House passes unconstitutional bill against Berea. Requires impossibilities, and plainly tends to drive the school out of the state.
Hope in the Senate. Sympathy for Berea from good people everywhere, "If Berea students could testify."
House Bill No. 25 passed the lower house on Thursday as expected, although without the considerate amendments which had been hoped for. It requires Berea to discontinue the education of either its white or its colored students at the end of this school year, unless it can within that time get ready to conduct a separate school for one race at some new location at least twenty-five miles away.
To secure a new location and be ready to carry on a school within that time is, of course, impossible, and the intent of the legislature to simply "do damage" seems evident. No property would be safe in a State which could be controlled by such a spirit.
The bill was finally rushed through with a repetition of the long refuted claim that Berea was already operating in violation of State law. The present Secretary of State and former Superintendent of Public Instruction either cannot understand the English language or lent his authority knowingly to this misrepresentation. It was probably H mistake that the College did not arrange to have some suitable presentation of the right made in the lower house, but the passage of the bill there was regarded as a foregone conclusion.
We now depend upon the Senate to prevent the State from decreeing the removal of Berea College from Kentucky, or a division of its funds and its teaching force, which would be perhaps even worse.
The petition presented by certain citizens of Madison county for the passage of the bill is rather pitiful, containing most narrow-minded and bigoted sentiments, which, however, many of the signers assure us they never read and do not believe in. More than three fourths of the voters of Berea, and many of the best citizens of the county have signed a remonstrance against the bill.
We give our readers a few extracts from letters on the subject, and from the great newspapers of the country.
From a great Kentucky lawyer.
It is an outrageous piece of legislation * * * I doubt constitutionality of such a measure.
From former student.
I am confident that this persecution