Race Prejudice in the Philippines

WE Americans like to call ourselves the most democratic people on earth, but the boast requires extensive qualification before it can be made applicable to our social habits. Every one recognizes the all-exclusiveness with us of the term “ white man.” Nor should “ white ” be emphasized rather than “ man ; ” the phrase might properly be written as a hyphenated noun. Whether fetich or philosophy, it predicates to us the highest common multiple of intelligence and virtue. We make it our synonym for " civilization.”

Nor is this merely an indication of our share in that theory of racial superiority which talks responsibility and thinks in terms of commercial supremacy. Americans are not proof against the flattering unction of a doctrine which sings Christianity while it means inequality. But until recently we have been comparatively untouched by this contagion, have, in fact, rather been inclined to adopt a cynical attitude with reference to it. Our social prejudices have been provincial. Excuses are readily to be found for a people so sorely tried as we have been by the negro problem. Mere intolerance of color, however, is much less noticeable than unreasoning and unrestrained impatience with any and all who do not at once acknowledge the superiority of our institutions and customs, and hasten to adopt them. We are proud of our reputation as an asylum of the oppressed, and yet it may be doubted if we should have been so tolerant of immigration from Europe had the immigrants been less ready of assimilation. Here, to be sure, prejudice may create a natural and proper national safeguard; yet, in spite of the fact that as a people we are only a blend, the native American, be his nativity but two generations strong, has for his neighbor of another country a sort of pity that escapes being ignorant prejudice only by its real kindliness.

Our provincial assumption of superiority has been ridiculed by Mr. Kipling, but it is different in degree only, and not in kind, from that which, as the white man’s poet, he exploits. There is no difference in quality between the pharisaism of a rustic and the pharisaism of a world power.

Many people find in our occupation of the Philippine Islands the threat of a radical change in American character and ideals. Even if we look only on the evil side of things, it is hard to see how American character and social ideas can thus be radically altered. That it is a step of transcendent importance, involving new and various political difficulties, is true. But it draws us into a field in which ultimately our prejudices may broaden out, and in which our provincialisms must disappear.

Meanwhile, however, it must be admitted, the prospect of such beneficent results seems spoiled by two untoward phases of our new venture : we have carried into the Philippines a petty race prejudice, the offspring of past provincialism and the inheritance of slavery with its residue of unsettled problems; and we are betraying a tendency to swagger under the “ white man’s burden,” sometimes in the garb of commercialism, sometimes in the raiment of science.

As might be expected, the petty prejudices are first to exhibit themselves, and are also, just at present, the more serious obstacles to a general good understanding in the Philippines. Relying upon the common sense of the reader not to draw any hysterical conclusions of general “ oppression ” in the Philippines, it may be worth while to cite instances and facts to show how race prejudice has been doing us harm in the islands. Only instances for which I can personally vouch will be employed.

That the color line would be drawn by some Americans who had to do with affairs in the islands could readily have been predicted. The extent to which it has been held in veneration is, however, far from complimentary either to the intelligence and general information or to the breadth and charity of Americans. This tendency to shy at a darker skin, no matter who or what the wearer, is doubtless a minor reason for English cynicism at our talk of Philippine selfgovernment. But we need not go to India, nor learn that there are dark-skinned branches of the Caucasian family, to appreciate how small is the significance of color alone in connection with mankind. Without in the least justifying the prejudice against the negroes in the United States, what possible excuse does that afford for proceeding on the “nigger” theory among a people largely Malayan ? The typical Filipino is every whit as distinct from the Negro as he is from the European. Yet it is the usual thing among Americans who have been in the Philippines, and imbibed a contempt or dislike for the people, to betray in their conversation the fact that their theories of the situation are based upon popular notions at home as to negro shortcomings and incapacity. They prejudge the people before they have even seen them, and they come away without ever having made a single honest effort to find out what they really are like.

