1931. That photograph was captioned:
The Bethel Family at London. See 'em Grinning? The Chief Had Just
Finished Telling Them Something in the "Colored Language".
The March 2, 1932 issue of THE GOLDEN AGE included the article, "Easy Way To Make Eleven Dollars". Once again, the racist language was not necessary in order to report this amusing-to-IBSA story. (Edits and emphasis ours.)
Early in December, in a colored church some twenty miles out of Moultrie, Ga., Nathan Worthy was invited to preach. He said he needed $7 and passed the collections plate after the sermon. When it came back empty Worthy whipped out a pistol from under his coat and waved it at the congregation. "Look hyah, chillun," he said, "when I say I need seben dollahs, I means I need seben dollahs. Dey ain't nary one o' you brethren or sistern leavin' dis chuch until I get dat seben dollahs." The collection plate went round again and returned with $11.05.
Making a generous estimate of the value of the sermon, let us agree that it was worh a nickel. Natham made a clear $11 on the transaction. We made an investigation of this case and found that the story is substantially correct.
The September 14, 1932 issue of THE GOLDEN AGE included the article, "Egypt, The Land The Devil Claimed As His Own". This is a very lengthy article authored by one of the WatchTower Society's better writers, whom obviously had visited Egypt. The author also indicated that they knew how gracious were winters in San Diego, California. However, the article is unsigned. We barely skipped over a couple of other nearly racist remarks, but settled for this one:
The most desirable natives to the south of Assuan are the jet-black Nubians or Berbers. They have proved to be excellent servants in Africa as men of their color have proved to be excellent servants in America.
1932 YEARBOOK OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Many of those amongst the colored peoples who have the mental capacity to understand have a keen appreciation of the kingdom message and cannot get enough of it. It does one good to note their childlike simplicity and trust in the Lord.
The colored people usually have large families, and a book in a family often serves a number of persons; ... .
THE GOLDEN AGE
January 4, 1933
There are about 350 species of woodpeckers. One of these the Negroes call by the opprobrious (racist) name of "shirt-tail bird". That is all just because, innocently, he has white upper tail covers and a white rump. Why blame a bird for something he can't help? One of those industrious woodpeckers can do something no darky could do, no matter how good his intentions. He will eat three thousand ants at one sitting, and enjoy them!
THE GOLDEN AGE
January 18, 1933
Africa -- A Continent in the Making
Cut off from the rest of the world by mountains, seas and deserts, and burdened by the weight of his dark color, the black man has been left to himself, except as the whites saw fit to raid his country and take him into slavery. ... Native indolence, demonized medicine men, absence of roads, inpenetrable jungles, all these have held the continent back from contact with the whites, and from progress.
... French and British administrators have put an end to the intertribal wars that at various times have decimated parts of the Dark Continent. ...
... The medicine man is still supreme in Africa. His intelligence may be measured from the fact that one of them ground up a phonograph record and gave it to a man who could not talk. The man got well! ...
Natural Ability of the Blacks
... Every new white man is at once given a name which describes him perfectly, accentuating his peculiarities. ... The natives of Africa are, generally speaking, the most peaceful, most trustful, and best tempered people to be found anywhere. This would be apparent from the fact that there never has been an invasion of other lands by an uprising of blacks; nor has the black race in America ever given any serious trouble. ... As elsewhere, the blacks do the hardest kind of work efficiently and uncomplainingly.
Happy and Childlike Dispositions
... blacks in their homeland ... hav[e] happy and childlike dispositions, as, indeed, is the case here in America. ... They do not brood over their grievances; they are not oppressed with discontent. They are admittedly much easier to govern than the Hindus. If his master has beams or planks around the place the native will chop them up for firewood because they chop more easily than logs; the fact that they are valuable and expensive does not enter his mind. ...
As in America (and in America it is not limited to the blacks), the Africans are inordinately vain, so much so that the world's recognized market for second-hand uniforms, dress suits, etc. is in that region. A pair of trousers makes all the difference in the world in the estimate a man holds of himself in Africa, and in the estimate that others have of him. Put a pair of trousers on one who has never before worn them, and he at once becomes insufferably arrogant. There are tribes in Africa where the women paint as badly as they do in New York city. This may seem incredible to one who has ridden in a New York subway. ...
