“I believe that in time, through the operation of intelligence and friendly race relations, all cheating at the ballot-box in the South will cease. It will become apparent that the white man who begins by cheating a Negro out of his ballot soon learns to cheat a white man out of his, and that the man who does this ends his career of dishonesty by the theft of property or some equally serious crime.”

In this quotation, which appears in Chapter 14 after Washington shares his belief about the political future of Black Americans, Washington shares his optimism for friendly race relations between Black and white people in the South. Washington believes that this will not be achieved by force, but by the slow dissolution of prejudice. Washington believes that if the Black population continues to show itself indispensable to the communities it touches, then whites will have no choice but to fully recognize their political rights. The achievement of equality will show itself in the logic that if a white man is willing to cheat a black man “out of his ballot,” then he will also be willing to cheat a white man “out of his.”