Before the arrival of the second Philippine Commission at Manila and the inauguration by Judge Taft and its other members of social gatherings in which the natives were in the majority, practically nothing had been done in the way of providing an informal meeting ground for representative Filipinos and Americans. The first Philippine Commission had given a ball in 1899, which was a landmark for Filipino matrons and belles in their discussions and misapprehensions as to what Americans were like socially. With two or three very notable exceptions, officers whose wives had joined them did not think of meeting any residents but some of the wealthy Spanish “ left-overs ” on anything like terms of social equality. Eight months after Judge Taft and his colleagues had begun a new policy in this respect, General MacArthur gave a distinctly successful reception in the governor’s palace in Malacañan. Of course, it is not intended to imply that it was incumbent upon army officers to incur the expense and trouble incident to such affairs, nor that those charged with the burden of military administration in the islands could or should have spared time in the midst of active fighting to inaugurate a social campaign in Manila. What it is desired to point out is that some cultivation of the social amenities, some willingness to meet the natives halfway, was quite worth the while. When it is considered that there are in Manila many wealthy and well-educated mestizos, some of whom have polished their minds and manners in Madrid and Paris, who hold themselves quite as good as any man, and who, in fact, were imbued with some of the Latin-European contempt for Americans as uncultured money-makers, the folly of such aloofness is doubly evident. That most of this class had formerly sought to identify themselves socially with the Spaniards, and had been virtually of the Spanish contingent, did not alter the fact that nearly all had their following among the people ; nor did our knowledge of their contributions to the insurgent cause, whether made voluntarily or through prudence, render it either politic or patriotic to assume an air of superiority.

Force of circumstances has from the first, through the necessarily closer contact and the lack of other society, brought about more social mingling in the provincial towns. In general, however, the attitude of the army women in the islands is typified by that one in Manila who, in discussing affairs in her first call on the wife of a member of the Commission, exclaimed in horror: “Why, surely you don’t propose to visit these people and invite them to your own home just the same as you would white people ! ” Time has perhaps brought a little more catholicity, at any rate the custom of entertaining natives has come to be received without a shock ; but few army women in Manila have Filipinas on their calling list, and in the provinces they often take it on themselves to caution American women sent out as teachers against mingling with the people of their towns. This attitude is also that of the great majority of officers in the army, though the men, like men everywhere, are less formal about a social rule and less rigid in their likes and dislikes of persons.

An instance of this attitude was the attempt to exclude from the Woman’s Hospital at Manila (founded by a donation of Mrs. Whitelaw Reid) all Filipinos as patients, as well as to keep off the list of patronesses the names of Filipino women. At about the same time the board of ladies to whose energy the American Library of Manila was due asked to have it made a public library, to be helped out by funds from the Philippine treasury, and made very strenuous protests against having it also thrown open to Filipinos for a share in its management and use. They contended that it had been established as a monument to American soldiers who lost their lives in the Philippines, and that it was unfitting that Filipinos should have anything to do with it, though Philippine taxes might support it.

At a ball given to various American authorities by the native residents of a provincial capital, an American officer stopped the band after it began a dance at the direction of the Filipino who was master of ceremonies, and ordered it to start a two-step. When interrogated, he announced that the military were in command of that town, thus insulting the Filipino who had charge of affairs, and incidentally also a number of American ladies whose partners had brought them on the floor for the Philippine quadrille. The American officer was a graduate of one of our leading universities, and formerly occupied a responsible position in one of the largest American cities. The Filipino, as perhaps the officer knew, had finished his education in Madrid and Paris, had resided for some years in the latter city, had published a number of scientific treatises, and was a member of various learned societies of Europe.

This and the other instances do not, of course, reveal a prejudice grounded entirely on color, yet this is the chief factor. It may be worth while remarking that, judging by one man’s personal observation, this attitude of contempt is less noticeable among officers from the South than among those from the North. Doubtless this is due to their having had closer contact with people of another color, and to a greater tolerance through the staling of custom, although the conviction of the other’s inferiority may yet be deeper bred.

On the other hand, an experience to be remembered was hearing some Southern as well as Northern officers rate the Filipino higher than the American negro, greatly to the indignation of a colored chaplain of the army who overheard them. And these officers were rather more tolerant of the presence among the firstclass passengers of an army transport of a Filipino mestizo from the Visayan islands than of the same chaplain, who was finally given a seat by himself because some very important young lieutenants would not sit next him.

Something more than mere color prejudice must be invoked to explain the actions of a major who put sentries out under unprecedentedly strict orders in the capital of a province where civil government had lately been established, and then backed them against the civil authorities in overriding the rights of natives and in shooting down a peaceable citizen in the streets. Again, an ex-insurgent general, whom many of our officers denounced as having been responsible for assassinations by the men under him, was set at liberty by General Chaffee, but a young lieutenant who happened at the time to be in command of the military prison where he was confined ignored the order of release till compelled by appeal to recognize it. Meanwhile he set the ex-insurgent officer, a man of standing and education, to cleaning out stables. One has to appeal to a strain of meanness and to a brutal pleasure in the exercise of the power over one’s fellows that circumstances have temporarily conferred, to explain these and similar instances. The details of the China campaign, not really well known, show how such instances might be multiplied, and our national pride suffers when we find that, after all, they were not all confined to Russians, Germans, and Frenchmen.

