Tom Watson was one of the hardest working populists in the struggle to unite the working class. He tried hard to bring the black and white working farmers together so that they could fight for a common cause. He understood how the heritage of racism was being an obstacle in forming a stronger united force against the large corporations. Therefore in his speech he said, “You are being kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings…This race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both.”
It was clear how southern white Populists’ racial attitudes were almost the same as those of the non-populists and understanding the need for allies to break the strength of the Democratic Party Tom Watson decided to step in and explain to the whites how it was foolish of them to stick to their racist attitudes when they also needed allies. He tried to unite the agrarians across class lines.
Two questions that I would ask him if I met him would be-
1. When you were helping the farmers in their struggle were there any supplementary personal benefits that further motivated you to do what you were doing?
2. Did you think convincing the white farmers to unite with the black farmers was a task as difficult as the main struggle against the big corporations?