I have to keep my eye on this group. Named after W. Monroe Trotter - famous antagonist of the great Booker T. Washington who fought in tag team unison with WEB DuBois. It was telling that both DuBois and Trotter supported the campaign of Woodrow Wilson - a racist who said something to the effect of "any Negro who voted for me with the assumption that they'd see advancement of their cause will soon see how mistaken they were". I've previously labeled Woodrow Wilson as a "Racist Progressive". These two men only saw a "progressive" and were made happy.
My inclination to cast the Trotter Group as a bunch of Black Progressives (per the presence of Derrick Z Jackson, George Curry, Tonyaa Weathersbee and DeWayne Wickham) is tempered by the presence of Gregory Kane who is not in their same mind frame. Jackson and Curry in particular are good for writing pieces that are contemptible to my soul.
By Derrick Z. Jackson
ON NOVEMBER 12, 1914, William Monroe Trotter, editor of the Guardian newspaper, went to the White House to confront President Woodrow Wilson. Trotter had supported Wilson's election, but lynching was flaring up, and segregation was more rigid than ever. Trotter asked Wilson where he stood.
Wilson replied: "Segregation is not humiliating, but a benefit. ... Your manner offends me." A 45-minute argument ensued during which. Trotter said: "Two years ago, you were regarded as a second Abraham Lincoln. ... Now we colored leaders [who supported Wilson] are denounced in the colored churches as traitors to our race."
The argument made the front page of The New York Times. The mainstream press characterized Trotter as a poor representative of his race, possessing "superabundant untactful belligerency." Many African-Americans publicly criticized Trotter's judgment, too..
However, W.E.B. DuBois praised Trotter for his fearlessness and unselfish devotion to the higher interests of the Negro race. Oswald Garrison Villard, a grandson of William Lloyd Garrison, said that perhaps "one has to be rude to get into the press and do good with a just cause!"
Trotter was perhaps the most "rude" African-American journalist this nation has produced. The first African-American Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard, Trotter was uncompromising. He attacked both racists and the African-American accommodationists.
He and DuBois drafted the Declaration of Principles for the Niagara Movement of leading African-American opinion makers, saying: "Persistent manly agitation is the way to liberty. ... We black men have our own duties ... to respect ourselves, even as we respect others. But in doing so, we shall not cease to remind the white man of his responsibility.
We refuse to allow the impression to remain that the Negro-American assents to inferiority, is submissive under oppression and apologetic before insults."
Trotter's legacy of lone wolf protest, which included confronting the president of the United States, cannot be forgotten. Thus we, African-American columnists of this nation, call ourselves The Trotter Group.