THE GOLDEN AGE
June 21, 1933
Murders in Five Years, 51,206
LIFE in the United States continues less safe than anywhere else in the world. In the last five years 51,206 murders were committed. ... Memphis remains our most dangerous city, followed by other cities with large Negro populations, ...
THE GOLDEN AGE
July 19, 1933
Insulting Jehovah God in Elgin, Illinois
How does it come that Jehovah's witnesses can witness to President Roosevelt and all official and private Washington and be treated with courtesy, and when they come to Elgin or to Plainfield they are treated as they have been? "Who is the colored gentleman in the woodpile?"
C. J. Woodworth and his staff were slick with the following two news items from Georgia inserted in two consecutive issues. Slight criticism of white actors camouflages actual reason for inclusion of these items.
THE GOLDEN AGE
November 22, 1933
No More Sunday Funerals of Negroes in Macon
THERE will be no more Sunday funerals of Negroes in Macon, Georgia. Hitherto, so goes a dispatch to the New York Times, Macon Negroes have counted on passing out of this life with a funeral on Sunday, and a brass band in the procession. Seems as if somebody were always taking the pleasure out of life, and now the dominies and undertakers are even trying to take it out of the funerals.
THE GOLDEN AGE
December 6, 1933
Georgia's Governor Says Negroes Are Human
GEORGIA'S governor says that the Negro tenant farmers are human. The way he puts it is: "If he gets on the relief rolls, he is like everyone else and naturally will not work when he can get something for nothing. Neither will he toil ten, twelve, or fourteen hours a day in the field, if he can get three times what he would receive either working for the government or merely drawing relief funds and relief goods."
Readers unfamiliar with WatchTower Cult history, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, should know that the first 50 years of the cult was marked with prejudice in FAVOR of the Jewish people. Founder, Charles Taze Russell, even was a "Zionist", promoting the resettlement of Palestine by the Jewish people. Russell even avoided attempting to "convert" the Jews.
"Judge" Rutherford continued those beliefs and teachings until the mid-1920s, when he sent his "envoy", "Mac", to Palestine in hopes of making some sort of deal where each group played its own Christian and Jewish role in the "divine plan". Mac's entreaty was rejected -- rather harshly. Rutherford steamed for years as he waited for the right time to flip-flop his cult's teachings re the Jews.
In 1931, the tumblers all lined up during a worldwide wave of Jewish hatred, and "Judge" Rutherford began flip-flopping the WatchTower Cult's teachings from pro-Jew to anti-Jew. The first significant change included biblical "identity theft". The WatchTower Cult's started teaching its' own version of "replacement theology". The Jews were no longer "Jehovah's witnesses". Rutherford's own followers replaced the Jewish people as "Jehovah's witnesses", and were now taught that they were the "heirs" to all of Jehovah's biblical promises once made to the Jews.
The WatchTower Society arranged a WatchTower Convention to be held in Berlin on June 25, 1933. A resolution called, DECLARATION OF FACTS, had been authored by "Judge" Rutherford, which was intended to kiss Hitler's arse. German Bible Students were shocked to see some swastika flags when they entered the Convention venue. The Convention was opened with the playing of Song 64, which German Bible Students had stopped singing because Song 64 used the same music as did the German National Anthem. Some attendees refused to sing the IBSA's lyrics along to Hayden's music.
The resolution, DECLARATION OF FACTS, eventually was submitted to the attendees, generally accepted, and passed. Just as Hiltler had blamed the Jews for Germany's woes, Rutherford blamed Jewish "Big Business" for many of the "Great Depression" woes then occurring in the United States and Great Britain, which Rutherford proclaimed was "the most oppressive empire on earth". Neither did Rutherford miss an opportunity to throw the League of Nations under the bus. In part, DECLARATION OF FACTS dclared:
DECLARATION OF FACTS
... We are wrongfully charged before the ruling powers of this government and before the people of this nation; ... we do respectfully ask the rulers of the nation and the people to give a fair and impartial consideration to the statement of facts here made. ...
