Mary Church Terrell

Speech to the Women of the Eastern Division of the Republican Party - October 1932

Mary Church Terrell
October 01, 1932
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(Oct 1932)

It is a great pleasure yoo know that you and are to join hands together during this campaign as we have done several times before. Wit a woman like yourself assisting to do the important piece of work which we have set out to accomplish I feel like the Rock of Gibraltar is standing before, behind and beside the efforts which are about to be made. I am sure the Republican Party can count upon the active, earnest cooperation of the women of the East in this campaign as it has always done ever sincee they took an active part in political affairs..

The Republican National Executive Committee has asked me to help in the work which women of this section are to do in this campaign just as it did in 1920 soon after the 19th amendment granted suffrage to women and they were allowed to vote for a president of the United States for the first time. Then the women of the Eastern Division responded magnificently to the appeals for assistance which the Republican Party made. The manner in which they cooperated in every way every day all along the line and discharged their duty as citizens is one of the finest records which they have ever made. I am sure history will repeat itself in this campaign and the women of the Eastern Division will work for the election of the Republican Party can count upon the active, earnest cooperation of the women of the Eastern Division in this campaign as it has always done ever since they have taken an active part in political affairs.

Never before in the history of the country was it more necessary to continue the Republican Party in power than it is to day. That is equivalent to saying yhat never before has it been more necessary for women to exert themselves more strenuously to help the Republican Party win at the polls in Novenber than it is at the presen time.

Since the vote of women counts as much as does that of men a great responsibility rests upon them. Perhaps a greater responsibility rests upon women than that devolving upon men. It sometimes takes a greater sacrifice of a woman’s time and strength to discharge the duties and obligations of citizenship than it does for men. For that reason a special effort should be made to induce all women to exercise their suffrage. The women of this section have never failed to do so in the present crisis. For that is the name which describes the conditions which confront the country to day.

People are complaining about the hard times and are continually talking about the depression. The Democratic Party is trying to make it appear that the Republicans are responsible for it. But the Republican Party is no more responsible for the hard times than it is for an epidemic of measles which has just broken out in Swampoodle. The truth of the matter is that The wild extravagances of the Wilson Administration during the World War is the cause of the unfortunate financial oniion of the country more than any other one thing. Millions of dollars were spent for equipment which was not needed and which had to be destroyed when the armistice was signed.

People who insist upon changing from the Republican to the Democratic Administration just to put the other party in power are like remind one of those fine hotels which are always changing plates and feed their guests on smells.

No group of citizens would should vote to put a party in power which had always been hostile to it, had which enacted laws that discriminated against it in the most unjust and outrageous fashion. It is impossible to conceive of reasons which would induce a group of citizens to vote for a Party that denies it the right to vote in those sections where it has absolute power. Ever law enacted to humiliate, degrade colored people has been passed by the Democratic Party. Ever scheme which deprives them of rights and privileges to which every citizens should be entitled has been concocted by the Democratic Party in that section over which it exercises absolute control. it is sometimes suggested that the Democratic Party might change its attitude toward colored people if this that ot the other thing shoulc come to pass. But the attitude of the Democratic Party is as hostile to colored people to day as it has ever been. Onlu recently in Texas colored people were forbidden to vote in the Democratic primary. This is a white man’s party was the slogan. No Blacks need apply. Texas is the State from which Garner hails. Garner is the man the Democrats want to make Vice President of the United States. If anything should happen to Roosevelt Garner would be president of the United States. No colored man or woman whose brain is hitting on all six should vote to make such a calamity for his group possible.

Terrell, Mary Church. “Speech to the Women of the Eastern Division of the Republican Party.” Mary Church Terrell Papers. Library of Congress. October 1932.