The writer was one of a group of American civilians halted in the street of a Philippine town by an ugly sentinel and ordered, in gruff terms at the bayonet’s point, to salute a minute American flag on the top of a fifty-foot pole. Not one, of course, had seen it. The pole had purposely been set some hundreds of feet from the barracks, almost in the street itself, and the order was enforced against every one who passed. A protest to the officer in command, a gray-haired captain, brought the reply that he was " teaching the niggers a lesson.” This province was a leader in the revolt against Spain, first because of the friars, and second because of the abuses suffered at the hands of the Spanish civil guard. One need not add that the hatred felt toward our troops is intense. One of our young officers there had acquired the genial habit of imbibing to the point of mischief, then ordering out a corporal’s guard and raiding Filipino houses at all hours of the night. He finally raided the house where the Filipino judge of that circuit was staying, which put an end to this particular form of amusement for him. When this same judge, a Filipino educated in Paris, of unusually solid character and attainments, opened court in this town, the provincial capital, he was obliged to begin by requesting that an American officer — not a youngster either — remove his hat from his head and his feet from the table. The province is under civil government, and the officer took this means of expressing his contempt of the civil government idea in general and of this Filipino’s court in particular. No fighting has occurred in the province for some months, yet so sure were high military authorities of trouble brewing that they saw rifles in their sleep, and the Chinese rival in business of an ex-insurgent officer was able to get him into jail by dropping in the street a letter purporting to contain the latter’s plans for an uprising. This method of denunciation of one’s enemies became very common after Spain began her deportations on suspicion.

The ex-insurgent-appointed governor of a neighboring province did not see fit to salute the officers of the garrison in a town under his jurisdiction, and the latter started a newspaper campaign against him in Manila, charging him with all sorts of treachery and plotting. Similarly, the garrisoning force at Cebú was put in such a state of mind by the restoration of civil control there that even the privates felt called upon to stop the officers of the native police in the streets and make them salute. Abuses of a rather more serious nature led a Spanish newspaper in Manila to recall to the Americans that the people of Cebú never really turned against Spain until the latter power had let some Moro troops loose in their streets to run things to their liking.

These instances do not afford ground for a general indictment of the army in the Philippines. Like other organizations, the army has its share of all sorts of men ; and, were it in point here, the testimony of various Filipinos themselves to utterly unexpected generosity at the hands of officers and privates, and examples of unselfish efforts to get into touch with the people and to better their condition, could readily be adduced. Recent revelations have focused attention on the conduct of the army in the Philippines, and some have tried to make out that downright brutality was the rule of campaign there. Cases of actual inhumanity have been, I am convinced, the exceptional ones. It must be admitted, however, by any one who really knows things as they now are in the islands, that at least three fourths of the army, rank and file, entertain a more or less violent dislike for the Filipinos and a contempt for their capacity, moral and intellectual. This feeling in the army has grown during the past two years. Perhaps it may be dated back to the early days of 1900, when guerrilla warfare had begun, and our troops had to contend with ambushes and a foe who was an excellent masquerader, and who practiced the art of assassination on his own fellow countrymen in forms of the most refined cruelty. The American soldier has something of the mediæval warrior’s love of an out and out, decisive test of strength, and wants his opponent to come out into the open and slay or be slain. He is disposed to underrate the bravery and the capacity of a foe whose very circumstances drove him to employ methods which nature and his talents gave him, while secret assassination can find excuse with none of us.

Then, too, the loss of power through the merging of military into civil government has increased the hostility of narrow-minded army officers to the native. The atmosphere of army life is undemocratic. It was sometimes amazing to find howlarge some ordinary American citizens could become in their own eyes, when, thousands of miles from home, they gained absolute control over five to twenty thousand or more people, with no white man at hand who could venture to question their dictates. Such men — and some were in high place and some in low — let go of a newly tasted power with ill grace, and promptly became convinced that civil government was a mistake. One present in the Philippines during this transfer of governing power could see a bitterness against the natives crop out that had not been expressed, and often not felt before.