... It is falsely charged by our enemies that we have received financial support for our work from the Jews. Nothing is farther from the truth. Up to this hour there never has been the slightest bit of money contributed to our work by Jews. We are the faithful followers of Christ Jesus and believe upon Him as the Savior of the world, whereas the Jews entirely reject Jesus Christ and emphatically deny that he is the Savior of the world sent of God for man's good. This of itself should be sufficient proof to show that we receive no support from Jews and that therefore the charges against us are maliciously false and could proceed only from Satan, our great enemy.
The greatest and the most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American empire. By that is meant the British Empire, of which the United States of America forms a part. It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations. This fact particularly applies to the cities of London and New York, the stronghold of Big Business. This fact is so manifest in America that there is a proverb concerning the city of New York which says: "The Jews own it, the Irish Catholics rule it, and the Americans pay the bills." ...
It should be borne in mind that in the British Empire and in America the common people have suffered and are suffering greatly from the misrule of Big Business and conscienceless politicians, ...
The present government of Germany has declared emphatically against Big Businessoppressors and in opposition to the wrongful religious influence in the political affairs of the nations. Such is exactly our position; ... ...
... Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles, and point out that Jehovah God through Christ Jesus will bring about the full realization of these principles and will give to the people peace and prosperity and the greatest desire of every honest heart. ... ... ...
... A careful examination of our books and literature will disclose the fact that the very high ideals held and promulgated by the present national [socialists -- NAZI] government are set forth in and endorsed and strongly emphasized in our publications and show that Jehovah God will see to it that these high ideals in due time will be attained by all persons who love righteousness ... .
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
... Let us remind the government and the people of Germany, that it was the League of Nations compact that laid upon the shoulders of the German people the great unjust and unbearable burdens. That League of Nations compact was not brought forth by the friends of Germany. ... It was in America that our organization under the visible leadership of its president pointed out emphatically that the League of Nations is not an institution of Jehovah God, because it is oppressive and unfair. ... ... .
... ... The people of Germany have suffered great misery since 1914 and have been the victims of much injustice practiced on them by others. The nationalists [NAZIs] have declared themselves against all such unrightousness and announced that, "Our relationship to God is high and holy." Since our organization fully endorses these righteous principles, ... .
The WatchTower Society's CONSOLATION magazine was the forerunner of today's AWAKE! magazine. In 1938, CONSOLATION's front inside page hosted a column called "Appetizers", which typically contained a collection of republished jokes, witticisms, etc. The February 4, 1938, issue of CONSOLATION republished the following two racist jokes. While not their authorship, the editorial staff still had to find, select, and approve these two racist tales for republication in CONSOLATION magazine:
Two powerful colored steveadores, who had had some sort of falling out, were engaged in loading a vessel at a St. Louis dock. Uncomplimentary remarks and warnings of intended violence were exchanged whenever the two passed each other with their trucks.
"You jest keep on pesterin' around wid me," declared one of the men, "an' you is gwine be able to settle a mighty big question for the sciumtific folks!"
"What question dat?" asked the other.
"Kin the dead speak!" -- Labor
"How long you in jail for, Mose?"
"What am de charge?"
"No charge: Everything am free."
"Ah mean, what has you did?"
"Done shot my wife."
"You shot your wife and only in jail for two weeks?"
"Dats all -- den I gets hung!"
October 5, 1938
Bill collector (having a hard time of it trying to collect an old account, and much pestered by small child): "That child is pretty badly spoiled, isn't he, Mandy?"
"No, sah, dat chile ain't spoiled; he jus' smell dat way."
March 3, 1938
Resting Place of Military Uniforms
The final resting place of uniforms and silk hats is with the Negroes of South Africa, who get as big of kick out of wearing second-hand military uniforms as their white brothers do out of wearing them new. The Negroes are not particular as to color, style, age or condition of the garments. There are more silk hats in some South African Negro villages than can be found in many North American cities.
The WatchTower Society's CONSOLATION magazine was the forerunner of today's AWAKE! magazine. In 1939, CONSOLATION's front inside page hosted a column called "Appetizers", which typically contained a collection of republished jokes, witticisms, etc. The January 25, 1939, issue of CONSOLATION republished the following "Rastus and Liza" tale. While not their authorship, the editorial staff still had to find, select, and approve this racist tale for republication in CONSOLATION magazine:
UP TO LIZA!
