Legislation of the 1920s>Letter from Harding's Secretary
to James Johnson
Letter from Warren Harding's Secretary to James Weldon Johnson
(December 8, 1922)
NAACP Papers, Library of Congress
I can readily understand the disappointment of the colored people
over the inability of the Senate to function in the consideration
of the Dyer Anti-Lynching bill. I also feel that our colored citizens
will justly place the responsibility for this where it belongs,
to wit, upon the Democratic minority whose filibustering under
the existing Senate rules would not only prevent the passing of
the Anti-Lynching bill but in so doing defeat the entire legislative
program for the session, appropriation bills included, to the
benefit of no one but to the detriment of the entire country.
As you know, the President recommended the Anti-Lynching bill
to Congress. The Republican House passed it. The Republican Majority
in the Senate has labored earnestly and sincerely, last summer
and now, to bring about its enactment. The bill is blocked by
the Democratic filibusters.
fact is that the Senate operates under rules which render it important
to do anything when a considerable minority sets out to block
any decisive action by carrying on a determined filibuster.