This contempt and ill feeling grew apace, as one following the American press of Manila could note, until many would not concede to the native the possession of a single good quality. Officers stationed in pacified provinces might often have been judged by their actions as being really desirous of provoking another outbreak, while in the main their conduct was due to mere thoughtless prejudice, spurred into activity by the constant iteration in the mouths of all around them of charges against the native inhabitants. An illustrative case is that of a young lieutenant, whom I once overheard telling an American lady how he and a fellow officer used to go up and down the streets of a Cavite town shooting water buckets out of the hands of startled natives and otherwise keeping up revolver practice. It was done to “ keep the gugus in a proper frame of mind,” he commented. This was in a province for some time pacified, and in a garrison where time doubtless hung rather heavy. Yet subsequent conversation with this officer revealed that he had no deep-seated prejudice, despite an ugly bolo wound be carried, but was thoughtlessly classing all Filipinos together as bad, incapable, and in general not much entitled to consideration.

This is not the attitude solely of the army, though it is the attitude of a majority in the army. American civilians, both those in the employ of the civil government and the smaller element not so employed, often feel the same. Naturally, as the success of the civil government must rest upon conciliation, while in the last resort military success always depends upon force, the employees of the civil government are obliged to consult native feelings and native interests, no matter what may be their personal prejudices. But among the subordinates one finds petty prejudice cropping out in many different ways, such as striding majestically along the middle of a crowded sidewalk and shoving natives right and left, while violent and ill-considered opinions are often expressed.

Allusion has been made to the attitude of the American press in Manila. Two of the three American dailies there are characterized by intemperance and indecency of expression and a general cheapness. They are the mouthpieces of an element which loudly proclaims that it represents American commercial interests in the Orient. It is hardly necessary to say that, while there are a few very praiseworthy pioneers of our industry in the Philippines, really substantial business interests have very generally held aloof, because of active insurrection, and because Senator Hoar’s amendments to the “ Spooner Bill ” postponed investments of capital until Congress had taken further action. But adventurers, army camp-followers, schemers, and shyster lawyers have of course not been held back by any such considerations. With no desire to belittle the few who are honestly seeking a foothold there, and who do us credit, it is nevertheless true — could not, in fact, be otherwise under the circumstances — that the great bulk of Philippine business remains in the hands of the Spanish, British, and other European firms. Some American firms there, which rejoice in high-sounding names as commercial companies, have headquarters greatly resembling “ sample rooms,” and their stock, other than liquid goods, is largely carried in catalogues. Beer-agents often “ roll high ” in Manila, and assume a dignity and importance as “ captains of industry ” that would merely be amusing were it not that newspapers backed by them and others of like faith pose before the natives as representative of Americans and American sentiment. They furnish the Spanish journalists of Manila, who, almost without exception, are eager to do us mischief, with many a text for insinuating columns about “exploitation,” the fear of which is very present with the Filipino.

Loud talk of patriotism and the flag characterizes this element, and the motto “ America for Americans ” also signifies to them “the Philippines for Americans.” Quite naturally, a policy which consults principally the interests of the Filipinos is not to their liking. This is the real reason for the attacks on Señors Tavera and Legarda, two of the three Filipinos who were added to the Philippine Commission in September last, these calumniations being based on the charges of a Spanish journalist since convicted of libel. Commissioner Luzuriaga has so far escaped the mud-slinging, as he was drafted into service from Negros, and had not been entangled in affairs at the capital.

Attacks on the natives constantly grew in bitterness last fall. The massacre in Sáimar afforded excuse for all sorts of rumors and even circumstantial accusations of revolts in Manila itself, in its environs, and in some of the pacified provinces. Sometimes these were merely the product of reportorial invention and lack of copy; in other cases, they could be traced to an attack of hysteria on the part of some army or constabulary subordinate. A fearful “ Katipunan rising ” in Tarlac, which occupied Manila papers for several days, and which reached the United States as dignified cable news, resolved itself upon investigation into a lovers’ quarrel. A Filipino maiden whose favors had been transferred to an American sergeant was called to account by her former lover, a native, and she denounced him to the sergeant as connected with a big revolt. Arrests were prompt, and the story grew in size and details every mile of the way to Manila.