Rastus and Liza were married but a short time when he came home with a big washtub, a washboard and a three foot mirror.
Liza -- Whut's all de truck you brung?
Rastus -- Not all, but yo' kin take yo' pick. Yo' kin take de tub an' washboard an' go to work, or yo' kin take de mirror an' set down an' watch yo'se'f starve. -- Labor
April 5, 1939
Cost of the Depression
"The "colored gentleman in the woodpile" is ... ."
As to the Burning of Books*
"... had about as much chance as ... a watermelon at a Negro picnic, ... ."
*This excerpt came from a lengthy LTTE originally published in a Tennessee newspaper which praised and supported "Judge" Rutherford. We include this as a criticism of the CONSOLATION because the racist remark had nothing to do with the reason this LTTE was republished in CONSOLATION -- thus it should have been edited out of the republished LTTE.
May 31, 1939
The Cause of It All
"Brudders and Sisters, you knows an' Ah knows dat Ah ain't been what Ah's oughter been. Ah's robbed hen-roosts, an' stole hawgs, an' tole lies, an' got drunk, an' slashed folks wit mah razor, an' shot craps, an' cussed an' swore; but Ah thank de Lawd ders one thing Ah ain't done; Ah ain't nebber lost mah Ligion."
November 15, 1939
Names of the Mules
A P[roduction] C[redit] A[ssociation] official in lower South Carolina was visited by a Negro farmer who wished to borrow some money to make a crop. "How many mules have you?" asked the official as he began filling in the application blank. "Fo'; yassah, I've got fo'," the old darky replied. "What are their names?" asked the official. "Baptis', Meth'dis, Presbytarin, an' Piscopalium," said the Negro. "Why, that's a new idea," said the official; "why did you give them those names?"
"Well, suh, its dis way: Dat Baptis' mule he jes likes to get in de creek an' wade 'roun', but when he gets out of de water, he won't do nothin'. Dat Meth'dis mule, all he does is ter holler an' holler, an' den he don't do nothin'. De Presbyterin mule, he's so sot in his ways he never do nothin till he wants to anyway. An' dat Piscopalium mule, he allus hold his haid an' tail high, but he ain't wurth er darn." -- Taken from a Farm magazine.
April 17, 1940
The Embarrassed Parson
Mose: Rastus say Parsun Brown done ketch him in Farmer Smith's chicken coup.
Zeke: Boy! Don't Rastus fell 'shamed.
Mose: No, suh. De parsun am de one who feel 'shamed. He can't 'splane how he done ketch Rastus dar?
May 29, 1940
A colored preacher had made a visit to another church of the same denomination, and was introduced by the regular preacher as follows: "Brothers and Sisters, the speaker for this afternoon is from the _________ colored congregation. While his skin's a different color from that of ours, I assure you his heart is as white as yours. Rev. ________ ." Sometime thereafter, the time came for the white preacher to address the colored congregation, and was introduced by the colored minister with the words: "Breddern and Sistern: It affords me the extremest pleasuh to introduce the speaker from ___________ , and I wants to explain that though his skin ain't the same color as the odders heah, his heart is as black as any of yourn."
June 12, 1940
Where the Argument Started
"Rastus," said the judge," you are accused of disturbing the entire neighborhood on Tuesday night; what have you to say for yourself?"
"Well, suh, it was this here way. Me an' Lucy had an argument; she call me a lazy lofah and I slap her down flat. Up she hops an' smash a skillet on mah haid an' drop me flat. Den I riz up and welt her one wid a chair, and den she done heave a hot teakettle at me which sho' scald me quite considerable."
"I see, and then what happened?"
"And den," said Rastus slowly, "den we gits mad an' starts to fight." -- Herbalist.
July 10, 1940
The Destination of Business
A noted preacher was holding a revival meeting. One evening he got up and said: "Now, everybody that wants to go to heaven, stand up." All stood up but one Jew. The preacher said, "Ikey, why don't you want to go to heaven?" The Jew said: "Business has gone to the other place, and I prefer to stay in business. -- Kellygram.
Sam Saw the Ghost
"Yes, suh, Ah'd j'st come out o' de cowshed wid a pail of milk in mah hand. Den I hears a noise an' de ghost rushes out. Ah shook so dat when I got to de house dere was no milk in mah pail, only jest two pounds o' buttah."
September 4, 1940
Longer than Jonah
Ephraim: Did you know dat Jonah was three days in the stomach of a whale?
Rastus: Dat ain't much. Mah uncle was longer den dat in de stomach ob an alligator.
Ephraim: You don't say! How long?
Rastus: He's dere yit! -- Readers Digest.
A colored boy was strolling through a cemetery reading the inscriptions on the tombstones. He came to one that read, "Not dead, but sleeping." Scratching his head, the Negro remarked: "He sure ain't foolin' nobody but hisself." -- Clinic Magazine.
He Wasn't LostAt the St. Louis convention of Jehovah's witnesses an adult witness noticed a small colored boy standing near him, apparently lost in the crowd. He said to him, "Are you lost, little boy?" and the lad replied, "No, suh! I's ain't lost. Only the goats are lost, and I's a sheep."
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom
January 15, 1950
On this same week-end the first of two district assemblies for colored brethren was held in Jacksonville, Florida. This assembly was the very essence of appreciation and enthusiasm. As speakers made strong points murmurs of approval ran across the audience like the rustle of wind through pines. Applause was frequent. Speakers with little worldly education presented excellent material, by Jehovah's grace. These brethren showed exceptional understanding of human nature and skillfully applied Bible texts to tear away excuses or to offer encouragement in overcoming difficulties encountered in the field work. The few white brethren who assisted in looking after the assembly arrangements were outspoken in their praise of the way the colored brethren did the work assigned to them. While the assembly was for colored persons, there was no color line as far as the witnesses were concerned. ...
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom
February 1, 1952
Questions From Readers
If the Watchtower Society is free from racial prejudice, why does it tolerate segregation at its assemblies in certain sections of country? Is this not a course of compromise? -- F. C., Wisconsin.
Why do we tolerate the segregation laws and policies of certain governments and organizations of this world? Because Jehovah has not commissioned us to convert the world, which is wicked beyond recovery and hence will be destroyed. Jehovah has commissioned us to preach the gospel. Now what should we do? Drop preaching to fight racial issues? We never have separate meetings and baptisms when we can have them together. But when impossible, shall we have separate meetings and baptisms, or none at all? Shall we serve spiritual food to all, even if separately, or serve it to none? Shall we provide baptism for all, even if separately, or provide it for none? Should we buck Caesar's segregation laws, when they do not force us to violate God's laws? God does not forbid separate assembly and baptism, and he commands assembly and baptism. (Matt. 28:19; Heb. 10:25) So should we disobey God to fight a racial issue? To buck the segregation laws would bring on disruption of the witness work, halting of it, mob violence, and possible loss of life. Only laws prohibiting gospel-preaching will we buck at that price.
Some may argue segregation is prohibited by God, citing Galatians 3:28 (NWT): "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus." That Paul spoke in a spiritual sense and not in a literal, physical sense is obvious, since actually there were male and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek. Because of the existence of Jew and Greek he specially accommodated himself and his preaching to such classes. (1 Cor. 9:19-22) His recognition of slave and freeman we will consider in more detail, since it bears directly on segregation. How so? Because segregation is rooted in slavery, is the outgrowth and hangover of slavery. Segregation, the stain left by slavery, is a lesser evil than slavery. So if the Bible does not instruct Christians to fight slavery it would not sanction them to battle the lesser evil of segregation, at the expense of gospel-preaching.
Even within the Christian congregation Paul did not protest the slavery of his time. Onesimus was Philemon's slave, and both were Christians. (Philem. 10-16) Paul wrote Timothy, who pictured the society of witnesses today: "Let as many as are slaves under a yoke keep on considering their owners worthy of full honor." Why? "That the name of God and the teaching may never be spoken of injuriously."Kingdom preaching and Jehovah's vindication are the issues to keep foremost, not creature equality and racial issues. "Moreover, let those having believing owners not look down on them, because they are brothers. On the contrary, let them the more readily be slaves, because those receiving the benefit of their good service are believers and beloved." (1 Tim. 6:1, 2, NWT) Here again note that the slavery of those times existed even within the Christian congregation.