The meetings of the Federal party in Manila for the purpose of drawing up a petition to Congress were at times amusingly turbulent, but they were grossly misreported with a view to comment on the ridiculousness of conferring any degree of self-government upon the Filipinos. A press but lately freed from the censorship of an army officer began to cry for the restoration of military government and a “ thorough ” policy, by which, apparently, they meant a policy of extermination. Typical of these almost daily outbreaks are these quotations from a Manila Freedom editorial of last October : —

“ Every Filipino is an insurgent at heart, and every Filipino hates the Americans if the truth was known. They take our money, and they smile to our faces, but in their hearts they have no use for us or our government. Incapable of gratitude, they view our generosity in the light of a weakness, and at the first favorable moment betray the trust reposed in them. We deny that there are Filipinos who favor us, or who appreciate what we have done or wish to do for them.”

The Spanish editors always see to it that the reading Filipinos do not miss such things for want of a translation. They have inspired frequent indignant protests from the Filipino press and the demand that loyalty be met with loyalty. These instances may help to shed light on the passage of the libel and sedition laws in Manila. It must be remembered that there is no such organized public opinion to deal with newspaper extravagances in the Philippines as with us at home, while these American papers are taken much more seriously by the Filipinos than by Americans. As bearing on the reason for enacting a sedition law, it is to be noted that the Philippine government has invoked this law so far only against American editors in Manila. In the month of March last, vituperation of the natives on the part of two American publications exceeded even anything said last fall.

Race prejudice, like any other prejudice, cannot, simply as such, be logically explained. Even its defenders admit this when they appeal to “ an innate sense of superiority,” or preach of “ the limits assigned by God to the different tribes of men.” Gentlemen who would scorn to admit being bound to the ancient and outgrown Jewish system of political philosophy are often very glib with such phrases. But when race prejudice descends from its pedestal of supernaturalism and seeks to justify itself by human argument, it subjects itself to ordinary rules of logic.

Attacks on the character of the native are usually made the basis of the white man’s plea in the Philippines. For this purpose the natives are all treated as identical in kind and character, grouped into one, as it were. Upon such a hypothesis one can argue that, because one native known to him was deficient morally and seemed incapable mentally, therefore the Filipinos are a dishonest and inefficient race. But thus baldly stated, the proposition seems too ridiculous to emanate from any educated person ; yet it is remarkable how commonly it is set forth by persons who consider themselves very well educated. We all know how indignant we become when a European writer of short experience among us proceeds to cut one suit of clothes to fit us all; yet the Filipinos are hardly a more homogeneous people than we, and there are just as strongly marked individual types in the East as in the West.

I do not seek to gloss over Filipino defects. No one who knows them as they really are to-day will undertake the task of deification. It is a great pity that there is no real translation into English of Rizal’s novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. The idea is prevalent that Rizal was a political revolutionist. On the other hand, the primary object of his books was to exhibit to his own countrymen their shortcomings. No such exposition of the character and conditions of the Filipinos, truthful yet sympathetic, can be obtained elsewhere.

Though awake to their failings, yet Rizal, from the heights of his German university training and his contact with European civilization, did not look down on his people as “ savages with a thin veneer of civilization,” as one of our Congressmen very considerately pronounced them to be to their faces. A product of wider opportunities himself, Rizal believed in wider opportunities for all his countrymen. The “ savages ” contention has had of late some very ardent advocates among the Spanish friars, though the early missionaries of the very orders that now turn and rend the Filipino people have left much detailed testimony to show that their charges were by no means savages when the Spaniards first came that way. To get at the truth as to the state of civilization of the Filipinos at the time of the Spanish conquest one must carefully weigh the evidences of an accumulation of mainly useless and unreliable documents, and the history of the Philippines has yet to be written in the modern spirit; but it is sufficient for this discussion to say that there is no place for the notion that the Filipinos are savages held in check by religious awe and superstition. Here, as throughout the discussion, no reference is had to the Moros, the Indonesian hill tribes of Mindanao, or the mountain wild people of Luzón and a few other islands. The Negritos remaining are a negligible quantity.

There are cruelty and indifference to suffering, often to a shocking degree. These are due to an ever present fatalism, which the little real religious teaching the people have received has built upon rather than sought to eliminate, and to the absolute lack of an appeal to, or of an attempt to educate, higher feelings. If it is to be assumed at the outset that these people are forever incapable of such higher feelings, then it ought also to have been assumed that they were incapable of Christianity. Water torture, which has in some cases been resorted to on our side, is one of the forms of torture to which these people are accustomed. The list of victims buried alive by order of guerrilla chiefs, the maiming, mutilations, and secret assassinations certainly make up an appalling and shocking chapter. War stirs up the darkest passions among the most advanced peoples, however, and it was in a degree to be expected that a people untrained in modern international usages, and never in the past treated as though they belonged to the brotherhood of man, or were responsible to humanity for humaneness, would not exhibit an entirely refined code of slaying. The “ethics of warfare,” — after all, is that not a rather paradoxical phrase ?

That instances of real brutality on the part of our troops have been the exception has been stated to be the opinion of the writer. On the confession of the officer who conducted it, the campaign in the island of Sámar from October to March last must be excepted from this general statement. He has met the charge of violating the rules of civilized warfare with the counter-charge that the people of Sámar are savages, and that it was necessary to suspend many of these rules in order to restore peace and quiet to that part of the archipelago. By inference, it then became a war of extermination till one side or the other should cry quits. It is hard to deal with this matter as yet in a strictly impartial spirit, and full knowledge is one of the first requisites. One thing can at least be asserted, namely, that the classification of all the people of Sámar in one lump as savages will bear close scrutiny. How differentiate the bulk of them, living in Christianized towns on the coasts or up some of the more important rivers, from their close neighbors and kinsmen in the island of Leyte ? The rough and mountainous character of much of the interior of Sámar, with its primitive wild people and a proportion of “ Remontados ” (as the friars denominated those who refused Christianity, who became fugitives from the law, or who, for other reasons, “ remounted ” the hills), must, of course, be taken into account. But the people of the towns were, at least in the main, those who were engaged against us. The statement that the Spanish friars and officials never got any foothold in Sámar is utterly without foundation, while yet their failure to penetrate the interior has been noted.

This much maybe said with certitude of the Sámar campaign of General Jacob Smith : The expeditions which went down there from Manila, on the heels of the Balangiga massacre, went in a spirit of revenge. No one who appreciated how that massacre caused those in all the islands who wished us ill to exult and to lift their heads again will underestimate the importance of having just retribution dealt promptly to the offenders ; but to make no distinction between friend and foe, and to voice the cry of blood for blood’s sake, — “ an eye for an eye,” not discriminating whose, — was to lower ourselves to the plane of those wretches who treacherously slew our men at Balangiga. The writer has not the first-hand knowledge to enable him to assert that indiscriminate slaughtering took place in Sámar ; but he was assured by the representative of one of our leading newspapers, who was there during October and November, that there was " no regard for friend or foe,” and he remembers the unofficial statements in Manila papers of those months that the orders were out to “ take no prisoners ” and to “ spare only women and children,” while the recrudescence at that time of native hatred in Manila and throughout the islands has been noted above. The people of Leyte, neighboring island to Sdmar, and the officers of Leyte’s civil provincial government, both Americans and Filipinos, were sorely tried at the time by the arbitrary actions of General Smith and the men under him. All natives came in for condemnation just then, and officers of the American army behaved in peaceful Leyte in most lawless disregard of law established by authority of the President, their commander in chief.

For General Smith, it can at least be said that he was logical. The Sdmar campaign represents the military view of the natives and the military theory as to rule over them carried to their legitimate extreme. Yet, again it must be said that this campaign is to be treated by itself, and the belief reiterated that, on the whole, inhumane conduct has been the exception. No one who knows the two men, or the circumstances of the campaigns, will think of putting General James F. Bell’s reconcentration and similar measures in Batangas and Laguna side by side with the conduct of affairs in Sámar.

This digression as to matters of recent controversy will have been worth while if it shall serve to induce to a saner consideration of army conduct in the islands, and if it shall also emphasize the fact that the generally contemptuous attitude of army men and other Americans toward the natives — that feeling which gives itself vent in the term “ niggers ” — is what does us greatest harm. The Filipinos have grown, by hard experience, somewhat callous to measures that seem to us extreme, if not actually brutal. We do not make enemies for ourselves half so much by the occasional administration of the water cure or other forms of torture and barbarity as by a studied attitude of contempt, an assumption of racial and individual superiority, and the constant disregard of their petty personal rights and of the little amenities which count for so much with them. Nor is it true that the water cure has been very commonly applied, nor that our officers and men are, as a body, given to that sort of thing. The recent riot of exaggeration was regrettable, in this: that it has tended to produce a reaction, to lead people to feel that it was all, not partly, partisan hue and cry, and thus to make easier a " whitewash ” of those particular men who need punishment, wherever, in the circles of their fellow subordinate officers, there may be a disposition to whitewash.