Paul also wrote: "In whatever state each one was called, let him remain in it. Were you called a slave? Do not let it worry you; but if you can also become free, rather seize the opportunity." If Paul could say this regarding slavery, how much more so can it be said to those discriminated against by segregation laws: "Do not let it worry you." It is no cause for Christian concern or anxiety. But if the Lord's people are in locations where they are free of segregation laws or policies, they rejoice in the greater freedom and delight to be together in assembly. All are slaves of Christ, as Paul goes on to show: "Anyone in the Lord that was called a slave is the Lord's freedman: likewise he that was called a free man is a slave of Christ." (1 Cor. 7:20-24, NWT) Surprisingly, some colored brothers have strenuously objected to this, protesting as offensive the use of the word "slave" in the New World Translation. Any who do not wish to be Christ's slave, whether white or black, can cease such service at any time; but they will be slaves nonetheless, only slaves of Satan and sin. (Rom. 6:16-23, NWT) Those who magnify human importance soon hide from their view the really vital issues.
Jehovah is no respecter of persons. Neither are his people. But the world in which we live is. Whites are prejudiced against colored, colored are prejudiced against whites. In some colored communities after nightfall a white person would enter at the risk of his very life. To justify this on the grounds that the whites started the discrimination is not Scriptural. (Rom. 12:17) Now, where the danger is extreme should white persons enter these hostile communities and suffer beating and possibly death to prove they have a democratic right to be there? Should a white witness endanger his life to attend a meeting of colored witnesses in such places, or stay overnight with his colored brothers there, just to prove his democratic right to do so?
Many colored persons practice color-prejudice against their own people. Lighter-colored Negroes will shun the darker ones. Some from the Western Hemisphere look down upon the very dark ones from Africa. In South Africa, whites discriminate against the mixed coloreds, the mixed coloreds against the native blacks, the native blacks against the Indian coolies, and in their native India the Indians discriminate against the no caste or outcasts. Who is innocent to throw the first stone? Can we not see that all classes of the human race are evil, that if we start reforming we shall be lost in an impossible task, with endless discriminations and many varieties or injustices to beat down, which crusading social and political organizations of this world have hopelessly fought for years? For us to become like them would be to fail with them, consume our time in such reforms, lose out as Jehovah's witnesses, and please only the Devil.
So let us please God by preaching the gospel despite the undesirable conditions the Devil's world may make for us. Let us not be sidetracked by Satan and caught in a subtle snare camouflaged in lofty motives and ideals. Can we not wait upon Jehovah to avenge the wrongs we suffer now? Really, our colored brothers have great cause for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase. What if the worldly wise and powerful and noble look down on them as foolish and weak and ignoble, not on an equality with self-exalted whites? It is to God's ultimate honor, for he confounds the wise of this world by choosing those the world considers foolish and weak and ignoble. Let us boast in Jehovah and in our equality in his sight, rather than wanting to boast in equality in the world's sight. (1 Cor. 1:26-31, NWT) In due time the exalted ones will be humbled, and the humble ones will be exalted. (Matt. 23:12) All of us await this vindication from God, which will come in his due time. Until then, as Paul advised concerning slavery we advise concerning its lingering trace, segregation: "Do not let it worry you." (1 Cor. 7:21, NWT) When possible we will meet together, when not possible we will meet separately; but in either event we are always united in spirit, brothers equal in our own sight, in Christ's sight, and in God's sight.
IT WAS one summer in the early 1960's, in Arkansas. Two black girls, about eight and ten years of age, would soon be entering a school with whites. Previously, they had attended a rural segregated school. One day a white woman, who had befriended the girls, asked the younger one: "Pam, what do you think about going to school with white children?" She replied, rather hesitantly: "Well, I don't know. Now, I don't mean you, Miz Cruder, but white folks, you know, they smell funny," and her little nose wrinkled up at the prospect.
This is commonly believed by blacks. Youngsters apparently pick up the idea, not so much from firsthand experience as from what they have heard. But how did this idea that whites have a different, disagreeable odor get started? In large part, it may be in reaction to the long-held views that whites have of blacks. In centuries past, when blacks were slaves and considered as property, whites often spoke about their body odor.