Lack of capacity to develop mentally is a frequent charge against the Filipinos. It is forever put forward by friar writers ; one comes to believe finally that this is to excuse the failure to advance the natives further. Just how deficient the past education of the Filipinos has been, just how narrow and mediæval has been the atmosphere of thought, one cannot realize until he has come into direct contact with its evidences. Often the best educated Filipinos cannotthemselves realize it. The fact is, no one has the right gratuitously to assume that the Filipino is purely imitative, that he lacks the logical, mathematical qualities of mind, and that, while bright when young, he soon reaches his limit and can go no farther. He is entitled to an honest trial, and the entire deficiency of past instruction is summed up when it is said that he has never yet had it. Pending a thorough trial of the new system of education, beginning, as it does, at the bottom and working up gradually, no one has the right to be positive as to the capacity or incapacity of the Filipino. I have in mind one Filipino who, though in other lines exhibiting perfectly his Manila college training in circumlocution and scholastic chop-logic, will, on economic matters within his scope, reason as closely and with as great a devotion to practical examples as any devotee of the research method. He certainly never got this quality from his training. In fact, real acquaintance with Filipinos and frank exchange of sentiments will correct various preconceived notions. It is frequently asserted, for instance, that the Tagalog has no sense of humor ; quite the reverse is true.

We should also be honest with the Filipino in the matter of laziness. American “ get-up-and-get ” is not the product of life in the tropics, and to a considerable extent is not compatible with it. But, before American contractors are allowed to flood the islands with contract coolie labor, the Filipino has a right to a fair trial, and such a fair trial will involve a considerable number of years. Development of the country may not be quite so rapid, but it will proceed on a sounder basis if the rights of its people to the first share in it are consulted. In fact, the success of our political venture in the Philippines depends in large measure on the extent to which we can arouse in the people a desire for better homes, better towns, and better surroundings. There are evidences that, as he awakened to European civilization, the Filipino did not settle back idle wholly through the lack of a desire for greater comforts and conveniences, but in part at least because of the all but hopelessness of an effort to rise above a certain place in the hard and fast industrial society the Spaniards found and continued. So far higher wages in Manila have generally meant patent leathers and diamonds, but even that is encouraging. Perhaps, too, we shall learn some things to our advantage from the Filipino. Ordinarily our superior in courtesy, something for which many Americans have not the time, why may he not inspire in us a greater respect for repose, dignity, and lack of nervousness while we are arousing him to a rather more strenuous existence ?

Filth and unsanitary ways of living, again, are urged against the Filipinos. They are certainly not unclean by nature, as the daily bath and the scrupulously white clothes testify. Ignorance of the most primary hygienic principles is, however, nearly universal. It will be recalled that the Spaniards, so far behind in this respect, could give them little modern teaching or example. The general character of the education at the friar-conducted college in Manila, which turned out practically all the physicians in the Philippines, may be inferred from such facts as that its text - books and library in important subjects date back over sixty years, that bacteriology has been introduced only within the past three years, and there are no microscopes. Female cadavers are never dissected, while the course in anatomy, like most of the others, is very much of a farce.

Honest differences of opinion may exist as to the points already discussed, but there can be no honest objection to giving the Filipinos the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves undeserving. Perhaps no public utterance of the late President has received less general attention than his instructions of April 7, 1900, to the present Philippine Commission. Yet, as time goes by, it will not be strange if the fame of William McKinley shall rest mainly on that document, whether penned by him or penned by Secretary Root and authorized by him. In it he said : —

“ In all forms of government and administrative provisions which they are authorized to prescribe, the Commission should bear in mind that the government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands, and the measures adopted should be made to conform to their customs, their habits, and even their prejudices, to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the indispensable requisites of just and effective government.”

And again : “ Upon all officers and employees of the United States, both civil and military, should be impressed a sense of duty to observe not merely the material but the personal and social rights of the people of the islands, and to treat them with the same courtesy and respect for their personal dignity which the people of the United States are accustomed to require from each other.”

These instructions are based on the belief that it is not the white man alone who possesses “ certain inalienable rights.” Science has progressed far since the human rights movement of the eighteenth century. But it has not reached its final postulates, and it is still somewhat safer to follow the promptings of humanity than some of the over-positive dicta of the science of man. Like political economy and other non-absolute sciences, ethnology suffers from a present tendency to employ the evolutionary method of reasoning in a one-sided fashion. Heredity is invoked wherever possible, and environment considered only where it cannot be overlooked. If the equality of man was often preached in fantastic or utopian form in the latter part of the eighteenth century, so has the inequality of man met with a most superficial extension in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Ethnology and anthropology are sciences yet too young and undeveloped to justify very positive assertions being based on them. Moreover, if any one great truth has been made evident by them, it is this, that man has in all ages been wonderfully responsive to his surroundings, that he is to a remarkable degree the product of his environment. Physically, men, of all colors, the world over, are of one species; in psychic equipment, in all that goes to make up social life, the various divisions of men often present differences as great as the physical differences on which genera or even families are outlined among other animals. Evolutionary science developed its processes in connection with facts and features essentially physical ; entrancing as the results may be, is it necessarily certain that these processes should be applied literally and in detail to phenomena of other sorts ?

It is wearisome to note how uniformly writers on the peoples of the Orient assume that they are inherently different from us in every respect, — that the ordinary Western ways of reasoning have no place in the East, must in fact be reversed. The familiar saying that the Chinese do everything backward is in point. Now, John seems to me one of the most unsparingly logical human beings in the world. Kipling’s jingles are responsible for much of that feeling that the Oriental is a wholly mysterious being, not given to be understood by other men, a curious psychological phenomenon. “Half-devil and half-child” comes trippingly to the tongue of many Americans in the Philippines, and their philosophy of the Filipino is thus summed up for them before their study of him has ever begun. What is less creditable, the same stock theory and a few facts, more or less, constitute the equipment of various university economists and world problem specialists.

The writer can lay no claim to world specialism or globe trotting, but he has been more than anything else impressed with the feeling that, after all, the differences in the races of men are much fewer and less important than their points of resemblance. Great and sometimes amazing as are the former at times, they strike our notice first, while the impression that lingers with us is the unity of man.

More important than the theories, scientific or unscientific, are the practical political problems facing us, a nation to whose one long-standing and yet unsettled race problem have now been added others. The Atlantic’s editor has already noted that one of the first results of our new venture in the oceans has been the complication of the negro question at home ; so likewise our failures with the black people in the United States are often urged against us among the Filipinos, and " lynch law ” is held before them by those who like us not. For the moment, it is no reproach to preach inequality, and more or less openly pity is expressed for the narrowness of the promulgators of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson had no inkling of the evolutionary theory, it is true; neither had the laws of selection and survival been stated in Christ’s time. But the divinely human love he inculcated and exemplified met with a real revival in the crusade for equality among men, and the true tenets of evolution have to-day no higher trend than this.

The fact is, the Declaration of Independence is acquiring with time a range of truth uncomprehended by its authors, and in ways incomprehensible to their times. While, on the one side, wellmeaning Americans are sure that we are engaged in swashbuckler imperialism, our British critics, whom we have always with us, are equally confident of our failure through undue idealism. One of these has just finished cautioning us that we must not attempt any “ Jeffersonianideals ” foolishness in the Philippines, and advises us to pattern after the British in the Straits Settlements. The people of the latter are strictly comparable to the Moros, but not at all to the civilized Filipinos. In a book just published, another British writer, one of the few who have been on the ground and know what is really going on in the Philippines, has recognized that we are attempting there something new in the history of the world, and, despite a cocksureness as to the superiority of British methods that will crop out, has thought best to reserve judgment. But he is an exception ; his fellow countrymen in the Orient are laughing in their sleeves at the simple Americans who believe that self-government can exist in that atmosphere. Even to call into question the validity of the theory that some men are made to rule and some to obey is to jar most inconsiderately the complacency of those men who have landed on the ruling side.

The answer to the fearsome at home is that, when they doubt our doing justice in the Philippines, they themselves call into question government by the people. The answer to our outside critics can only be given by time. It surely is no sin to hope and believe that the Orient is not impermeable to progress ; and it surely is better to strive to that end until it is proved to be an impossible one, if it shall be so proved. As for our prejudices, may we not learn to shed them as we mingle more with the men of the world and think less of our cherished isolation ? For the way to a broader social vision and a truer and nobler Christianity — real humanity — lies through experience of our own limitations, hearing our shortcomings from the tongues of other peoples, acquiring charity in the stress of temptation, knowing our fellows on the earth.

James A. Le Roy.